In New York, most people enjoying running along the Hudson River or in Central Park for exercise. This December, how about a detour from the usual running trails, and travel a new path that involves light installations and stunning details? Yes, we are talking about the expertly and meticulously crafted storefront windows at some of the city’s most famous shopping institutions.

Bergdorf, Macy’s and more have spend months curating scenes for their windows to represent a theme for the holiday season. Avoid the crowds and get up early (or stay out late) to jog by these inspiring works of art. Don’t know where to start? Check out our 2-4 mile running map below, along with a peek at some of the stunning windows.


1. Macy’s: A Charlie Brown Christmas
151 W 34th Street

The world’s largest department store is celebrating the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with six scenes from the iconic cartoon. The windows, which include motion and interactive elements, have come a long way since Macy’s first started unveiling them in the 1870s. According to CBS New York, “Macy’s said more than 16,000 people walk by the windows every hour.” That’s more reason to start your workout early with a pre-breakfast run.



Jog 1 mile up 5th Avenue until you get to…

2. Saks Fifth Avenue: The Winter Palace
611 5th Avenue 

Saks Fifth Avenue takes winter wonderland to a new level with their snowy windows that depict a series of natural and manmade wonders. The elegant scenes are represented in daring winter whites, including the “Great Brrrier Reef” and “The Icy Eiffel Tower” windows. While this winter theme is present in all of the Saks stores, the 611 5th Avenue flagship houses the most impressive installations.

Saks_2 Saks_1

Jog .4 mile up 5th Avenue until you get to…

3. Bergdorf Goodman: Brilliant
754 5th Avenue

Bergdorf chose to go with the theme “Brilliant,” and it’s apparent in the spectacular windows. The store partnered with Swarovski (for the jeweler’s 120th anniversary) to show off glittering scenes that ranged from sparkling knights dubbed “The Crown Jewels” to a shimmering fortune teller named “The Crystal Ball.” Just how dazzling are this year’s windows? More than seven million crystals worth. 



Jog up 5th Avenue, then over to Madison Avenue for .3 mile until you get to…

4. Barney’s: Chillin’ Out
660 Madison Avenue

Barney’s went with a cohesive “Chillin’ Out” theme, but expresses it in a diverse manner for each window. One even includes a live demonstration. The ice carving collective Okamoto Studio has taken residence in one of the four windows, showing bystanders how they transform ice into works of art throughout the day.



Jog east on 60th street until you’ve gone.4 mile and reached 3rd Avenue and see…

5. Bloomingdale’s: Holiday Through the Senses
1000 3rd Avenue

Each of Bloomingdale’s windows displays a different interpretation of the five senses. Antlers made of bells sit on a reindeer for a delightful sound, and a Christmas tree lets window shoppers experience the nostalgic scent of fresh-cut pine. Designed by famous florist Jeff Leatham, each sense is artfully shown in holiday-themed beauty.


Want to keep running? Head back down to Macy’s, where you started, to log an additional 2 miles.


Author: Allison Klibanoff