The parade is FREE, so find a spot along the parade route early! In order to get a good viewing spot, we suggest you arrive before 8:00 AM to stake your place along the route. If you are really serious about being in the front row, consider arriving be... more
The parade is FREE, so find a spot along the parade route early! In order to get a good viewing spot, we suggest you arrive before 8:00 AM to stake your place along the route. If you are really serious about being in the front row, consider arriving before 7:00 AM. If you plan to show up early dress warmly but in layers. The Forecast is for a warm day! Around 60 degrees (16 degrees Celsius)
Detailed Parade RouteThe parade will begin at 77th Street and Central Park West, marching south on Central Park West, then turning east onto Central Park South. At 7th Avenue, the parade will turn south and march down to and across 42nd Street to 6th Avenue, then south on 6th Avenue and west on 34th Street to Herald's Square, ending at Macy's.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Public Viewing Areas
Central Park West: - West side of street from 70th Street to Columbus Circle- East side of street from 70th to 65th streetsColumbus Circle- West side of street
Drag the street view to look around 360°.Use the arrow buttons to navigate down the street and around the neighbourhood!
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Those fans of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade got a little treat from filmmaker Tim Burton yesterday when the annual parade debuted a new float designed by Burton, which took to the skies over a beautiful day in Manhattan in all of its patchy blue glory. The character, named B., even comes with his own backstory, which we shared with you recently in another post on the float.
"B. was created, Frankenstein’s monster-style, from the leftover balloons used in children’s parties at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Forbidden from playing with other children because of his jagged teeth and crazy-quilt stitching, B. retreated to a basement lair, where he obsesses over Albert Lamorisse’s film The Red Balloon and dreams that he, too, will be able to fly someday.”
The final balloon design turned out great, adding a whole bunch of creepy Burton quirk to the parade. Now Burton needs to take his inspired original creation to the big or small screen and reveal more of B.'s story. Check out two images of B.'s big debut courtesy of Getty Images.
Trumpets, clowns, balloons, and Santa. What’s not to love about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? (Photo: Macy’s Inc.)
by Cathy Bennett Kopf / The Open Suitcase
Attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City was No. 7 on my family’s bucket list, sandwiched between “Take an Alaskan Cruise” and “Watch a Match at Wimbledon.” We made the decision to go because we wanted to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in a big way. Despite having lived their entire lives in and around New York City, they had never gone to the parade. And there’s nothing bigger than the world’s most famous annual kick-off to the holidays.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade started in 1924 as a promotional gimmick to announce the Christmas shopping season. The parade route stretched for six miles, from Harlem to the store in Herald Square at 34th Street, and featured employees in fanciful costumes and animals on loan from the Central Park Zoo. Today, millions of people gather early in the morning to get prime spots along the parade route so they can watch the giant bobbing balloons sail down Sixth Avenue.
The parade still features floats — they’re just a bit glitzier than the original ones. (Photo: Macy’s Inc.)
The best way to attend is to book a stay at one of the hotels along the parade route. You’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the action and a refuge from the crowds and the weather. But be prepared to pay for the privilege. Hotels often require
stays and charge a premium price; for example, rates at the JW Marriott Essex House range from $1,399 to $3,499 per night.
Related: Beyond NYC: The Best Thanksgiving Day Parades Across the Country
We decided to front load our trip and arrived on a Tuesday. That gave us time to play tourist in our hometown on Wednesday. We went to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, did some early holiday shopping, wandered through Central Park, and caught a Broadway show.
The parade on Thursday was like the perfect dessert after our big tourist meal. The crowd was dense but extremely well behaved, and everyone’s smiles were as big as the balloons. There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than by celebrating Thanksgiving in New York.
If you’re considering a visit, the following information can help you plan your trip.
▪ Check the parade route in advance. It’s changed in recent years due to construction in Times Square.
▪ Get a room. Contact hotels along the confirmed parade route to inquire about Thanksgiving packages. Most require at least a two-night stay. Request a mid-level room (floors 7-15) for the best view from the hotel window.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Booking Holiday Travel
▪ Don’t miss the Balloon Inflation event. The enormous balloons are inflated Wednesday (3-10 p.m.) on the streets surrounding the American Museum of Natural History at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. Take public transportation; the subway deposits you right into a line. Shuffle along with the crowd and watch as Snoopy, Paddington Bear, and new-this-year Angry Bird
to life, safely secured by netting and the volunteer handlers. Restrooms are available
You can’t really appreciate the size of the balloons until you’re up close and personal with Buzz Lightyear. (Photo: The Open Suitcase LLC)
▪ Claim your sidewalk space. If the weather’s crummy, plan on watching the parade from your hotel room. When the weather’s perfect, you’ll need to claim your sidewalk space no later than 6 a.m. to get the front row. If you choose to sleep
though, don’t worry. Fifteen rows back on the side streets, you’ll still get amazing views of the giant balloons as they pass by.