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By Anjuli Johnson

I hopped on our Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour this week, enjoyed some laughs with our lovely tour guide Elyse, and watched NYC’s holiday lights come to life. Some of the city’s main December attractions are the holiday window displays carefully crafted by Manhattan’s department stores each year. It’s definitely worth spending some time out in the cold and the crowds to see them!

This year, Bloomingdale’s teamed up with floral designer Jeff Leatham to create “The Surprise and Delight of the Holidays through the Senses.” With huge mirror sculptures and bright floral backdrops, each window depicts one of the five senses through a holiday lens. All five are a must-see, but the crown jewel of the display is a beautiful Christmas tree with a golden mirror shell, representing the scent of the season and filling the sidewalk with the delicious smell of pine.Bloomingdales-holiday-2015


At Barney’s, this year’s theme is “Chillin’ Out.” They worked with various designers and sponsors to create displays made entirely of ice and crystals. Two of the windows are actually refrigerated – one is an “ice locker” containing a magnificent ice castle, which took two weeks, 500 gallons of water, and 2000 harvested icicles to create, and the other features live ice-carving performances!


Lord & Taylor might take the cake for me this year, mostly because of their inventive idea to turn construction scaffolding, which could have ruined the spirit of their windows, into something magical and enchanting. Every inch is covered in pine boughs and twinkling lights, transforming their stretch of windows into a tunnel of holiday cheer. The theme of this year’s display is “a few of our favorite things” – my favorites are a giant cuckoo clock and a bakery filled with sweet treats.



The final stop of the tour is Macy’s, famous for its holiday windows year after year. This year’s big draw is “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” featuring six scenes from the classic cartoon, celebrating its 50th anniversary! The windows contain interactive elements, including a playable piano, along with voiceovers from the original characters. The “Peanuts” windows are a nostalgic reminder of the true spirit of the Christmas season amidst New York’s hustle and bustle.


Want to see all of these intricate windows, along with locations from some of your favorite holiday movies? Come with us on our Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour, now through January 1st, to experience the magic of Christmas in NYC through the eyes of your inner movie buff.