5 Tips for the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an event watched in millions of households across the country every Thanksgiving morning. Tourism is at an all-time high during this time of year due to visitors traveling to New York City to see the parade up close and personal! Lucky for you New Yorkers, especially residents of Glenwood buildings in Manhattan, have the option to watch the parade live is at your fingertips!

While it’s free and open to the public, there are a few tips we’d recommend for anyone planning to go. Following the below suggestions will ensure your parade experience is pleasant and one to be talked about for years to come!

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade balloons of a turkey and stars

1. What to Know Before You Go

Before heading out to the parade, there are some basics you should be well informed of. The 92nd Annual parade officially starts at 9am on Thursday, November 28th, 2019. The parade route goes like so: it starts at 77th Street and travels down Central Park West to Columbus Circle, where it then takes a left and heads east down Central Park South to 6th Avenue, where it continues going south until reaching 34th Street.

The long route gives ample space to view the parade from, but even with that, spectators typically start filling in by 6am to secure good views along the route. Which leads us to our next very important tip…

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade banner with balloons like piccachu and elmo!

2. Have A Spot Picked Out Ahead Of Time

Whether you’re a tourist or local, you should have a game plan before you head out to the parade. This way you can either take the closest subway to your destination or have an Uber drop you off as close as possible to where you’re hoping to stand.

For instance, if you choose to be at the start of the parade on the Upper West Side, you’ll be able to see the entire parade go by in about an hour and a half, and be done by 10:30 am. This is a good point for Glenwood residents of nearby buildings Grand Tier and The Regent!

If you’re on the southern end of the route along 6th Avenue, expect the entire parade to last more like three hours. However, it might be easier to find a spot to stand along 6th Avenue than it is Uptown, so these are all things to take into consideration ahead of time.

The only spot that is repeatedly marked as “not to go” by folks who have done this several times is right near Macy’s, on 6th Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets, as there will be very limited viewing due to the national television broadcast and all the cameras and trucks that go along with it.


Cartoon photo of 4 winter outfits with a hat, gloves, scarf, coat, ect.

3. Bundle Up Appropriately

New York City is downright cold during this time of year, especially if you leave early in the morning. We suggest putting on lots of layers, this way, if things warm up once the sun peeks out later in the day, you can always take something off and still be comfortable.

One thing that has been a lifesaver for any sports fans attending outdoor games in the winter months are reusable hand/pocket warmers. You simply carry a few of these in your jacket pocket, and when you need an extra boost of heat, crack it open to release the warmth. An idea to keep in mind when planning what to bring!

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4. If You’re Bringing Kids, Bring Entertainment!

While seeing the parade live is a dream come true for most kids, the potential five hour wait before any action starts most certainly is not! If you’re planning to bring kids, make sure you bring things for them to keep busy during the down time:

  • Reusable sticker books
  • Coloring pads
  • Holiday themed books
  • Word puzzles
  • iPods or smart phones loaded with kid-friendly podcasts and music they enjoy
  • Polaroid or other instant cameras for snapping images (or use your smart phone/digital camera and print them later)
  • Plenty of snacks and water

Just remember, you don’t want to be lugging too much on the parade route, so carrying your goodies in a backpack is an easy way to transport them, yourself, and your kids from point A to point B.

tweber1, Wikipedia, license info, photo has been cropped.

5. Know Where the Nearest Restroom Is

Having snacks and water has its pluses…and minuses. Chances are you (or one of your children) will need to use the facilities during the hours leading up to and during the parade. Make sure you note where the nearest open Starbucks, hotel, or other public restroom is.

Have you ever watched the parade live? Do you have any tips or tricks for getting maximum enjoyment? Share on Facebook and Twitter!

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