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Seven Department Stores, One Walk: Taking in NYC's Best Holiday Windows

photo courtesy of Saks

A holiday window at Saks Fifth Avenue

If you happen to make it to New York City this month, don't neglect the seasonal sights. Here's a guide to navigating the holiday windows at major department stores.

Luckily you can catch them all at once—the best Manhattan displays are within 30 blocks of each other, practically in a straight line. We've mapped out an easy itinerary for you to follow; feel free to make some shopping pit-stops along the way!

1. Macy's
151 West 34th Street at Broadway
Grab yourself a peppermint hot cocoa from Starbucks and begin at Macy's iconic Herald Square locale. This year, the retailer went with a "Make a Wish" theme, which includes a rocket ship. Ornaments inspired by the company's roster of brands (former Lucky covergirl Jessica Simpson's label included) also adorn the dioramas.

2. Lord & Taylor
424 Fifth Avenue at 39th Street
After you've had your very own Miracle on 34th Street moment, it's time to head (and stay) east for the rest of your walk. Lord & Taylor is up next, with nostalgia-inducing depictions of wintertime activities. The entire layout is framed with hand-drawn pictures submitted by local students.

3. Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Ave at 50th Street
Head straight up 5th Avenue to see Saks' designer dresses surrounded by bubbles and snow. If time allows, swing by Rockefeller Center's skating rink to peep the giant Christmas tree dripping in lights. (Plus, there's also a huge Anthropologie and J.Crew nearby. Just saying.)

4. Henri Bendel
712 Fifth Ave. near 56th Street
A mere six blocks up, a festive Lady Liberty awaits at this niche department store, which focuses on jewelry and accessories. If you haven't ever been inside, we insist you look around for at least a few minutes, there is only one Henri Bendel.

5. Bergdorf Goodman
754 Fifth Ave. at 58th Street
Your last stop on fancy Fifth lives up to its posh address: Bergdorf dazzles with decadent displays of various types of animals. An aviary of metallic birds, a sequined ocean scene and polar bears—with hats!—can be spotted.

6. Bloomingdale's
1000 Third Ave. at 59th Street
Veer further east to tick Bloomie's flagship location off your list. Here, giant "Big Brown Bags" (based on vintage designs) are filled with animated goodies, including some pretty awesome penguins.

7. Barneys New York
600 Madison Ave at 61st Street
When you exit Bloomingdale's, head northwest to end your adventure at Barneys New York. The designer emporium decked its windows with Lady Gaga-themed decor, since the pop singer has an entire workshop of goodies inside. After looking at a hair-covered boudoir and spikey "crystal cove," don't leaving without picking up some cookies shaped like Mother Monster and checking out recently marked down items (last time we stopped in there was some Proenza on sale).

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