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97th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving in America you can tipically find families gathering to give thanks and enjoy a turkey dinner, but Thanksgiving in NYC was a little different this year. We were thankful to check off the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year!

To view the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in person you will have to put your traditional Thanksgiving meal with your family on hold. More than 3 million people line the streets to get a view of the amazing floats and giant balloons on Thanksgiving day!

It is important to be strategic when planning your trip to see the parade. I have put together some tips from our experience.

109 west 45th St.

The hotel was all about location, location, location. Planted in between 6th, where the parade is, and Times Square. It was so convenient to be right in the thick of it! The hotel could use a lot of updates, but again staying here allowed us to situate ourselves early at the parade on 6th.

Prior to checking in, I shipped 4 pop up chairs to the hotel. This was the best move because we arrived at 6:15 am and there was two rows deep already of people. We established our area, I grabbed Starbucks and brought it back and just hung out and made friends with many band parents.

Should you have deeper pockets and want to avoid being outside in the elements, you can pay for brunch with a view along the parade route. Just be sure to look into these reservations well in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly.

There are 2.5 miles of designated public viewing areas along the parade route in 2023:

  • Starting Point: W. 77th Street & Central Park West 

  • From Central Park West: Parade marches south down Central Park West for 18 blocks to Columbus Circle.

  • From Columbus Circle: Parade turns onto Central Park South and heads east to 6th Avenue.

  • From Central Park South & 6th Avenue: Parade turns onto 6th Avenue and heads south to 34th Street.

  • 6th Avenue: Parade marches south down 6th Avenue for 25 blocks to 34th Street (*Where we were)

  • 34th Street: Parade turns west onto 34th Street to 7th Avenue.

  • Ending Point: Macy's Herald Square at 34th Street & 7th Avenue

By the time the parade started at 8:30am the streets were lined around 7 rows deep. The weather was perfect: 45 degrees and sunny but we had handwarmers, waters, some small snacks and blankets just in case.

What you could find at 2023 parade:

  • Cher, who recently recorded her first Christmas album, is set to perform a new holiday hit to kick off the season on 34th Street.

  • Seven new character balloons, including Blue Cat & Chugs, Beagle Scout Snoopy and Monkey D. Luffy,  and four new floats including Camp Snoopy and Palace of Sweets.

  • Artists include: Jon Batiste, En Vogue, Chicago, Brandy, David Foster and Katherine McPhee, Bell Biv DeVoe and many more!

  • 9 Marching bands and cheer teams

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a wonderful event you should check off your bucket list. The balloons flew high, and the sun was shining. Santa arrived at the end around 11:30am just in time for us to go grab free Thanksgiving lunch at Rudy's.

Dive into New York’s most famous dive bar, right through the original wood door, carved down the center with the name of the first owners, the Rudy family. Rudy's was a recommended stop and the free Thanksgiving Buffet hit the spot! Football was on and the beer prices were better than any bar I have seen!

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