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.
The most famous of New York City's Christmas window displays...
For department store locations, view the Christmas Windows Map at the bottom of the page.
Theme: Wish for Tradition
This year's display is a tribute to 75 years of window displays at Lord & Taylor. The store is long-known for it's intricate and animated displays. The windows feature wintery holiday scenes from around the world, including a snowy Central Park, a riverside scene in Asia, and a German ski village with shops selling gingerbread houses and nutcrackers.
Store Location: Fifth Avenue and 39th Street
Theme: The Magic of Christmas
A corner store, Macy's always has two sets of windows on display. The windows along the 34th Street side of Macy's display the classic theme of little Virginia's letter to The Sun asking if there really is a Santa Clause. The windows along Broadway are more contemporary and feature a different theme every year.
This year's Broadway windows capture popular New York City landmarks. It's not just a tribute to the store itself, but to the city in general. The windows are very colorful and scenes include NYC holiday classics like the Central Park skating rink and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The last window is perhaps the neatest, with a collage of tv screens that rotate through pictures of New York City.
Store Location: Broadway and 34th Street
Theme: Snowflake Spectacular
The windows at Saks are some of the most crowded, not because they're necessarily the best, but because of their proximity to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The windows' snowy, wintery scenes are endearing and the children in the windows are impressively life-like. There is also a short light show projected onto the side of the Saks building from 5 to 10 pm each night. It is best viewed from across the street.
Store Location: Fifth Avenue and 49th Street (across from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree)
Theme: It's a Happening Holiday
This year Bloomingdale's paired up with Cirque du Soleil to create bright, colorful windows. Each window has a different circus-like scene with miniature characters that rotate and fly through the air. The scenes are not especially holiday-like but they are still cool to see.
Store Location: Lexington Avenue and 59th Street
Theme: BG Follies of 2012
As usual, nothing about this windows will put you in the Christmas spirit and also as usual, they are very neat to look at. Each window is a different "Act" starring mannequins in over-the-top fancy clothing and accessories and, per the usual style of Bergdorf Goodman windows, surrounded by complex and elaborate settings.
Store Location: Fifth Avenue and 57th Street
Theme: Electric Holiday
The Disney-themed windows at Barneys this year are essentially a video and light display. Watch a cute cartoon of Minnie Mouse who, while window shopping, dreams of becoming fashion show Minnie, walking the runway with other Disney characters dressed in high fashion. The video features other personalities in the fashion industry as well.
Store Location: 660 Madison Avenue at 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 2012 Christmas Windows Photo Album.
How do the 2012 windows compare to past years?
Check out these windows from previous years:
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