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Thanksgiving Day Parade Plans

It’s almost time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I couldn’t be more excited, this is my family’s favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition- watching the parade. Memories of Parade mornings on Thanksgiving are so special, they really stick with us through our lives. I want to know what everyone’s favorite part of the Macy’s Parade is! The floats? Performances? Balloons? What are your favorite Thanksgiving morning traditions?

Of course, the parade will be televised on NBC and Peacock from 9am-noon, but if you’re in the city, I’m here to help with all of your Thanksgiving day plans! The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is the main event of the morning and it’s the annual event that kicks off the start of the holiday season.

Let’s get to planning!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route is officially mapped out, so take a look at it to plan out your spot! Public viewing areas on the streets of New York City are marked on the site, so finding a good spot to head to for a prime location at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be easier. With miles of public viewing, you have the opportunity to find what works best for you. The starting point is on Central Park West and 76th Avenue on the Upper West Side and ends on 34th street.


My kids are super excited about the balloon lineup this year! Giant character balloons like the Diary of a Whimpy Kid, Spongebob, The Nucracker, a minion, pumpkins and so many more fun characters are being featured this year in the parade! Are there any new balloons or classics you look forward to seeing every year? I know I love the cartoon balloons like The Peanuts! They are so nostalgic.


As far as performances go, what we know so far is that The Big Apple Circus will be performing, who my kids love! There’s nothing like the circus when you’re a kid, am I right?  Siella is always so excited to see ballet performances! She’s my little ballerina and we absolutely love seeing diverse representation in the parade! We also love how there is a variety of performances. There’s performance groups like marching bands, dancers, singers, Broadway performances, performances by The Radio City Rockettes and the list goes on and on. It’s very nice to see that there are a number of different ways to express yourself in the form of art.


The floats are one of the best parts of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! The floats are always decked out so well and look like so much fun! The new floats are always exciting to see at the Macy’s Parade. Some really cute children’s cartoon themed floats will be featured this year, like Sesame Street, as well as some Christmas themed ones! Who else puts their Christmas decor up the day after Thanksgiving? There’s also going to be a cool LEGO float that Ryder is excited to see. It’s part Thanksgiving turkey and part dragon made out of LEGOs! How cool! Another float that looks exciting to see is one that looks like there’s snow on it!

During the Parade

If you’re looking for something fun to do during the parade, I’ve got a few suggestions! First and most important is breakfast! If you have time to do some prep work the night before the big day for a breakfast your family or friends will love, that will make your morning easier. You can cook together while you watch the parade! Another great idea if you have kids or you yourself are looking for an activity to do, Macy’s has already created some adorable parade themed coloring pages, sudoku, cross words, word searches, and so many more PDF pages that are all ready to be printed and used! Between these activities and the parade, you will not have time to be bored this holiday!


If you want a great view of the parade, you’ll want to check out the Hilton Midtown! It’s one of the best hotels and perfect for a first time parade goer. They have direct, completely unobsructed views of the parade, which is very hard to come by. And it’s great watching from a hotel window because you get a full overhead view of everything and you don’t have to stand out in the cold! It’s a central location, so you’re near all the midtown fun, like Times Square and there are great restaurants nearby.

It’s hard to find a quiet spot in midtown and I’m telling you, this is one of the quietest hotels. A hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows would be most ideal for parade watchers. Maybe you can even catch balloon inflation! You’ll want to scoop up a room quickly, though, because this hotel is a great place and will get booked fast.

After the Parade

Thanksgiving is a busy day. Whether you’re cooking all day or relaxing and catching up with family, it can get exhausting. If you’re visiting NYC or don’t want to cook for the holiday, there are several restaurants you can have cater your holiday or you can go there to celebrate! You’re gonna wanna grab a reservation quickly because in past years, they have flown!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 

This post was originally published November 8th, 2021 and has been updated*

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