While in New York recently we planned a family day out to visit Santa in Macy’s with our little man who was just 21 months old. This was Little Mans first trip out of Ireland and his only trip to Santa this year so it was a big occasion for us! The movie Miracle on 34th Street is based on Macy’s Herald Square store on 34th Street and they really celebrate the movie with a magical 13,000-square-foot North Pole Santaland village complete with live elves, an enchanted forest featuring animatronic toys and a large train display.
We visited Santaland on a Tuesday around 11am and queued for about an hour to get to the main Santaland entrance. The queue seemed huge but everyone was in really good spirits and there are lots of little things to keep you entertained along the way so the time passed really quickly. Its worth noting that you can pre-book a slot to see Santa but this has to be done in store and can only be done 2 – 48 hours in advance, with this option you would probably miss out on some of the experience but it could be well worth it if going a peek weekend times.
Once you get near the entrance to Santaland you are treated with old movie posters and a vintage animatronic display of scenes from the Miracle on 34th Street movie. Can you just imaging how amazing these moving displays must have been for the thousands of children who visited Santaland before todays technology became so commonplace? Theres also a life size train that Little Man was fascinated by (he’s really going through a train phase at the moment)!
Inside Santaland itself you are taken through a windy pathway of magical displays, there is so much to look at and so much attention to detail at every turn. I loved the little sign that showed it was 76 more steps to see Santa but 308 gnome steps!
At the end of our amazing journey through Santaland we found the man man himself, surrounded by his elves. Santa greeted us with a big ho ho ho and you could certainly tell he was the real deal as his suit fit perfectly and his real full beard was immaculate.
Santa took great time to say hello to our Little Man and even though Little Man is not talking to us all yet, Santa had a great little chat with him pointing out his own image on Little Mans top along with the Reindeers Dasher and Dancer and his good friend Paul the Snowman. Little man was so happy he even gave Santa a big hug before we left.
While talking with Santa the elves take some photos which you can buy afterwards (prices start around $20 for one photo) but they were also more than happy to take some photos using our cameras – in fact we got the best shot for free on my iPhone.
Santaland is open daily from the day after Thanksgiving. Santa arrives at the tail end of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and stays through to Christmas Eve. Admission is free into Santaland.
If your visting New York at Christmas time I’d really recommend a visit to Santaland, infact the group of people behind us in the queue were a group of 5 girls in their early 20s – no children with them so your never too old to see Santa for yourself!
To read more about our trip to New York check out my New York blog post.
So have your seen Santa in any magical locations? Comment below as I’d love to know where to go next year!