If there’s one event when going cold turkey is actually enjoyable, Thanksgiving (November 23rd, 2017) is it! But before you re-heat those delicious leftovers and settle in for some Netflix, you’ll want to get out there and get involved. Here’s our pick of things to do In New York City on Thanksgiving!

MACY’S Thanksgiving Parade

MACY's Thanksgiving Parade

Over 8000 people, a heap of clowns, more balloons than you could possibly count and a bunch of marching bands. This is the world’s largest parade, coming to New York courtesy of the department store chain MACY’s. The MACY’s Thanksgiving Parade has been running since 1924, and 2017 is set to be just as colorful.

The parade starts at 9am and there’s 2.5 miles of public viewing spots, but you’ll have to arrive early for the best views.

Where to watch the MACY’s Thanksgiving Parade

The parade starts at 77th Street & Central Park West and marches south, finishing up at Macy’s Herald Square. You can watch the fun from the west side of Central Park West (from 70th Street to Columbus Circle), and from the east side (from 65th-70th Streets). You’ll also get good views from the west side of Columbus Circle, (6th Avenue between 58th and 34th), and on the south side of 34th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

TIP: Want to see the giant MACY’s Thanksgiving Parade balloons getting blown up? Head to Central Park West between 77th and 81st Streets (by the American Museum of Natural History) between 3-10pm on November 22nd.

Bank of America Winter Village

Winter Village at Bryant Park

It’s free to enter Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink, but you’ll still have to shell out $20 for ice-skate rental. Even so, you can’t get more magical than the Winter Village at Bryant Park; an intimate, icy winter wonderland. Visit during off-peak hours and beat the crowds to 150 shopping kiosks and food vendors, plus the mulled wine of course.

Where: 41 W 40th St between Sixth and Fifth Avenues

(until March 2018)

NYC Pilgrim Pedal

Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City

Stuffed full of turkey? Burn it off with a family-friendly 10-mile ride through Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, stopping midway for another feast – a pancake breakfast in a Brooklyn diner! There are prizes for the best costume and best-themed bike. When it comes to costumes, think anything related to Thanksgiving!

Starting point: 23rd Street and FDR Drive, Manhattan (more info here)

Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City

A proper New York City Thanksgiving Dinner is a must! Loads of New York restaurants offer holiday prix-fixe menus, and here are some of our favorites.

Thanksgiving in NYC

The Smith – Midtown

Join The Smith for a proper Thanksgiving feast in a casual American brasserie. This midtown classic will be serving three scrumptious courses with plenty of options for meat lovers and vegetarians alike! Three courses for $65 per person (1:00 pm – 9:00 pm)

Thanksgiving in NYCThe Sea Grill – Rockefeller

The Sea Grill’s fish and seafood affair makes for a fancy Thanksgiving meal, served with spectacular views of the skaters on The Rink at Rockefeller Center. A special three-course menu will be available for $95. (Children’s menu available for $35 for those under 9 years).

Hourglass Tavern – Times Square

It’s turkey treat time at Hourglass Tavern this 19th-century brownstone classic near Times Square. Opt for a traditional Turkey Feast featuring a turkey dinner, soup or salad and a dessert for $30 Adult/$20 children under 14. Dishes might include Lamb Shank, Filet Mignon, Frutti di Mare, Pumpkin Ravioli and more! (3pm – Midnight)

Open Attractions on Thanksgiving

Manhattan in the sunshine

Many New York attractions are open as usual on Thanksgiving and they might even be quieter, seeing as most Americans will be home stuffing their faces. Why not book one of these with us?

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours

All aboard for the easiest way to get around Manhattan – these hop-on hop-off buses cover over 30 stops on two routes. Visit top New York highlights like the Empire State Building, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and the 9/11 Memorial

9-11 Memorial

See the moving tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. See artifacts from Ground Zero and hear/read stories of loss, revival and recovery. There’s no time slot for this ticket, go in whenever you like.

Empire State Building

It wouldn’t be a real trip to NYC without a visit to its most famous skyscraper. Head to the Empire State Building’s observatory and see the Thanksgiving festivities from the 86th floor.

One World Observatory

Ride the multimedia elevator and look down on New York from its most excellent vantage point, the Freedom Tower. Views from up here span 50 miles on a clear day!

Top of the Rock / Rockefeller Center

Head to the highest point of 30 Rock, the famous Art Deco masterpiece and crowning jewel of the Rockefeller Center. This recently renovated observation deck smack in the middle of Manhattan promises amazing views!

Are you planning any cool parties or activities this Thanksgiving, in New York or elsewhere? Let us know on Twitter!

Meanwhile… start planning your next trip with Tiqets.com, or check out the latest tips for more can’t-miss attractions.

Becky Wicks

Becky Wicks

Itchy-footed writer Becky has lived and worked in London, New York, Dubai, Sydney and Bali. She started freelancing in 2010 and has collaborated with top brands such as Microsoft, GQ, TripAdvisor, Hello!, Tiqets, HTC, PayPal, eBay, MTV... the list goes on and on! Traveling is a way of life, and Becky has it down to a fine art!
Becky Wicks