How to Beat the Craziness at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on Thursday, November 26, 2015 at 9am. It begins on 77th Street and Central Park West and stretches all the way to Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street. Talk about a long route!

You’ve seen the parade live on NBC, and I’m sure you’ve seen how crowded the parade can get.  After all, more 3.5 million people come to NYC and stand on the sidelines as the parade takes its course. Celebrating its 89th anniversary this year, New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is still the official kick-off of NYC’s holiday season. One reason why everyone loves the parade so much is because of the giant balloons, unique floats, marching bands, and celebrities everywhere.

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So, the question is: how do you beat it? How do you get around all of that traffic? As beautiful as the parade looks on TV, it will never be the same as seeing it in person. Here are some of my simple tips for getting to see the parade while also having a good time and not being mobbed by millions of tourists.

  1. Get there early. This is just common sense. Even though the parade starts at 9, if you want to get a decent view, you should plan getting there between an hour and an hour and half earlier.  You will be thanking yourself in the long run, even though it is frustrating to wake up so early.  Think about how packed the trains are going to be (if you choose to take the Subway… which is probably the best option because the streets will be closed off if you drive) and how bustling in the middle of the streets is going to take forever.  Trust me, getting there early is definitely worth it.
  2. Stay warm, but don’t overdo it. Typically, the end of the November calls for some pretty chilly weather. It might even be snowing by then! However, the amount of body heat you are going to get from the millions of people around you is definitely going to balance the cold weather out. Wear a jacket and a scarf to stay warm, but don’t bring a huge coat (unless it’s snowing or some crazy weather!). You will regret it.
  3. Don’t go to Herald Square. THIS is where most of the craziness is.  After all, it’s the last stop on the parade and that’s where all the bands, dancers, and singers perform.  Avoid this area at all costs.  You will be bombarded by people, trampled on, and possibly shoved just so people can take videos and pictures.  Not to mention, cops will be everywhere when things get out of hand. If you feel like you’d miss out if you don’t stand in that area, don’t feel that way.  The bands, dancers, and singers perform EVERYWHERE. That area is particularly for NBC to record and show live on TV.  You will still have the same amount of fun and see the same exact things standing somewhere else!

Now, if you plan on attending the event, The Urban Scoop wants to know! RSVP to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade here. Obviously, this is a free event and is a huge part of the heart of NYC!!

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