6 of the best holiday displays in New York

6 of the best holiday displays in New York

‘Tis the season! A local shares six must-see themed displays in New York this holiday season.

New York City is amazing all year round, but during the holidays it’s truly magical! The city comes alive and, believe it or not, its illuminations are even more than normal. One of the many highlights of the holidays is the elaborate displays curated by some of the world’s most famous department stores and shopping centers. These Christmas windows draw endless crowds and will put you right in the holiday spirit. Whether you are a local or just visiting for the holidays, a stop to see the lavishly designed windows is a must. Bundle up and wander around to admire the impressive spectacles, with or without getting some of those gift purchases out of the way.

Here are six Christmas windows in New York you absolutely shouldn’t miss.

1. Macy’s Herald Square

The holiday season kicks off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which finishes at the iconic 34th Street store, whose six window displays might be the most famous of all. Macy’s, one of the world’s most famous, was the first to have a window display in 1874! This year’s theme is “Believe” and Macy’s tells the story of Tiptoe, the bright-eyed reindeer who is too shy to fly. With the help of her friends Penguin and Polar Bear, Tiptoe finds the courage to fulfill her dream of joining Santa’s sleigh team. All she had to do was believe in herself.

2. Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks has by far the most elaborate holiday display in the city. The store puts on the iconic holiday light spectacular each year that includes over 700,000 programmed LED lights to light up the 10-story façade of the building. This year, Saks teamed up with the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance for its holiday window display which is “Dreaming of..” After a difficult year in 2020, Saks went with a theme of reconnecting with loved ones and family during the holiday season. They asked children from the New York area as well as members of the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club what they wanted to do with their loved ones for the holidays. From games, sweets, carnivals, and getaways, their responses were brought to life and displayed in each of the store’s six windows.

3. Bloomingdale’s

This year’s holiday windows at Bloomingdale’s celebrate the store’s “Give Happy” campaign. Flashing in color, each of the store’s over-the-top windows are inspired by holiday festivities and nostalgia. The store’s first window features a smiling robot as well as a mini-selfie robot, allowing visitors to put themselves in the display thanks to the storefront camera facing the street. In the other window displays, guests will see the staffers’ favorite childhood memories; from an 80s themed dinosaur on a skateboard, a penguin family by their tree enjoying games, a spinning ballerina in a seashell, and mannequins wearing cozy crocheted clothing.

4. The Shops at Columbus Circle

The Holiday Under the Stars at the Shops at Columbus Circle has become an iconic part of the New York holiday scene. The twelve, towering, 14-foot stars that hang from the 150-foot ceiling of the Great Room overlook Central Park, with a color-changing, musical light show. This magical light show comprises the world’s largest specially crafted exhibit of illuminated color display. With shows every half hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, it’s the perfect way to escape the short, cold winter days. The shops also offer extended shopping hours if you need to get some last-minute gifts.

5. Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards, New York’s newest shopping, dining and arts destination, does everything on a massive scale, and the holidays are no exception. The holiday tradition continues this year starting November 15 with Shine Bright, presented by Wells Fargo. Designed to bring out the spirit of the season, Shine Bright encompasses an indoor-outdoor artistic light and music installation, seasonal events, and interactive family-friendly experiences. Over two million twinkling lights illuminate The Shops, Edge, and the Vessel. Find out Santa’s Secret on Level 5 with six immersive installations, including lumberjacks to snow globes and living gingerbread, all to find Santa’s best-kept secret. Interactive experiences include fun, games, sweets, and with the vast size of Hudson Yards, viewpoints are aplenty.

6. Bergdorf Goodman

The Present Moment”, the 2021 campaign for the high-end department store Bergdorf Goodman, focuses on enjoying the given moment after a year of being separated from loved ones. The store returned to its roots with its extravagant displays front and center, predominantly using red, purple, and blue. Inspired by “the spirit of freedom, abandon, and adventure,” each of the windows is eye-catching in one way or another so have your cameras ready. Some favorites from the Christmas window displays include stuffed fabric cats and mice sitting in a maze of skyscrapers, an under-the-sea theme with a mermaid riding on a motorcycle, and much more. Come check it out for yourself!

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