Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Tips
With the new Macys Parade route spanning 2.65 miles, and a huge crowd on every Times Square avenue, there are several things you need to know if you’re attending the Macy's Day Parade. Be sure to check out the map above so you now where to go - and not to go.
Watch the Macy's Marching Band start off the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC
- What time is the Macy's Day Parade and what are the hours? The best advice is to get there early! The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Route begins on 77th Street and Central Park West at 9am sharp and it runs until about noon. It is recommended that parade-goers arrive at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade no later than 6:30am to get the best viewing spots available. Macy’s Day Parade organizers recommend you leave your lawn chair at home.
- Stay Warm: After all, November in New York City can get quite chilly. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade lasts from 9am- 12pm, so make sure to layer up and keep warm at this classic parade in New York.
- Find the Best Views at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Get the best view of the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade between 72nd Street/Central Park West and 61st Street. The parade route is closed to the public for broadcasting purposes between 34th Street and 38th Street on 6th Avenue, as well as 34th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue.
- Avoid the Official Viewing Area: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade official viewing area on 34th Street is the most crowded part of this New York parade. Skip the official viewing area and line up on Central Park West for the best views at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Watch the Macy's Parade Balloon Inflation the night before
- Macys Thanksgiving Parade Performances: Performances at the Macy’s Day Parade in NYC include Broadway musicals and top-selling musicians. However, these top NY performances at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade take place in the overcrowded official viewing area for TV purposes and can be incredibly hard to see in person. For the best NY parade experience, we recommend parade attendees to skip the performances and enjoy the floats, balloons and marching bands on 6th and 7th Avenues.
- Macys Day Parade Public Seating and Parade Tickets: Unfortunately, there are no public seating Parade tickets available to the general public. Seating is restricted to Macy's executives, corporate sponsors, politicians, charitable organizations, etc.
- Watch the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation the Night Before: Get a sneak peek at the inflation of more than 30 signature Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons the night before the event. Between 3pm- 10pm, a free viewing of the famous big balloon inflation is available to the public on 77th and 81st streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
- Find a NYC Restaurant Open for Thanksgiving: Many NYC restaurants remain open on Thanksgiving Day, several of which offer special price-fixed holiday menus. Check the NYCTourist restaurant listings for phone numbers, restaurant hours, special NYC Thanksgiving Day dinner deals and more.
- Get in the Christmas Spirit: Every year, the Big Guy from the North Pole closes the show at the NYC Macy’s Day Parade to kick off the official beginning of the holiday season. In a NYC parade that regularly features some of the most high-profile musicians and Broadway actors, there’s still Santa Claus.
- Where is the Parade if I'm not familiar with New York City? The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held every year on Thanksgiving Day in Manhattan, New York City. The parade runs from the "West Side" along Central Park, heads east along Central Park South (directly south of Central Park) while skirting Times Square, and then south through Midtown Manhattan along some of NYC's most famous streets - 6th Avenue and 34th Street (yes, THAT 34th Street).
- Who can I call for more Parade info!!??: Do not call Ghostbusters, call the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade hotline at 212-494-4495.