The magic of the holiday season is nearly upon us, and one looming debut has us dashing for our dancing shoes, ready to make like Tom Hanks in Big: FAO Schwarz is bringing its iconic giant piano and classic toys to Rockefeller Center just in time for the holiday shopping madness. Read on to learn what's inside NYC's newest—and largest—toy store.
Slated to open on Friday, November 16, the 20,000-square-foot store returns to the Midtown shopping scene for the first time since its flagship Fifth Avenue store shuttered in 2015.
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The iconic clock tower returns to the 30 Rock location.
Occupying a prime corner at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the store will bring back plenty of familiar sights from its original location. Aside from the dance-on piano, the iconic clock tower returns, and of course, you'll be able to pose with the life-sized toy soldiers guarding the doors, wearing smart, modern new suits designed by model Gigi Hadid.
While there will be plenty of toys to purchase, the focus here goes beyond stacks of toys on the shelves. In-store experiences, like magic shows and a pretend grocery store, encourage families to stay and play.
The opening in the New York market is the beginning of a push to bring the FAO stores back to life. In addition to the permanent shop at Rockefeller Center, the brand will open a small store in LaGuardia Airport in conjunction with the Hudson Group. Its wares can also be found inside Kohl's stores this holiday season and other retail partnerships will allow it to operate small stores in Canada and China; pop-ups will operate in England, Spain, and Australia, too, as it attempts to fill the void left by the demise of Toys R Us, a company that briefly owned the FAO brand.
Checking out NYC's biggest new toy store is a must-do holiday activity this year. But between the magnificent tree, the sparkling ice skating rink, and the dazzling holiday window displays, Rockefeller Center gets a tiny bit crowded in December, with visitors and locals hoping for a glimpse of all that holiday magic. We recommend stopping by before Thanksgiving weekend, when crowds should be thinner.
Photo and rendering courtesy of FAO Schwarz