Built in 1979, a Christmas window display was created by the employees at Shillito's, Cincinnati's first department store, located at 7th and Race Street. Each window featured handmade elves that were created by the department store's staff. Visitors could see scene-by-scene the process of the animatronic elves making toys and helping Santa Claus deliver them on Christmas.

My favorite scene: the candy shop.

When Shillito's was acquired by Macy's in the 1980s, the display was dismantled and Cincinnati's holiday tradition became a distant memory. The elves were eventually auctioned off in 2005 to collector Bill Spinnenweber, who saved the elves from being split up as a set.

In partnership with Spinnenweber, American Legacy Tours was able to raise over $25,000 to restore the elves and display them in their new home at Newport On The Levee. Located on the Mezzanine level near Bar Louie, Cincinnatians can once again see all of Shillito's Elves toiling away in Santa's Workshop in their new 5,000 square foot space.


Shillito's Elves are on display through December 30, 2012.
Sunday - Thursday 11:00AM-8:00PM
Friday & Saturday 9:30 AM-8:30PM

Tickets: $7.00 each, Children 3 & under are free.