There’s no other destination quite like NYC, and for those who enjoy the holidays, there’s nothing more incredible than witnessing the holiday madness surrounding the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
For those with kids, it’s a great way to create some fun memories, however, working strollers through the crowd can get frustrating, so you might want to wait until your kids have outgrown that stage.
Or, if you’ve got kids ready to enjoy the parade but one or two toddlers, you might consider staying at the Mandarin Oriental New York so you can watch the parade from your hotel room.
Floats, Balloons, and Santa
This year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held on Nov. 26 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. If you plan to have your family join the crowds to experience the sounds, sights, and excitement of this special day, this year’s parade promises 1,000 clowns, 27 floats, 17 giant balloons, and of course the highlight of the parade – Santa Claus in his sleigh.
Along with all this, there are marching bands, cheerleaders, and live musical acts including pop stars and even Sesame Street characters. This year’s parade will also include new floats like Snoopy’s Doghouse, and new balloons including Ice Age’s Scrat and acorn, the return of Sinclair Oil’s “Dino,” as well as a new Ronald McDonald balloon, and Red (from Angry Birds) balloon.
The parade starts at 77th Street and Central Park West and ends at Herald Square. Due to the popularity of this event, it is best to arrive early if you want to secure a good parade-watching spot. Or, you can plan to find a location across town where you can see the giant balloons from a block away.
The best way to see the parade will depend on what you want experience. Some people get out there as early as 6:00 a.m. and camp out along the west side of the street on Central Park West from 59th to 75th Street.
Other Kid-Friendly Attractions
For those who want to see the Macy’s Giant Balloon Inflation, there are special balloon inflation areas surrounding the Museum of Natural History beginning at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. This takes place the day before the parade from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
As long as you are in New York City seeing the parade, plan to visit several other kid-friendly attractions open on Thanksgiving Day, including a visit to the Central Park Zoo, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, or Hershey’s Store.
As you plan your parade vacation, be sure to check the Macy’s Day Parade website for up-to-date information regarding the route, balloons and more.
Photo credits: JakeOrl