The Best New York City Christmas Window Displays of 2022

Macy's NYC Christmas Windows

littleny/Getty Images 

New York City's glittery, enchanting department store windows are a sight to behold during the Christmas season. The festive window display tradition dates all the way back to 1874, according to Macy's, the first retailer to start the trend. A popular holiday tradition, many visitors to New York City plan their own walking tours to see some of the most popular department stores' holiday window displays at their landmark locations.

The window displays are almost always on view shortly before Thanksgiving and remain up until just after New Year's Day, so they can be experienced throughout the holiday season. Many stores even host a special event to mark the unveiling of the year's designs, sometimes with a celebrity to flip the switch.

If you're planning a holiday trip to New York City this year, here are the window displays that need to be on your radar.

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See New York City’s Most Spectacular Christmas Windows
1000 Third Avenue, 59th Street and, Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022, USA
Phone +1 212-705-2000

The windows at Bloomingdale's on 59th Street are typically unveiled in late November just before Black Friday, so they can be enjoyed by holiday shoppers throughout the season. The theme for the 2022 is "Best Holiday Ever," featuring a variety of magical elements, from extravagant wrapping paper, scissors, and champagne glasses to a toy workshop, a three-dimensional camera feeding images of holiday cards, and more.

Although the window displays along Third Avenue are also decked out for the holiday, the ones along Lexington Avenue are the ones you really want to see, as they feature the annual theme. Bloomingdale's often adds an interactive element to their displays, so make sure your phone is charged to fully enjoy the experience.

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Bergdorf Goodman

Holiday Season in New York City

 Gary Hershorn / Corbis News / Getty Images

754 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019-2503, USA
Phone +1 212-753-7300

Right in the heart of Midtown, you will find the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman along Fifth Avenue from 58th to 57th streets. These windows never fail to impress, as they usually feature antiques and couture fashions in beautifully designed scenes.

The theme during the 2022 season is "Magic in the Making," highlighting artisans and their techniques, traditions and handiwork, and celebrating the power of “extraordinary thinking” and creativity.

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Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue holiday lights
John Lamparski / Getty Images
611 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022, USA
Phone +1 212-753-4000

Located between 49th and 50th streets, the Saks Fifth Avenue holiday window displays are unveiled in late November and have a reputation for taking their concepts to the next level. There is always an impressive lighting show across the whole facade of the building that visitors can enjoy throughout the evening, turning the department store into an illuminated version of what looks like the Taj Mahal.

The window displays always go all out, and 2022 will highlight a special collaboration between the brand and singer Elton John. John will co-curate three dedicated windows on 50th street with holiday looks from an edited collection, featuring pieces by Gucci, Versace, Valentino, and more. This year's windows will illuminate from within, lighting up in conjunction with the music during the light show.

Saks is also making a $1 million donation to The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Rocket Fund in support of its mission to end AIDS, including $500,000 of proceeds from the curated collection.

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2016 Macy's Herald Square Holiday Window Unveiling

Mireya Acierto / Getty Images

151 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001, USA
Phone +1 212-695-4400

Macy's has two sets of windows with holiday displays, one set on Broadway between 34th and 35th streets and another set along 34th Street. During peak hours, more than 10,000 people per hour will pass by the windows, usually featuring iconic New York City holiday scenes and encapsulating the feeling of the season. These are perhaps New York City's most famous holiday window displays and are always on view in time for visitors in town for Thanksgiving.

The theme for this year's Macy's window display is "Give Love," with a reindeer named Tiptoe guiding visitors through a winter wonderland that celebrates togetherness and nostalgia. Each window showcases a different world crafted with cozy materials like gingerbread, flannel, yarn, and wood.

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The Best New York City Christmas Window Displays of 2022