Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, NYC Events

6 Tips for Attending Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Staying at our NYC Hotel for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Here are 6 tips for attending this NYC Event!

October 13, 2016

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the biggest NYC Events of the year. Since 1924, the parade has kicked off the holiday season and delighted parade-goers of all ages. Even those who have never visited New York City have likely joined the millions of others who watch the festivities each year on television. In many households, this Event in NY is an important Thanksgiving tradition. While watching on TV is great, there is nothing else like seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person. If you are planning to join the 3.5 million others who will line the parade route this year, then take a few minutes to read over these tips for attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Arrive Early
Sure, it sounds obvious, but this doesn’t mean get there a few minutes early. If you want prime seating (directly on the curb) then you will have to get into parade-going mode hours prior to the start of the NYC Event. The parade begins at 9 a.m. If you want a coveted spot along the curb, you’ll have to arrive by 6:30 a.m. and the earlier the better. You don’t have to be right on the curb to see the parade, but to win one of those precious front-row seats, you’ll have to arrive very early.

Check the Weather
Even if it doesn’t feel too cold out, keep in mind that you’ll be standing outside for hours. Early forecasts for this year are calling for lows of 47 degrees and highs of 57 degrees, so it shouldn’t be bitingly cold. The best bet is to dress in layers. That way, if you get warm, you can always remove a layer. This is a much better option than dressing too lightly and freezing your way through the parade.

No Alcohol, Please!
While you’re free to drink coffee and water along the parade route, alcohol is not allowed. This is true for all NYC events as public drinking is not allowed in the city. Don’t try to sneak a drink as the police are out in force. Instead, enjoy the parade and then grab a drink at one of the bars located along the parade route when the festivities are over.

Check the Route
The route has changed a bit over the years, so even if you think you know the route it’s a good idea to double check. The route for this year’s parade can be found on Macy’s website.

Want a Smaller Crowd?
Once you’re familiar with the route, it’s time to pick your spot. Some opt to be as close to Herald Square as they can get, but this means you’ll be in the thick of the biggest crowds. If you’d prefer a smaller crowd, then your best bet is to watch the parade far from Herald Square. You’ll still be able to see the entire procession, and you won’t have to fight your way through quite so massive a crowd when the parade is done.

Check Out the Balloon Inflation
Another tip for enjoying the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is to watch the giant balloons being inflated the night before the parade. From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can watch as the balloons come to life. This free Event grows in popularity each year, so there will be a crowd, but it’s your best chance to get an up-close look at some of the balloons. This NYC Event takes place around the American Museum of Natural History. You’ll circle the Museum to watch as the balloons are inflated, and you’re welcome to take pictures of your favorites. BONUS TIP: To beat the crowds, consider visiting the American Museum of Natural History early in the afternoon and then exiting in time to join the procession to see the balloons.

Planning a visit? View the current Special Offers at DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan – our ideally-located NYC Hotel. 

Visiting New York City? Choose DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan - A New York City Hotel, located in the heart of Manhattan and close to many New York City Activities, NYC Things to do and more.   Check Rates, Make Reservations or call: 800.675.6706.

View our current Manhattan Hotel Special Offers. Take a NYC Photo Tour of our New York City Hotel.