by John Williams, President of New York Guest
Now that September is here, it’s time to start getting ready for the fall and the upcoming Holiday Season. After helping visitors through the last seven Thanksgivings in New York City, I’d like to share with you some tips I’ve learned to help you get the most out of your time here.
Thanksgiving Dinner: Restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving Day typically won’t announce their Thanksgiving menus until late October/early November. I recommend calling your travel planner about 3 weeks out to get ideas for some great restaurants, and still be able to get a table at the time you’re looking for. Typically this will be a 3-course fixed price menu ranging somewhere $35-$80/person (some will also offer a less expensive kid’s menu option.)
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: If you plan on watching the parade from the street, you will need to arrive early (6am-7am) in order to get a prime spot. The closer to Times Square/Macy’s you get, the more crowded it tends to be. I recommend watching from closer up by the beginning of the parade route (around Central Park West at 70th St.) Folding chairs are not allowed, so you will need to plan on standing most, if not all, of the time you are there. Another option would be to book a hotel with views of the parade route – this way you get to see all the action without having to stand up in the cold for 5 to 6 hours.
Watching the balloons get inflated: The night before Thanksgiving, workers spend late afternoon into the evening blowing up all the balloons for the parade. It’s a lot of fun to head up to check out the action either on the street, or from one of the restaurants in the area with a view. They start at about 4pm, but there’s no need to arrive until around 5pm when the balloons start taking shape. Public viewing is open until 8pm on 77th & 81st streets, between Central Park West and Columbus Ave. Fun fact: Macy’s is the second largest helium consumer after the US Government.
Thinking of joining us for Thanksgiving this year? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get started helping you plan a Thanksgiving weekend you’ll be thankful for for years to come! Book early for the best hotel rates!