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Gaze at NYC Holiday Windows: Fifth Ave to Macy's to Hudson Yards

Santa Claus in front of Saks Fifht Avenue. All Photos by R.C. Staab 2023

Take a tour of the famous New York City department stores and their holiday window displays for 2023. See below for times of holiday light shows at Saks Fifth Avenue and inside the Shops at Columbus Circle.

One of Macy's windows on 34th Street. Photo by R.C. Staab

Macy's, Herald Square at 34th St.

This year, Macy's flagship store on Herald Square has transformed into a winter wonderland dedicated to the theme "Give Love." The enchanting window display through January 1, 2024 follow the adventures of Tiptoe, a lovable reindeer, and her friend as they explore the wonders of the holiday season through beautifully crafted scenes. Each window showcases a different stop on their journey, from decorating the Christmas tree to baking cookies and sharing gifts. Some windows offer interactive elements. Look for buttons or levers that trigger sound effects, light changes, or small movements within the displays.

Beyond the Windows:

The holiday spirit extends beyond the windows. Inside Macy's, shoppers can explore Santa Land, a magical wonderland featuring interactive displays, meet-and-greets with Santa, and a wide selection of holiday decorations, gifts, and festive treats.

View of Saks Fifth Avenue from Rockefeller Center

Saks Fifth Avenue, Fifth Ave. at 49th St.

The always popular "Light Show" at Saks Fifth Avenue features a large Zodiac sign atop the building is indeed part of the light show. It is adorned with festive decorations and glows with lights, adding an extra layer of enchantment to the spectacle. The Light Show takes place nightly from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, with special performances every 15 minutes.


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Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo by R.C. Staab

The theme of the window displays is a magical "Enchanted Forest." Each intricately crafted scene features glistening snowflakes and shimmering trees, populated by whimsical creatures like playful foxes and majestic owls. Look for a fantastical ice palace, with translucent walls reflecting the city lights, and be mesmerized by the dancing aurora borealis projected onto the backdrops.

Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue. Photo by R.C. Staab

Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Ave. at 58th Street

At Bergdorf Goodman, the holiday theme is "Isn't it Brilliant." The windows are transformed into miniature stages, each adorned with reflective panels and gleaming chrome accents. This creates a kaleidoscope of reflections, distorting and multiplying the festive decorations within, adding a layer of intrigue and wonder.

Across the seven windows, each a portal to a different festive scene, intricate displays unfold. Look for sparkling snowflakes cascading from chrome ceilings, whimsical creatures like playful penguins and majestic owls adorned with glittering ornaments, and meticulously crafted miniature landscapes dotted with twinkling lights. One window stands out with a vibrant display titled "The Best and Brightest." This scene celebrates knowledge and learning, featuring vintage-inspired signs, flashing neon lights, and a larger-than-life neon light bulb illuminating the central theme.

A Feast for the Senses:

Bloomingdale's Window By R.C. Staab

Bloomingdale's, 59th St. and Lexington Ave.

Bloomingdale's iconic 59th Street flagship store has transformed to coincide with the Wonka, the prequel to the beloved film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The theme, "The Best Holiday Ever," immerses shoppers in a vibrant world of pure imagination, inspired by the movie's whimsical characters, fantastical candy creations, and the magic of Wonka's factory.

Wonka's World Comes to Life:

As you approach the windows, step into a kaleidoscope of color and wonder. Oversized candy canes, chocolate bars, and lollipops adorn the displays, each meticulously crafted and larger than life. Look for iconic scenes from the movie recreated in miniature, including the chocolate room, the boat ride through the Fizzy Lifting Drinks factory, and the Nut Room. The windows are not just visually stunning; they're also interactive. Watch in delight as mannequins on motors move up and down, depicting the effects of Wonka's magical candies. See hair grow miraculously long after "eating" a Hair Repair Eclair, and witness the joy of floating on Wonka's Everlasting Gobstoppers.

More than Just Windows:

The "Wonka" experience extends beyond the windows. Inside the store, a dedicated "Carousel @ Bloomingdale's: Wonka" space offers a curated selection of holiday gifts inspired by the film. Here, you'll find exclusive fashion accessories, ready-to-wear apparel, and delightful gift items, all infused with a touch of Wonka magic.

Inside Hudson Yards Shopping Center. Photo by R.C. Staab

Hudson Yards Shopping

Hudson Yards Shopping Center transforms into a luminous wonderland for the 2023 holiday season, celebrating the vibrant energy and iconic landmarks of New York City. The theme, "Shine Bright," is brought to life through a dazzling display of lights, festive decorations, and interactive elements.

