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What to Do For Thanksgiving, Alone

Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful, whether if it is celebrated with family, friends, or even by yourself. Ultimately, the day is about feasts, treats, and gratitude, so even if you’re spending it by yourself — do it right. Treat yourself after going through all the work and struggles you had to put up with throughout the year.

Here are a few tips that will hopefully inspire you on how.


Watching movies alone is underrated, but don’t let too many people in on this secret. Here’s why. Especially since Thanksgiving will be happening on a Thursday this month, watching movies at your nearby theatre alone is a great way to spend your Thanksgiving. Thursdays are usually the day of the week where you may have just the right amount of energy to go out for a meal or a walk, but not so much that you would be able to party through a whole night out. Watching a movie alone will be a surprisingly relaxing experience- it allows you to avoid having to deal with the distracting questions or spoilers that will most likely happen if you’re bringing a date or friends. Seeing a movie by yourself gives you the fun and immersive experience of allowing yourself to sink into the plot. So this Thanksgiving, treat yourself by buying a movie ticket of the latest time-slot of the day. There, enjoy yourself in the empty theatre, with popcorn in your hands and legs crossed over on the seat in front of you. Here are a few movies that will be in theaters this Thanksgiving- Dune (Starring Timothee Chalamet), House of Gucci (Directed by Ridley Scott), King Richard (Biographical Movie about the father of world famous tennis players-Venus and Serena Williams)

Bryant Park

Every year, Bryant Park hosts the much anticipated Bank of America Winter Village and Holiday Market. Although you still have the rest of the year to visit these events, it never hurts to experience the winter magic a bit early. Personally, I am an avid people watcher- I simply love looking at people on the streets while I experience the city- not in the Joe Goldberg from You creepy kind of way, but rather the looking for fashion inspos and taking in the happy vibes kind of way. I absolutely adore watching people skate and walk around with hot chocolate in their hands at Bryant Park. The food there is a bit pricey but the cold weather and festive atmosphere makes it absolutely worth it. It opens everyday from 11 AM to 8 PM and ice skating is $15 per person if you don’t have your own skates. Find a time during the day to check it out, maybe as the destination of a walk after a filling lunch. I promise, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

Macy’s thanksgiving Parade

A Thanksgiving must-do in NYC is watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Following Bryant Park, if you are also someone that also really enjoys crowds and the city, you could also fit the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in your schedule. First brought out in 1924, the parade will be having their 95th anniversary this Thanksgiving, however, this doesn’t take away the uniqueness of this year’s parade, remember to keep an eye out for a few never-before-seen balloons while the parade marches before you this year. It happens on Thanksgiving day, starting at 77th St. and Central Park West, and ending at the Macy’s on 34th St. Not only are the gigantic inflated balloons quite a view to take in, standing amongst the crowd on Manhattan’s streets is quite an experience as well. Unlike any other day of the year, the streets of New York on Thanksgiving will be filled with excitement and gratitude rather than rush and exhaustion. 

Treat yourself (Hair salon /Massage/ Lashes)

I barely find the opportunity to treat myself, even during the times when I finally get the chance to catch a break during my busy weeks. I usually prefer staying home watching Netflix and eating my leftovers rather than going out to treat myself. As life goes on, I’ve slowly stopped spending time on self care. Somehow, the more I need it, the more I don’t have time for it. If you’re spending Thanksgiving alone this year, take it as a sign your angels are telling you to use the time to practice self care. Look in the mirror, find what you really need. Whether it’s a hair appointment, a message, or a lash appointment, go for it! Book the appointment! Making yourself feel better will most likely allow you to perform better in almost all aspects of your life. Believe me, no one deserves your love more than yourself <3


Since Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and giving back, it’s never a bad idea to take this as an opportunity to give back to the community. Through volunteering during Thanksgiving, you’ll be able to help others as well as yourself have a memorable holiday experience, you would meet those that also give warmth and those that receive warmth as well. Organizations like New York Cares, City Harvest, and Citymeals on Wheels are all looking for volunteers to help with a variety of ways to give back to the community. They’ll allow you to participate in events including coat drives, meal packing, delivering food for homebound seniors who are facing hunger, and providing SAT and college app preparations for students in need or under resourced neighborhoods. With just a few clicks on your phone, you’ll be able to be a part of making someone’s Thanksgiving more memorable! Not only would you share the happiness from those whose day you’ve made better, but also the pride in being a part of giving thanks to our beloved city. 

Plan for Black Friday

I am a self- diagnosed shopaholic, and other than Christmas, Thanksgiving, and my own birthday, Black Friday might be one of my favorite days of the year. Throughout the years, whether it is that I spend Thanksgiving alone or not, there would be no way that I would go to sleep without having a concrete plan for Black Friday shopping. I usually tackle my necessities (a new laptop/iPad or basics for my winter wardrobe) since the day is ultimately only 24 hours. So start researching your favorite brands. That coat you had on your wishlist since the start of the season? Now’s the time to finally snatch it!

Here are a few of my favorite basics and brands that I think are worth the investment:

Leather Jackets– All Saints, Acne Studios, Nanushka (Vegan Leather), Rag and Bone

Wool Coats– & Other Stories, COS, The Frankie Shop, A.P.C., Theory, Aritzia

Winter Jackets (Puffers/ Parkas)– Aritzia (The Super Puff), Arcteryx, The North Face. Unfortunately, both Moncler and Canada Goose do not go on sale for black friday:(

Websites to visit for designer items that don’t usually go on sale:

Farfetch , Ssense (starts 11/22) , Matchesfashion, Mytheresa, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue 

Lastly, here are some Thanksgiving Affirmations that you should claim. You are appreciated, you are important, and you deserve the world. 

I hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever!

Isabel is a sophomore at NYU and she is still between majors. During her free time, she likes to walk around the city and go window shopping. Her life tip for everyone is that when you're feeling down, just walk into a high-end clothing store, try some clothes on, and let the sales person hype you up. ;)
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