10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (2023)

Christmas is a magical time in New York City. The aroma of hot apple cider and chocolate linger in the air. Holiday markets spring up around the city. The Rockefeller Christmas tree towers over midtown. New York and New Yorkers seem to slow down and speed up at the same time. Holiday cheer blankets the city and (hopefully) a dusting of snow.

New York is famous for the Christmas windows — Macy’s, Saks 5th Avenue, Tiffany’s, Bloomingdales, and many more stores have amazing window displays during the holiday season. Display themes change every year, and we eagerly await the moment in mid-to-late November when we can take a walk to view them.

Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy the seasonal displays.

10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (1)

1. Macy Herald Square, 151 W. 34 Street

According to local lore, Macy’s was the first store to do holiday window displays in 1874. It was followed by Saks Fifth Avenue in 1914 and Lord & Taylor in 1938. Now all the stores and malls have beautiful holiday displays. In our opinion, Macy’s still leads the way in time and presence. Santa makes his first appearance in the city at the end of Macy’s Thanksgiving Giving Day parade.

In 2020, Macy’s display was a thank you to first responders and essential workers, including a window where viewers were encouraged to clap for the essential workers like the 7 p.m. clapping that occurred early in the pandemic. Some windows were interactive, including one where you could help Santa’s sleigh fly across New York City.

Pro Tip: Most people focus on 34th street. Walk around to the 6th Avenue side as well. We recommend going inside the store for some shopping or to see the décor. If you have children, make a reservation in advance to visit Macy’s Santaland.

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10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (2)

2. Bloomingdales, 1000 Third Avenue

Bloomingdales is another stop on our window circuit. We loved the 2019 tribute to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing called Out of This World. Other recent themes have included Doctor Seuss’ The Grinch and a light theme a few years ago that included chandeliers by visual artists. Last year’s theme was Lights Up Young Mind and included a virtual benefit for the Child Mind Institute. Some of the windows offer an immersive experience with the scent of pine, evergreen, and peppermint that waft through the air.

Pro Tip: Make sure to walk the Lexington Avenue side of the building.

10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (3)

3. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue (At 49th Street)

Saks Fifth Avenue has wonderful windows, often with a family movie theme. In recent years, themes have included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Frozen 2. Last year’s theme was This is How We Celebrate which gave expression to the new ways of gathering and celebrating that were created by people during the pandemic. Saks usually does a 2- or 3-minute light show on the 10-story building. It’s best seen in the evening. In the past, Saks had a very crowded celebration where it unveiled the windows. Last year, it chose to do 20 smaller lighting ceremonies.

10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (4)

4. Bergdorf Goodman, 745 Fifth Avenue

Bergdorf’s is a great stop on the window display trail. Bergdorf’s often celebrates New York and the spirit of giving. Four years ago, Bergdorf’s did our favorite windows — To New York With Love. It featured cultural institutions from around the city. The theme in 2020 was Bergdorf Goodness which was done in partnership with City Harvest and focused on values, including harmony, equality, unity, and kindness.

Pro Tip: Go inside Bergdorf’s to see what surprises may be found (and to do some shopping).

10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (5)

5. Tiffany & Co., 6 E. 57th Street

Tiffany’s windows are beautiful and iconic any time of year, but especially at Christmas. Whether or not you are planning to shop at Tiffany’s, it is worth a holiday visit to look at the beautiful jewelry and to see the window displays.

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Pro Tip: Tiffany’s moved last year around the corner from the original flagship location at 727 Fifth Avenue. It now has a beautiful and large arched window for the display.

10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (6)

6. Cartier, 653 5th Avenue

While you’re looking at jewelry, drop by Cartier. The tradition at Cartier is to wrap the building in a big red bow. It also has flags that show season’s greetings in many languages. Last year, there was a white panther in the window and wrapped around the ribbon.

7. Louis Vuitton, 1 East 57th Street

The Louis Vuitton flagship store is stunning any time of year, but it pulls out the stops for the holiday season. Last year’s display featured a 10+ story Christmas tree on the façade of the building. In 2018, it did Trees Around the World all decorated for the holiday. Picture a Cacti, Palm Tree, Bonsai Tree decorated for the season. We can’t wait to see what the store has dreamt up for this year.

Pro Tip: You can see this display any time of the day, but we prefer to see it in the evening.

10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (7)

8. American Girl, 75 Rockefeller Plaza

The American Girl team does holiday displays in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The window in New York is very large — 15 feet high and 24 feet wide. It used 15,000 fairy lights in the display. Last year, American Girl teamed up with Swarovski to create a beautiful display with 350 Swarovski crystal strands, and 130 pounds of crystal stardust. It also sold a Swarovski American Girls Doll with 5,000 Swarovski crystals and beads for $5,000.

10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City (8)

9. World Trade Center Lights (View From Fulton And Church Streets)

One of the newer places to see holiday lights on windows is the World Trade Center. Images of giant presents, ornaments, reindeer, and more appear on the building. These are seen at night from near the Oculus to The Shops at The Oculus (also called Westfield). While there, you can go inside the Oculus which also has a holiday market and lovely lighting and displays.

