Santa is sprucing up his sleigh and getting ready to fly into New York City’s very own North Pole, Macy’s Santaland, where for the second year in a row, visits with Santa will be by (FREE) reservation only.
Santaland will open for the holiday season Friday, November 23, 2018, the day after the Thanksgiving Day parade, and will welcome visitors through December 24, 2018, Macy’s revealed in a statement.
The 34th Street retailer will reinstate the reservations-only policy it implemented for the first time last year as a way to cut down on the lines. (Around 170,000 people visit the NYC Macy's Santaland each Christmas season.) This year also sees the return of the popular Express Lane option. Read on for everything you need to know about visiting Santa at Macy's this year.
Walk across the rainbow bridge as part of the journey to meet Santa.
After booking your FREE reservation online, head to the eighth floor as always to reach the 13,000-square-foot Christmas village that is Santaland. Kids will encounter elves, model trains, animatronic animals, and an overstuffed sleigh as they make their way to Santa. Gawk at the ice sculptures, Christmas trees, and more festive decor in the Enchanted Forest before crossing over the colorful rainbow bridge.
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Those with reservations will meander through magical Santaland on their way to see Santa.
For those who want to get straight to the business of handing over their wishlist, Macy’s is once again offering an Express Lane. While those with a standard reservation will hang in a modest line as they traverse Santaland’s sights, if you book the Express Lane (available Friday through Sunday only), the kids will skip Santaland to go directly to Santa.
Pro tip for those parents who hate to plan ahead: If you find yourself at Herald Square (whyyyyy??) and decide to dash in with the kids sans reservation, there will be elves on hand who can help you book an on-the-spot reservation if any are available.
Although the experience is FREE, photo packages are extra.
Reservations open on November 18. Call Macy’s Holiday hotline for more information: (212) 494-4495.
Photos by Mike Coppola for Macy's