It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … OK, maybe not yet, but many people are beginning to plan or have even booked their pre-holiday shopping trips to New York, and one of the most frequently asked questions is when will the stores have their holiday displays in place. The answer varies store to store, but in general, mid-November is usually the time when the major department stores unveil their holiday window displays. The following questions should help answer your window store display questions:
Which stores feature holiday window displays?
You’ll see them throughout the city, but the following stores are recommended for the “wow” factor:
- Barney’s 660 Madison Avenue (at 61st Street) 212-826-8900
- Bergdorf Goodman 754 Fifth Avenue (at 58th Street) 1-800-558-1855
- Bloomingdale’s 1000 Third Avenue at 59th Street 212-705-2000
- Henri Bendel 712 Fifth Avenue (at 56th Street) 212-247-1100
- Lord & Taylor 39th Street at 5th Avenue 212-391-3344
- Macy’s Herald Square, Broadway between 34th and 35th Streets 212-695-4400
- Saks Fifth Avenue 611 Fifth Avenue 212-753-4000
Is it better to see the window displays during the day or at night?
Both! During the day, you’ll have great lighting to see every little detail of the window displays. At night, the city becomes magical and stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue offer special treats like their holiday snowflakes blinking on and on off to holiday music piped throughout the street and surrounding area.
If we can only visit one or two window displays, which are usually the best?
Each store has its own unique theme every holiday season, but most people feel that Macy’s and Lord & Taylor offer the “best” window displays of all the major department stores.
The tour bus companies have something called the “Holiday Lights Tour.” Is this worth my time and money?
Yes! Absolutely! The tour bus companies offer a wonderful way to see the holiday lights including most of the window displays in the major department stores and it saves your feet from the wear and tear of walking (not to mention the often packed sidewalks.) For more information visit: http://www.newyorksightseeing.com/tourpage.php?item=NL
Is there any charge to see the holiday lights in the department store windows?
No, it’s free! The only charge involved would be if you decide to take one of the tour bus company Holiday Lights ride.
Anything else I should know about the holiday window displays?
Just dress appropriately — November and December can have wide-ranging temperature differences between day and night. Be sure to bring warm clothing including hats, gloves, scarves and heavy winter coats.
Also, be aware that it can take up to two hours (from start to finish) to visit each store along Fifth Avenue so wear comfortable shoes. Keep in mind that this is based on a very slow walking pace and allowing time to gaze at each window and also allowing for crowded sidewalks.
Other than that all you need to do is enjoy it!