How to Navigate Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Like a Pro

There’s no place like New York for the holidays. The Rockefeller Center ice rink, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and of course, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. As one of the oldest nationally televised parades in the United States, this annual Thanksgiving Day parade of performers, marching bands, and of course, larger than life balloons, makes this parade one of the most beloved traditions of the holiday season. If you’re lucky enough to be in New York during the holidays, here are our tips for securing a prime vantage point for enjoying the festivities.

Get a Sneak Peek the Night Before

Although the parade doesn’t start until 77th street, The Excelsior Hotel is the perfect spot to watch the parade preparations the night before. Balloons will be inflated right outside the Museum of Natural History, just across the street from The Excelsior, and some guests will be able to see this right from their rooms. If not, the streets will be open to the public from 3-10 pm the night before the parade, so be sure to check out this exclusive sneak peek before the balloons get their beauty sleep.

Start the Day with Breakfast

You’re going to need to fuel up before you hit the busy streets. Start with our breakfast buffet and grab some coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries to snack on while you enjoy the parade.

Pick the Perfect Vantage Point

Of course, it’s tempting to try to get right in the middle of the action outside the Macy’s flagship store on 34th street, but the reality is that these blocks will be jam packed with people who’ve shown up extra early to nab front row spots. Instead of trying to get to the end of the parade, the beginning blocks will be your best bet to comfortably enjoy the parade festivities without the crowds. Park yourself anywhere on Central Park West between 76th Street and 59th Street and you should be good to go.

Warm Up with Latin Flair

And, if your hot chocolate got cold and your fingers are starting to go numb, you can always head back to The Excelsior for exciting Latin fare from Calle Ocho with a creative cocktail or two.


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