My family spent 10 Thanksgivings in New York City, becoming a Pittman holiday tradition. Unfortunately, now that my children are grown and Eddie and I are living part time in Panama, this is something we are not able to do anymore. We cherish all of our Thanksgiving in New York memories and I hope that this list will encourage you to make this a tradition for your own family.
1. Attend the 89th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an incredible experience! There is nothing like standing in close to zero temperatures, on top of 3.5 million people lining the streets, watching celebrities, balloons, and character floats go by. The 2.5-mile parade runs down Central Park West and 6th Avenue and spectators line the sidewalks as well as those on intersecting streets. If you do not get to your spot early, like 4 AM, you will not be able to see the parade due to the number of people standing in front of you. See parade route here.
2. Eat some of the best food in the world
New York has a never-ending list of delicious restaurants offering any kind of cuisine you could want. Some of my favorites are Bar Americain, The View (Marriott Marquis), The Cupping Room, and One if by Land, Two if by Sea. You will definitely need to make a reservation for any meals you plan on eating out on Thanksgiving; the entire city books up incredibly quickly and my family ended up eating our first Thanksgiving in NYC at Benihana.
3. See Broadway shows
There is nothing I love more than a good musical! If you have never attended a Broadway show, you are really missing out. Broadway is home to some of the best performances, singers, dancers, and actors in show business. My top three favorite shows were Jersey Boys, Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Xanadu. My pro tip for you is to stick around after the show at the stage door. On the actors’ way out of the theater they will stop and sign Playbills as well as take pictures with fans.
4. Go Black Friday shopping in the shopping capital of the world
Shopping in New York City on Black Friday is a total madhouse. Stores opened at 4 AM when we used to go and I cannot imagine what it is like now that stores open on Thanksgiving Day. Get used to standing in incredibly long check out lines pretty much anywhere you go. Even though every big department store does not offer the typical sales we usually think of, many have rewards programs extending through the entire week of Thanksgiving. Bloomingdales used to offer $10 gift cards back on every $100 spent in the store. Also, make sure to check out the store windows, a great free family activity, as they will be decorated for Christmas.
5. See the world famous Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular
This is one of my family’s favorite memories. Radio City Music Hall is absolutely beautiful and even more spectacular decorated for Christmas. The costumes, sets, songs, and Rockettes are sure to kick off your holiday season right. The 90 minute production will keep you entertained and smiling from ear to ear! Buy tickets here.
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