Sunday, December 14, 2014

On the 2nd Day of Christmas bestie gave to me,
a trip to Santaland at Macy's.

Although the Santa/Ralphie scene in A Christmas Story was actually filmed at Higbee's Department Store in Cleveland, I always think of the Santa at Macy's as the one giving the kid a little push down the slide with his boot. Of course, the Macy's Santa is best known for making miracles happen on 34th Street, where the building still resides today. After viewing the windows, we pressed our way inside and stopped, right in the path of traffic like good little tourists, to take a few pictures of the animatronic orbs suspended from the ceiling.
The center scene turned slowly clockwise overhead and it was just too tempting to stop and stare in childlike wonder.
Reindeer in flight over the city prepare for a landing near a group of excited children.
"Imagine" a time when pigs can fly. Oh wait...there they are. 
It's Christmas...the perfect time to make a wish. 
I paused to take a picture of this beautiful chandelier but, after uploading my photos to the computer, realized that perhaps I may have also been taking a picture of someone taking a picture of me. Sneaky, sneaky little security camera.
According to Shana, there was a spot (once upon a time) where you could stand and see Santa from afar. You could watch him gather the kids on his lap, listen to their Christmas wishes and then send them on their way (although probably not hurtling down a 2-story, slicked up chute). Not anymore, my friends (or so we thought. I just found a blog post by a "NYC Travel Expert" who mentions that the elves can point you toward a window where you can watch Santa. Maybe it was the first day on the job for the elf who talked to us). The line to see Santa snaked around "Santaland Junction", through women's clothes and almost to the escalator. This was as close as we got. We saw the train, which apparently used to have a bell you could ring but has since been removed (if I had to guess, I'd say by that elf on the right who had to listen to the damn thing all day for 4 weeks). We never saw Santa. But I've been pretty stinkin good all year and I think he knows that all I want for Christmas is a safe and healthy day spent at home with our families.

If you are traveling with little ones who do want to see Santa, though, I found this blog post that pretty well lines out the step-by-step process for doing that at Santaland AND some very helpful tips to make the visit run more smoothly (including a free online reservation program that allows you to "save a spot in line" instead of physically standing there for hourS). The blogger also mentions that Macy's has teamed up with Make-A-Wish and is donating $1 (up to $1 million) to the foundation for every letter written to Santa and dropped in the store's mailbox. Not in the city? Are you, in fact, 4+ states away and still wanting to participate? No problem. Write your letter here and submit it electronically! What an easy and fun way to benefit a charity this season!

On our way out, we took the other escalator down.
This particular Macy's, known as Macy's Herald Square, was built in 1902 and included the first modern day escalator. Although almost all of the wooden escalators in the 10 1/2 floor (yes, there is a 1/2 floor. We were there. I waited at least 15 seconds for the train to Hogwarts to pull up. Maybe it runs on Sundays) building have been replaced with standard metal escalators, you can still find this one running continuously between floors 8 and 9, in the middle of the building.
I am completely enamored by the wooden treads. I hope I look that good after 100+ years of use.

This beautiful and historic department store is well-worth a visit, even if it's not Christmas. It takes up an entire city block and is a shopper's dream realized. 

Next up: Radio City Music Hall annnnnnd a Rockette! 


  1. Love the wooden escalators at Macy's. Welcome to NY. Milk her for all she's worth!

  2. The big stores that go all out can be so much fun at this time of year! I especially used to love shopping all up and down Chicago's Magnificent Mile in December. Enjoy the heck out of your visit to NYC!

  3. Awww.. I love that you and Shana had such wonderful adventures together :) I actually used to work right around the corner of that Macy's and I will say that I totally hated it then (mostly b/c of the heavy foot traffic), but now? I miss it so much ~ especially the feeling of Christmas whenever you turn down 34th.

    And those wooden escalators... Love! Are you still in town? Enjoy the rest of your trip and my love to Shana!!


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