The world’s best and most famous department stores also have the most creative and magical holiday windows. Here are the best of New York City’s fabulous holiday store windows, all of which FREE to enjoy, including the interactive displays that put you in the middle of the action.
Go early or late in the day to avoid the biggest crowds. Ditto weekdays are less crowded than weekends.
The holiday windows remain in place until the first week in January.
Our list is alphabetical, so we won’t be accused of playing favorites, since they are all our favorites.
Barney’s New York treats us to the whimsical, psychedelic world of the Haas Brothers, with windows that interpret different phases of earth history, such as primordial, with zebras striped in all the colors of the rainbow, glowing mushrooms, and some windows include digital screens with short videos. The Barneys New York windows are along Madison Ave.
Bergdorf Goodman windows pay tribute to NYC museums and cultural institutions, with the theme To New York Wit Love. Dinosaurs made up of thousands of glittering crystals in one window for the American Museum of Natural History, a montage of historic film clips in the window honoring the Queens Museum of the Moving Image, bouquets of woven fabric flowers and plants for the New York Botanical Garden, and so on. Bergdorf’s is at Fifth Avenue and 57th St.
Henri Bendel is not featuring a holiday theme as much as a purely artistic one, featuring flowers and birds and 30,000 paper butterflies which flitter and flutter inside the store’s main floor and can be seen through the store windows, which face Fifth Ave.
Bloomingdale’s – More than 7 million Swarovski crystals glitter in windows depicting scenes from the new film, The Greatest Showman, the story of how P. T. Barnum created the Greatest Show on Earth. So, yes, ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, all the windows have a circus theme. Bloomingdale’s is on Lexington Ave. at 59th St.
Macy’s – The windows along Broadway honor NYC’s grand Broadway theater tradition, and the windows along Seventh Ave. evoke the beloved FAO Schwarz toy store, now gone, famous for its giant playable piano and vintage toys.
NOTE – Reservations are now required to see Santa at Macy’s Santaland. No more walk-ins.
Saks Fifth Avenue – Across Fifth Avenue from the world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, this year’s holiday display celebrates the 80th birthday of Disney’s Snow White, with animated windows of 14 of the film’s most iconic scenes. Yes, of course, that includes the famous Prince Charming and the Glass Slipper, a timeless scene timely again with the recent announcement of the engagement of American actress Meghan Markle to her Prince Charming, Britain’s Prince Harry.
Tiffany & Co. – Glittering diamond jewelry decorates old-fashioned Christmas trees, wooden puppets and other winter scenes. Tiffany’s is on the corner of Fifth Ave. and 57th St.
- You can now have breakfast at Tiffany’s, along with lunch or afternoon tea. The new Blue Box Cafe, decorated in the same shade as the famous Tiffany blue gift boxes, on the newly-renovated fourth floor.
Winter Garden – It’s not a store window, but we’re including the popular interactive Luminaries display because it is one of the most spectacular holiday light shows, NYC’s largest, and it’s FREE. The inside of this soaring ten-story glass atrium is decorated with dozens of LED lanterns, which change color and pattern in response to commands from visitors, plus there’s a pre-set light show several times a day. At Brookfield Place, which we New Yorkers still call the Winter Garden, at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan.
You can visit them all in a couple of hours, or less, because – with the exception of Barneys one block east of Fifth Avenue, and the Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan, our other favorites are all on Fifth Avenue.
Check out the best NYC holiday windows starting at the north end, at Barney’s, and walk south to Lord & Taylor, or from south to north, from L&T to Barneys.
And let us know which one is your favorite.