Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right Check out the most stunning Christmas window displays in NYC
Bloomingdales holiday windows
Photograph: Courtesy Tom Sibley for Bloomingdale’s

Check out the most stunning Christmas window displays in NYC

New York’s spectacular Christmas window displays making holiday shopping in the city extra fun and festive

By Shaye Weaver and Jennifer Picht
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Holiday shopping at department stores can be a nightmare, but the Christmas window displays NYC offers make combatting the tourist-packed realm that is Fifth Avenue worth it. Those ornate holiday windows decked out with hundreds of Christmas lights and more winter wonderland decor are so impressive, they might be reason enough to stroll through midtown. Our advice? Wait until the out-of-towners have gone to bed so you can view the decor free of crowds. For all the information you need to know about this year’s Christmas windows, read on below. And if you want to remain in the holiday spirit, we have recommendations on where to go ice skating in NYC, and then Christmas-themed bars (like Rolf's) where you can go to warm up afterward. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in New York

Christmas window displays in New York

Macy's holiday windows
Macy's holiday windows
Photograph: Courtesy Bill Sullivan for Macy's

1. Macy's

Shopping Department stores The Bronx

Macy's is using its window space to give thanks to first responders, essential workers, equality advocates and New Yorkers who worked hard to help the city through a tumultuous year. "Give, Love, Believe" is the theme this year and you'll see it across all six of its windows, from the first window showing a bustling New York City scene with bright neon signs saying "Thank you" in 16 different languages; whimsical hand-sculpted Macy’s elves decorating giant letters spelling “Thank You” in a cityscape scene complete with clapping hands in support of first
responders and essential workers; Santa Claus in an animated scene; and a “Thank You” that dances across a digital screen with the help of visitors shuffling the letters through interactive movement in front of the window. It's an uplifting and visible way to honor those who brought us through 2020 that more than 10,000 per hour will see this holiday season.

Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows
Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows
Photograph: Courtesy Luis Guillen for Saks

2. Saks Fifth Avenue

Shopping Department stores Midtown East

Saks Fifth Avenue is back with an iconic holiday window display called "This is How We Celebrate" and its 10-story-tall theatrical light show at its New York flagship called "Saks Lights Up Fifth Avenue." This year's windows shine a light on the importance of spending time with loved ones and the different ways people and places across the country celebrate. Across six windows, you'll see a musical celebration on bustling Broadway in Times Square; a classic barbershop getting a visit from some adorable kids and their pets, wanting to look their best for the New Year celebration; a couple on their way to deliver gifts via the Roosevelt Island tram; an aspiring dancer getting an autograph from her ballerina idol; a celebration surrounding the neighborhood food truck at a holiday block party; and a friendly competition of holiday lights and decor at neighboring houses in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Saks' annual light show is also all-new this year, featuring a dazzling display of LED lights on the facade. The music accompanying the light show is a world-premiere medley saluting different holiday traditions, including José Feliciano's “Feliz Navidad,” the theme from holiday film favorite Love Actually, Donny Hathaway's “This Christmas” and more.

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Bloomingdales holiday windows
Bloomingdales holiday windows
Photograph: Courtesy Tom Sibley for Bloomingdale’s

3. Bloomingdale's

Shopping Department stores Upper East Side

Bloomie's windows this year are inspired by its "Give Happy" campaign, which incorporates cheerful colors in a color block design across five of its Lexington Avenue windows and an "entry window" that brings all the hues together in a neon mixture. Each window embodies one of the campaign colors and incorporates clever elevated displays composed of everyday objects. "Give Snuggles" is all green with a giant wreath made from green teddy bears; "Give Happy" is an orange window with a larger-than-life orange glitter dog, surrounded by smaller dogs and neon dog bones; "Give Love" is a red window with peppermints and candy canes, as well as marquee hearts symbolizing the love Bloomingdale’s gives during the holiday season; "Give a Smile" is yellow and showcases a giant smiley face disco ball, inspiring happiness in all who see it. When it spins, it reveals a mannequin on the other side decked out in happy holiday fashion—designed by local New York City artist, Allison Eden; "Give Light” is a blue window centering on a giant snowflake illuminated with twinkling lights and mannequins wearing winter illuminated fashions are nestled into the spinning snowflake surrounded by Swarovski crystals, neon snowflakes and polar bears.  

Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows
Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out

4. Bergdorf Goodman

Shopping Department stores Midtown West

Bergdorf Goodman is back at it with more eye-popping window displays this year, which are called "Bergdorf Goodness." The windows are like stained-glass windows featuring single words, including "love," "goodness," "peace," "joy," and "equity." The shiny words glow brilliantly against the shop's storefront and give a spotlight to some of life's most important things.

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Empire State Building holiday windows lego star wars
Empire State Building holiday windows lego star wars
Photograph: Courtesy Empire State Building

5. Empire State Building

Attractions Monuments and memorials Midtown West

The world-famous landmark is pulling inspiration from a "Galaxy far, far, away...." with an all-Star Wars window display using LEGO models including the AT-AT, snowspeeder, The Child, the Razor Crest, a sith TIE fighter, Poe Dameron's X-wing fighter, and the Millennium Falcon sets, placed in a winter wonderland with LED lights that dazzle. Star Wars fans will definitely have a good feeling about this.

Get your holiday decorations in one spot!

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