The Best Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Viewing Spots

Staying in the city for Thanksgiving break? Then you can't miss one of the most famous holiday celebrations in the world -- the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! See all of your favorite celebrities, artists, bands, athletes and be enchanted by the incredible floats and balloons. The 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has a 2.5 mile parade route, taking over Midtown Manhattan starting at West 71st Street and ending at Macy's Herald Square on 34th Street. Check out some prime viewing areas and tips below!

1) Central Park West - 77th Street - Kick Off- If you're in NYC the night before the parade, you can visit 77th Street & The Museum of Natural History to see the inflation of the balloons between 3pm-10pm.- This is where all of the participants/floats/balloons begin. It is very congested and is full of police activity and barricades.- The parade begins here at 9am Thanksgiving morning.

2) Central Park West (59th to 75th Streets)- People start camping out here at 6am (and earlier!)- Only the sidewalk on the west side is open to public. Central Park sidewalk is closed for invite-only grandstand seating (which is only available for the family and friends of Macy's employees, volunteers, partners, and various charitable organizations.)- If you live in midtown, you'll probably be able to make it home in time to watch the parade on TV (even though you've already seen it in real life, it'll still be making its way towards Herald Square).

3) 59th Street - Central Park South- The parade route turns at Columbus Circle onto Central Park South- You can watch from inside the Shops at Columbus Circle (which opens at 9am) but it will be very crowded.- This is a nice area to watch the parade from with family and friends because you can stroll into Central Park once the parade has passed.

4) 6th Avenue (between 38th and 59th streets)- People will start lining up here early, but you will still be able to see most of the floats (and all of the balloons) if you get here after 7am.- The parade will reach this area around 9:30am.- If you live at the 55th Street Res Hall you can walk west towards 6th Avenue for a great spot of the parade!

5) Avoid Viewing from 34th to 38th Streets- The national television broadcast limits viewing here.- Most areas will be closed off to the public.- The grandstand seating at Herald Square (where the performances take place) is not available to the general public.

No matter where you watch from be sure to use the bathroom before you get to your spot, dress warm (lots of layers!), bring food, charge your camera, and enjoy the parade!