A Carnival of Flowers at Macy’s

One of the sure signs of Spring in New York City is the Macy’s Flower Show. The show, which has a different theme each year, first began in 1946. This year’s theme was “Carnival.”

There are two major parts to the Flower Show. First, even before you enter the department store, there are the elaborately decorated windows. (Forgive the reflections on the windows – it’s hard to take good photos in the light!)

Having admired the windows outside, let’s go through the main entrance to see what we find inside. There’s plenty more to see, although we’ll have to navigate the crowds if we want to take any photos. As we come upon the carousel, you can hear the organ playing a tune and the animals rise up and down.

Isn’t this fun? Make sure to look up as well. There are flowers and scenes scattered high and low throughout the first floor, so much that your senses are overloaded.

Want to join in the fun? Put your head in the holes and pose for a photo! Look! We caught someone doing that very thing!

Or maybe posing before a fun house mirror is more your thing.

Unfortunately, the show is already over – so if you want to see it for yourself, you will have to visit next year! In New York City, the Flower Show is at the Macy’s Herald Square location (touted as the largest department store in the world), but it’s held at the Chicago and San Francisco stores as well. Want to see what last year’s show looked like? I wrote about it here.

Macy’s Spring Flower Show

One sign of Spring in New York City is the annual flower show at the Macy’s at Herald Square. (Of course, it’s not the only one – the flowers are blooming in Central Park as well!) The flower show is always popular, so you have to be prepared for the crowds, but it is always fun to see what Macy’s has done for the current show.

This year’s theme is “America the Beautiful.” The flowers and accompanying vignettes celebrated the various regions of the United States. The flower displays are set up on the first floor around the makeup and perfume counters. If you visit, make sure you wander up and down the aisles, as otherwise you might miss something.

IMG_1916

IMG_1905

IMG_1921

IMG_1910

The highlight of the flower show this year is this beautiful replica of the Statue of Liberty’s torch. (It’s a very popular spot for selfies as well, so you may have to wait a bit to get a clear photograph yourself!)

IMG_1896

Don’t forget to check out Macy’s outdoor window displays as well. The windows on the Broadway side of the building contain even more flower displays. Because I went on a sunny day, it was hard to get a good photograph. I did capture this window though, which also contains an interesting reflection of the buildings across the street from Macy’s.

IMG_1935

How do you get to the Macy’s at Herald Square? If taking the subway, take the B, D, F, M, N, Q, or R trains to the 34th Street-Herald Square station. It’s also just a short walk from 34th Street-Penn Station, if you travel on the 1, 2, 3, A, C, or E trains. From New Jersey, you can take the PATH train to 33rd Street.

If you are planning on seeing this year’s flower show, you will have to hurry. It only runs from March 20 – April 3, 2016. (If planning a trip to New York City next spring, the flower show usually runs for two weeks in late March/early April.

Christmas in New York City

It’s one of my favorite times of year – Christmas in New York City! If you’re looking for something to do in the city for the holidays, check out the department store window displays and decorations.

Start with the window displays at the Macy’s at Herald Square. Macy’s was the first department store to offer holiday window displays, with the tradition going back to the 1870s. This year’s theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of the classic holiday TV special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The windows are delightful and imaginative, and several are interactive as well!

DSC04046

 

DSC04019

DSC04025

What’s Christmas without Snoopy and the Red Baron?

DSC04032

On the other side of the building, there are windows telling the story of the movie A Miracle on 34th Street.

DSC04054

DSC04052

If you have children, you can always visit Santa in Santaland, located on the 8th Floor at Macy’s. This balloon, located over one of the entrances to Macy’s, reminds visitors that Santa is available (and also gives the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the iconic Empire State Building in the background!). The theme for Santaland is also the movie A Miracle on 34th Street.

DSC03998

Of course, Macy’s continues the holiday theme inside. The entrance area near the makeup and perfume counters is dazzling, with sparkling lights and a woodlands theme. If you look closely, you will find animated creatures in the tree limbs above!

DSC04072

DSC04068

There are also large ornaments with moving parts, reinforcing Macy’s holiday themes.

DSC04089

After you finish at Macy’s, head over to Fifth Avenue. As you walk up Fifth Avenue towards Bryant Park, you will discover Lord & Taylor’s window displays. This year’s theme is “A Few of Our Favorite Things.” As you approach the store, you will walk under scaffolding covered in ivy and twinkling lights, setting a festive tone to the window displays. There are several large windows, as well as a bunch of tiny windows.

Here is a photo of Lord & Taylor’s beautiful gingerbread house window:

DSC04109

There is also a magical cuckoo clock with moving parts:

DSC04118

And here is one of the fabulous small windows displaying beautiful jewelry:

DSC04130

Walk several more blocks up Fifth Avenue to Saks Fifth Avenue. The theme at Saks this year is “The Winter Palace.” Go across the street from the department store to watch the musical light show that runs every ten minutes. (I found the best views were from the corner diagonally across the street from the store, as the view wasn’t blocked by city buses going by.) This is something definitely better to do at night, as it isn’t possible to fully appreciate the light show if it’s still daylight.

DSC04335

DSC04341

DSC04352

After watching the light display, make your way across the street to view the holiday windows which stretch on three sides of the building. They are magical, with a fairy tale feel.

DSC04372

DSC04394

DSC04412

DSC04417

Several blocks further and you’ll stumble upon the beautiful, delicate windows of the jeweler Tiffany & Co. with its iconic Tiffany-blue color theme.

20151126_185721

20151126_185950

From there, it’s just a short distance to Bergdorf Goodman. The department store is celebrating the 120th anniversary of Swarovski crystal with a “Brilliant” theme. The windows are dazzling, with so many details it’s hard to take them all in.

20151126_191126

20151126_191326

20151126_191359

Finally, head over to Bloomingdale’s, located between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue on E. 59th Street. The theme of Bloomingdale’s window displays this year is “Holiday Through the Senses.” Each window is framed in greenery, and you can actually smell that piney smell of Christmas!

IMG_3560

IMG_3571

IMG_3577

These photos are just a sample of what you will see on a holiday windows tour in New York City. (Unfortunately, they also show one of the challenges of photographing the windows – the reflections of buildings, people, and cars passing by!) Henri Bendel and Barney’s also have holiday windows this year. Henri Bendel’s window is pretty simple, which is why it isn’t featured in this article. I didn’t make it to Barney’s, but I’ve heard that this year’s windows are beautiful (and cold – one window operates as a freezer, and ice sculptors make new pieces each day as bystanders watch).

Hope everyone enjoys Christmas in the city!