Before the turkey has made its way to the table, 50 million families across America will huddle around the television to watch elaborate floats, larger-than-life balloon characters and some of the world’s most dazzling talent snake through the streets of New York City. Recognized as one of the most exciting and well-known traditions during the month of November, the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will once again take place this year in the Big Apple on Thursday, November 27, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Spiderman Balloon

An estimated three million people are expected to watch the magnificent parade unfold live before their eyes. If you’re planning to check out the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for yourself, we want to be sure you get a good glimpse of the entertainment. There are three recommended stretches or spots on the route for watching the parade: the first leg along Central Park West, Time Warner Center and, finally, along Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Turkey Float

The section from 38th Street to Herald Square and Macy’s department store is the telecast area and closed to the public. While there is limited space for viewing along the south side of 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the sight lines are seriously compromised by cameras, lights and scaffolding.

Hello Kitty Parade Balloon

Where to See the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:

Central Park West

Viewing starts at 75th Street (two blocks down from the official start of the parade) and is only open to the public on the west side. Central Park is closed for invite-only grandstand seating. The parade runs along this stretch from 9–10:30am, so early birds who don’t mind turning up at 6 a.m. to snag a prime spot should flock here.

Time Warner Center

The Shops at Columbus Circle open at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. From the second and third floors of the mall, you’ll enjoy an elevated view of the parade streaming down Central Park West. As an added bonus you’ll also get to see the Holiday Under the Stars light display.

Sixth Avenue

The floats and balloons reach Sixth Avenue at about 9:30 a.m., so arrive at this 21-block portion as late as 7 a.m. and you should still find a good spot.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Map

While the parade is broadcast on NBC, there really isn’t anything that compares to the joy of experiencing the parade live in the Big Apple. If you’re planning to brave the crowds and cold to watch the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, we do recommend you bring a jacket. Temperatures are expected to hover around the mid-30s. Don’t worry, we promise every last shiver will be worth it.