3 Love It
Save it

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016 guide

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016 is a beloved NYC tradition, so use our guide to find out where to watch


Before America gets turnt on Turkey and settles in to watch some football, all eyes turn to Manhattan and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016. The annual pageant of giant balloons, floats, cheerleaders, clowns, marching bands, theater and Broadway in New York performances and celebs is one of the best NYC events in November. Sure, it’s fun to watch in your PJs, but there’s nothing like watching the procession in person. Use our guide to examine the parade route and get a sneak peek of this year’s balloons and floats (or watch the pre-Thanksgiving balloon inflation). We’ll also tell you about nearby restaurants open on Thanksgiving as well as bars and festive New York attractions to check out for the full NYC experience.

For a guided tour of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, click here.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Thanksgiving in NYC


View 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a larger map

When is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016?

The 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9am on Thanksgiving Day, which is Thursday, November 24, 2016.

Where can I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016?

There are three recommended stretches or spots on the route for watching the parade: the first leg along Central Park West, Columbus Circle and, finally, along Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street. The section from 38th Street to Herald Square and Macy’s department store is the telecast area and closed to the public. While there is limited space for viewing along the south side of 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the sight lines are seriously compromised by cameras, lights and scaffolding.

Central Park West: Viewing starts at 75th Street (two blocks down from the official start of the parade) and is only open to the public on the west side. Central Park is closed for invite-only grandstand seating. The parade runs along this stretch from 9 to 10:30am, so early birds who don’t mind turning up at 6am to snag a prime spot should flock here.

Columbus Circle: The Shops at Columbus Circle open at 9am on Thanksgiving Day. From the second and third floors of the mall, you’ll enjoy an elevated view of the parade streaming down Central Park West. As an added bonus you’ll also get to see the Holiday Under the Stars light display. Twofer!

Sixth Avenue: The floats and balloons reach Sixth Avenue at about 9:30am, so arrive at this 21-block portion as late as 7am and you should still find a good spot. You can get a great view anywhere from 59th to 38th Sts.

How do I get tickets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016?

You can’t! This is a non-ticketed event, and it’s totally free to watch the parade at one of the three aforementioned stretches and spots.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016

Nine amazing facts you didn’t know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Blog

Nine amazing facts you didn’t know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Head uptown to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons get inflated
Blog

Head uptown to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons get inflated

The performers in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade have been announced
Blog

The performers in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade have been announced

The new balloons coming to this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Blog

The new balloons coming to this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Extra security is coming to this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Blog

Extra security is coming to this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 360-degree video
Blog

Stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 360-degree video

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade photos

Macy’s Parade Balloons guide
Things to do

Macy’s Parade Balloons guide

See photos of the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Things to do

See photos of the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Check out vintage photos of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Things to do

Check out vintage photos of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

See photos of the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Things to do

See photos of the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Show more

Archive Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade content

An insider's guide to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Blog

An insider's guide to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by the numbers
Things to do

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by the numbers

Behind the scenes at the Macy's Parade Studio
Things to do

Behind the scenes at the Macy's Parade Studio

Macy's Parade balloon inflation 2012

Macy's Parade balloon inflation 2012

Comments

12 comments
Allen C
Allen C

Regarding the Baldwinsville High School Marching Band, the band played well, but I give the coordinator a FAIL for selecting the song "Get Lucky". Maybe it is accurate because high schoolers are sexually active, but to advertise "staying up all night to get some (get lucky)" is in poor taste. There are so many songs out there, really, you had to choose Daft Punk?

dwhidd
dwhidd

Typically I watch the parade with my 10 yr old daughter. We even make a check list of things to watch for each year.  This year just as last year we were disappointed.  Last year is was the inappropriate dancing and outfits by performers.  This year KISS really?  They were scary to me when I was little.  Totally NOT family friendly.  It was also a BIG commercial for Broadway.  We ended up watching the OTHER channel each time an act came on with my daughter begging me to change it.  The Marching bands were NOT even announced unless you were the American Band.  These kids fund raise all year for this and then you invite them only to show Broadway over the kids?  Bad form.  Fix it please.  It was a disappointment for many.  Facebook was a buzz with people that hated it too.  

Vi R
Vi R

I so agree...I thought I was the only person. Good Grief another song...give us a break already...this junk can go. BRING BACK ALL THE BALLOONS !!!  NOT JUST THE NEW ONES, WHERE IS POPEYE, SNOOPY AND ALL THE OTHERS??  Quit the singing, quit the yakking with the celebs in the audience...and stop with the all the commercials...6 minutes of programming to 3 minutes of commercials???  Come on...bring back the simplistic parade programming... balloons, marching bands, balloons and marching bands.  I am so tired of these songs...please stop already...I want to see the balloons.

Trina P
Trina P

I thought the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was a parade, not a talk show.

James N
James N

The live parade broadcast on CBS sucks. I don't care for the announcers and who they interview. CBS show more floats and marching bands. My kids want to watch a parade, not people talk.