Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place every year, starting at 9 o'clock on Thanksgiving morning, and winds through the streets of New York City, officially ushering in the holiday season. Millions of people gather in New York to watch the parade, and nearly 50 million viewers tune in to the broadcast at home. The Macy's parade is one-of-a-kind with its massive balloons flying overhead, along with floats, live performances and marching bands from across the country. Despite the fact that NYC autumn weather can range from chilly to very cold, with a little advanced prep, there's nothing quite like seeing the parade in person!

This Year's Parade

destination_macys_thanksgiving_day_parade.jpgThe annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a staple for over 85 years, and will take place on Thanksgiving Day. The parade route begins at the corner of 77th Street and Central Park West and ends at Macy's Herald Square. With almost 8,000 participants in the parade, you can enjoy performances by thousands of groups including cheerleaders, marching bands, clowns, Broadway celebrities, and popular groups and stars such as the Radio City Rockettes. Celebrity performers in the past included people such as Colbie Caillat, Flo Rida, the cast of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Isaak, Carly Rae Jepsen, the cast of Sesame Street, and many more.

Popular Macy's Balloons

If you've never seen the balloons featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you are going to be amazed as the 50 foot long and 35 foot wide - sometimes larger - balloons soar over your head. In the shape of popular cartoon characters and other fun figures. On Wednesday, the balloon inflation is open to the public at the Museum of Natural History from 3:00 - 10:00 p.m. You may find that watching these giants inflate is almost as fun as viewing the parade itself.

Attending the Parade

Attending the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is free. As one of the most renowned events in America, you'll have the chance to see a variety of celebrities and have a great time. Plan to arrive and stake out your viewing spot by 7:00 a.m., wear warm clothing and boots, and you may want to bring folding chairs or crates to sit on. Plan to be outdoors for several hours, and bring simple snacks and water bottles.

  • Insider's tip: Stake out a viewing spot near a café or coffee shop where you can buy hot drinks and treats during the morning. Places open for public viewing include Central Park West, Columbus Circle, 6th and 7th Avenues, and 34th and 42nd Streets. For an affordable and comfortable stay, book a rental in Manhattan for your trip to New York City.

Attractions in the Area

Make a vacation out of this event, and see some of New York's iconic sights:
  • Rockefeller Center Plaza: A great place to shop, eat, and receive a spectacular view of the city.
  • Central Park: The 843 acre property is one of New York's most famous attractions with fun ranging from the popular zoo to carriage rides.
  • Stay in the city through the following week for a variety of holiday festivals such as ice skating shows or the annual Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony.
  • Visit one of the many museums in the area such as the Museum of Modern Art or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Reserve a ticket at one of the most famous Broadway shows such as Wicked or Phantom of the Opera at theatres like the Gershwin Theatre or the Ed Sullivan Theatre.
  • Macy's: As the number one sponsor of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you can enjoy an amazing shopping experience at one of their largest stores.

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