Hotels, Parade, Dinner, Lights, Shows and Attractions

Thanksgiving in New York City is a magical time. Millions of people around the world tune in on their televisions to watch the famous Parade. If you are lucky enough to be in NYC, here are some tips on things to do Thanksgiving weekend, best ways to watch the Thanksgiving Parade, which attractions are open and where to have Thanksgiving Dinner. Please note the recent changes to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route.


Best Thanksgiving New York City Vacation Packages

Best Thanksgiving New York City Vacation Packages With Thanksgiving and the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting happening in November and December, hotel prices tend to skyrocket! Luckily, we have a fantastic NYC Vacation Company that has scoured the city to bring you the BEST deals, tons of freebies, personal planning and more to help you enjoy your NYC vacation. November is the ideal time to book your all inclusive Thanksgiving NYC Vacation Package and save. All New York City Vacation Packages include Hotel, Taxes, Free Attractions and Museums, Discounts, Maps, Vacation Planning Assistance and more.

Best Thanksgiving in New York City Vacation Packages:

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Half Price Tickets Thanksgiving Weekend in NYC

Thanksgiving Half Price Tickets:

  • Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise
  • Champagne Statue and Skyline Cruise
  • Double-Decker Bus Tour of Holiday Lights & Grand Central Terminal
  • Dueling Pianos: Shake, Rattle & Roll
  • A Christmas Carol at The Players Theatre
  • STOMP: See the International Sensation at the Orpheum Theatre
  • Improv 4 Kids: Songs and Sketches
  • Lucky Cheng’s Drag Cabaret and Dinner Show
  • Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest Walking Tour
  • Current List of Half Price Tickets

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Thanksgiving in New York City – Attractions

Statue of Liberty

Many New York City Tourist Attractions are open 365 days per year, although some with limited hours.

Thanksgiving Day may be a great day to try and see some of the more popular attractions, as they will be much more crowded the days before and after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving in New York City – Open Attractions:

Thanksgiving in New York City – Closed Attractions

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Which is the BEST New York City Discount Pass?

Thanksgiving in New York City is a great time to visit the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty, 9-11 Memorial, take a New York City Bus Tour and much more! The New York City Pass Discounts are a GREAT way to save if you know you’ll be seeing a lot of attractions in a short time!

New York CityPASS
CityPASS
43% off Top 6 Attractions

New York City Go Select Card Discount Pass
NY Explorer Pass
Customize your Sightseeing

The New York Pass
New York Pass
80 Attractions over 1-7 days

Current NYC Sightseeing Pass Specials:

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88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving in New York CityParade - Thursday, November 27, 2014, 9am-12pm
Balloon Set Up - November 26th, 3-10pm

Floats, Clowns, Balloons, Celebrities, Santa Claus and so much more. This is what Thanksgiving in New York City is all about!! Arrive no later than 7am to stake the best viewing spots.

Route and Where to Stand (New Route Launched in 2012):

The 2014 Thanksgiving Parade route starts on Central Park West and 77th Street, marches South on Central Park West (CPW) to Columbus Circle, turns east on Central Park South and South on 6th Avenue to Macy’s at 34th Street at Herald Square. The new route offers over 2 miles of spectator viewing options.

Here’s what my friend, Eric, told me about his viewing spot, “Last year we watched from the west side of 6th Ave, near Radio City Music Hall (51st) and it was great, sunny, you could see the balloons from a distance, and there were plenty of places to get coffee/bathrooms behind us between 6th and 7th."

Though the areas along Central Park are best for early birds (first to see the Parade), in previous yeas, it was not advisable to watch the parade on CPW or Columbus Circle, but rather further down on 6th Avenue. There are high winds and lots of shade along CPW, so floats and entertainers have been known to “rush” through this area. For those who want to see the parade later in the day (9:30-12am), pick a sunny spot down on 6th Avenue between Central Park and Macy’s on 34th Street. Sixth Avenue between 34th and 38th Street will be closed to spectators. More information at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Balloon Set Up – This can actually be as much fun as the Parade itself and many of us have stood outside with Hot Chocolate (or, um, something stronger) and watched the Parade balloons being blown up. The set up takes place on either side of the American Museum of Natural History, on 77th and 81st Sts between CPW and Columbus from 3-10 pm on Wednesday, November 26th.

