Christmas window displays in NYC

Make holiday shopping extra festive by taking a peek at these spectacular storefront Christmas window displays
By Will Sabel Courtney and Jennifer Picht |
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Ready to ogle some gorgeous Christmas window displays? We know, searching for the best NYC gifts can be nightmarish at times—especially if your list forces you to combat the inevitably tourist-packed realm that is Fifth Avenue. But there’s an upside to navigating these painfully busy streets at this time of year: You get to peep department stores’ ornate window displays and pretty Christmas lights. In fact, some of them are so impressive, they might be reason enough to stroll through midtown. (Just wait till the out-of-towners have gone to bed.) Check out our ranking for the best Christmas window displays below!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in New York

Christmas window displays in New York

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Photograph: Courtesy Neil Rasmus/BFA.com
Shopping, Department stores

Saks Fifth Avenue

icon-location-pin Midtown East

Fans of Mickey Mouse will love Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday window display. In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the department store partnered with the media brand to transform all fourteen of its Fifth Avenue-facing windows into scenes from the beloved fairytale. When you go, you'll see incredibly detailed vignettes of Snow White frolicking among adorable woodland creatures, the seven dwarfs singing their famous song in a crystal cave and the Wicked Queen being, y'know, evil. That's not all—the 49th and 50th Street windows showcase gorgeous gowns created by four designers (Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa), all of whom created the 21st century version of what Snow White's dress would look like today.

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Photograph: Courtesy Diane Bondareff for AP
Shopping

Macy’s

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Macy’s in Herald Square showed off its legendary display titled "The Perfect Gift Brings People Together,” which inspires onlookers to get into the holiday spirit. The six displays showcase all the family traditions and preparations that occur before the man in the big red suit pays a visit.When you head to Broadway, you'll see an ornate ice-skating display, Christmas-y cityscapes and more.

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Photograph: Courtesy TOM SIBLEY
Shopping, Department stores

Barneys

icon-location-pin Lenox Hill

The luxury retailer’s theme this year is “Haas For the Holidays,” but you won’t find Santa, reindeer or snowflakes in any of these five windows. Instead, you’ll find creative interpretations of Earth through the ages. The windows showcase four phases: Primordial, Utopia, Millennium and Mushroom Singularity. The windows also incorporate advanced LED technology created by Christie, so expect to see bright, bold and mesmerizing colors.

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Photograph: Courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com
Shopping, Department stores

Bloomingdale’s

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

To usher in the holiday season, Bloomingdale’s has partnered with the film The Greatest Showman (out December 20) for its displays. The windows pay tribute to big-top visionary P.T. Barnum, so expect to witness whimsical, circus acts and mannequins sporting dazzling outfits. We’re not kidding about the “dazzling” part either—more than 7,600,000 Swarovski crystals were used to embellish and outfit the costumes and props used in each window.

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Photograph: Courtesy Cindy Ord
Shopping, Department stores

Lord & Taylor

icon-location-pin Midtown West

The brand’s 80th annual display is called “The Best and the Brightest,” and includes five windows showcasing unique scenes through the lens of a snow globe in each one. You’ll see two polar bears exchanging in a celebratory high-five, a starry night set against NYC skyscrapers, a vintage circus, a woodland wonderland and the big man in the red suit (Santa, duh) looking into his own snow globe. Lord & Taylor’s storefront also got a festive, holiday makeover. The front entrance is now covered in garland, twinkling lights, and when you walk by, you'll hear cheerful holiday music.

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Photograph: Courtesy Ricky Zehavi
Shopping, Jewelry

Tiffany & Co.

icon-location-pin Midtown East

This Tiffany-blue display will certainly dazzle any passerby on Fifth Avenue. And for any fan of the brand, you’ll be happy to see that this year’s displays are all about a perennial favorite—the classic Tiffany Blue Box. When you go, you’ll spot wooden drawing figures posing in fun scenarios. (There’s a vignette that is literally “fishing” for jewels.) It wouldn’t be a Tiffany & Co window display without some glitz and glamour. The brand commissioned Austrian glassmaker Lobmeyr to create 10 to 15 miniature versions of their “starburst” chandelier in all five of the flagship’s windows.

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Photograph: Courtesy Tiffany Sage/BFA.com
Shopping, Department stores

Bergdorf Goodman

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Bergdorf Goodman’s iconic display is dubbed “To New York With Love,” and each window is modeled after seven different iconic attractions in New York. There's everything from sparkly, Swarovski crystals—encrusted dinosaurs for the American Museum of Natural History—to red neon signs shaped like trumpets for the New York Philharmonic. Spanning the men's and women's store windows along Fifth Avenue, the other honorees are the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Botanical Garden, the New-York Historical Society and UrbanGlass.

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Shopping, Accessories

Henri Bendel

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Henri Bendel debuted a less-traditional and far more artistic display in collaboration with Lovepop. This year's display doesn't depict a traditional Christmas theme. Instead, ogle an enchanting design featuring flowers, birds and butterflies. Since Lovepop specializes in 3-D cards, 30,000 paper butterflies can be seen fluttering down from the ceiling on the main level of the store (which is visible from outside).

Get your holiday decorations in one spot!

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