Things to do over Thanksgiving weekend

Discover plenty of things to do over Thanksgiving weekend, whether you're in the holiday spirit, or if you're more ho-ho-oh forget it

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Cranksgiving

Cranksgiving Photograph: Nate Mumford


If you're staying here over Thanksgiving weekend, chances are you've got your folks in town. In which case, it's the perfect time to take them to the festive sights—like ice-skating rinks or holiday markets—while the city's delightfully deserted. On the other hand, if you're here and are trying your very best to avoid Christmas in New York, we've got your agenda for a cultured couple of days away from the turkeys.

RECOMMENDED: Thanksgiving in New York guide

  1. Thanksgiving weekend: Festive events
  2. Thanksgiving weekend: Alternative events

Thanksgiving weekend activities in the festive spirit

1

Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This pre–Turkey Day ritual, held near the American Museum of Natural History, has become almost as crowded as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we prefer it to the main event. Why? We prefer to weave through the crowds, walking past the inflation stations to see Kermit the Frog, Julius the Paul Frank monkey, Sonic the Hedgehog, Buzz Lightyear et al. at our own pace. Inflation takes place from 3 to 10pm. Arrive later in the evening, when the gigantic characters have taken shape; the crowds are at their peak, so you can also show off the famed New York sidewalk shuffle. Enter at W 79th St at Columbus Ave. RECOMMENDED: Thanksgiving in New York guide

  1. Manhattan
  2. Wed Nov 26
More info
2

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For the 87th 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. RECOMMENDED: Thanksgiving in New York guide

  1. Manhattan
  2. Thu Nov 27
More info
3

The Annual Post-Thanksgiving Multiethnic Eating Tour

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Pining for a plantain? Dying for douhua? Embark on this culinary tour of the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Little Italy, which features nibbles from various ethnic shops and markets, including Italian specialty store Enoteca DiPalo. You'll also stop at tofu factory Kong Kee Food Corp. for some beany bites spiced with star anise. Registration required. Meet at the southwest corner of Delancey and Essex Sts. Subway: F to Delancey St; J, Z, M to Delancey–Essex Sts. RECOMMENDED: Thanksgiving in New York guide

  1. Manhattan
  2. Fri Nov 28
More info
4

Arlo Guthrie's Annual Thanksgiving Concert

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Carnegie Hall 154 W 57th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Sat Nov 29
More info
5

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

You'll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which—after more than eight decades—still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, spunky Rockettes. In recent years, new music, more eye-catching costumes, and advanced technology were introduced to bring audience members closer to the performance.

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Fri Nov 7 - Wed Dec 31
Buy tickets
6

WindowsWear

  • Price band: 2/4

Window-shopping went to a whole new level in November 2012 with the launch of WindowsWear, which catalogs the current displays of 500 retailers in cities like New York, Milan and Paris. The veneer-monitoring site offers an offline tour of Fifth Avenue’s most impressive glass facades: Over two hours, you’ll check out stores like Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, while hearing about the inspiration behind the constantly changing spectacles. Meet at Macy's Herald Square, 151 W 34th St at Broadway. Subway: B, D, F, M, N, Q, R to 34th St–Herald Sq.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Until Wed Dec 31
More info
7

Holiday Train Show

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Watch choo-choo’s go vroom-vroom in a circle. In NYBG's wildly popular diorama, more than a dozen model railway trains traverse an incredibly detailed New York City scene, including landmarks like the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall, made of natural materials such as leaves, twigs, bark and berries.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd, 10458
  2. Sun Nov 16 - Wed Dec 31
More info
8

Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche

  • Critics choice

The institution's yearly stunner is a candlelit, angel- and cherub-adorned spruce that towers above the 18th-century Nativity scene. See site for specific exhibit viewing times.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Fri Sep 26 - Wed Dec 31
More info
9

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

New York City Ballet presents the 60th-anniversary season of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Set to the famous Tchaikovsky score, this holiday staple includes the full company, 62 musicians, 32 stagehands, 100 School of American Ballet students and one 40-foot Christmas tree.

  1. David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center) 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 63rd St
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Jan 3
More info

  1. Thanksgiving weekend: Festive events
  2. Thanksgiving weekend: Alternative events

Users say

2 comments
Desire
Desire

jjust a few cool things for thanksgiving xx

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