By Brooke Thompson & Mia Salas
2020 may have brought many changes this year, but the traditional unveiling of NYC holiday windows will still be here. Last year, we saw gorgeous, holiday window displays of whimsy, like Saks’s take on Frozen 2; of the fantastical, such as Bloomingdale’s Out of this World display; of snowy, holiday villages as seen in the American Girl display, and even of edible delights shown in Bergdorf Goodman’s unique candy display.
In years prior, crowds would gather to get a glimpse of these beautiful NYC holiday windows and participate in the festivities. Unfortunately, with the ongoing pandemic, businesses have had to cancel these large gathering events and seek alternative ways for their holiday window’s unveiling.
This year, many companies, like Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Macy’s, will be holding virtual window unveiling events. Bloomingdale’s will be live streaming their holiday window’s unveiling on November 23 but require a donation (of any amount) to watch the event. All proceeds will go to the charity organization Child Mind Institute. Saks will also be live streaming their event on November 23, but they will still be hosting their iconic light show that will be separated into 20 smaller lighting ceremonies.
Macy’s at Herald Square will be revealing their holiday window display on November 19. To give a little sneak peek, Macy’s window display will feature six windows, each portraying different aspects of New York.
The first window will show the words “Thank You” in 16 different languages that are embellished with bright, neon lights with the Empire State Building as the centerpiece. The second and third windows display busy elves scribbling “thank you” across New York City as an appreciation to all the first responders and essential workers. The fourth window will show animated scenes of unity, love, hope, and, of course, Santa. The fifth window will also feature animated elements from Macy’s iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade including Santa Claus. Lastly, the sixth window will have an interactive feature where letters spell the words “thank you” by visitors’ movements.
As we patiently wait for the unveiling of the iconic window displays for this year, here is a recap of last year’s best NYC holiday windows from 2019.
Best NYC Holiday Windows in 2019
Bergdorf Goodman – Midtown
Never failing to impress us with their extravagant displays, Bergdorf Goodman presented a twist to the display including neon colors, Italian Mosaics, and a game-night theme across the various windows. 754 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10019
Bloomingdale’s – Upper East Side
We love Bloomingdale’s holiday windows, because not only do they tell a story through art, but they’re often interactive. In 2019, Bloomingdales traveled into space in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. This was an artistic and stylish take on exploring space. 1000 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Saks Fifth Avenue – Midtown
The window display at Saks is one of the best for families because Saks often chooses a popular children’s book as a theme and includes kid-friendly animations. Saks and Disney came together last year to celebrate Frozen II in their holiday window display. 611 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Macy’s: Herald Square – Midtown
Families followed the story of Santa Girl, who watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from her bedroom window and wishes that she were Santa Claus. Little ones were able to press Santa Girl’s dog’s, Willow, nose, and she scratched her ears. Kids also played with a video game where you could use a steering wheel to drive on a road full of presents and take photos using a mechanical kaleidoscope. Santa was larger than life last year, with a 15-foot-tall Santa Claus on the marquee on top of the Broadway entrance, for a total of 18 feet high. 151 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
Macy’s – Downtown Brooklyn
The theme of last year was “Believe In The Wonder.” The three windows located on Fulton Street were heavily decorated in a way that was sure to spread holiday joy. Each window featured a cast of characters sharing the seasonal spirit. 422 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
David Yurman – Lenox Hill
We’re big fans of David Yurman holiday windows, because they raise awareness for Polar Bears International, a non-profit that works to conserve polar bears and their environment. David Yurman is known for its simple, yet elegant and heart-warming displays of winter. Last year’s holiday window, they continued to raise Polar Bear awareness and protect their delicate habitats. 712 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Louis Vuitton – Midtown
Louis Vuitton’s holiday window theme consisted of bright colors and the brand’s monogram logo that scales the facade of the building. 1 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022
Shine On – Hudson Yards
This dramatic indoor-outdoor artistic light and music installation was coupled with seasonal events and experiences perfect for the whole family. The Lyra light display was inspired by the similarly named constellation, representing the enchanted string instrument of Greek mythology. The display was a series of star-shaped sculptures made of LED lights, which created a visual spectacle synchronized to classic holiday music. Between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
American Girl – Midtown
We loved this winter wonderland! American Girl and Swarovski teamed up to create a spectacular holiday window that was shining all season long. This holiday haven gleamed with nearly 200 Swarovski crystal strands and 130 pounds of Swarovski crystal stardust. This little American Girl winter village shined bright and dazzled anyone who passed by. You can’t go wrong with a holiday window jam-packed with sparkling crystals! 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019
In the craziness of 2020 and the upcoming holiday season, take some time to relax and enjoy the wondrous sights of the NYC holiday windows. They will certainly put you in the holiday spirit and possibly even give you ideas on holiday gifts for your loved ones.
This story first appeared on our sister publication newyorkfamily.com.