Everyone knows that there is nothing like Thanksgiving week in New York City. The holiday months in NYC are a time of excitement and festivities that can’t be missed. If you’re planning a trip and want to know what to do in NYC on Thanksgiving, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re exploring New York for the first time or rediscovering your hometown, here are 10 tips for planning the perfect trip and discovering the best Thanksgiving events in NYC.
1. Parade Viewing
There are several options to view the Thanksgiving Day Parade. You can see the parade from a hotel room right along the Parade Route, which offers a full view. You can enjoy breakfast in a variety of restaurants offering parade views or simply find a spot along the avenues. You can even enjoy a private, exclusive Thanksgiving event complete with breakfast, mimosas the perfect view and more. The Parade starts at 9:00 AM on 77thStreet and Central Park West and ends at Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street. Parade goers line-up as early as 6:30 AM to find a spot.
Since the Parade is really in view for only 2 ½ hours, think about the rate that you want to pay per night and understand that most hotels will have a 3-night minimum during the holiday.
From wholesale showrooms to big department stores, to unique boutiques, New York has something for everyone at virtually every price point. The old Black Friday has moved to Thanksgiving Day in some locations. Holiday markets pop up in a variety of locations including Union Square, Columbus Circle, and Bryant Park. So bring your walking shoes for some of the best shopping you can find.
With over 25,000 dining options, selecting the best option for you depends upon the ages of your group and price point per person. Here’s a tip, small children tend to do better in more casual venues.
In addition to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, there are fabulous Broadway Show options that range from serious plays to big, bright family-friendly musicals. Your Broadway experience can be enhanced to include a behind-the-scenes backstage visit with a cast member or learn a song and number from the Broadway Show you’ll be seeing.
6. Exploring New York
Remember, New York City has five (5) boroughs: Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Each is worth visiting for a variety of reasons. You may opt to explore the city on your own or have a team of professionals customize a private city highlights experience focusing on the neighborhoods and sites you wish to see. These experiences will depend upon your budget and what you wish to learn, the expertise level of the guide and whether you use private or public transportation.
With over 150 museums and 400 galleries, there are tons of options for places to explore and learn throughout New York City during Thanksgiving week. Whether you want to visit the Met, The Intrepid Museum or the 911 Memorial you won’t be disappointed.
8. Exploring the Harbor
There are several ways to enjoy the Harbor in New York city. You can walk along the waterfront, or glide across the waterway by boat—immerse yourself in the skyline view and architecture of the city on a one hour harbor cruise, lunch or dinner cruises, or a private yacht. Exploring the harbor is definitely a fun way to experience Thanksgiving week in New York City.
9. Ice Skating
If you’re trying to decide what to do in NYC on Thanksgiving, then make sure you add ice skating to your list. Ice skating venues in Manhattan include Wollman Rink in Central Park, The Rink at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, Standard Hotel Ice Rink and the Rink at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City.
10. Holiday Windows
“Window Shopping” can be inspirational; New York City’s Department Stores will begin to debut their holiday display right around Thanksgiving. Take a stroll pass the entertaining magical displays which dazzle and amaze children and adults alike. The list remains as valid as in past years.
Follow this path to the best holiday windows in New York City:
- Bloomingdales, 59th Street and Lexington Avenue
- Barneys, 61th Street and Madison Avenue
- Coach, 57th Street and Madison Avenue
- Tiffany, 57th Street and Fifth Avenue
- Bergdorf Goodman, 58th Street and Fifth Avenue
- Henri Bendel, 55th Street and Fifth Avenue
- Saks Fifth Avenue, 50th Street and Fifth Avenue
- Lord & Taylor, 38th Street and Fifth Avenue
- Macy’s, 34th Street and Sixth Avenue
Being able to enjoy Thanksgiving week in New York City doesn’t take much, but it’s important to make a plan and know your budget so that you get the most out of your trip. If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our pros about planning the perfect Thanksgiving in New York City, contact us today.