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5 of the best holiday displays in New York

5 of the best holiday displays in New York

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

New York City is amazing all year round, but during the holidays it’s exceptionally magical! The city comes alive and, believe it or not, it’s illuminations are even more than normal. One of the highlights of the holidays is the elaborate displays curated by some of the world’s most famous department stores and shopping centers. One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to 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 five 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 tells the story of “Santa Girl” who watches the famous parade and wishes she was Santa Claus, a reminder that Santa lives in all of our hearts. The windows make use of the latest technology and this year are interactive. Highlights include a video game where spectators use actual steering wheels, a picture-taking kaleidoscope and a mechanical dog that scratches its nose on command. The pièce de résistance is a 15-foot tall Santa that will stand atop the Broadway marquee.

2. Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks definitely has the most elaborate holiday display in the city. This year Saks has partnered with Disney to have a Frozen 2 theme, inviting spectators to feel like they are part of Anna and Elsa’s enchanted world. The 6 Holiday windows will each feature a character from the film telling their story via the elements: earth, wind, water and fire. There will also be a ten-story tall theatrical light show. Inside the store is an immersive experience, Disney’s Frozen 2 Enchanted Forest Experience and of course exclusive Frozen 2 merchandise. The big reveal occurs on November 25 with a performance by Idina Menzel.

3. Bloomingdale’s

This year’s holiday windows at Bloomingdale’s are literally out of this world, having looked to the stars and drawn galactic inspiration for An Out of This World Holiday that pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The displays conjure up the excitement, romance and imagination of space travel, bringing the mystery of the cosmos to earth with holographic window displays and interactive in-store experiences. The unveiling on November 22nd featured a performance by John Legend.

As New York has said goodbye to many of its iconic department stores in the last year, some of the most beautiful and extensive displays are at its indoor shopping centers.

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 comprise the world’s largest specially crafted exhibit of illuminated color display. While the stars are iconic in their own right, Broadway Under the Stars combines them with the music of Broadway, inaugurating a veritable New York tradition. For five Mondays starting November 11, enjoy live performances from some of Broadway’s most popular musicals, including Dear Evan Hansen, Mean Girls and Wicked, among others.

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. A new holiday tradition begins this year with Shine On. Designed to bring out the spirit of the season, Shine On encompasses an indoor-outdoor artistic light and music installation, seasonal events, and interactive family-friendly experiences. The anchor of the holidays is artist Christopher Schardt’s Lyra, a series of five star-shaped sculptures set up throughout the Hudson Yards Complex inspired by the constellation of the same name. Each is made of 12,000 individually controlled LED lights, which while synchronized to classical music evoke images that dance from one sculpture to the next. A new experience can be had depending if one is watching from above and below, and with the vast size of Hudson Yards, viewpoints are plenty. Interactive experiences include fun, games, sweets, photo opportunities and more.

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