Thanksgiving predates the famous Macy’s parade by hundreds of years. But for many, it’s hard to imagine one without the other. On Nov. 28, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is back for the 87th time — and so is Snoopy, for the 37th. The beloved beagle, who was conspicuously absent from last year’s parade, first debuted in the parade in 1968, and holds the record for most appearances.
In addition to other longtime favorites, from Super-Man to Hello Kitty to SpongeBob SquarePants (who will be donning a “holiday-themed ensemble” this year), new balloons for 2013 include the dragon Toothless from DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon and Finn and Jake from Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. New floats will include the Royal Caribbean Windows to the World at Sea and SeaWorld Sea of Surprises. Plus, the parade will feature its usual colorful array of oompah-oompah marching bands, drill teams, frolicking clowns, musical theater and much more.
When: Nov. 28, 9am–noon. Check the website for more details.
The route: The parade kicks off at 77th Street and Central Park West at 9am, and then makes its way south along Central Park, turning east at Columbus Circle, and then south onto Sixth Avenue, passing 42nd Street to its final stop at Macy’s Herald Square. Viewing areas include the west side of Central Park, from 59th to 75th streets; at Columbus Circle; and on Sixth Avenue, from 38th to 59th streets. Note that you should avoid Sixth Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets, and also parts of Herald Square, because this area is restricted due to the NBC national broadcast, which films here. The best viewing is at Columbus Circle, but note that for a top spot, you’ll need to get there early — very early. People begin to line up at 6am, and you’ll likely need to stay in one spot until the parade begins. Dress warmly and drink lightly.
On TV: NBC will air the parade starting at 9am on Nov. 28.
Balloon Inflation: The balloon inflation takes place the day before Thanksgiving from 3pm to 10pm . Enter the special balloon inflation areas around the Museum of Natural History, starting at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue.
Click here to read more about great ways to celebrate the holidays in New York City, and don’t forget to check out our deals and discounts for tours, cruises and shows this holiday season.