More: Thanksgiving in New York City
On Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9 a.m. the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin. The parade travels down Central Park West from 77th Street to Columbus Circle along Central Park South to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 34th Street and along 34th Street to Macy's Herald Square (34th Street). (Map of Parade Route)
Used with Permission © Macy's, Inc
There will be a new parade route for 2012, but the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will still begin at 77th Street & Central Park West and end at Macy's Herald Square. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Public Viewing Areas
Map: Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Route Map
- Central Park West: West side of street from 70th Street to Columbus Circle & east side of street from 70th to 65th
- Columbus Circle: West side of street
- 6th Avenue: between 58th & 34th Streets
- 34th Street: south side of street between Broadway & 7th Avenue
In order to get a good viewing spot, many people arrive before 6:30 a.m. the morning of the parade to stake out space along the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route. Be sure to wear plenty of warm clothes and bring a thermos full of coffee or hot cocoa, as it can be quite cold. The duration of the parade depends on where you view it from -- near the beginning of the route, it will last about 1 1/2 hours, closer to Macy's
, the parade will last closer to 3 hours. You can also book a hotel room with a view of the Thanksgiving Day Parade
. For the more meek, the parade will be aired on NBC from 9 a.m. until noon.
If you'd like to get a chance to see the balloons as they get blown up, on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 you can watch the inflation of the 25 parade balloons from 3 - 10 p.m. near the American Museum of Natural History
just off Central Park West between 77th St. and 81st St.