Visiting Santa Claus at Macy’s Herald Square has been a NYC tradition since 1902 and this year, the experience is going to be better than ever. Not only will Macy's Santaland feature a wonderland of holiday cheer to greet the young and young-at-heart, but the wait times are expected to be much shorter thanks to new required reservation.
Beginning November 24th, Macy’s Herald Square will convert its eighth floor into a 13,000-square-foot Christmas village as shoppers meander their way through the trees and say hello to sweet characters on their way to meet Saint Nick. The fun begins before you even step foot inside the flagship store with the Miracle on 34th Street holiday windows depicting festive scenes. The Hallmark Channel Ticket Window then greets guests before they hop aboard the Macy’s Santaland Express, a “train” that guides passengers through the snowy villages of the North Pole.
Giant gingerbread men watch over the Domino Sugar Bake Shoppe where freshly-baked treats tempt guests for a bite and the Aflac Ducks bop around to get everyone in the holiday spirit. All of this merriment leads to the Enchanted Forest, a landscape of igloos, ice sculptures, Christmas trees, holly and poinsettias that make visitors forget they’re still in NYC. Don’t miss the animatronic animals trimming a tree! Follow the road to Rainbow Bridge and then check out Lionel Trains Industry City, six authentic trains and tracks that surround the six-foot-tall Christmas tree. Kids will marvel at the moving steam engines, tankers and locomotives all marking the trail to Santa Claus.
The magic continues at Santa’s Workshop where toys of all kinds are created and then wrapped up to be sent to children around the world. Outside Town Hall, Santa’s red sleigh and reindeer are being prepared for the Christmas Eve flight. But the real highlight finally arrives when elves guide excited guests through a forest of pine trees and right into Santa’s home where jolly old Saint Nick is ready with open arms and an attentive ear to listen to holiday wishes. And at the end of it all, each child will receive a small gift from Santa to remember their encounter with him.
Santaland will be open daily from November 24th through Christmas Eve on December 24th. This year, the line for this free amazing experience will hopefully be much shorter thanks to a new system that requires all guests make advance reservations. Beginning November 20th, online reservations for Santaland can be made for a pre-selected time slot and from 30 minutes to five days in advance from your desired time.
For more info or to make a reservation for this must-do NYC holiday experience for all ages, visit macys.com/santaland or contact the Macy’s Holiday Hotline at 212-494-4495. You’ll also want to browse through our guide to Christmas for kids and families in NYC, the best Christmas events for kids in NYC and the 50 winter activities for kids in NYC.