When it comes to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you have three options: Brave the crowds, hit things up the night before during the balloon inflation by the American Museum of Natural History or sit back, relax and watch the whole thing from the comfort of your living room in a food coma. Whatever way you choose to enjoy the annual event, one thing's certain: It's a sight your kids won't soon forget.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brings dazzling floats, family-friendly celebrities, phenomenal marching bands and massive balloons through the heart of Manhattan. With our handy Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade guide, you’ll lock in your perfect Thankgiving.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Thanksgiving for kids
When is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?
This year, the parade is held on Thursday, November 22 from 9am–noon.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade guide 2018
Restaurants near Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
5 Napkin Burger
Choose from 10 different burgers ($13.95–$16.95)—including lamb, turkey, tuna and veggie varieties—at this upscale burger spot that feels more like a neighborhood joint than a chain. Kids under 12 can take their pick from a special menu that includes hot dogs ($5.95), chicken tenders ($5.95), plain pasta ($4.95) and PB&J ($3.95) in addition to the namesake burgers. Be sure to save some room for a brownie sundae ($7.00) or s’mores milkshake ($6.00). Upper West Side and Hells Kitchen locations open on Thanksgiving Day.
The kids’ menu at this Italian-French bistro proves eating healthy can be delicious. Aside from the typical fare, there are several options designed with the USDA’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines in mind. Kids won’t even know that items like the roasted chicken legs with broccoli, whole wheat quesadilla or skirt steak with cheesy rice (all $14) are good for them. Open from 4pm on Thanksgiving Day.
You can’t argue with a burger joint that’s weathered the Depression, Prohibition, and two World Wars. The P.J. Clarke hamburger is an institution in itself, and kids will love it “simply on a bun” ($9.90) or in miniature format, topped with cheese and served with shoestring fries ($16.75). Though the tots may turn up their noses, parents can enjoy fresh seafood from the raw bar or delve into the deluxe burger options.Open 11:30am–midnight on Thanksgiving Day.
Rock Center Café
It’s hard to think of a better way to get your gang in the mood to embrace winter’s charms than having a Thanksgiving feast looking out on the skaters circling the iconic Rockefeller Center rink. The clean-lined spot is offering adults a three-course meal with seven entrée options; last year's included dishes like braised short rib, pappardelle pasta with lamb ragu, Atlantic salmon and a traditional roasted turkey dinner. Kids (under 11) can choose from turkey, chicken tenders, penne pasta, grilled cheese and more to celebrate their thankfulness. Kiddie desserts include an ice-cream pop or brownie sundae. $75, children under 11 $25. Reservations recommended.
This local chain is critically acclaimed; Martha Stewart herself has given their guac her seal of approval. The Young Amigos menu has tacos ($9.50–$11.50) and quesadillas ($9.50) for the little ones made with market-fresh ingredients. Each kids’ dish comes with a juice box or milk and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. For tots with food allergies, there are extensive gluten-free menus for both lunch and dinner. Upper West Side and Midtown East locations open on Thanksgiving Day.
This cozy, casual cafe serves homestyle breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes every day of the week. Its Madison Avenue outpost is ideally located for grabbing a bite after strolling through Central Park or browsing the halls of the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art. During the breakfast, lunch and brunch service, kids can sip a fresh Four Flowers Juice ($7) made with orange, pineapple, banana and pomegranate, dig into an autumnal Pumpkin Waffle ($16) or go for a basket of muffins with Sarabeth’s’ famous preserves ($12.50). At dinner, they can choose from a variety of entrees, including pastas ($23–$24) and chicken pot pie ($22). Open 8am–12pm and 1–9pm on Thanksgiving Day. The Lord & Taylor location on Fifth Ave is open from 11am–6pm on Thanksgiving Day.