“Elf” is a popular Christmas comedy movie released in 2003, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell as the main character. And is a huge family favourite in our home. The last time we visited New York with the kids, we spent a lot of time looking for Elf Movie Locations To Visit In New York. For the boys, it brought New York and the Movie alive.
The film follows the story of Buddy, a human who crawls into Santa’s bag at an orphanage and is accidentally transported to the North Pole, where he is raised among Santa’s elves. As Buddy grows older and realises he doesn’t fit in with the elf community due to his human size and lack of toy-making skills, he embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father.
In New York City, Buddy’s childlike innocence and Christmas spirit clash with the cynical and fast-paced world around him. Leading to both humorous and heartwarming moments. The movie explores family, belonging, and embracing one’s true self. It doesn’t feel like Christmas in our home until we have watched this epic Christmas movie.
“Elf” has become a holiday classic known for its whimsical humour, quotable lines, and memorable scenes. Audiences of all ages often enjoy it during the Christmas season.
Elf Movie Locations To Visit In New York
The movie “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell, is set in New York City and features several iconic locations. Here are a few notable locations to visit in New York from the movie.
The Lincoln Tunnel.
Buddy walked through the Lincoln Tunnel to get into Manhattan. However this is not safe, so grab a yellow taxi and do it in style.
The Empire State Building
In the film, Buddy the Elf visits the Empire State Building to find his father Walter Hobbs. This is where his father, Walter Hobbs, works in a publishing company based in the Empire State Building. The Empire State Building first appears in the movie in a snow globe given to Buddy by Papa. Elf, when he tells Buddie he is a human, and his dad works in a magical place called New York in the Empire State Building.
When Buddy arrives at the Empire State Building he is amazed by the iconic skyscraper and its prominent role in the New York City skyline. Plus also the buttons in the lift which he lights up like a Christmas tree.
The Empire State Building serves as a significant backdrop for various scenes throughout the movie, capturing the magic and charm of Christmas in the heart of New York City.
There are many scenes in Central Park, including his snowball fight with the boys bullying his brother Michael at Pinebank Arch Bridge Central Park at West 62nd Street.
Plus, when Buddy and Michael cut down a Christmas tree to take home to the Hobbs apartment.
And the famous scene when Santa’s sleigh breaks down, and Buddy comes to the rescue to help Santa deliver presents on Christmas Eve.
When Michael persuades Charlotte Dennon to film and gather an audience to convince the world of Santa’s existence on live television, and Jovie, Michael and Emily convince Walter to sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to raise the holiday spirit to allow Santa’s sleigh to fly.
As Santa’s sleigh takes flight, we are treated to a view of the Bethesda Terrace, which stands out as one of the most renowned attractions within Central Park.
Gimbels Department Store
While Gimbels is not a real store anymore, the store closed in 1986. The movie features a fictional version where Buddy takes his first ride on an elevator.
But more importantly, where Buddy gets a job as Santa’s Elf and creates havoc when he suspects the store Santa isn’t real, and meets Jovie. The store’s exterior was filmed at the 34th Street Macy’s store.
Buddy takes Jovie, played by Zooey Deschanel, on a date to see the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. They also go ice skating at the ice rink at the Rockefeller.
NYC Streets and Landmarks
You can spot many other places as you wander the streets of New York looking for Elf movie locations, such as the crosswalk at 34th Street outside Maceys, where Buddy hopscotched across the road.
And at Park Avenue at East 38th Street, where Buddy hailed a cab with Grand Central Station in the background. Plus the station Concourse where Buddy had his elf boots polished.
What Are The Top Quotes From Elf
We have so many favourites. This movie is full of one-liners, but here’s the best movie quotes from Elf.
- The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” – Buddy
- “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” – Buddy
- “Son of a nutcracker!” – Buddy
- “I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.” – Buddy
- “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” – Buddy
- “I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.” – Buddy
- “I planned out our whole day. First, we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.” – Buddy
- “You have such a pretty face. You should be on a Christmas card.” – Buddy
- “Why don’t you just say it? I’m the worst toy-maker in the world. I’m a cotton-headed ninny-muggins!” – Buddy
- “He’s an angry elf.” – Buddy
- “You sit on a throne of lies!” – Buddy
- “You stink. You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa.” – Buddy
- “It’s just nice to meet another human that shares my affinity for elf culture.” – Buddy
- “Francisco! That’s fun to say! Francisco… Francisco… Francisco…” – Buddy
- “The snowflake is the size of my face.” – Buddy
- “You’re my dad?!” – Buddy
- “I’m singing, I’m in a store, and I’m singing!” – Buddy
- “There’s room for everyone on the nice list.” – Buddy
- “I’m here with my dad and we never met, and he wants me to sing him a song.” – Buddy
- “You see gum on the street, leave it there. It’s not free candy.”-Santa
Enjoy Elf Hunting in New York City
There is so much to do in New York; planning a trip with the family takes a lot of planning. However, these locations are all in popular areas of the city that you will visit anyway. This adds an extra bit of Christmas cheer to your trip.
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Sarah Christie is a craft, food, cruise, and family travel blogger Extraordinary Chaos, Cruising For All and Mini Travellers. Known for her unique perspective and ability to find beauty in chaos, Sarah designs and creates craft projects as well as creating recipes for people who want to cook from scratch the easy way. Whilst also exploring family travel and how to navigate it.