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Tips for Seeing Santa at Macy's in New York City

Save time and headaches if you're seeing Santa at Macy's with these tips


Visiting Santa at Macy's in New York City is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season and create a special memory of your trip to New York City. Our tips and advice will help you make visiting Santa at Macy's an easier and more pleasant experience.

More: Where to See Santa in NYC

1. It's Free To See Santa at Macy's

Picture with Santa at Macys
But pictures aren't cheap. There is never any pressure to make a purchase, but the basic options (an 8x10, 2 5x7s or a Christmas ornament) are all over $25.

2. Santaland Express Pass Experience

Want to get a photo with Santa, but don't care about seeing Santaland and don't want to wait in line? (I don't blame you!) Santaland Express reservations are available free up to 48 hours in advance. You can reserve using the Macy's app on your smartphone (iPhone app/Android app) or in person at Macy's Herald Square at kiosks located in the Cellar and 9th Floor (holiday lane).

More: How To Book Your Santaland Express Pass

3. Santa's Elves Know Best

When we arrived at noon on a Sunday, the elf at the end of the line told us that it would probably take an hour and 20 minutes for us to see Santa. It was almost exactly that long when we emerged from Santaland with our photo disc in hand.

4. Timing is Everything

Santaland at Macy's in New York City is open from the Friday after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. During the holiday season, Santaland is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The line to see Santa at Macy's will be shortest:
• When Macy's first opens each day
• On weekdays
• Earlier in the holiday season

5. Be Prepared to Wait

Bring snacks and drinks for your kids. (Though you'll have to toss them or put them away when you get to the entrance to Santaland.) Small toys and your stroller might be helpful if you think that will make the wait go more smoothly for them.

6. You Can Get a Peek At Santa Without Waiting in Line

If you don't care to have your picture taken with Santa (or just can't deal with the wait) you can still get a glimpse of him if you'd like. Santa's elves outside of Santaland can point you to the separate entrance for people who just want to peek through the window to see Santa.

7. Santa Is a Magical Person

In order to accommodate the crowds waiting to see Santa, Macy's has several Santas waiting to pose for a picture. However, they do a fantastic job of making it seem as though there is just one Santa -- the elves will never let on, and you will only be able to see one Santa during your visit.

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