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LuminoCity Festival
Courtesy: LuminoCity Festival

The best things to do on Thanksgiving

Feast your eyes on the best things to do on Thanksgiving in NYC before and after your food coma

By Shaye Weaver, Collier Sutter and David Goldberg
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You might be sticking around NYC for Thanksgiving this year, but don't worry, it has its many perks! Instead of the hustle and bustle of traveling use this time to visit New York’s iconic ice-skating venues like The Rink at Rockefeller Center and take in its incredible holiday lights displays (there are plenty this year!). Plus, you can get in the Christmas spirit while Black Friday shopping or wandering around NYC’s wonderlands like the Bryant Park Winter Village. Follow our agenda below to optimize your time off with the best activities to do before and after your turkey-filled feast.

RECOMMENDED: A full guide to Thanksgiving in NYC

Best things to do on Thanksgiving

Winter Village at Bryant Park
Winter Village at Bryant Park
Photograph: Courtesy Angelito Jusay Photography

2. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Things to do Markets and fairs
Halloween won't even be over this year when New Yorkers' favorite winter festivity begins. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park returns on October 30 with its holiday festivities, shopping and food. Its 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink that's free to use (if you bring your own skates) is the highlight, while about 60 shopping and food kiosks are there to peruse—all at one of the best NYC parks. This year will be slightly different given new health and safety protocols, but this guide contains all the information you need to know, including when the market officially opens (and closes) to the public. Get ready to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!
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Macy's Herald Square Christmas Window Unveiling
Macy's Herald Square Christmas Window Unveiling
Photograph: Courtesy Macy's/Andrew Kelly

3. Macy's holiday windows

On Nov 19, the Herald Square store will unveil its 2020 window theme, "Give, Love, Believe," a tribute to first responders and our city. 

Those who pass by can expect a lot of heart: One window features a busy city with "thank you" neon signs in 16 languages; another depicts the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which is making some changes this year. Shoppers will be able to catch a glimpse of the six windows on the Broadway side of the Herald Square flagship until Jan 1, 2021. 

Industry city ice skating rink
Industry city ice skating rink
Photograph: Courtesy Industry City

4. Ice skating at Industry City

News City Life

Industry City is opening its ice rink by Volvo Car USA at the end of Thanksgiving week on November 27 and the beloved Dreamland Roller Rink by Lola Star in December. This year, Industry City’s ice rink in Courtyard 5/6 will be open during the winter season every Thursday-Sunday until March 1. (It will also be larger than last year's rink!) And when you're not skating on the heated outdoor rink, decorated with tons of holiday décor, you can grab a cup of hot chocolate from Frying Pan Brooklyn next door.

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Dyker Heights Christmas lights house
Dyker Heights Christmas lights house
Photograph: Teddy Wolff

5. The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Things to do
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights 2020 display has definitely earned its striped as one of the best New York attractions. What’s not to love about all that razzle-dazzle to get you in the Christmas spirit? The Kings County neighborhood in Brooklyn is home to the most over-the-top Christmas light decorations with life-size Santas, sleighs, snowmen and some houses even bump Christmas carols from loudspeakers. Crowds of all ages flock to the nabe to wander down the multiple blocks and avenues and experience one of the top things to do in NYC in the winter.

 

Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center
Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center
Photograph: Filip Wolak

6. The Rink at Rockefeller Center 2020

Things to do

The Rink at Rockefeller Center will be open and ready for skaters. Ice skating is not only one of the best Christmas things to do, but it’s one of the best things to do for fall and winter! Every year, The Rink at Rockefeller Center ushers in the holiday season by opening up to the public to skate under a golden Prometheus. Once peak season hits, there’s going to be a bit of a wait to get on the slick stuff. Use our handy guide to navigate your way through one of the best New York attractions.

 

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