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Xmas Windows From Macy’s & Happy Holidays From Me

This year’s famous Macy window displays are inspired by one of my favorite charities: the Make A Wish Foundation.

MACY’S 2011 “Make A Wish” Window Displays:

 Macy’s 2011 windows are inspired by a partnership with “Make A Wish.” Visitors can also design their own ornaments, which they can then purchase. Click Here for the Make A Wish Foundation site and learn how you can lend your support and mail a letter to Santa!

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Additional New York City Store Window Displays:

BARNEYS: GaGa’s Workshop

BERGDORF GOODMAN: Carnival of the Animals

LORD & TAYLOR: What is Christmas Made Of?

BLOOMINGDALES:  Legendary Shopping Bags

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE: The Snowflake & Bubble Spectacular

*BONUS* Christmas in New York City: 5 Dos and Don’ts

DO go to Rockefeller Center Plaza (aka the Capital of NYC Christmas), and see the big tree (here since 1931, now boasting 30,000 lights), and snap a photo or two. It’s worth fighting the crowds, particularly after dark when the lights bounce off the bare shoulders of the golden Prometheus statue. Lights click off at 11:30pm through Christmas, then at 9pm through New Year’s Eve.

DON’T skate the ice rink here. It’s tiny, expensive ($21 + $9 rental), and lines regularly take up to two hours to get ice time. Save the skating for early January (when there’s no wait, and mid-week rates are $3.50 cheaper) or go to Central Park’s bigger, slightly cheaper ($10.75/16 weekdays/weekends + $6.75 rental), equally as atmospheric Wollman Rink.


DO go to FAO Schwartz, and try to tap toes on the giant floor piano keyboard at New York’s most famous toy store.

DON’T just drop by, particularly on weekends, when lines curl around the block. Go when it opens, preferably on weekdays (9am Sunday to Thursday, 8am Friday or Saturday) to avoid (most) of the crowds. Otherwise, and it feels sad to say it, kids really do love that Times Square Toys’R’Us and its indoor Ferris Wheel.


DO go see Macy’s elaborate Santaland – a stunner of a scene of Christmas trees, elves, toy trains and snow-filled wonder. It’s also home, per its hotline (tel +1-212-494-4495), to the ‘one real Santa Claus,’ at the very place that that marketing boon of a film Miracle on 34th Street was set in 1947.

DON’T go on weekends, or mid-day any day. Show up before it opens (9am during the week through Christmas Eve) and you’ll only have to wait five minutes. And, heaven forbid, don’t tug on Santa’s beard. That thing’s real!


DO see a holiday show. St John the Divine’s Winter Solstice is a beloved, and rather secular (this year December 15-17), concert series, while Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular is the show every NY kid sees growing up, with dozens of dancing Santas and the line of Rockettes a-leg-kicking.

DON’T forget the other boroughs. Brooklyn’s BAM is going irreverant on the ‘Nutcracker’ this year (Dec 14-31), while the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx has one of the city’s great Christmas traditions, the Holiday Train Show, with a quarter-mile toy train track passing NY icons like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Yankee Stadium and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

DO window-shop. Boutiques and department stores across the city dress up for the season.

DON’T stick with hipster downtown. Midtown simply does it better. Have a walk up Fifth Avenue from Rockefeller Center, to FAO, and detour to Madison to see the modern, funny antics of Barney’s on Madison Ave and 62nd St.

Credit: Robert Reid is Lonely Planet’s New York based US Travel Editor.


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