All you need to know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade 2022, whether attending in person or watching it on TV. These tips on where to watch, what to take, and other tricks come straight from a New Yorker.
2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Survival Guide
Is a trip to New York City in your plans this Thanksgiving? Besides eating at the best cheap NYC restaurants and playing tourist at these must-see sites, be sure to schedule in the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. And if you're really lucky, you'll get to see all the best New York City Christmas Sites.
Here's how to watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade live from NYC. These tips come straight from a New Yorker who has attended the parade for the last 12 years.
- 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Survival Guide
- GENERAL INFORMATION FOR MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
- MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE ROUTE
- WHAT TIME DOES THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE START?
- TIPS FOR WATCHING THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE IN NYC
- Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade At Home
- Other NYC Travel Tips
- 💬 Comments
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
- Date: Thursday, November 24th, 2022 (always Thanksgiving Day)
- Starting time: 9 am EST
- Parade route: The parade starts at 81st Street and gets much more crowded as it gets closer to the ending point at Macy's in Herald Square. See the detailed parade route here.
- Watch the parade live on NBC if you can't attend the parade in person.
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE ROUTE
The Thanksgiving Day parade starts at 81st Street in Manhattan and ends at Macy's in Herald Square.
WHAT TIME DOES THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE START?
The parade begins at 9:00 am EST. It lasts until 12:00 pm EST.
TIPS FOR WATCHING THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE IN NYC
1. Plan ahead
The parade starts at 9am, but doesn't finish until nearly 11am. By the time you get out of the crowds and back to your apartment or hotel, it will be close to noon.
Plan ahead so you are not stressed with your Thanksgiving feast preparations.
You can make pies (the best pies recipes here) and rolls the night before, simplify your side dishes, or plan to eat the big feast later so you have plenty of time to prepare.
2. Go early
You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm. Or in this case, the best seats!
What time should I go to the Thanksgiving Day parade? I'd plan to go around 5 am. By going this early, you'll avoid the huge crowds and won't lose half your group. Trust me, it can be miserable if you wait.
You'll score front-row seats, making the parade so much more enjoyable to watch.
Tip: Send a few members of your group to go early to save seats for you if you can't get everyone at the door that early!
3. Bundle up!
Coats, gloves, hats...you'll want 'em all! The weather has usually started to get chilly by this time of the year. You don't want to be freezing the whole morning long.
Take these instant hand warmers along to place in your gloves or boots to keep you nice and toasty!
4. Take camp chairs & blankets
Since you'll be going early to get the best seats, be sure to bring along chairs and blankets. You'll definitely want a place to sit while you wait. Take lightweight camping chairs such as these you can get on Amazon to avoid carrying heavy, bulky chairs.
5. Pack yourself breakfast
Now, you may not be hungry for anything at 5am, but the parade doesn't get over until around 11am, so we usually bring breakfast pastries or muffins, fruit, and other snacks along with hot cocoa. Just don't drink too much because you will not be able to leave to find a bathroom until the parade is over!
6. Don't forget your camera
The giant balloons, soaring through the sky next to the tall buildings along Central Park West are an absolutely amazing sight. You will want to be able to capture the moment!
7. See the balloons get blown up the night before
If you feel like the Macy's parade might be a bit too much for you, you can attend the "blowing-up-of-the-balloons-party" the night before. You'll be able to walk around and see the balloons up close. This is a great option for kids who may not be able to sit through the entire parade.
Where to see the Thanksgiving Day parade balloons:
- Where: Outside the Museum of Natural History (between West 77th & West 81st Streets)
- When: the day before Thanksgiving from noon until 6:00 pm.
- Crowds: The crowds get bigger the later you go, so plan accordingly.
Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade At Home
For you who are far from this bustling city, cozy up in your pj's and slippers and flip on the NBC TV to watch the parade from the comfort of your warm home. It's not quite as magical as being there in person, but it is still fun & look for me--I'll be waving!
Happy Thanksgiving from the City!
Other NYC Travel Tips
- The Best Cheap NYC Restaurants You Have to Try
- NYC At Christmastime: 25 Things You Must See
- Kid-Friendly New York City Travel Tips
*This post was written by Emily Poll, who lives in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Shannon Perkins says
Thank you so much for all of your Parade information!! I do have a question, that only a veteran will be able to answer. Where is the best place to see the parade? Meaning, do the dancing groups and marching bands and other entertainment only perform at certain locations like we usually see on television, or do they perform throughout? My family of 8 will be staying at the Mariott on 40th street. Do you have any suggestions as far as where to go from there??
Thank you so much for this! I have read they start blowing up balloons earlier? Is this true or is 5 p.m. the marker? Many thanks! Our first time coming and want to not miss it!
Sorry if my info was confusing-- I have updated it. Yes! The balloons begin getting inflated at noon and go until 6 pm. You can view them outside the Natural History Museum. Let me know ifyou have more ??