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Map 2014

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Map 2014

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Public Viewing Areas 2014:

  • Central Park West: West side from 70th Street to Columbus Circle
  • Central Park West: East side from 70th to 65th
  • Columbus Circle: West side (Note: Columbus Circle is the Southwest corner of Central Park where CPW and CPS meet)
  • 6th Avenue: between 58th & 34th Streets
  • 6th Ave: between 34th and 38th Streets will be closed to spectators
  • 34th Street: south side of street between Broadway & 7th Avenue
  • To ensure a good viewing location, get there early. Spectators arrive as early as 6:30am

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Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise in New York City

New York City Thanksgiving Dinner

Experience spectacular views of Manhattan and the New York skyline as you enjoy an exceptionally prepared Thanksgiving meal.

With all the scrumptious trimmings of a traditional Thanksgiving meal and breathtaking New York City views as an ever-changing backdrop, this dinner cruise is a great way to sightsee New York City and make your Thanksgiving Day unforgettable. Spots sell out quickly!!!!

More Info: NYC Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise

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Thanksgiving in New York City Coupons: Join FREE and Save!

Join my favorite NYC Deal Sites and save on your Thanksgiving in New York City starting today. The sooner you sign up (FREE) for the best NYC Deal Lists, the sooner you start saving on:

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Events and Shows:

Sightseeing:

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Sports:

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Goldstar, Gilt City, ScoreBig

NY Pass, 10% Off Bus Tours, NewYork.com

Gilt Group, Bluefly, NYC Sample Sales

Goldstar, TicketsNowScoreBig

Lifebooker, Gilt City

Gilt City, Groupon, Savored

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Thanksgiving Parade – Best Hotel Rooms

Best Hotel Rooms for Thanksgiving Parade New York City 2013
Thanksgiving in New York City

There are plenty of hotels along the 2014 Thanksgiving Parade Route:

Central Park W (77th to 59th Sts)
Central Park South (same as 59th St)
6th Avenue: (58th to 34th Sts)
34th Street (between Broadway & 7th Ave)

Some Thanksgiving in New York City hotels have great views of the Parade (and some don’t!), making it easy to stay warm and dry, use a rest room, eat and STILL watch the Parade from a prime spot. Many of them also offer Thanksgiving in New York City Hotel Packages (though they can be pricey).

The Parade changed routes in both 2009 and 2012, so please be aware when researching older information and read the FULL NYC Insider Guide to Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Hotels and Vacation Packages

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Photo Gallery

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade NYC

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade NYC Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade LeAnn Rimes Thanksgiving Day Parade Minnie Mouse Disney Thanksgiving Day Parade Grover Thanksgiving Day Parade Clowns
Thanksgiving Day Parade Sesame Street Thanksgiving Day Parade Turkey Pilgrams Thanksgiving Day Parade Scooby Doo Thanksgiving Day Parade Power Panther Thanksgiving Day Parade Band

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Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City

Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City
Thanksgiving in New York City

Many restaurants are open on Thanksgiving in New York City, and most of them will be serving pre-fix dinners.

Check out the complete NYC Insider Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City.

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New York City Helicopter Tours

NYC Helicopter ToursThe cold weather is a great time to take to the Manhattan skies for an exciting New York City Helicopter Tour! On top of our always-gorgeous skyline, you’re bound to see amazing holiday lights up close this time of year! Enjoy spectacular aerial views of the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Ground Zero Memorial, World Trade Center and Ellis Island downtown.

I LOVED my tour…check out some of my photos and review at New York City Helicopter Tour.

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NYC Insider Print Map and Guide to Manhattan

Get our NYC Insider Printable Maps Package and download over 100 pages of NYC maps, information and recommendations in less than 5 minutes! The BEST of the NYC Insider Guide website, with detailed maps, directions and my personal recommendations for shopping, restaurants, attractions and Insider Tips. Available for download and print immediately, you can make as many copies as you want and get FREE Updates for a year!

