All dressed up and some place to go: See NYC’s holiday window works of art

The Peanuts gang takes center stage in a window at Macy's in New York.

The Peanuts gang takes center stage in a window at Macy’s in New York.

(John Lampl / For The Times)

Here’s one department store trip that won’t cost you a dime.

In a tradition dating back more than a century, New York City’s midtown Manhattan store windows are dressed for the holidays in shimmering red, green, white and blue.

The Big 6 stores have built their displays around various themes, including winter and the enduring Peanuts gang created by cartoonist Charles Schulz.

The windows may appear magical, but the work that goes into them makes the magic happen.

“It took over a year of planning -- even before Christmas 2014 -- for the creative team representing the Charles Schulz comic characters and the Macy’s windows group to conceptualize and come up with the design for the six windows, two of which are prize works of technology and animation,” said Roya Sullivan, national windows director of Macy’s.


“Over 250 individuals, artists, electricians, lighting engineers, carpenters and sculptors worked tirelessly for months, first in our Brooklyn studios and then for six weeks installing the displays.”

The creations took time, and you should take yours. An evening walkabout to take in these six stores might take two hours or more, although you can cut the walking time by cab, car or public transportation.

Keep in mind that Macy’s and Lord & Taylor are close to each other; while Barneys, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf-Goodman are within five minutes’ walk of one another. Saks Fifth Avenue is between Bergdorf’s and Lord & Taylor.

Here’s something you won’t see: None of the windows show products from the respective stores.

No hard sell, and it won’t cost you a dime to see these works of window art. Now that’s pure magic.



7 new cruise ships ready to hit the water in 2016

Denver’s restored Union Station is a destination unto itself

Gifts for intrepid travelers

Follow us on Twitter at @latimestravel