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See Santa at Macys in New York City

You Want To See Santa at Macys?

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Picture with Santa at Macys

Picture with Santa at Macys

More: Where To See Santa in NYC

Macys flagship store in New York City is a great place to take your kids to see Santa. It's also a very popular choice, because of its iconic status, so be prepared to wait if you come to see Santa at a popular time.

Tips for Seeing Santa at Macys

What To Expect When We See Santa At Macys

There is often a very long line to see Santa at Macys. If you come on a weekend, the line may appear to be much shorter than it really is, but it tends to keep moving and the elf at the end of the line will be able to give you a reasonable estimation of how long it will take. The elf joked with us that we'd see parts of Macy's we'd never seen before -- and she wasn't kidding. The line wound through many back areas of Macy's, including rooms that are typically only used by staff. There were often historical holiday pictures from Macy's along the route, so that offered something of a distraction during the wait. You can have a beverage or snacks while you're waiting, but once you arrive at the entrance, you'll be asked to dispose of food and drinks.

Once you've made your way through the line, you'll enter Santaland. The visit begins as you ring the bell on the "train" that will take you to the North Pole. As you walk through the train, you will feel rumbling from the "tracks" below. The animated displays, trains, dancing bears, and snow globes are all fun to see and make you forget that you had to wait a long time to see Santa. The elves will do their best to keep you moving along, but you can definitely take pictures of the displays and yourself in Santaland. You might even want to take a picture of your kids with Mrs. Claus.

Getting Your Picture Taken With Santa at Macys

Once it's your turn to see Santa, you'll be directed to a cottage where Santa is probably finishing up with one or two other visitors. If you want your child to smile, you should plan to be responsible for that -- they didn't really do anything to encourage our (albeit young) daughter to smile for the picture. You can see the picture on the display immediately after it's been taken -- normally they will take at least two pictures, but if you're not happy, speak up and they will probably do another. Take your ticket and you'll go to the shop where you can purchase your pictures.

There was never any pressure to purchase a picture with Santa, though I can't imagine waiting in line for over and hour and not having a souvenir. You can choose from a variety of prints, Christmas ornaments or get your photo on a CD. Most options start at $27.99, and you can add on to your package as you desire.

We chose to purchase the interactive CD($27.99), which included both pictures on it, as well as some other photos of Santaland and videos. We were disappointed to discover that the resolution of the images on the disc was only good enough for a 5'x7' print (at 300 dpi) and that both of the pictures had a date stamp at the bottom, even though we had asked if they were printable quality. (We were able to crop out the date stamp for printing.)

How Long Can It Take To See Santa at Macys?

The time it takes to see Santa at Macys will vary dramatically, depending on what day of the week you visit and what time of day you arrive. We arrived at Macys at noon on a Sunday, and it look just under 1 1/4 hours from joining the line to leaving with our photos on a disc. By the time we left at 1:15 p.m., the line to see Santa was significantly longer than it was when we first arrived.

Save time and headaches with our Tips for Visiting Santa at Macy's

Directions To See Santa at Macys

Santaland is located on the 8th floor of Macy's Flagship Store at Herald Square.

You can enter Macy's on 34th Street at either Broadway or 7th Avenue, though the 7th Avenue entrance tends to be less chaotic.

Many subways offer convenient service to Macy's Herald Square:

  • A, C, E to 34th Street/Penn Station: Walk one block east on 34th Street to 7th Avenue
  • 1, 2, 3 to 34th Street: Exit on 7th Avenue and 34th Street
  • B, D, F, V and N, Q, R, W to 34th Street/Herald Square: Exit on Broadway for Macy's main entrance

Not in New York City? Check out some other Great Places to See Santa.

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