How to have the best Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade experience

A celebrated event for more than just New Yorkers, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is beloved by the nation and many more. This annual parade will be quite a treat for both those watching by the street and those on television broadcast, as it features fan favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants and some fun new characters like Sunny the Snowpal.

It’s a rite of passage for NYC residents and visitors to watch from the sidewalks and see the epic balloons and floats. Though it seems simple enough to attend a parade, this one is so popular that you’ll need to plan ahead. Here are some important things to keep in mind before making your way to 6th Avenue to see it.

Know the Route

The parade will depart from West 77th Street & Central Park West at 9:00AM and travel down from 77th Street to 59th Street before turning on Central Park South. Once they reach 6th Avenue, the floats, balloon, and volunteers will make their way towards the Herald Square Macy’s. Be aware that it’ll be hard to view on 6th Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets or in front of Macy's due to the national television broadcast. Check out the parade route here for more tips on where to view from.

Get There Early

Keep in mind that the further north you decide to watch from, the earlier the contingent will begin to pass by. As this is a popular event that thousands turn floor the sidewalks for, you’re going to need to get a spot pretty early in the morning. Give yourself enough time to commute and find the right spot. We recommend bringing lawn chairs and warm drinks to help the time pass.

Bundle Up

This year’s Thanksgiving Day is going to be a cold one. With a high of 30 degrees and a low of 19 degrees, you’re going to need those scarves, gloves, and hats on. The sun will be shining, thankfully, but maximize your fun by making sure you’re comfortable while outside for several hours.


Closest landmarks

  • Cooper Union 0.3 km
  • Cooper Triangle 0.3 km
  • Bleecker Street 0.4 km
  • McSorley's 0.4 km
  • Katz's Deli 0.4 km
  • New Museum 0.4 km
  • Broadway - Lafayette Street 0.4 km
  • Astor Place 0.5 km
  • Astor Place Subway Station 0.5 km
  • ABC Playground 0.6 km

Most popular landmarks

  • Ground Zero 2.5 km
  • Empire State Building 2.6 km
  • Grand Central Station 3.2 km
  • Times Square 3.5 km
  • Rockefeller Center 3.8 km
  • Museum of Modern Art 4.1 km
  • Central Park 5.1 km
  • Ellis Island 5.1 km
  • Statue of Liberty 6.1 km
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art 6.4 km

Restaurants and markets

  • The Bean (Cafe/bar) 0.1 km
  • Gemma's (Restaurant) 0.2 km
  • Calliope (Restaurant) 0.2 km
  • Whole Foods (Supermarket) 0.3 km
  • Il Buco (Restaurant) 0.3 km
  • Union Square Farmer's Market (Market) 1.3 km

Closest airports

  • LaGuardia Airport 11.3 km
  • Newark Liberty International Airport 16.4 km
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport 19.3 km

Shopping nearby - all within 500m!

  • Nolita (Boutique)
  • Historic Orchard Street Shopping District (Boutique)
  • SoHo (High street)