Jailee, OHNY’s program coordinator, took a stroll down 5th Avenue the other day to look at the extravagant and festive holidays window displays. Take a look at what Jailee found and feast your eyes on the beautiful displays that undeniably tells us that we are in midst of the holiday season.

It is true – there are certain spots in the City that New Yorkers avoid at all cost in order to steer clear of the bustling crowds. Walking down 5th Avenue during Christmas time is just such a spot. But, if you have a chance to take a leisurely stroll past the shops (and are not hurrying to get to your next holiday party), it is worth taking a step back and enjoying the dazzling lights and intricate window arrangements. It is an attraction for both New Yorkers and visitors. The best part is that gawking at the window displays is completely free of charge!

Tommy Hilfiger


Many of the shops place large decorations on the outside of the building and cover the facade with holidays lights.

Harry Winston

Trump Tower

Along 5th Avenue there are more than just shops, of course. These other buildings, like the Trump Tower, are just as decked out in holiday spirit as those selling designer bags and clothes.

Tiffany & Co.

The windows I love the most are those that have a theme and require the viewer to move in closer in order to discover the smaller details.

Tiffany & Co. window detail

The windows at Tiffanys have a carousel theme with little portal-like openings with small scenes inside. Their jewelry is cleverly hidden within each miniature scene.

A holiday favorite is always Bergdorf Goodman. This year, the theme is “Carnival of the Animals.” David Hoey, Senior Director of Visual Presentation, and his team spend all year developing the concept and designing the windows. They have become so iconic that the store has announced the publishing of a new book called Windows at Bergdorf Goodman. You can read more about it on their blog.

Bergdorf Goodman - Carnival of the Animals

Bergdorf Goodaman - Carnival of the Animals

Bergdorf Goodman - Carnival of the Animals

Above is my favorite window – It’s titled “Teacher’s Pet” and is created all from the paper pages of books. It is a stunning tableau from a distance but the true beauty lies in the little details that you can see when you get closer. Make sure you do so if you pass by (even if you do get dirty looks from others who are trying to snap photos).

Bergdorf Goodman - Carnival of the Animals

Here is a detail of “Teacher’s Pet.”

Gaga machine - Gaga's Workshop at Barneys

For my last stop, I cut over to Madison to see Gaga’s Workshop at Barneys window displays. There has been so much coverage in the media about Gaga’s residency at Barneys that I wanted to see if the windows hold up to all the Gaga-talk. Starting from the left, the first window is what is called the Gagamachine. The wheels turn while different colored light flashes. It creates a hypnotic effect on the viewer.

Gaga's Workshop at Barneys

The next window is a video screen. When I passed by it was filled with stars in the night sky. Viewers are encouraged to write their holiday wishes on twitter to Lady Gaga using the hashtag below.

Gagastars - Gaga's Workshop at Barneys

People’s wishes are then streamed and projected.

gagastars - Gaga's Workshop at Barneys

The wishes I saw ranged considerably from the holiday, hopeful wish for peace, love, etc. to the less inspiring and mundane wish of having everything in Gaga’s Workshop.

The most stunning of Gaga’s windows was her Chrystal Cave window. When I was there, this little girl was completely enamored with it. Unlike the highly ornate windows of Bergdorf Goodman, this window has a serene and magical feeling to it that, in my opinion, is not at all over done. It is just simply beautiful.

This post conatains just a small sampling of the many visual holiday treats that exist around the City. If you have a favorite, let us know by leaving a comment or by posting your own holiday photos to OHNY’s facebook page. Most of the window displays remain on view until after Christmas. Check each store’s website to see the exact dates.

Happy Holidays!


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