'maces thanksgiving parade'

Photo Credit: Macy’s Press Site

There is no place like New York City during the holidays. One great way to kick off the holiday season and get in the holiday spirit is the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  The parade is a family friendly, free activity that is a once in a lifetime experience.

Thanksgiving Activities:

Inflating Balloons for the Thanksgiving Day Parade:

Date: Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 3-8 pm.The night before Thanksgiving, the helium balloons are prepared for the big Thanksgiving Day Parade. New Yorkers and out-of-towners gather to watch the famous parade balloons get inflated. The balloons are brought to life in the streets around the American Museum of Natural History, taking up to two full city blocks.

The fun starts at approximately 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve on 77th & 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Our personal recommendation is to arrive at 5 or so, since that’s when you can really see the balloons take shape.

Photo Credit: Macy's Press Site

Photo Credit: Macy’s Press Site

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Date: Thursday, November 27, 2014, at 9 a.m.

The parade travels down Central Park West from 77th Street to Columbus Circle along Central Park South to 6th Avenue. It then proceeds down 6th Avenue to 34th Street and along 34th Street to Macy’s Herald Square.

The Grandstand is located is located at Macy’s in Herald Square, but you need tickets to sit in this viewing area and they are not available to the general public. Here, those lucky enough to have tickets will see the performances that are shown on television.

Some of the floats that can be seen during the parade are the 1-2-3 Sesame Street Workshop, The Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Winter Wonderland in Central Park and many more!

People begin arriving as early as 6:30 a.m. to get the prime viewing areas. Wear or bring your hats, scarves and gloves to ensure you are warm. Hot chocolate, coffee and tea can be purchased along the route.

Before you go, read this tips for watching the parade from a jaded New Yorker.

Will you be heading into New York City for Thanksgiving? Will you be going to the parade?