Click here to see the amazing 2014 Department Store Holiday Windows.
Your children's holiday memories won't be about the toys they get under the tree, they're going going to be about the wonderful holiday traditions that your family shared. One of these traditions should be going to see the department store Holiday window displays. These festive holiday windows are a great way to get into the holiday spirit and this simply magical experience is completely free.
Lots of people like to do the Holiday Windows Walk on Christmas Eve, but it's also a great way to walk off your Thanksgiving dinner because it tends to be less crowded when the stores are closed. We've rounded up the best ones for kids (the more traditional displays), plus some other great Holiday stops to visit while you're in the neighborhood.
34th Street Herald Square
Macy's is the originator of this tradition and, rightly so, they are pushing their Holiday windows to new heights this year. Their windows are actually interactive. Viewers can actually write and send letters to Santa and watch them as they travel through a series of funky fantastical windows on their way to the North Pole.
Here's a little tidbit you can share with your kids too: the original Macy's window displays were mechanized and powered by store employees on treadmills!
59th St and Lexington Avenue
The Bloomingdales windows this year feature dynamic duos waiting on line to visit Santa. Kids will pick out Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Batman and Robin and...Salt and Pepper. I wonder what Salt wants for Christmas?
Fifth Avenue and 58th St
Bergdorfs has fantastically opulent Holiday windows this year and while they're not very traditional and don't have Santa in them, kids may still be intrigued by their fairy-tale likeness.
Fifth Avenue and 49th St
The theme is the children's book, Twinkle Twinkle Little Flake, a story about a snowflake. Follow along the tale as an audio track tells the story. Like the Macy's windows, the Saks windows this year are interactive. Send a tweet with the hashtag #holidaywindows and it will show up on computer displays within the windows.
Lord and Taylor usually has good windows too, but I haven't seen them yet. (Fifth Avenue and 38th St)
Here are some other activities nearby:
Visit the Rockefeller Christmas Tree which is directly across from Saks.
Go skating in Bryant Park.
Visit the Holiday Train Show and Market in Grand Central Terminal.
An easier way to get in the spirit:
To see all the Holiday Windows can be a long trek with kids. For an easier way to catch some Holiday magic, you can take the 5th Avenue bus from 59th Street or from The Metropolitan Museum of Art at night. You won't see the windows up close, but even the stores are decorated and seeing all the shoppers milling around the crowded streets, you can pick up some Holiday cheer without getting stuck in the crowds.
For more Holiday Activities check out our Holiday Guide.
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