It’s fun to do some window shopping at high-end New York City department stores. During the holiday season, it’s cool to see how creative store personnel can get with their takes on celebrating all things festive.
As the crowds start to come more to the Big Apple, try to get an early jump on getting a viewing. From traditional to whimsical, here is a selection of window displays worth making a trek to. All of them are based in Midtown, with each having a reasonable walking or bus/subway distance.
Macy’sIn Herald Square on 34th Street, Macy’s windows follow a young boy whose dream takes him on a journey along a winter landscape. The boy goes through an enchanted forest and encounters elaborate creatures, with his adventure ending back in his room.
Lord & Taylor
In going back to a more traditional period, Lord & Taylor sets the scene for a formal holiday gathering in years past. Guests are dressed in their finest for tea and an evening meal.
Look closely in the lower right corner of one window to find a rotating silent film set in New York City from a bygone era. Get to Lord & Taylor by walking west along Fifth Avenue. The store is at 39th Street.
Saxs Fifth Avenue
As one of the season’s most visually appealing windows, the display at Saxs Fifth Avenue is based on a tale called Yeti Story. A young and under-appreciated Yeti leaves his family and his “job” in Siberia to see the world.
Like, um, other newcomers, he eventually makes his way to New York City – even exploring the subway – and develops a career in innovating the science of snowflake making.
Saxs Fifth Avenue is easy to find. It’s on Fifth Avenue across from Rockefeller Center.
Even if the name of Al Hirschfeld might not sound familiar at first, there’s a good chance you’ve seen his black and white caricatures of celebrities and Broadway stars.
Also on Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel pays tribute to the late artist’s work with a display of well-known New Yorkers seated at a dining table. Guests include Sarah Jessica Parker, her hubby Matthew Broderick, Woody Allen, Liza Minelli and Joan Rivers. There’s also a portrait of Hirschfeld.
Another Fifth Avenue find, Henri Bendel is near West 56th Street.
Just up the street from Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman has a “Holiday on Ice” theme this year. Icicles are the main attraction, providing extra glimmer to period set windows.
Heading over to Madison Avenue, at East 61st Street, Barneys NY has been getting much hype with its holiday collaboration with rap mogul Jay Z. This holiday season, the store has gone high tech with interactive windows sporting light shows. One entrance has visitors going into a darkened space where a display of a brief, 3D demonstration adds different colors to Manhattan’s sky line.
The key component of Barneys display is a friendlier feature. “Experience the BNYNYC sleigh ride” lets visitors meet his Santa and his wife and go on a virtual ride above the city streets. Performers from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater portray Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, with a modern day look, and lets visitors pose for a photo. A web link to your pictures can be emailed to you or pick up a hard copy inside the store. Plus, it’s free!
On 3rd Avenue and East 59th Street, Bloomingdale’s takes viewers on a round the world trip with holiday greetings from France, Italy, Great Britain, and, of course, New York City.