Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Window featuring gingerbread confections in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

2018 New York City Holiday Window Displays

I’m from, well, all over the place, having moved countless times around the country as a child. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say I’m mostly from the midwest. Lynn is from Malaysia. So, as you might imagine, we have quite an eclectic mishmash of traditions between the two of us. This gives us reason to celebrate throughout the entire year, which is a lot of fun. However, I’ve found that what I particularly enjoy are the new traditions we’ve created throughout our journey together. One such tradition that began a few years back was our annual late-night pilgrimage to the department store holiday windows in New York City.

We like using this route, which takes us past the big players and also gives us plenty of eye candy from specialty designer stores along the way. It’s also scarcely a mile in total, which is manageable by most even in frigid temperatures. The route terminates at Saks Fifth Avenue, where you can enjoy the evening light show then cross the street to Rockefeller Center for more holiday fun.

Here are some of our favorite holiday windows from the 2018 season:


Bloomingdale's Holiday Window with Christmas Tree in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bloomingdale's Holiday Window with mannequin and trumpets in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bloomingdale's Holiday Window with sheet music in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bloomingdale’s flagship store often meets the holiday window challenge–more than half a year in the making–with a collaboration. This year, it partnered with Illumination and Universal Pictures’ Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch! With animation, interactive elements and visually stunning designs, this year’s windows should be fun for the entire family.

Barneys New York

Barney's Holiday Windows featuring text reading MAKE in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Barney's Holiday Windows featuring text CHANGE in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

This year, Barneys New York also entered into a partnership for its holiday windows, but took a little different tack. They collaborated with Save the Children, an international NGO that promotes children’s rights, provides relief, and helps support children in developing countries. The theme of the windows was Change that Counts, a reference to how giving a little–pennies, in this case–can make a big difference. More than 2 million pennies were used by Barney’s creative team to craft the displays. But the best part is, if you share the hashtag #centiments with @barneysny, the Barneys New York Foundation will donate $5 to Save the Children for every post up to $150,000.

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Window featuring robot serving ice cream in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Window featuring candy striped nutcracker in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Window featuring beaded black and white horses in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

What to do when you’ve been a Fifth Avenue mainstay for 125 years? Well, if you’re Bergdorf Goodman, you give pilgrims a taste of something sweet. The title for this year’s holiday windows displays is “Bergdorf Goodies”, where holiday treats like peppermint candy canes, extravagant gingerbread houses, chocolates and bright, neon confections were used to construct their incredible windows. Bergdorf Goodman pushes the envelope every year, and this year was no exception.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue Theater of Dreams Red Holiday Window in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Saks Fifth Avenue Theater of Dreams Purple Holiday Window in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Saks Fifth Avenue Theater of Dreams Green Holiday Window in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Sponsored by MasterCard, and in partnership with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the theme for Saks Fifth Avenue’s 2018 holiday windows displays is Theater of Dreams. Each window on the Fifth Avenue side depicts scenes from a “shopper’s dream”, whereas around the corner on the 49th Street side, the windows reflect the “grandeur of the Broadway stage.” For the first time in their 94 year history, Saks Fifth Avenue’s traditional props are accompanied by digital screen technology to create a surreal, dreamlike vignette.

If this holiday windows route leaves you wanting, there are more free holiday activities in New York City that you can choose to partake in. No matter how big or small your celebration, Lynn and I hope you have a safe and relaxing holiday season!

Like it? Pin it!

A Pinterest pin with the caption "How to See the Best Holiday Windows in New York City" and the image of the candy cane decorated window at Bergdorf Goodman via Mad Hatters NYC blog.

– J.


18 thoughts on “2018 New York City Holiday Window Displays”

  1. Oh Lynn and Justin, you made my morning. We so miss seeing the holiday windows this year. Thank you for sharing, and I love that you shared your favorite route!

  2. Hi Justin, lovely post! I relate about moving around and being mostly from the Midwest, though sounds like you moved many more times than I did. I love the idea of creating traditions together. Bee’s not sure about my annual Thanksgiving morning turkey-related meltdown, but I like the new tradition of visiting her aunt in Connecticut for Christmas and making a trip to NYC. I like to picture you two lurking about late at night at the holiday windows 😉 I am SO excited to see these in person. That peppermint one rocks!

    1. Hi Cynthia! Thanks for checking out the post…and a small preview of your upcoming trip! LOL You’re gonna have a blast. Lurking about late at night is the only way to do it for those holiday windows. It’s all about the unobstructed views. Excited to see you soon!

  3. oh wow. i’ve been obsessed with nyc for as long as i can remember and i am so happy i found this blog.

    these christmas decorations are making me even more obsessed lol, i imagine with vibe must be amazing.

    one day i will visit!

    1. Hi Aaliyah! I’ve been obsessed with NYC as long as I can remember too! Long before we moved to the area, I dreamt about this place then couldn’t stop visiting. So I know how you feel, and I’m confident you’ll see it yourself someday 🙂

      Until then, we’re so happy to share our love for this city with you 😉 The vibe around the holidays really is magical, there’s something going on at every corner. Christmas Trees being sold on the street, holiday-themed drinks, and people dressed up for parties. It’s a blast!

  4. I have been SO BEHIND with commenting and keeping up with the blog posts, so my apologies for just getting to this now. My parents specifically come to the city every year at Christmas time NOT, as they told me, to see me, but to see the city decked out at Christmas and of course, the window displays. I see where I rank in their eyes! LOL Call me a curmudgeon, but the crowds really stress me out and I start to get anxious when people invade my personal space/make me feel like they’re pushing me through, so I typically avoid areas like Rock Center at this time of year. That being said…I absolutely LOVED the fairytale window displays from Saks last year, I will never forget that Snow White window! Absolutely beautiful and might actually be worth the anxiety to see how they pulled off this year’s Broadway Dreams theme.

    1. Hey Lauren! Justin here. You are SO ALLOWED to be inundated and behind on posts, comments, or just about anything else. ‘Tis the season, amirite? Your parents’ proclamation (I didn’t use “confession” because it doesn’t sound like they felt particularly guilty) sounds a lot like something MY parents would communicate to me with pleasure. I ignore such comments, as a matter of principle. 😉 That being said…I totally understand your issues with crowds and personal space…but that’s why we go at, like, one in the morning. We also drive and double park, which of course, helps quite a bit too.

  5. I doubt I’ll make it to the display this year.
    Your pics are great, as always. But more than that, I really enjoyed reading about the partnerships and the story behind the displays. I had no idea.

    1. We’re so glad we squeezed it in between trips, but we really didn’t get to do as much local holiday-ing as we usually do! Traveling in December isn’t my first choice since I love NYC this time of year. I can’t wait to hear how you two liked Vegas!

  6. Hi Justin and Lynn,

    I’m new here! I discovered your blog while reading Christmas-themed articles. I seem to always get giddy with excitement at this of the year, and one of the things I really love is looking at the decorations. Reading your piece and looking at the pictures you posted really elevated that feeling for me. We have displays in Malaysia, too, but none (that I’ve seen) quite elaborate as what you have in NYC. It looks magical. I have to go there some day! Thanks for the beautiful piece.

    By the way, really cool to read that Lynn is from Malaysia. Me too! I live in a suburb near KL. Hit me for coffee if you guys come out here!

    Merry Christmas!


    1. Hi Caroline!

      What a thrill it was to read that you’re from Malaysia! Welcome! (Or should I say Selamat Datang? )

      We share your enthusiasm for all things holiday! I think I got the bug from spending Christmas with family in Singapore while I was growing up. The Christmas music and window decorations of Orchard Road are seared into my memory. I know Malaysia is catching up, though!

      The windows in New York City are definitely elaborate, and we love making the pilgrimage to see them every year. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, and I really hope you get to make it out sometime. New York City around the holidays is quite a spectacle!

      And my family still lives in Malaysia (PJ, actually!) and we’re planning a trip home next year, so we might actually make good on that coffee Thanks for dropping by and saying hi, Caroline!

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