Every year I want to take the kids to see Santa, and every year I am heavily intimidated by the lines and the crowds. Truth is, if you are not going to see Santa during working hours, you could end up waiting for HOURS with cranky annoyed kids and a spouse and by the time they get to Santa, they want NO part of him and you would be lucky to get a smile from the kids!
At least that is always how it plays out in my head anyway.
This year I said NO MORE, I WILL FACE this crazy fear of the Santa crowds and take the boys and we would survive.
I had heard so many great things about the Santaland in Macy’s Herald Square so I figured I’d take the boys during Thanksgiving weekend to REALLY bring in the Holiday season. All of my fears would be pushed to the side and we would SEE Santa, chat with him and not lose our minds doing it. When I visited one of my favorite websites to find out what was happening in the city this weekend, I saw that there was a trick to seeing Santa–IN Macy’s–with no lines. What? This was absolutely unheard of and I chuckled to myself because there was NO WAY we could walk into the busiest tourist trap in NYC/see Santa and not lose our mind doing it!
I decided I would try this on Saturday–the Saturday after Black Friday–the Saturday where EVERY PARENT takes their kids out somewhere–anywhere because they had likely been driving them crazy for 2 straight days in the house (or was that just me?). The ENTIRE world had come to NYC to visit someone for Thanksgiving and Macy’s is the perfect place to visit. I will admit, I was scared. Macy’s scares me on a normal day so–yeah, this was going to be super interesting.
What is the crazy secret you ask?
Macy’s has a secret express line website where you can reserve Santa for yourself and your party–FOR FREE. You just have to do it 30 minutes-48 hours in advance. Before I left the house I made my reservation, I got the email confirmation. I was good to go… right?
When we arrived at Santaland, I asked a (very) jolly elf where do I go for the Express line. He got (really) excited and whisked all of us very quickly passed what seemed like 100 people waiting in a HUGE line to see Santa. The check in lady found my name and told us to go right in. There was NO ONE on the express line and the boys were in the arms of Santa in under 4 minutes. I’m not kidding. I was STUNNED by the efficiency and pure awesomeness of this “secret”. The wait was around 90 minutes! (Although I believe there were several Santas–I can’t confirm or deny that!) Anyone who knows NYC knows that you can barely get a sandwich at lunchtime for under 10 minutes so to see the ever popular Santa Claus at a peak time on the weekend that quickly was a miracle!
I did buy the digital package of photos because I am a bit of a sucker like that but I really loved the picture!
Afterwards, we checked out the awesome Christmas windows at Macy’s and although it was cold, the kids couldn’t get enough of the detail.
If you find yourself in need of Holiday pictures run — don’t walk– to Macy’s Herald Square. Get your pictures done in under 10 minutes and keep it moving with your holiday shopping.