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Macy’s parade balloons guide

Check out photos of the Macy’s Parade balloons over the years and where to watch them inflate on Thanksgiving eve

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Some of the best things to see during the city’s beloved Thanksgiving Day procession are the giant Macy’s Parade balloons. Since the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of Gotham’s best New York attractions during the holidays, we decided to create a slideshow with images of our favorite pop culture balloons over the years—but that’s not all! Below, you’ll find all the information you need to know in order to watch the inflation of the balloons on Thanksgiving eve. It’s one of the best things to do in fall here, so bundle up and get a sneak peek of the balloons before showtime. Make sure to check out our NYC events in November page for more holiday entertainment.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade

Which Macy’s parade balloons will I see this year?

This year, you will see giant balloons of pop culture characters including Hello Kitty, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Pikachu, Spongebob Squarepants, The Elf on the Shelf, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Paddington Bear, Ronald McDonald, Charlie Brown, Angry Birds’ Red, Sinclair’s Dino and the Ice Age Scrat and his acorn at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. New balloons for 2017 include Paw Patrol’s Chase, The Grinch, Super Wings’ Jett and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen.

Can I watch the inflation of the Macy’s parade balloons?

Are you itching to see the Macy’s Parade balloons come to life? You totally can! The inflation of the balloons takes place on Thanksgiving eve, and you can watch them grow in plain sight.

Where can I watch the inflation of the Macy’s parade balloons?

The ginormous balloons are inflated around the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th St) starting Wednesday, November 22 from 1–8pm. The best public viewing area is at 77th Street and Columbus Avenue.

Macy’s Parade balloons over the years

Photograph: Courtesy Macy's
1/15

1940s Uncle Sam

Photograph: Courtesy Macy's
2/15

1949, Harold the Baseball Player

Photograph: Courtesy Macy's
3/15

1962, Donald Duck

Photograph: Courtesy Macy's
4/15

1988, Pink Panther

Photograph: Courtesy Macy's
5/15

2002, Kermit the Frog

Photograph: Courtesy Macy's
6/15

2007, Pikachu

Photograph: Courtesy Macy's
7/15

2007, Rabbit by Jeff Koons

Photograph: Shutterstock
8/15

2011, Mickey Mouse

Photograph: Shutterstock
9/15

2011, Spiderman

Photograph: Shutterstock
10/15

2013, Elf on the Shelf

Photograph: Filip Wolak
11/15

2014, Spongebob

Photograph: Filip Wolak
12/15

2014, Thomas the Tank Engine

Photograph: Filip Wolak
13/15

2015, Adventure Time 

Photograph: Filip Wolak
14/15

2015, Paddington Bear

Photograph: Filip Wolak
15/15

2015, Pillsbury Dough Boy

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