New York City has tons to offer those who come wanting some “Holiday Cheer”, but number one Holiday activity on our list had to be a visit with the real Santa at Macy’s on 34th Street. With our almost three year old, being able to visit Santa in a setting as fine at Santaland at Macy’s is beyond magical. Mall Santas ain’t got nothing on this set-up. We knew there would be a long line to visit, and I went so far as to search the internet for things like “VIP passes/packages” or “fast passes” for our Santa visit that would help us curtail some of the line. I am not above spending a little cash to skip out on an hour long line with a two year old. However, my search didn’t turn up anything helpful. Basically, I learned that you should get there early and avoid the weekends if possible. I also learned that the lines get longer as you get closer to Christmas.
Unfortunately, we could not avoid a weekend visit on our trip, but we did do our best to get there early. As is typical in our family, getting out the door in the morning took longer than we hoped, so we got there about an hour after opening. That meant about an hour’s wait in line was ahead of us. It is entirely possible that the line gets even longer than that in the afternoon. I know that a visit to Macy’s on 34th Street during the holidays is something that many families have on their “lists”, so I want to devote a post just to that event.
Here is what we learned, and documented, in our adventures in the line to see the Santa.
First, we went up to the eighth floor (use the elevators if you are hauling a stroller) and we found where the line ended. You then immediately enter a maze-like world full of twists, turns, and happy elves. They estimated the line to be about an hour, but insisted that it goes very quickly and that Santa is waiting for us.
Our first turn was through the tunnel of red.
We then detoured through the fluorescent forest.
Up next was a pass by the Human Resource Center. Who knew the North Pole was so corporate??!!
After a lap or two around the HR and training classrooms (elves need CBTs, too), we re-entered a more colorful hallway.
We even got to enjoy some original artwork!!
Our adventure then took us back through another tunnel of red…it is a popular color around the North Pole.
Once we emerged from the maze of hallways, things got really good. We started to actually enter Santaland. We boarded the Polar Express train where we got to ring the bell and actually feel the vibrations of the “train” in the floor boards.
We strolled by the North Pole’s Visitor Center and started to enjoy the view.
I guess someone knew we had been in line a long time, as they even give encouragement as to how much further you have to venture to see the main attraction. Just 76 more steps!!
Once we got to that point and started going on pure candy cane adrenaline, we knew we could make it. It was a breeze getting over the rainbow bridge.
We hauled right past the Christmas train.
Then things started to get real and the pressure of asking for the perfect present started to intensify.
Looking at a few more holiday displays was enough to take the pressure off.
As we closed in on Santa, our kiddo started to dance in celebration!
We rounded the corner into the last section and were greeted with the proclamation that there were “Only 24 More Days Til Christmas”!
The reindeer were celebrating with excitement!
The bunnies were dancing with glee!
For the record, it was a Doc McStuffins that made the cut. She delivered her request like a champ. No tears, no hesitation. Merry Christmas to all – now hurry the heck up as there are eleventy billion more children behind you.
We made it through the line with no tears and very minimal fussing. I thought we had done fantastic until two days later when I got these photos sent to me by my mom who had returned to Macy’s to do some shopping.
Um what in the holy candy cane forest is that? Express pass? How had my internet search skills forsaken me?
My understanding is that you get to the express pass kiosk on the 9th floor. You can still go through the last part of the line with the express pass, but skip the red tunnels, HR tour, etc. The Santaland portion of our wait was maybe 15-20 minutes, and was actually quite enjoyable. Express pass?! Head, meet desk. Now you know. I would have totally gone over to Macy’s a few days in advance to get an Express Pass for our Saturday morning visit if I would have known it was there.
It was still worth it with the long line, but now that I know this little tip it is even better for next time.