A Guide to the 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

This will be the first year that I’m not going back home for Thanksgiving, and while I’m sad I won’t be able to see my family or eat my mom’s mashed potatoes and gravy, I am excited to be spending the holiday right here in New York City by going to the 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! When I was younger, my parents brought my sister and I to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade but I was too cold and too young to really enjoy everything that was going on around me. But this year, I’m going with my best friend and could not be more excited to get a good spot right on 6th Ave to watch the parade happen in real time.


Here’s some information I’ve gathered from researching where to watch the parade that you can hopefully use to see the parade up close and personal this year!


When is the parade?

The 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9am on Thursday, November 24th, 2016—Thanksgiving Day.


Where can I watch the parade?

The parade starts on 77th St. and Central Park West although viewing starts at 75th St. The three recommended spots to watch the parade are: Central Park West, Columbus Circle, and along the Sixth Avenue stretch between Central Park South and 38th St. where the parade comes to an end.


Central Park West: If you’re lucky enough to know someone or be someone who has access to the invite-only grandstand seating along Central Park, consider yourself lucky! This is where I sat when I went with my family 12 years ago and it was so nice to be able to sit and enjoy the parade. For those of you without tickets, you’re able to watch the parade on the west side. The parade runs along this stretch from 9-10:30am so it’s suggested to get there as early as 6am to get a prime spot.


Columbus Circle: From what I understand, there are stores at Columbus Circle called “The Shops” and they open at 9am on Thanksgiving Day. If you go here to watch the parade, you will see it from an elevated view—the second and third floors of the mall look down upon Central Park West.


The 21-block stretch on Sixth Avenue that the parade passes by is, in my opinion, the best chance you’ll have at seeing everything. The floats and balloons reach 59th St. at about 9:30am so depending on where along this route you plan on watching, you’ll probably want to get there as late as 7am to guarantee being able to see everything.


I know I’ll be getting there super early, bundled up, with lots of coffee and snacks in tow.

Hope to see you there too!!