Macy’s Christmas Light Show
A Philadelphia tradition since 1956
A source of awe and wonder for children of all ages
The Philadelphia Store is decorated for Christmas and features actual Wanamaker Organ concerts. The Magic Christmas Tree is aglow with its usual sequence of lights. Market Street windows will also make a welcome return.
The text below is from the Macy’s Press Release. Scroll down to highlighted information pertaining to attractions at the Philadelphia flagship.
New York, NY – October 26, 2020 – Since 1861, generations of children have enjoyed the magic of a visit with the one-and-only Santa Claus at Macy’s. That cherished holiday tradition will continue this year in a new way through Macy’s Santaland® at Home. Beginning Friday, November 27 through Thursday, December 24, for the first time ever, the magic of Macy’s Santaland will be transformed into an interactive, virtual experience. To safely bring the wonder of this cherished holiday tradition to families nationwide, Macy’s Santaland’s in-store experience will be available through an immersive and whimsical digital-only engagement available at macys.com/Santaland.
“At Macy’s, the safety of our customers and colleagues is paramount,” said Susan Tercero, Macy’s vice president of branded entertainment. “To replicate the magical experience of visiting Macy’s Santaland for children and their families, we will shift to a virtual engagement this year. For many, visiting Santa at Macy’s has become a long-standing highlight of the holiday season. Macy’s is delighted to have found a way to ensure even more families can enjoy this treasured experience safely during this festive time of the year.”
Available at macys.com/Santaland, before the digital journey begins an adult must provide the appropriate permissions to activate the program including approving access to the hardware for the interactive elements and selecting the preferred diversity experience. Up to three children can take part in the customized experience at one time. A special greeting from Santaland elves at the North Pole-bound train station kicks off the interaction. From there, the Elves will lead the way through Santa’s Village and Workshop, stopping to see the sights and play interactive games. At the finale of the journey, kids will meet Santa through a whimsical interactive video where they will be able to share their holiday wish list followed by snapping a selfie with Santa. Families will be able to download their Santa selfie immediately following the picture opportunity. The magic of Macy’s Santaland at Home will safely bring the joy of the season to visitors nationwide from the comfort of home.
In addition to Macy’s Santaland at Home, two additional beloved holiday experiences will be made available to the public for the first time virtually. The Macy’s Santaland website will also highlight interpretations of familiar holiday favorites from Macy’s Center City in Philadelphia including Dickens’ Village and the Christmas Light Show. Dickens’ Village will take guests through select animated displays telling the story of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. A special version of the spectacular Macy’s Christmas Light Show will also shine bright online as it takes viewers on a light filled festive journey through popular Christmas stories including The Nutcracker and Frosty the Snowman. The annual light display will feature the sounds of the world-famous Wanamaker Organ.
Macy’s Market Street Animated Christmas Windows
Macy’s is located inside The Wanamaker Building at 13th & Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Basic store Information is at 215-241-9000. There is parking underneath the Store with lot entrances on Juniper and 13th Streets. (Note that most weekdays the lot fills early with commuter parking, with more spaces opening in the early afternoon.)
PLANNING A LIGHT SHOW TRIP? BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN FOR LOTS OF HELPFUL INFORMATION!
At the Dickens Christmas Village (Third Floor Market Street) there is also a concession for photos with Santa (open through Christmas Eve), a studio to design a personalized teddy bear, and a Christmas gift shop (“Holiday Lane”) nearby. There is covered public parking under the Wanamaker Building with elevators leading to Street Level.
THE WANAMAKER ORGAN is used for the finale of the noon Light Show (except Sundays), and at the end of the 6 pm Light Shows (except Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). Recorded Wanamaker Organ versions conclude the show at all other times.
Christmas Eve Day and New Year’s Eve day Wanamaker Organ concerts are generally cancelled due to potential curtailed store hours. The final daily light show on any given day might also not be held if it falls exactly at closing time.
VISIT OUR SITE FOR A COMPLETE VISITOR GUIDE AND HISTORY OF THE PHILADELPHIA MACY’S CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW! WE REGRET THAT OPERATIONS AT MACY’S VISITOR CENTER HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AT PRESENT DURING THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC. Looking for Wanamaker Organ books, CDs, DVDs and souvenirs? Want to learn more about Macy’s and the Organ? […]
MEALS, LODGING, NEARBY ATTRACTIONS, TIPS AND OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION IS HERE. Covered parking is available under the Wanamaker Building, but additional options are here. Read the fascinating story of Bert Medland, father of the Magic Christmas Tree here. An annotated bibliography by Adrianna Riccioni tracing the history of the Light Show is here. Our Philadelphia Visitors Guide is here. Escalators are located […]
Retailers have always kept the Light Show up-to-date, and the latest version, produced by Macy’s, is no exception. While retaining all the beloved elements of the John Wanamaker original, the revamped production — dubbed the Millennium Edition by designer Larry Kerecman — modernizes the equipment while allowing the Grand Organ to cast its holiday spell. […]
As far as the Wanamaker Organ was concerned, the main problem with past Christmas shows was that the instrument was covered by a huge theater curtain, muffling the Organ’s sound and robbing the hall of reverberation. Until the Grand Court was repainted for the American Bicentennial in 1976, this sound-deadening continued throughout the year as […]
Fun Facts and Figures Past and Present There are 34,500 LED lights on the Macy’s Magic Christmas Tree in six colors: red, yellow, green, blue, purple, and cool white, which breaks down to about 5,750 lights in each color. It is topped by a red Moravian (or Advent) star. The lights on the tree, the […]
The Store’s famous light show has always been one of Philadelphia’s most hallowed traditions since its inception in November 1955. It was devised by Frederick Yost, a Yale University theatre-lighting graduate who came to John Wanamaker and pioneered many of the beautiful Grand Court displays that kept the store in the forefront of retailing. Yost […]
During the 1960s various panels of figures set on plywood panels, were added, based on a narrative similar to that used today. Mrs. Yost’s voice was used for the Sugar Plum Fairy. The stentorian voice of legendary Philadelphia WCAU-TV newsman John Facenda, voice of NFL Films, added a powerful note of authority. Over the years […]
Today’s show features two Bears, four Frostys, eight Reindeer, 50 Snowflakes, two Toy Soldiers, three Clocks, five Ballerinas, one Nutcracker, one Girl, one Prince, one Princess, two Candy Canes, Santa and the Conductor on the Santa Express Train.
Macy’s acquired the celebrated Dickens Christmas Village from Philadelphia’s Strawbridge & Clothier Department Store. Numerous animated figures depict scenes in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (1843). While not as popular as the Wanamaker Light Show, the village drew customers to the fourth floor Strawbridge’s, and on one occasion a Dickens descendant presided at the season opening. […]
Macy’s has also enlivened Market Street with a series of fanciful windows spreading holiday cheer to the sidewalks. Festive holiday music from sidewalk speakers adds to the enchantment of this grand old department store tradition.