New York City Holiday Windows Walking Tour

Bloomingdales during The Holidays, New York City.
••• Jon Hicks / Getty Images
  • 01 of 07

    NYC Holiday Windows Walking Tour Overview

    New York City is a wonderful place to visit during the holiday season, particularly because of the beautiful decorations at many city stores and landmarks. This holiday walking tour will help you see some of the most popular New York City department store holiday window displays, with advice along the way for places to warm up with a hot beverage or a good meal, shopping highlights and must-see attractions.

    Before You Go:

    • The holiday windows at each store are unveiled on different schedules, but all should be on view from Thanksgiving through the New Year.
    • Crowding is greatest on weekends and in the early evening.
    • I think the holiday windows are best enjoyed when it is dark, but they can be appreciated during the day as well.
    • It can be difficult to actually see the window decorations during the unveiling events because of crowding, but the performances and excitement can be fun!
    • Bundle up! It gets cold and this tour will take two hours (or longer, depending on how many places you stop along...MORE the way.) I think waterproof shoes, knee socks, long coats, mittens and hats go a long way to keeping everyone happily exploring NYC in December.
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  • 02 of 07

    First Stop: Holiday Windows at Bloomingdale's

    Our holiday windows walking tour begins at Bloomingdale's. Bloomingdale's is located on Lexington Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets.The holiday windows at Bloomingdale's are always fun and playful, making them interesting for all audiences.

    Bloomingdale's itself is a worthwhile shopping destination -- it has one of the best cosmetic departments in the city, as well as a dizzying array of merchandise from high-end handbags to luxury linens. The store has lots of great sales and promotions and you can sign up to be a Loyallist for additional discounts and promotions.

    Bloomies has several different cafes and dining options whether you want a full meal at Le Train Bleu or David Burke at Bloomindale's or just a coffee and sweet treat from Magnolia Bakery.

    If you want to hit a candy store that would make Willy Wonka's head spin, Dylan's Candy Bar is nearby on Third Avenue and 60th Street.

    Nearest Subway: N/R/W and 4/5/6 to 59th Street/Lexington Avenue stop
    Guide: Bloomingdale's Shoppers Guide

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  • 03 of 07

    Second Stop: Barneys New York

    From Bloomingdale's, walk two blocks west along 60th Street (if you cross Park Avenue you're heading the right way!) until you reach Madison Avenue. Barneys is located on Madison Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets on the west side of the street.

    Barneys holiday windows are New York City's most unusual. They tend to be very "of the moment" and highlight contemporary themes and are usually different than the holiday windows you'll see at any other store.

    Chocolate lovers might want to stop by the Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland shop just off of Madison Avenue on 61st Street.

    Fred's at Barneys Madison Avenue serves lunch and dinner daily on the 9th floor of the department store.

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  • 04 of 07

    Third Stop: Bergdorf Goodman

    From Barneys, walk one block west along 61st or 60th Street until you arrive at Fifth Avenue. Head south on Fifth Avenue (the street numbers will go down) and you'll see the beautiful Pulitzer Fountain in front of The Plaza. If you're looking for a special way to enjoy the holiday season, consider taking a break from your holiday windows tour at The Plaza for afternoon tea. The hotel itself is always beautifully decorated for the season.

    Continue south along Fifth Avenue and you'll find the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman which are along Fifth Avenue from 58th to 57th Streets. These windows never fail to impress -- they feature antiques and couture fashions in beautifully designed scenes.

    When you are done admiring the beautiful windows at Berdorfs, make sure you cross 5th Avenue and check out the decorations at Tiffany & Co. In addition to impressive window displays, the interior of the store features beautiful trees with decorations featuring the store's signature blue.

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  • 05 of 07

    Fourth Stop: Saks Fifth Avenue

    Continue walking down Fifth Avenue on the east side of the street. On the way to Saks, you'll pass by St. Patrick's Cathedral (between 51st/50th Streets), which is free to visit.

    Saks Fifth Avenue is located on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. The holiday windows at Saks are playful and fun to see, and are often particularly appealing to children and their families.

    Saks is also conveniently located across the street from Rockefeller Center, which is always a wonderful place to visit during the holiday season. Home to New York City's most famous ice rink, as well as the iconic Christmas Tree, don't miss the opportunity to visit Rock Center after you view the holiday windows at Saks.

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  • 06 of 07

    Fifth Stop: Lord & Taylor

    From Saks, continue traveling south along 5th Avenue. You'll have the chance to see the New York Public Library and Bryant Park (with its Winter Village Holiday Shops and Ice Rink!) before reaching the Lord & Taylor which is between 38th and 39th Streets.

    The windows at Lord & Taylor typically feature classic holiday imagery and are appealing to both children and adults.

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  • 07 of 07

    Sixth Stop: Macy's Herald Square

    No tour of New York City's holiday windows would be complete without a stop at Macy's. To get there from Lord & Taylor, continue south along Fifth Avenue to 34th Street. Walk west along 34th Street (take a right if you're traveling south along 5th Ave) two blocks to Broadway.

    If you want to include a stop at the Empire State Building in your day-long exploration, here's your chance, as it's located on 5th Avenue at 34th Street. Even if you don't take the time to go up, don't forget to look up!

    Macy's has two sets of windows with holiday displays -- one set on Broadway between 34th & 35th Streets, and another set along 34th Street. The windows along 34th Street have been from "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Yes, Virginia" (a modern adaptation of the same story,) while the windows along Broadway change each year.