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Christmas Windows

- free Holiday Season Fun for Families

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A fun -- and free - family activity during the Holiday Season is to stroll along a sidewalk beside a big department store, looking at Christmas window displays created to delight children: tableaux of elves in Santa's Workshop, with moving parts; traditional Victorian Christmas scenes; maybe a humorous Santa Claus...

Of course, you need to be in the right city to see great Christmas windows. Here are some best spots.

1. Christmas Windows at New York City Department Stores

Christmas Windows - New York City
Photo courtesy of About.com Guide for New York City Travel.
New York is the city for Christmas window fans. It's a city of famous department stores, and Macy's and the rest of the gang -- Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Barney's New York -- put on fabulous Christmas window displays.

2. Christmas Windows in London

photos of Christmas Windows in London
Photo courtesy of About.com's Guide for London Travel.
London too has legendary department stores, and they also take their Christmas duties seriously, and put on marvelous Christmas window displays. About.com's Guide for London Travel checks out the best each year.

3. San Francisco: SPCA and Macy's Holiday Windows

Christmas Windows - San Francisco - Macy's plus SPCA
Photo © Ingrid Taylar, About.com Guide for San Francisco.
In San Francisco, Macy's uses its Christmas windows for a good cause: helping animals get adopted from the SPCA. Cats and dogs take turns looking adorable in the Christmas windows (helped by plenty of human TLC); hundreds of pets get adopted every year, and considerable funds get raised for the SPCA.

4. Christmas Windows of The Polar Express

Photo courtesy of New York City Travel, © Dan Cross.
A beautiful example of Christmas windows displays: this sequence of scenes at Macy's in New York City presented moments from the classic children's book (also a movie) The Polar Express.

5. Classic Christmas Windows

Classic Christmas Windows - photos
photo © Teresa Plowright
Photos of traditional tableau-style Christmas windows, set in Victoria England.

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