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Pro Tip: The World Trade Center lights are best seen at night. If you want to explore further, take the underground passageway to the Brookfield Mall for more shopping and holiday displays. You’ll find the passageway as you walk towards the PATH trains on the right-hand side. You can also stop by the concierge and ask for directions.

10. Hudson Yards, Between West 30th And 34th Street From 10th To 12th Avenues

Opened in 2019, Hudson Yards has become a holiday (and year-round) destination with performances and wonderful Christmas and holiday displays. You can spend hours wandering the area — seeing The Vessel, enjoying performances, viewing outdoor art exhibits, and wandering into the shops. There is so much to do at Hudson Yards that you can spend the entire day there.

Christmas And Holiday Windows Pro Tips

The windows start being unveiled in mid-to-late November. Most are up until just after New Year’s Day. There are variations, however, so make sure to check the store’s website before you plan a trip.

You can try to do all these shops in 1 day or night, but we don’t recommend doing that. It’s best to space it out and combine it with other activities.

The World Trade Center, Louis Vuitton, Saks, and Cartier are best to do when it is dark.

We love to walk the city, so walking 50-60 blocks in a day is the normal way we get around. You can take subways, buses, or taxis to get around to see these displays. New York City is notorious for traffic and gridlock during the holidays so subways are much quicker than buses or cars.

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The lights in the financial district (World Trade Center, Oculus, and Brookfield Place) can be seen in the late afternoon. You can combine it with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. We prefer to visit the reflecting pools at night when they are peaceful and allow for reflection. Or, you can combine it with a trip to Freedom Tower (aka World Trade Center).

Another option is to do a midtown/eastside loop starting at Macy’s (on 34th and 6th avenues), going east to 5th Avenue and walking up from 34th Street to 59th Street. You can then go east to Bloomingdales on 3rd Avenue.

A third option is to walk up 6th Avenue from Macy’s and 34th Street to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree and American Girl. On this route, you’ll also pass by the Empire State Building and one of the largest holiday markets in the city at Bryant Park.

If you are a walker, then you can combine the 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue walks. Go north on 6th Avenue from Macy’s to Rockefeller Center and then cut over east to 5th Avenue and go north up to 59th Street.

See one Christmas window or see all 10. Explore and find other windows that you love. Whatever you decide to do, New York is a fantastic place to celebrate the holidays.

While you’re in New York City, check out some of the other exciting things to do:

  • 4 Delightful Places For Afternoon Tea In New York City
  • What It’s Like To Spend A Magical Night In FAO Schwarz
  • 14 Tips For First-Timers Visiting The Macy’s Day Parade
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Does Macy's still decorate their windows for Christmas? ›

They are usually unveiled the Thursday before Thanksgiving Day and the decorations remain until January 1. Since the early years, Macy's has chosen a unique theme each year. In 2021, the window displays told the story of a reindeer named Tiptoe who dreams of flying with Santa for Christmas.

Where is Macy's Christmas window displays NYC? ›

Macy's - West 34th Street at 6th Ave.

The most-famed of all holiday window displays, Macy's reports that as many as 10,000 people line up daily to see this iconic store's displays.

Where are the giant Christmas lights in NYC? ›

The holiday season will begin with the annual tree lighting in the heart of New York City at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, November 30.

How many windows are in NYC? ›

According to the MTA, the average number of seats in a standard size bus is 40. Assume there are 4 seats in a row and 2 windows per row. 40 seats / 4 seats per row = 10 rows * 2 windows + 1 front window = 21 windows per bus. It follows that 4,373 buses * 21 windows = 918,477 bus windows in NYC.

What time does Saks Christmas light show? ›

Typically around three to four minutes long, the show takes place every 10 minutes from 5 pm to 11 pm each night.

How long are the holiday windows up in NYC? ›

– 2020: The theme is “This Is How We Celebrate,” from November 23 to January 2021. – 2021: Saks Fifth Avenue partnered with Michelle Obama to promote and celebrate how we are reconnecting with our families and friends. When: The extravaganza will play daily from 5 to 11 pm every ten minutes until January 4, 2022.

How long is NYC decorated for Christmas? ›

The Christmas spirit in New York starts after Thanksgiving and the Black Friday weekend. The decorations last until the beginning of January, usually around 5th or 6th January.

What were the decorations of the first Christmas window display? ›

A few years earlier, they'd also been the first to introduce Father Christmas to stores for children to meet. Their first Christmas window display included a selection of porcelain dolls from around the world and scenes from Harriet Beecher Stowe's popular novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

How many people stop in front of the world famous holiday windows at Macy's every hour? ›

Macy's has two sets of windows with holiday displays, one set on Broadway between 34th and 35th streets and another set along 34th Street. During peak hours, more than 10,000 people per hour will pass by the windows, usually featuring iconic New York City holiday scenes and encapsulating the feeling of the season.

How many people stop in front of the world famous holiday windows at Macy's every year? ›

Macy's remains the most famous, often frequented the most by tourists and families; during peak hours, nearly 10,000 people each day will pass by Macy's holiday windows, making it arguably the leading tourist stop of the season.

