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8 Tips for Attending Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

I spent the majority of my life in NYC, Brooklyn to be exact and would make it my business to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade every year. As I got older we started watching it more and more on television. Now that I'm no longer living in NYC, I do miss our yearly tradition of going to see it in person. The majority of America watches The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from their television as the smell of amazing food wafts through the air. It’s a great family tradition that many of us share. None of us really think we will ever get the chance to attend this extravagant parade in person but it’s really not as hard as it seems! If you follow these 8 simple tips, you will find it’s a doable event to add to your bucket list.

1. Plan early! Planning at least two months in advance will not only save you money but it will give you a chance to choose from a wider variety of hotels. No one likes getting stuck with a lame hotel on their trips!

2. Try to get a hotel within a mile of where the parade will be marching through. I say this because everything will be blocked off…everything. Walking to where you’re watching the parade is your safest and quickest bet. It’s not as bad as it sounds.

3. Check the parade route at the same time you are booking your hotel. A lot of places such as Trip Advisor and Priceline, will have great deals and list how far the hotel is from the area you’re looking in.

4. It will most likely be cold. New York starts getting cold in October and only gets worse from there. Bring all of your winter gear and dress in layers. Scarves are very handy for the chilly wind.

5. Carry a small backpack that’s easily toted around but doesn’t weight a lot. Having a spare set of gloves or other winter items as well as a safe spot to stick your wallet is handy. Take only what you need. You will be happy that you didn’t bring too much.

6. Bring a camera or even a video camera. These are allowed and you will definitely want one or both. There are a lot of great photo opportunities.

7. Get started towards the parade at least two hours early. Getting there this early allows you to still get a spot up front without having to wait too long in the cold. If you’re lucky, there are some spots that are even still available near the front with only an hour left until the parade.

8. If you have kids, make sure and bring something along the lines of a tablet for them to stay busy with. Bringing a blanket for them to sit on while waiting is also helpful.

Yes, you can do it and it’s really that easy to add the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to your list of accomplishments!

Let's discuss: Have you ever visited the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person? 

Annmarie John
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  1. I have never been to any big parades in person, just small local ones. I think I would be overwhelmed with the crowds!

  2. These are great tips. We used to live in Manhattan, and my husband took the kids to watch them blow up the balloons the night before the parade. So magical!

  3. These are great tips. I only watch the parade on TV. I would love to watch this in person someday.

  4. I posted about this last week. Getting there early is a MUST.

  5. I haven't been in person, but would love to some day! We are thinking about heading to the Chicago one this year though, since it's a bit closer to our house.

  6. This is great advice. I'd really like to go with my sister since New York is kind of our hang out place.

  7. What great tips if you are able to attend. This is a dream of mine to one day see it in person.

  8. I grew up in NJ as a child and my dad took me a few times to see the parade but we never had great visibility. These are all great tips.

  9. I never been to a parade. I think it would be totally fun.

  10. I really wish that I could go to this at least once in my life.

  11. I've been to the Rose Parade twice and that was enough for me. I'm sure it's much easier now with technological advances. Great tips.

  12. Thanks for these tips. I would want to experience this first hand but I live too far. Someday, my family must plan a trip to be able to witness this. It must be so fun!

  13. I have never had a chance to attend a Thanksgiving parade so far & now with kids around I am not sure about this year either. I can see that you need to plan so much upfront, but has the worth as you could find a hotel near the parade marching area.

  14. I would absolutely adore to attend one of the parades you do over there - they look amazing! x

  15. Used to love watching the parades! Never do these days but I so enjoyed them

  16. I have been to this parade twice in my life. The last time I went 2 years back, we were couple of blocks away. Like you mentioned everything was blocked.

  17. Never got to see the parade in person but we used to watch it when I lived in Florida. I miss it!


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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