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Empire State Building unveils holiday decorations and offers Santa visits for observatory guests

Santa’s helpers delivered special surprises to the Empire State Building (ESB) this year, which include festive decorations, musical performances, and multiple visits from Santa Claus himself.

“We are delighted to set the stage for our guests to create unforgettable memories with festive holiday cheer at every corner of the Empire State Building Observatory,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory. “We have truly outdone ourselves this year with over-the-top decorations throughout our reimagined Observatory Experience and plenty of holiday surprises to land us on the nice list.”

Deck the Halls

Ornaments, wreaths, and bows with silver and gold accents adorn the entire Observatory Experience with a large, bright menorah in front of the two-story building model. Guests can take their holiday photos on the iconic 86th Floor Observatory in a snowy corner display of birch branches and gold lights.

The building’s landmark Fifth Avenue Lobby is decorated with hanging holiday lights, wreaths, and an embellished Christmas tree. The iconic Fifth Avenue windows feature the Empire State Building among holiday landscapes with gold, glitter, and candy themes.

Holiday Magic

From Nov. 28 through Dec. 30, tenants and visitors who pass through the Fifth Avenue Lobby from Monday through Friday will hear festive holiday tunes performed by professional pianists. Santa Claus himself will hear Christmas wishes and spread holiday cheer with guests in his own decorated corner of the 80th Floor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 4.

New at ESB

After their visit with Santa, guests can enjoy coffee, cocktails, and a meal at the newly opened Starbucks Reserve at the base of the Empire State Building. The three-floor, 23,000 square foot space is the only Starbucks Reserve with a full-service dining experience. Visitors can relax with breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the lounges on the second and concourse levels or pick up a treat at the grab-and-go coffee counter with exclusive ESB x Starbucks merchandise on the main level.

The Empire State Building Observatory Experience recently underwent a $165 million, top-to-bottom reimagination that included a dedicated guest entrance, an immersive museum with digital and tactile exhibits, and a renovated 102nd Floor Observatory. The 86th Floor Observatory boasts heat lamps to keep guests comfortable as they enjoy the outdoor views throughout the winter season.

Holiday Lightings

The Empire State Building’s world-famous tower lights will shine throughout the holiday season with dedicated lightings for Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

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