What date is the Rockefeller tree lighting 2022? ›

The tree lighting for 2022 will be on Nov. 30 during a live broadcast on NBC.

What time is the Rockefeller tree lighting 2022? ›

How do I watch the 2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting special? The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting will be broadcast during the Christmas at Rockefeller Center special, airing Wednesday, November 30 from 8-10 p.m. ET on NBC.

What date do the Christmas lights go on in New York 2022? ›

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

This giant Christmas tree and its thousands of lights is one of the most iconic sights of NYC during the holidays. In 2022, the tree lighting ceremony takes place on Wednesday, November 30th. and the tree stays lit until early January.

What questions do they ask during interview? ›

50+ most common job interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Walk me through your resume.
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • Why do you want to work at this company?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you bring to the company?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
2 Sept 2022

How many windows are there in the world 2022? ›

If eyes are the windows to the soul, currently, there are 15.5 billion windows.

Do you need tickets for Rockefeller tree lighting? ›

In 2022, the tree will be lit on Wednesday, November 30th. Note that the exact time has yet to be officially confirmed by Rockefeller Center, but in past years the lights are switched on at 9 pm. There are no tickets to attend the lighting. Attendance is first-come, first-served.

How often does Saks lights go off? ›

Seeing the holiday light show at Saks has become a tradition for many locals and visitors. The light show is accompanied by music and repeats itself every 10 minutes from 5 pm to 11 pm.

What date does the Saks light show start? ›


Saks Holiday Light Show 2021/2022 Dates: from Nov. 23, 2020 @ 7pm through Jan. 4, 2022.

Where are Macy's windows? ›

Macy's Holiday Windows are an annual event held at Macy's flagship Herald Square department store from the Thursday before Thanksgiving Day to January 1st. The display is presented along six windows on the Broadway side of the building, with a new, unique theme being selected every year.

How do you make a Christmas window display? ›

Hang pinecones from the top of your window at various lengths with red ribbon, and frame your window in garland to complete the look. Soft hanging curtain lights and a mini wreath can make an ordinary window look like something out of a fairytale.

Is New York at Christmas worth it? ›

It's MAGICAL. That's what New York is like during Christmas. It's like everybody's dream place. The streets may be busy but around you, your eyes will be filled with nothing but amazing sights of lights, displays, and performances.

What is there to do in Central Park at Christmas? ›

Things to Do in Central Park at Christmas Time
  1. Hit the Ice for Some Skating. ...
  2. See the Bridge From Home Alone 2. ...
  3. Tour the Park on a Carriage Ride. ...
  4. Take a Spin on the Merry-Go-Round. ...
  5. Rent a Bike to Explore the Park.

How do you make a good window display? ›

How to create window displays in 8 steps
  1. Assemble your retail window display tool box. ...
  2. Start with a story based on a theme. ...
  3. Create a focal point for the store window display. ...
  4. Be bold in every way. ...
  5. Keep your retail window displays simple. ...
  6. Balance is key. ...
  7. Pay attention to lighting. ...
  8. Take a final look at your retail window display.
11 Jan 2022

How do you dress up a shop window? ›

16 Window Display Tips to Captivate Shoppers and Drive in-Store Traffic
  1. Be aware of who your target audience is. ...
  2. Place key items at eye level. ...
  3. Consider your environment. ...
  4. Use your window not just to showcase products, but to tell stories. ...
  5. Stay away from clichés. ...
  6. Avoid clutter. ...
  7. Invest in key materials.
9 May 2022

› News ›

Department store window displays are a must-see if you're in New York for the holidays.
This gallery was originally published in 2015. It has been updated with new information. Bergdorf Goodman Christmas windows 2019.
As the world's biggest department store, Macy's Herald Square transforms into a winter wonderland each Christmas, featuring beautiful lights, windows of...

Where are the lights in Dyker Heights? ›

The best lights are on 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street. From Times Square, it's roughly 60-70 minutes of travel time with public transport to the neighborhood, including 15-20 min of walking from the subway station to the neighborhood.

Is Central Park lit up for Christmas? ›

Bundle up for the Winter Lights at Central Park!

The Winter Lights at Central Park will take place from November 24, 2022 - January 8, 2023, every evening from 4:30-9:30 PM.

Where are the Christmas lights in Queens? ›

These are some holiday decorating services with a large number of reviews in Queens, NY:
  • New York City (232 reviews)
  • Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (208 reviews)
  • Pacific Lawn Sprinklers (151 reviews)
  • Christmas Tree Brooklyn (105 reviews)
  • LuminoCity Festival (101 reviews)

What date are the Christmas lights switched on in New York? ›

In 2022, the tree will be lit on Wednesday, November 30th. Note that the exact time has yet to be officially confirmed by Rockefeller Center, but in past years the lights are switched on at 9 pm. There are no tickets to attend the lighting. Attendance is first-come, first-served.

› christmas-window-displays-a... ›

Whether you want to finish your holiday shopping or just admire the artistry, be sure to stop by one of these six iconic department stores for a little Christma...
When department stores unveil their holiday windows, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. In the last 2 years, these windows have become signs of ho...


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