As a kid, I remember going to Marshall Fields on State Street in Chicago and how exciting and enchanting the store was during the holidays. With this week’s trip to now-Macy’s on State Street, the store is honestly more magical than ever.
Greeting you are reds and greens, golds and silvers, and bells and ribbons everywhere you go! Our trip took me to get an up-close look at the Great Tree in The Walnut Room – Macy’s appetizing restaurant that has been around since 1907.
The Great Tree is 45 ft. high and has been lit for 104 years! With 2,200 ornaments and 25,000 LED lights, the spectacle is simply dazzling. Jon Jones – Macy’s Creative Director/visual guru in charge of making Macy’s look its very best – gave me the inside scoop on the Tree and the displays. “It’s the first year we’ve had our lights computer-programmed,” said Jon, concerning the 45’ holiday tree. “Some lights change color,” he said. As I looked, I saw that it was true yet subtle. They grow dim and then bright in a few seconds, giving the room an additional feeling of enchantment.
Around the Great Tree are 14 smaller trees, all containing ornaments from Macy’s celebrity designers, like Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart, and Rachel Roy. Want your own ornament? You can get yours for just $9.99 and 10% of the proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Great Tree is in the middle of The Walnut Room, where we were surrounded by a classic restaurant design and mouthwatering smells. You’ll feel a bit more sophisticated as you dine in this grand space. But the menu is very reasonably priced, especially considering the wonderful, unique dishes you’ll find there. My pick? The Chicken Pot Pie, which is their classic choice and uses a recipe over 120 years old.
On your way in and out, be sure to enjoy Macy’s 7 animated store windows. Each shows the inspiration for a different celebrity-designer ornament. Trust me, they wow Chicagoans and visitors alike.
Ready to plan your shopping and dining experience? Plan your holiday magic by reserving a room at Best Western Plus River North Hotel today!
Insider’s Tip #1 – Not-So-Busy Breakfast: If you’re looking to dine in The Walnut Room during your stay, why not choose breakfast? Although lunch and dinner are equally delicious, breakfast tends to be significantly less crowded. As the holidays get rolling, this will translate into a much shorter waiting time to enjoy your scrumptious meal, especially since they don’t take reservations during the holidays. Start your day with breakfast here and take in some shopping afterward.
Insider’s Tip #2 – Immediate Seating: If you have a small party or you just prefer the subtle sophistication of enjoying your meal at the bar, then ask to be seated at the wine bar. It offers the same menu. If there is available room, you’ll be seated immediately, making your transition from the front door to dining and/or shopping at Macy’s simply seamless.
Insider’s Tip #3 – Get Your Visitor’s Pass at Our Front Desk before You Head Out to Save 10%: The title is pretty self-explanatory. But be sure to ask the front desk for a Visitor’s Pass to Macy’s before you head there and you’ll get 10% off merchandise purchases for 3 whole days! (And only a few restrictions apply.)