Lonely Planet Writer

You’ll now need a reservation to visit Santa at Macy’s in New York

For the first time ever, you’ll have to make a reservation to visit Santa Claus at Macy’s in New York.

Santa Claus at Macy’s in New York. Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

While Santa is a fixture at many shops around the holidays, his visits to the flagship department store in New York are perhaps particularly famous, as they were subject of the classic Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street. Naturally, meeting Santa at such an iconic location can mean there’s a long wait, something that may be solved by making an appointment. Anywhere from 30 minutes to five days in advance, guests will be able to making a free booking online, subject to availability.

Macy’s in New York. Image by RICOWde/Getty Images

Macy’s Santaland is located on the 8th floor of Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street in New York and will open after Thanksgiving and stay open until Christmas Eve. Admission is free but visitors can buy professional photos of their meeting with Santa. Regardless of whether you book a slot to chat with the man in red, the whole Santaland experience will transport visitors to the North Pole without ever leaving Manhattan.

According to Macy’s, the least busy times will be during the week from Monday through Thursday. Guests will have to keep to the schedule though, as, for example, anyone booked between 12:30 and 1 pm will have to check in with an elf no sooner than 12:30 pm and no later than 1 pm. Though for many, planning ahead is a small price to pay to meet Santa.