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.