This is a re-post of our visit to see Santa at Macy’slast year. It started out as a tradition after doing it three years in a row, although it may be replaced by visiting Santa at Six Flags, Holiday in the Park now. Macy’s is such a NYC classic, I still consider it one my top things to consider doing young kids celebrating Christmas in NYC.
My family made our third annual Macy’s Santaland visit with our daughter and our besties who make this journey with us each year. The kids adore this tradition and watching their faces light up with magic makes the long hot wait worth it.We thought we would be escaping the masses by going on a Friday morning. We were wrong. The crowds were already there by the time we arrived around 10:30 am. We made our way to the 8th floor and were corralled into the line and began our biggest investment of patience so far this holiday season.
In a matter of minutes crazy thoughts flooded my head. I began telling myself…if I can just convince my kid this Santa thing is real, maybe she’ll behave for the next 20 days. At least I’m not like the other parents here yelling at the top of their lungs for their kids to ‘SMILE’. What do these elf people do for work the rest of the year? It’s really hot in here. Oh My God where are those people from? I hope I’m wearing deodorant. Wait, is that my kid inside the display? And then the kids would do something really cute and I’d take a picture and we’d take a few more steps closer to meeting HIM.
All in all it took about 1.5 hours. But after about 45 minutes of waiting in line our kids decided they had to go to the bathroom. Immediately. We flagged down some elves and they escorted us from the ‘north pole’ and allowed us to take care of our kid’s needs. When we returned they escorted us back to our spot in the line where we left off, and we continued our journey through the land of make believe. We enjoyed the displays of Christmas trees, cotton snow, reindeer, toy trains and a sleigh full of toys. There was a ton to see and it was all very cute in a kitschy way.
We finally made it to the finish line and went into our own private room with Santa and a photographer. The kids sat on Santa’s lap together and each alone, and the photographer shot pictures but they also allowed us to. We weren’t rushed, but the whole experience lasted probably only 5 minutes. The kids weren’t afraid of Santa this year, but weren’t exactly clinging to him either. And they made weird faces for the camera.
We felt confident in the photos we snapped so didn’t purchase the prints at the end of the journey, which saved us waiting in another long line…and left the total price tag for our visit to Santaland as free.
After meeting Santa we went up to the ninth floor and walked through Holiday Lane, the ornaments and toy section, and the kids each picked out a holiday stuffed animal. And as we had hoped, they acted like angles the whole subway ride home. I think they believe 🙂
It was everything it’s supposed to be. And we’ll go again next year.
- The line is long and hot, be prepared to stand. Bring phones, strollers and snacks, anything to help the wait.
- Go to the bathroom before you get in line.
- You can take your own photos so bring a camera.
- The experience is free if you don’t purchase the photos they take.
- There is a free app you can download, and avoid waiting in the long line, but you don’t get to walk through Santaland, you go straight to Santa. Reservations can be made with the Macy’s App (available for iPhone or Android) or at kiosks in Macy’s in the Cellar and on the 9th Floor (Holiday Lane). Macy’s actually has several different apps, but the one you’ll want is the standard Macy’s app. Click on the “Stores” icon, select Macy’s flagship Herald Square store, click on “Events”, click on the Santaland Herald Square graphic then proceed. You can make reservations up to 48 hours in advance.