Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York

28 November


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A New York institution, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been delighting the crowds for decades.

The pre-Parade event, if you like, is the inflation of the helium balloons. This takes place at the American Museum of Natural History at West 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. There you will see various cartoon characters taking shape. Some will be from your childhood, but many will not. New balloons are added each year, or new takes on old stories and characters.

Macy’s Thansgiving Day Parade Route

These balloons then combine with floats, street performers, clowns, groups of actors from current Broadway shows and make the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

The starting location is on 77th Street and Central Park West. It moves through Central Park South and on to 6th Avenue. The Parade terminates at Macy’s Herald Square at 34th Street and 7th Avenue. It is a burst of colour, life and energy in often grim November weather.

If you’ve been a good boy or girl, Santa might make an appearance too.

Temperatures can drop to well below zero, it can snow on you or rain on you, so wrap up well.

How Long is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

In total there are 2.5 miles of public viewing along the route. A map of the route can be found here.

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Midtown, Manhattan
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Midtown, Manhattan
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day’s Parade 2024 Lineup

For details of who to expect at the 2024 Macy’s Thanksgivng Parade, click here.

How to Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The parade are a huge televised event. If you can’t make it to the event then you could always catch it on NBC – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade channel -, or via Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2024 live stream.  The first LGBTQ+ kiss in the parade’s history in 2018 created much media interest.

The History of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades

Only Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is older. New York and Detroit began parades in 1924. Previously, there was another parade on the day, known as Ragamuffin Day, that involved children inflicting tricks and pranks on their neighbourhood, which many New Yorkers were glad to see the back of.

Other Things to Do in New York

Or, perhaps, how to condense a book into a few lines. It’s best to start with what you like to do and then eliminate the uninspiring options.

Here are some tasters:

Take in a Broadway or Off-Broadway show; visit an iconic landmark, such as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building; take in the view from a skyscraper; visit the museums and galleries; or take a tour, such as an insider’s guide to New York – Live Like a Local in New York.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
The exterior of Macy’s Department store in New York
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Time

Wondering what time is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? On Thursday 23 November, the parade itself starts at 9am, finishing around midday. Traditionally people will come to take viewing spots on the route from around 6am.

Both events are free.

Flights to New York

To find the best accommodation and worldwide flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites so you don’t have to.

There are a huge number of flights to New York City, which is served by three airports: The John F Kennedy International Airport, often only known as JFK; Newark International Airport, in New Jersey, which also has some domestic flights; and La Guardia Airport, in Queens, which is for domestic flights.

For more on Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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For more on things to do in New York

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28 November


77th Street and Central Park West
77th Street and Central Park West
New York City,
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Mike East

Mike East

Mike began his career in travel writing by writing his own guide on his holidays. He sent this manuscript off to a range of travel guide companies and got a range of rejection letters — all except one. Getting a contract to write for Roger Lascelles Publications on Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas was how his career began. With this opportunity came other pieces for British magazines, The Sunday Telegraph and now Travel Begins at 40.

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