macy_paradeEverybody knows about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the yearly tradition that enables us to kill time before we tuck into our golden turkey and mountains of sweet potatoes. But few people know that there is a far superior activity that takes place the night before: the blowing up of the Thanksgiving Parade balloons.

The streets around the National History Museum (77th to 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus) are closed to cars beginning Wednesday morning and the massive balloons are laid flat on Central Park West. Although those behemoths laid flat is a sight to see, most of the action begins in the afternoon, when the balloons are slowly inflated one by one, taking shape before pedestrians’ eyes. Although the streets are closed to traffic, pedestrians are free to walk around and gawk.

It is literally, the best show in town.

So grab your kids, stop off at Jacques Torres for a decadent hot chocolate, and get ready for a leisurely stroll your kids will be telling their grandkids about. It’s well worth a drive in to the City, and a postponement of last minute preparations for Turkey Day.

This is an original Traveling Moms blog post. When not dragging her kids through New York City to craft high class memories, Vanessa blogs about cooking and parenting at Chefdruck Musings.