New York City Travel

Going to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Here Are 5 Tips

I am not parade lover, but my family loves the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For years I got away without having to lug my family through the crowds, but a few years ago, we watched the parade. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought. We dressed warm, and I always had an “out” strategy. And now it has become a family tradition.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

Here are my tips for the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

1.      Get up early to grab a spot. We send someone around 6 am to find the perfect spot. As the day moves along, the crowds will push into your spot. Set up blankets and chairs to hold your spot. And once someone leaves that spot, someone will move in. Always have a body holding a spot.

2.      Dress in layers. It seems like every time we go to the parade, a cold front moves in. Dressing in layers helps. Also, bring blankets.

3.      Know where the bathrooms are. Once you are caged in by the police, you will not be permitted to move freely in and out.  My favorite spot with small kids is near the Time Warner Center. You can use the bathrooms. The problem is, you are not as close to the balloons and parade route. You’ll still be able to see the parade, but from a short distance. If you want the Macy’s experience, but need easy access to a bathroom, set up in front of the Time Warner Center. But again, the balloons will not go right by you. If you set up along the parade route, good luck finding a bathroom. If you are worried about that, take extra cash with you and make friends with a doorman at one of the buildings. Using a cute kid as an excuse to use the bathroom helps. Also, a crisp $20 is an incentive. If a restaurant is not closed off, go into the restaurant early and make a purchase and make yourself known by dropping a big tip.

(List of public restrooms in NYC)

4.      Bring hot chocolate and snacks, but don’t fill up. Did I mention the lack of bathrooms?

5.      Make friends with those standing around you. Get to know them and their story. Then, when you or your kids need to move in and out, they won’t mind as much.

The Thanksgiving Day Parade can be a lot of fun, but it requires planning. Unless you have a rich friend that lives along Central Park West and can watch comfortably from the window. If you don’t have that friend, wake up early, know where your best options for bathroom breaks, dress in layers, and stake out a spot and stay there.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Advent Calendars for Kids 
Advent Calendar for Adults


Spending Christmas in New York City? Here are some ideas.
One World Observatory Transforms into Winter ONEderland During Christmas
Visiting Paleyland During Christmas
The Best Christmas Trees in NYC
Temper Tantrum at 1,776 Feet: Visiting Santa at Winter Onederland at One World Trade
Celebrate Christmas with the Rockette’s at the Radio City Music Spectacular


Enjoy these NYC topics:
Finding Joy Inside Madame Tussaud’s
Escaping NYC to The Kartrite Indoor Water Park
Spyscape NYC is Fun for the Whole Family
Remembering Why You Love NYC at RiseNY
New York City’s Bowling Green Fence Tells a Historical Story
Visiting St. Paul’s Chapel in NYC: Washington’s Place of Worship
History of New York City’s Liberty Pole
Visiting the 9/11 Memorial with Kids
Experience Family Fun with the Mets at Citifield
Visiting Harry Potter NY
Visiting Manhattan’s First Whiskey Distillery
The Big Apple Circus is Back
Visiting the Intrepid in 2021
10 Things to Know Before Visiting the American Museum of Natural History
Arlene’s Grocery is a Great Spot to Watch Up and Coming Musicians
Bowling Green Fence in NYC Tells an Interesting Historical Story
Visiting the Gugenheim with my Toddler
The Museum of the American Indian in NYC is Fun and Free
Visiting Grant’s Tomb
Visiting Hamilton Grange: Alexander’s Quiet Uptown Home
Visiting the Hamilton’s Dueling Grounds
List of Museums in NYC that are Free or Have Suggested Prices
An Unmarked Slave Burial Ground is in the Bronx
The Queens Museum is More than a place where the greatest scale model ever built is found

Gift Guide suggestions:
New York Islanders Gift Guides
Cleveland Cavaliers Gift Guide
Cleveland Browns Gift Guide 
Flaviar is a great gift for whiskey lovers
Dallas Cowboys gift guide
Father’s Day Gift Guide
Gifts for Runners
Real Madrid Gift Guide 
Taylor Swift Gift Guide
Advent Calendars for Kids 
Advent Calendar for Adults

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: