How To Plan The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a big assignment if you are expecting a lot of guests. Preparing for this holiday is the key to hosting an elegant evening, so get out your pen and paper and start taking notes now! Today we will dish out tips on where to pick up Thanksgiving dinner ingredients, the best places in the city to find décor/table settings, and tips for including enough seating for the whole crew!

Thanksgiving table decor with pumpkins and red leaves

Where To Shop For Food

Whether you’re making the entire dinner from scratch or relying completely on a “pick up the entire pre-cooked meal and re-heat right before serving” approach, you’re in luck because NYC truly has it all. From chain stores such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to more NYC specific shops such as Fairway and the Amish Market, there’ss plenty of grocery markets to pick up your ingredients. And if you really find yourself in a pinch, don’t discount placing an order via FreshDirect, which will deliver everything straight to your door on a date and time of your choosing (hence you skip all the madness of shopping in store, and do it all via your computer instead!) FreshDirect even has their own wine shop, allowing you to place a large delivery order for all your beverages, as well.

Here’s a few tips to remember before going out shopping for your ingredients:

  • Make a giant list ahead of time, including all the dishes you plan to make and every ingredient called for in each dish. This way you won’t be scrambling at the last minute for things!
  • Stock up on extra paper products so you’re well prepared for cleaning, as well as for extra guests! Essentials include: paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, and depending on if you want flexibility with the dessert course, perhaps even paper plates, utensils, and cups.
  • Don’t forget to stop by the herb aisle to stock up on a few different kinds of fresh herbs and spices. Even if you don’t use them all in your dishes for flavoring, they can really spruce up your table setting!
  • Make sure to load up on a few easy snacks that don’t require any prep on your end and can be sitting out in bowls around your Glenwood apartment when guests arrive. A variety of nuts, crackers, cheeses, and dried fruits are good options to have on hand.
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Thanksgiving table decor with punmkins, apples, and leaves.

Decor and Table Settings

Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to pull out all the stops. Do you have china dishes and crystal glasses that have been sitting in your cabinets since your wedding? Rinse them off and set them up! And even if you’re using your everyday dishes, there’ss some super simple ways to elevate them for the holiday. Here’s a few of our tried-and-true tips:

  • Bring out the candles! No matter how fancy or plain your dishes may be, candlelight makes everything feel that much more special. Try setting tea lights around the table and also your apartment (don’t forget the guest bathroom!) for a magical feel.
  • Forage autumn materials in Central Park to use as table settings (such an easy activity for most Glenwood residents, particularly those living on the Upper East Side at The Marlowe!) From beautiful red, yellow, orange, and brown leaves that can be marked on with a gold Sharpie with guests’s names and used as nameplates, to acorns and pinecones and sticks that can be set in clear bowls and vases around the room, there’ss no shortage of ways to bring in the outside season into your home. Plus, this is a free and wonderful activity to have your children help you with!
  • And while it’s not necessary to go out shopping for entire new table settings, picking up a few special items from homegoods stores can make the occasion feel quite memorable. Perhaps a new pair of candlesticks from Pottery Barn, some updated autumn colored throw pillow covers from West Elm on the Westside, or a beautiful serving bowl from the Bloomingdale’s home department in Midtown East.


Thanksgiving meal including turkey, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and apple pie on table


If you plan to have more people over than you have seats at your dining room table, fear not. There’s several easy solutions here, from borrowing chairs from one of your neighbors who is either not hosting or out of town for the holiday, to utilizing your living room furniture (with “TV trays”), to putting down comfy cushions or throw pillows on the floor! Also, stores like Bed Bath & Beyond often sell folding chairs that can be stored away in the back of closets or under beds, and pulled out for large gatherings.

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The Marlowe – Upscale East Side Apartments

The Marlowe is a great location for luxury living in the heart of the Upper East Side. With 4 unique units per floor, make your next home in one of these exclusive apartments with airy rooms and 9-foot ceilings. Book a tour today!

What tips do you have for planning the perfect Thanksgiving dinner? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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