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Thanksgiving Day activities for families in New York City

Find a spot in the parade crowds, duck in to a seasonal show or visit a city museum that stays open for the holiday, plus more Thanksgiving Day activities

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade may be the most well-known Turkey Day event in NYC, but it's hardly the only fun thing to do. Work up an appetite on one of the top hiking trails for families, see a seasonal show, visit a museum or check out one of the best ice-skating rinks in New York City for families. Our list of Thanksgiving Day activities for families is sure to keep you and your crew entertained before and after your feast. Whether you're cooking at home or eating at one of our favorite family restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day in NYC, have a happy holiday! 

RECOMMENDED: Thanksgiving in NYC for kids

Thursday, November 27

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

For the 88th year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will usher in the holiday season with familiar sights like giant balloons, high-kicking Rockettes and Santa’s sleigh, plus celebrity appearances. Begins at W 77th St and Central Park West; for the complete parade route visit macys.com/parade. All ages.

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Long Island City YMCA Kids Turkey Dash

Before sitting down to a gut-busting Thanksgiving meal, lace up your sneakers and head to the Long Island City YMCA for their annual Turkey Dash. Kids of all ages can run or walk in one of several races (100, 400 and 1000 meters) and compete for trophies. Everyone who participates gets a medal, t-shirt and refreshments, and there's a dance party and awards celebration after the race. All ages.

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Prospect Park Track Club Turkey Trot

Register early for this popular pre-feast race in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Walkers are welcome on the five-mile course, which starts on Center Drive and winds up near the Lakeside Center. If the promise of a hearty Thanksgiving meal isn't motivation enough, the first three male and female finishers win holiday pies.

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Thanksgiving Late Lunch Cruise

Skip the long hours in the kitchen—and the heaps of dirty dishes—and enjoy a fully-stocked buffet on board the luxurious Hornblower Yacht. The massive ship will be decked out in its holiday finest for OnCruises' Thanksgiving Late Lunch Cruise. After filling up on "all the Thanksgiving favorites plus more," unwind with some football on the flat screen TVs or take in the stunning views of lower Manhattan. All ages.

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Soil to Oil

Take advantage of the Jewish Children's Museum's extended hours on Thanksgiving Day (open 10am–5pm) and learn about the ancient art of oil-pressing at this Hanukkah workshop. Little ones will choose the best olives, extract the oil and use it to light a menorah. Ages 3–12.

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