Fa-la-la-la-la! It’s less than two weeks until Christmas is here. Christmas trees are decorated, Christmas lights are up, presents are being wrapped and we are fully immersed in the holiday season. With Christmas less than two weeks away, it’s time to make sure Santa knows what is on our wish list. And there’s no better place to visit Santa than at Santaland in Macy’s Herald Square in New York City.
Visiting Santa at Macy's Santaland in New York City
If you are going to visit Santa, you might as well do it in New York City. And why wouldn’t you want to do it at the flagship Macy’s department store with the one and only Santa on 34th Street? Who knows, you might even get your own miracle.
The flagship Macy’s department store has been a national historical landmark in New York City for forty years. It a large part of the plot of the popular Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street.
It may also invoke imagery of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade where Santa Claus is led into the store for the holiday season. The flagship store is on many tourists must see lists for when thy come visit New York City, especially if they are coming during the holiday season. Macy’s window displays for Christmas are quite something to see and every year they seem to out do themselves over and over again with displays that get bigger and more intricate.
Macy’s Herald Square takes up almost a full city block and is full of everything that you can imagine. From the things you would find at any Macy’s department store around the country like dishes and clothes to luxury brands, a Starbucks and many other restaurants. As the largest department store in the United States, it boasts many different types of departments throughout the store from furniture to bridal.
It also houses Santaland. So, if you want to visit Santa, climb the historic, wooden escalators to the top of the building, hop on the train and find yourself transported to a festive scene, otherwise known as Santaland.
What is Santaland?
Santaland is a Christmas-themed exhibit within Macy’s Herald Square. The exhibit has Christmas trees, Santa’s workshop and a Christmas village complete with a train running through it. You and your family can walk through and admire the Santaland exhibit with the help of his many elves while waiting to meet Santa. At the end of the exhibit, you can meet Santa, tell him what you want for Christmas and take your picture with him. After meeting Santa, you can either purchase the picture you took with him then or come back and purchase your picture before Christmas Eve.
Where is Santaland located?
Santaland is located on an upper floor within Macy’s Herald Square. Herald Square a public park and also a popular shopping destination in the borough of Manhattan. Macy’s Herald Square is located on the corner of 34th Street and Broadway. Herald Square is easily accessible by the subway on the B, D, F, Q, R, 1, 2, or 3 trains.
Visiting Santa at Santaland
Santaland typically opens around Thanksgiving Day and is open everyday until Christmas Eve, although this may change year to year. This year, to visit Santa, a reservation had to be made beforehand to ensure that you got a slot to see Santa. Other times I’ve gone and have been able to just walk straight in. It was closer to opening day and near the closing time for the night though.
While a reservation is required to meet Santa, the reservation is only for when you will be able to get into line. There is still a bit of a wait even with the reservation system.
This year, even with a reservation, there was a very long line to get in to see Santa. The exhibit was set up so that the line could have clearly been much, much longer but there was still a bit of a wait. For a 4:00 reservation, we got to see Santa around 5:00. While you are waiting there are a few televisions with holiday trivia playing though and a mailbox if you want to send your Christmas wish list to the North Pole for Santa to read.
There are many helpful elves to help you with anything you may need and to get you warmed up for your visit with Santa. They will also take a photo of you with Santa on your phone if you ask them nicely.
The Santaland exhibit is beautifully decorated and very well done. Santa and his elves are helpful and happy to help everyone that comes to visit them. Make sure to make your reservation ahead of time and be prepared for a bit of a wait and I’m sure you will love your visit with Santa at Santaland.
What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?
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