Christmas windows are a traditional part of New York City during the holidays. Every year the famous department stores decorate their storefront windows with holiday themes. People come from far and wide to gaze at the dreamy scenes.
For department store locations, view the Christmas Windows Map at the bottom of the page.
Theme: What is Christmas Made Of?
For another year, the windows at Lord & Taylor come out on top (in our humble opinion). The charming and life-like scenes depict the best of holiday activities - families baking, ice skating, playing in the snow, and decorating trees. The attention to detail is as impressive as always and cheery holiday music compliments the fun scenes. These Christmas windows will lift your spirits and remind your of everything that is wonderful about the holidays.
Store Location: Fifth Avenue and 39th Street
Theme: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" / Make a Wish
The Broadway windows illustrate wishes being transformed into Christmas ornaments, with moving string puppets that look like circus characters. Interactive touch screens on the last window let you design your own ornament.
Store Location: Broadway and 34th Street
Theme: Land of the Bubblemakers
Once again, the Saks windows are very retail-oriented. The main focus of each scene is a mannequin dressed in fine clothing that is sold inside the store. While the windows are skip-able, their close proximity to Rockefeller Center make them an easy stop-over while viewing the other area decorations. There is also a short light show projected onto the side of the Saks building at night. It is best viewed from across the street.
Store Location: Fifth Avenue and 49th Street (across from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree)
Theme: Vintage Shopping Bags
The Bloomingdale's Christmas windows display large versions of their most popular shopping bags from years past. The holiday-themed bags open to reveal animated scenes that further elaborate on what's pictured on the outside of the bag. Several of the windows are set up with cameras. When you press a big star, your picture is taken and frozen on screens above the windows. Great amusement for kids and adults alike!
Store Location: Lexington Avenue and 59th Street
Theme: Carnival of Animals
The more I stared, the more I appreciated these elaborate window scenes. Each window has it's own material and color scheme and all feature animals surrounding a women in fancy clothing. If you can forget about being romanced by charming holiday scenes (which they are not), perhaps you can enjoy the artistic aspect and extreme attention to detail instead.
Store Location: Fifth Avenue and 57th Street
Theme: Gaga's Workshop
As a nod to Barneys' in-store promotion of Lady Gaga items, several of the store's windows area Gaga-inspired. The windows include Gaga's Boudoir, a dressing room scene where everything is made out of hair, and Gaga's Crystal Cave, a glowing blue scene with mermaids. "Holiday" windows might be a stretch, but at least they are interesting to look at.
Store Location: 660 Madison Avenue and 61st Street
|Barney's - Madison Avenue and 61st Street||Bergdorf Goodman - Fifth Avenue and 57th Street||Bloomingdale's - Lexington Avenue and 59th Street||Saks Fifth Avenue - Fifth Avenue and 49th Street||Lord & Taylor - Fifth Avenue and 39th Street||Macy's - Broadway and 34th Street|
See more of the windows on our 2011 Christmas Windows Photo Album.
How do the 2011 windows compare to past years?
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