NYC Printable Map Guide Book
NYC Printable Map Book

New York City Travel Guide
NYC Travel Guide

NYC Map Guide Printable Bonus
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Thanksgiving Shows in New York City

Broadway and other NYC shows are hit or miss on Thanksgiving. In prior years, some Broadway Shows have performed, the Rockettes always have multiple shows and other shows are open around the city. Grab yourself (and the kids) and get tickets to one of the few shows open on Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Phantom of the Opera Broadway Musical
8:00pm

Radio-City-Christmas-with-RockettesRockettes

Big Apple Circus New York CityCircus

Les Miserables Broadway Musical7:00pm

Pippin Broadway Musical 8:00pm

Disney On IceDisney

Thanksgiving in New York City – Open Shows

Thanksgiving in New York City – Closed Shows

Lion King, Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, Rock of Ages, Once, Wicked. See Broadway.com for more holiday schedules.

Check back soon for more information or follow NYC Insider Guide:
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Thanksgiving in New York City – Ice Skating

Ice Skating in New York City

For tourists and locals alike, ice skating at Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park is a classic New York winter experience.

All three major rinks are open on Thanksgiving Day, as are the restaurants surrounding them.

Here are the rates and dates for the most well-known ice skating rinks.

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NIT Season Tip Off and Championship Game

Madison Square Garden NIT
Madison Square Garden NIT

NIT Pre Season Tip Off 2014

11/26, 7:00 pm- Semifinals
11/28, 2:30 pm – Championship
NIT Season Tip-Off Tickets or try Ticketmaster

Held every November, the Preseason NIT Tip-Off is a great way to kick off the beginning of the college basketball season and celebrate Thanksgiving in New York City.

Barclays Center Basketball Classic – November 28-29, 2014,  Barclays Center

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More Thanksgiving in New York City Events

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Thanksgiving Vacation Packages

All New York City Vacation Packages include Hotel, Taxes, Free Attractions and Museums, Discounts, Maps, Vacation Planning Assistance and more. Choose from 4 All Inclusive NYC Thanksgiving Vacation Packages, all planned by local NYC experts:

Thanksgiving Short Stay-Cation Vacation Package

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Vacation Package

  • Wednesday Balloon Inflation Tour
  • Applebee’s breakfast and use of the facility during the Macy’s Parade (no parade view from inside Applebee’s)
  • Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet Breakfast with Santa Friday morning
  • Rates from: $499.50 per person for a 2-night complete package

More info: Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Short Stay-Cation

Read More About: New York City Vacation Packages


Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Route Hotel Vacations

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Vacation Package

  • Accommodations at the New York Hilton on the parade route for 3 nights or longer
  • Option to purchase exclusive holiday events and meals
  • Rates from: Rates from: $644 per person for 2013 4-night packages

More info: Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Route Hotel Vacations

All New York City Travel Packages include Hotel, Taxes, Free Attractions and Museums, Discounts, Maps, Vacation Planning Assistance and more.

Read More About: New York City Vacation Packages


Thanksgiving Day Parade VIP View Vacation

Thanksgiving Day Parade VIP View Vacation

  • Deluxe breakfast buffet at the Hilton New York Bridges Lounge at 8am
  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the private secured outdoor viewing area
  • Choice of a tour Wednesday at 2:30pm to the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation area or a guided Holiday Displays Tour on Thursday at 5:30pm. 
  • Optional add-ons include: Thanksgiving Lunch, Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner or Breakfast with Santa Claus

Rates from: $1,095 per person for 4-night complete package

More info: Thanksgiving Day Parade VIP View Vacation

Read More About: New York City Vacation Packages


Insider’s View Thanksgiving Parade Vacation Package

NYC Thanksgiving Parade Vacation Package

  • Exclusive Insider’s View Party Breakfast overlooking the Macy’s Parade
  • Choice of Balloon Inflation or Holiday Lights tour
  • Optional holiday tours and events (additional cost)
  • Rates from: $644 per person for 2013 4-night packages

More info: New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Vacation

Read More About: New York City Vacation Packages

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