Known as the world’s largest parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual thanksgiving celebration parade held in New York City and hosted by Macy’s, a U.S. based chain of department stores. Going way back to 1924, this widely celebrated event has been the place to see the grandest floats, balloons, and performances to welcome the start of the year’s holiday season.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

Over the years it has been featured by the likes of USA Today, and the parade has been televised by NBC since 1952. Every year, the parade is set to start in the morning and runs for about 3 hours. Beginning in Manhattan, the floats, balloons, and performers are paraded around a predetermined route around NYC. Macy’s employees are also given an option to join the parade themselves.

Enjoying the Parade

Of course, nothing beats experiencing the actual parade. Being there to actually see the balloons of your favorite cartoon characters makes quite the story to tell.

Tip: If you want to make the most of the parade, you might want to hire a guide. These people will be able to get you the best spots, giving you unobstructed views of the balloons, floats, and everything else.

For those who just want to stay at home, they can tune it to NBC, where the parade will usually be covered live. This cable provider, along with others, will give subscribers login access to the coverage.

Alternatively, people can go to the network’s website, where the whole thing will be livestreamed, or use the mobile app. Unlike the television coverage, this method requires no login. Worthy of note are websites and companies like YouTube and Verizon, who have joined the party and are offering 360-degree streaming.

Parade Route

The parade starts on 77th Street on the Upper West Side by the American Museum of Natural History and close to Central Park West. From there, it will head along Central Park and go east on 59th Street before heading to 6th Avenue. The parade will then culminate on 34th Street just outside Macy’s Herald Square location.

Tip: If you don’t feel like following the parade but you still want to see the balloons and floats, your best bet is to head over to the American Museum of Natural History (where the parade starts) between 1:00pm and 8:00pm on Wednesday (before the day of the parade). Here, you’ll get to see the floats being inflated. It’s an entirely different experience!

If you’re wondering where the floats go after the event, you can head over to Universal Orlando Resort’s theme park in Florida. Since 2001, Macy’s had partnered with the resort to hold daily parades called the Macy’s Holiday Parade.


When going to see Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, make sure you prioritize your own safety. While the security will be tight on the routes, the fact that there are countless people watching the parade with you means that you’ll be prone to accidents if you’re not careful.

Other than that, make sure to take pictures and have fun!