Thanksgiving In New York City

Central Park During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in New York City

Autumn in New York is always a comfortable and beautiful season.

Autumn in New York is always a comfortable and beautiful season.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in New York City is a favorite occasion for many people. One of the "big six" major holidays of the year, Thanksgiving Day has been an official United States holiday since 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, proclaimed that Thursday, November 26, should be a day of national feasting and gratitude. Before that, Thanksgiving celebrated the survival of the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, who had to endure a brutal first winter in New England. The first Thanksgiving feast consisted of fish, wild fowl, venison, harvest grains, vegetables, and dried Indian maize. According to most accounts, it lasted three days and fed 53 pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.

Important Information:

  • Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November! In 2015, Thanksgiving falls on November 26; and in 2016, on November 24.
  • Thanksgiving Day is a United States Federal Holiday. That means schools, banks, and post offices will be closed. Many restaurants, stores, and NYC attractions will be closed, as well.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade New York City

One of the best ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in New York City is by attending the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since 1924, a traditional event in New York City like no other! This famous NYC parade, first established in 1924, is tied with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit for the second oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the United States. With more than 3.5 million spectators and 10,000 participants, it is also one of the largest parades in New York. At the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you can expect dazzling musical performances, cool floats, and awe-inspiring helium balloons. Click here to learn more, get answers to frequently asked questions and to view the parade route map and photo tours covering many of the most popular events that surround the most famous parade in America! click here.

Attractions at the Thanksgiving Day Parade®

Live dancers and music are just a part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade excitement.

Live dancers and music are just a part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade excitement.

Live Music: Like most parades in NYC, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade features live musical performances by popular bands and recording artists. In 2010, Kylie Minogue, Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight, and India Arie performed live alongside some of the best marching bands in the United States.

Parade Floats: The Macy's Day Parade is renowned for its famous parade floats. Among those that appeared in the 2010 parade were Mount Rushmore's American Pride, Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure, and Pokemon's Reshiram and Zekrom.

Parade Balloons: The first Macy's Day Parade balloon, an enormous, air-filled Felix the Cat, was engineered in 1927 to replace the live animals that had formerly participated in the parade. In 1982, the parade introduced the Olive Oyl balloon, the first to represent a female character. In recent years, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has featured representations of Shrek, Dora the Explorer, Spider-Man, SpongeBob SquarePants, Super Mario, Snoopy, and the Energizer Bunny.

Here is more information about the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade New York City:

  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NY begins at 9am EST at 77th Street and Central Park West
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade NYC ends at 12pm EST at 34th Street
NYCTourist Travel Info

Tours Taking Place during the Thanksgiving Holidays

  Tour Info
1.
NY Harbor Cruise


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$40.00 Details
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2.
Foods of NY Tours - Est. 1999


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$49.00 Details
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3.
New York TV & Movie Sites


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$41.00 Details
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4.
Central Park TV & Movie Sites


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$23.00 Details
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5.
Sex and the City Hotspots


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$47.00 Details
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NYCTourist Travel Info

Discounts on the Attractions You'll Want to See!

  Tour Info
1.
New York Summer Family Fun Pass


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$61.50 Details
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0 reviews
2.
Big Apple in a Day


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$79.99 Details
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0 reviews
3.
New York Family Fun Pass


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Price
$69.00 Details
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0 reviews
4.
NYC Museum Pass


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$59.50 Details
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5.
Top New York Attractions


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$74.00 Details
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Restaurants in Manhattan

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NYC Event Tickets

Other Fun Things to Do in New York City on Thanksgiving Day

If parades are not for you, consider some of these other fun things to do in NYC on Thanksgiving Day:

The Central Park Zoo is open year-round, and makes a good alternative to the crowd of the parade.

The Central Park Zoo is open year-round, and makes a good alternative to the crowd of the parade.

Central Park: If you'd like to avoid the crowds on Thanksgiving Day, take a relaxing stroll through Central Park NY. You might sit down with a picnic lunch, spend the afternoon in a rowboat on the Lake, or visit the Central Park Zoo, which is open year-round. Here, in the heart of the park, you'll be enchanted by the vibrant fall foliage, the crisp, cool breeze, and the subdued chatter of the park's woodland birds. By the end of the day, you'll feel refreshed and ready for the Christmas season.

Ice Skating: Looking for family-friendly things to do in New York City on Thanksgiving Day? Try ice skating at Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink is open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Note that the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is not lit until the week after Thanksgiving.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum: Unlike many New York City attractions, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum remains open on Thanksgiving Day. This NYC museum is home to the disarmingly lifelike, expertly crafted wax statues of Hollywood stars, sports heroes, and historical figures. Recent additions to the museum include President Barack Obama and musician Taylor Swift.

Empire State Building: Another fun thing to do on Thanksgiving is visit the Empire State Building. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986, this 102-story Art Deco skyscraper was erected in 1931 and has remained a popular NYC tourist destination ever since. In the United States, its height is surpassed only by Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower. It was the world's tallest building for over 40 years.