Nordstrom and Macy's to Launch Holiday Experiences

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Credit: Nordstrom

Nordstrom and Macy's have announced a slew of holiday experiences to engage shoppers, including a few that bring the joy online.

Here's a quick look at what they have in store for holiday shoppers:


Online, through the Nordstrom Gift Hub, customers can shop categories like the Best Gifts Under $100, the Best Gifts for Kids, the Best Home Gifts, and more.

This year the retailer is curating weekly digital themes giving customers 12 reasons to revel in the moment and 12 reasons to come back the next week for more. Themes include a Holiday Décor Shop beginning 10/18; Pop-In@Nordstrom beginning 10/22, which features an assortment of gifts, and New Concepts@Nordstrom beginning 11/4, with an eclectic selection of independent makers, quirky artisans, novelty products and handcrafted goods.

Nordstrom will also offer immersive photo sets available in 22 Nordstrom locations throughout the U.S. Backdrops vary by location, and four stores will have a booth designed by a featured brand partner -- either Converse, Levi's or UGG. UGG's photo booth experience for example, features oversized festive elements, creating a dramatic backdrop.

And of course, Santa is back! Nordstrom will offer a personalized, virtual chat experience – a private, 10-minute video call with Santa himself. Tickets are $20 and a portion of the proceeds benefit Operation Warm and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Canada with a $10,000 donation guarantee to each organization. New this year, customers can purchase a personalized, pre-recorded video from Santa to be delivered by Christmas. Tickets are $20 with videos delivered by Christmas week. Additionally, customers can email Santa and track their letter to the North Pole or drop off a handwritten letter in stores and curbside to receive a personalized response starting November 26. 

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At Macy’s, Santa Claus returns in-person this year to Macy’s Santaland at select stores by advance reservation. Macy’s Santaland at Home, a digital experience will also be available this year with an all-new virtual adventure via

The all-new immersive digital experience awaits kids everywhere when they virtually visit Santa’s Workshop. Available at, the interactive digital journey awaits as Santaland’s elves lead the way through Santa’s Village and Workshop, stopping to see the sights and to play interactive games. At the finale of the experience, kids will meet Santa through an interactive video where they will be able to share their holiday wish list followed by the creation of a special Santa selfie. At the conclusion of the experience, families will be able to download their commemorative photo. Free to all, Macy’s Santaland at Home will be available from Friday, November 26 through Friday, December 24. To access the site, a supervising adult must create an account, provide the appropriate permissions to activate the program including approving access to the hardware for the interactive elements and selecting their preferred Santa experience.

“For more than 160 years, Macy’s has enthralled generations with celebrations welcoming the holiday season. From a visit with the one-and-only Santa Claus to Macy’s Great Tree, animated windows and more, we are thrilled to bring the spirit of the season back to communities nationwide,” said Will Coss, Macy’s vice president of Branded Entertainment. “We are particularly overjoyed for the return of in-person visits with Santa Claus at Macy’s Santaland in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. With the health and safety of our staff and guests as our top priority, a team of dedicated elves have taken several steps to produce an experience that is fun, whimsical and one that will create cherished memories long past the season.”

Macy’s Santaland will open for in-store visits at Macy’s on State Street in Chicago on Saturday, November 6, and at Macy’s Herald Square in New York and Union Square in San Francisco on Friday, November 26. To provide all guests with a safe and enjoyable environment, visits to the winter wonderland will be conducted by advance reservation only. To reserve a special visit with Santa Claus, guests should visit Reservations will open five days in advance of the desired visit date to allow for the most access possible to guests wishing to attend in-person. Each day reservations will open at 5:30 a.m. local time and will showcase the open reservation slots for five days later.

Visits will be contactless and be conducted from a socially distanced experience as kids share their Christmas wish lists with the jolly man in red. In addition, Macy’s Santaland will follow all city and state health and safety guidelines in place at each location for indoor masking and social distancing. Macy’s Santaland will close on Friday, December 24.

At Macy’s Center City in Philadelphia the iconic Dickens Village and Christmas Light Show returns. Macy’s Dickens Village will take guests through select animated displays telling the story of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Starting Monday, November 22, guests must reserve their spots in advance by visiting Macy’s Dickens Village will run from Friday, November 26 through Friday, December 31. Shoppers wishing to see the spectacular Macy’s Christmas Light Show can enjoy the light filled festive journey through popular Christmas stories including The Nutcracker and Frosty the Snowman backed by the sounds of the world-famous Wanamaker Organ, beginning Wednesday, December 1 once daily in the Grand Court or on demand online at

Additionally, throughout the month of December, kids can engage with Santa live on social media. His online social calendar on will detail when his “Cookies & Milk with Santa” live events will take place.