New Yorkers and tourists alike flocked to FAO Schwarz Wednesday to say goodbye to the iconic store.
A guard dressed like a Nutcracker waved to entering children.
When asked if it was always this busy he said that it was especially more so because it was the last day.
“We get people here from around the world, always,” he said, waving to a group of backpacked adults with selfie sticks.
One of these customers, Erin Bignell, came from Toronto, Canada, pregnant belly in tow. Upon learning that she was there the very last day, her eyes became wide.
“Today is the last day?!” Bignell said. “I can’t believe it. This place is a landmark.”
Half-empty shelves lined the walls with signs peppered everywhere listed clearance sales.
A line of people, young and old, stretched alongside the wall as they waited to dance on the famous Big Piano.
Featured in the 1988 Tom Hanks film "Big," the gigantic piano has been a hit for decades.
On the piano, even more energetic than the 5-year-olds jumping around was Heather Rogers, a school teacher, mother of five and grandmother of three.
Since before Rogers’ children had children of their own, she would take her kids to FAO Schwarz any time they were in the city.
She returned to continue the tradition one last time.
“My daughter still remembers the kitten she got and when I asked her what she wanted me to bring my grandchild, she said, ‘Oh, get her a white kitten like I had!’” said Rogers. “They still have them.”
Toys "R" Us, who owns the store, is looking to relocate into Midtown.
“It’s sad, but hopefully it’ll reopen soon,” said Rogers.
The line to the Big Piano grew, each individual eagerly waiting for one more turn on the iconic instrument.
As a mother and her toddler walked away she said, “That’s it for us, honey. That’s the last time.”
FAO first opened in New York City in 1870 and hs been at the Fifth Avenue location, near the Plaza Hotel, for the past three decades.