Dazzling Illuminations:

As you approach Hudson Yards, prepare to be mesmerized by a sea of twinkling lights. Over 2 million string lights illuminate the entire complex, weaving through trees, outlining pathways, and adorning buildings. Look for 115 miles of twinkling string lights and 725 evergreen trees dispersed throughout the exterior and interior space.

16-Foot Hot Air Balloon Centerpiece:

A 32-foot hot air balloon takes center stage, rising above the crowd and serving as a beacon of festive joy. The hot air balloon is adorned with colorful lights and patterns, symbolizing a sense of wonder and exploration.

Iconic Landmarks Replicated in Lights:

Hudson Yards celebrates the spirit of New York City by recreating iconic landmarks in miniature form using lights. Look for the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge, all bathed in festive colors and adding a touch of local charm to the display.

Tiffany & Co, Fifth Avenue. Photo by R.C. Staab

Tiffany & Co, Fifth Ave at 57th St.

Unwrap a world of charm and wonder as you gaze at Tiffany & Co.'s "Magic of Tiffany's" display on Fifth Avenue. Playful animations and charming details depict a whimsical journey through a landscape dotted with iconic blue boxes and sparkling diamonds. Watch as gifts are unwrapped, snow falls on miniature stores, and reindeer pull a miniature sleigh filled with Tiffany treasures. This window display is a delightful reminder that the holidays are a time for celebrating life's little luxuries.

Cartier Fifth Avenue at 52nd St.

At Cartier's iconic Fifth Avenue flagship store, the holiday theme is "Timeless Brilliance," showcasing the renowned jewelry house's signature craftsmanship and celebrating the joy of the season. Exquisitely crafted jewelry sets, adorned with sparkling diamonds, precious gemstones, and intricate designs, take center stage. Delicate snowflakes and twinkling lights create a winter wonderland atmosphere, while the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail showcase the hallmark Cartier elegance.

Shops at Columbus Circle. Photo by R.C. Staab

Shops at Columbus Circle

Nestled within the artistic haven of The Shops at Columbus Circle lies a captivating holiday spectacle: the "Holiday Under the Stars" sound and light show. Over 100,000 LED lights adorn the ceiling of the iconic Great Room, creating a canopy of color and wonder. The lights dance and change patterns in perfect harmony with the accompanying music, adding a layer of dynamism to the spectacle. Twelve magnificent, 14-foot stars suspended from the ceiling serve as the focal point of the show. Each star features intricate designs and is individually illuminated, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of light that changes with the music. The music ranges from traditional carols and cheerful tunes to modern remixes and original compositions, creating a captivating soundscape that suits all ages and tastes.

Daily Shows for All:

The "Holiday Under the Stars" show takes place daily throughout the holiday season, from November 20, 2023, to January 1, 2024. The show begins at 5:00 PM and runs every half hour until 11:00 PM, with extended showings at 11:30 PM and 12:00 AM on Saturdays. 

Dior on Fifth Avenue. Photo by R.C. Staab

Dior, Fifth Ave. at 60th St.

The iconic Dior flagship at 60th and Fifth Avenue undergoes a breathtaking transformation during the holiday season, becoming a portal to a "Dreamy Dior" world. through January 1, 2024.

The building's facade is adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a warm and inviting glow. Look for signature Dior motifs like stars and clovers, adding a touch of luxury and magic to the overall effect. Insider are window displays, each showcasing a different facet of the "Dreamy Dior" theme. Couture gowns and accessories, adorned with sparkling ornaments and festive decorations, take center stage. Delicate snowflakes and twinkling lights create a winter wonderland atmosphere, while intricate details and expert craftsmanship showcase the hallmark Dior elegance.

Harry Winston's. Photo by R.C. Staab

Harry Winston's, Fifth Ave. at 55th St.

Prepare to be captivated by the "Art of Diamonds" as you look into Harry Winston's windows on Fifth Avenue. Exquisite jewelry pieces, from dazzling necklaces and earrings to delicate bracelets and rings, are illuminated in captivating displays. Each window is like a miniature museum, showcasing the fire and brilliance of expertly cut stones. Witness the artistry that transforms diamonds into works of art, and let yourself be mesmerized by the magic and allure of these precious gems.

Nordstrom. Photo by R.C. Staab

Nordstrom, Broadway at 57th St.

Although much of the building has scaffolding, there is still much ot see at Nordstrom NYC. The windows feature two special occasions: the 100th anniversary of Disney and the joy of the holidays. The main corner window takes center stage with a dazzling tribute to Disney's 100th anniversary. Iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, and Snow White come to life in a vibrant display filled with twinkling lights, intricate details, and captivating animations. Look for famous Disney scenes recreated in miniature, including the enchanted forest from Snow White and the iconic castle from Sleeping Beauty.


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