One of the biggest holiday season events in New York City is Macys’ Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year the 89th annual parade will begin on November 26th at 9AM. The Parade travels south beginning at 77th Street and Central Park and ending at Macy’s Herald Square. The recommended spots on the route for watching the Parade are along Central Park West, Time Warner Center and along Sixth Avenue. The area between 38th Street and Herald Square is closed to the public and occupied by the telecast crews. The viewing at Central Park West starts at 75th Street (two blocks down from the official start of the parade) and is open to the public only on the west side. Central Park will be closed for special guests with invite-only passes. The parade as we mentioned earlier starts at 9AM and will continue until 10:30AM, so if you want to find a good spot to watch it arrive around 6AM and make sure to dress very warmly and bring some food and hot beverages, as it might be quite cold. Another great spot for the Parade watching is The Shops at Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center). On Thanksgiving Day the mall is open at 9AM. You can enjoy an elevated view of the parade from the second and third floors. There is also a beautiful installation on view, called the Holiday Under the Stars Light display. And finally, for those who can’t get up too early, the floats and balloons reach the Sixth Avenue portion, which consists of 21 blocks, at around 9:30AM, so arrive as late as 7AM and you still will be able to find a good spot.
In case you can’t make it to the Parade you can watch the inflation of the 25 parade balloons on Wednesday, November 25th, from 3PM until 10PM between 77th and 81st Street.
Besides the Parade there are many other places in New York City to visit during the holiday season. One of them is our favorite Winter Village at Bryant Park. Not only is there free admission for ice skating but also 125 boutique-like shops and local food eateries with delicious holiday treats. In case you get cold visit one of the two restaurants at the park. “Celsius” is a two-story, glass enclosed restaurant situated at the northeast corner of The Rink Grab. Sit under the heat lamps or enjoy panoramic views of the rink from the second floor. The second option is “Bryant Park Grill” which is located on the Upper Terrace along 40th Street. The Grill is an elegant & sophisticated restaurant with a great menu and service. If you are around on the weekend make sure to get the brunch at the Grill, it’s worth the money! In case you are looking for more casual dining Bryant Park Cafe is right next door or just relax and hang out at the Cafe Bar. Another option for warming up at the park is “Ice Bites” inside the Skating Pavilion, try their hot chocolate and tasty treats.
The Union Square Holiday Market is the place you must visit if you want to experience intimate and enjoyable holiday shopping. The market is open from November 19th till December 24th, 2015. As soon as you get there you can feel the Holiday spirit in the air. This is a great place when looking for a holiday gifts such as local handmade jewelry, artworks, home goods crafted from natural wood, and gourmet pantry items, from small-batch jams to all natural olive oils. You can also just wonder around sipping delicious hot chocolate or apple cider from local vendors.
After visiting the Parade and spending the rest of the day shopping what can be better than a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at of the best restaurants in NYC? The first on our list is Sarabeth’s Tribeca. If you like homey, bright places that make you think of your well-mannered grandmother’s house this place is for you. On the menu is pumpkin soup, beet and apple salad, crab cakes with fennel and filet mignon. And of course there will be turkey. The bird is free-range and comes with leek-and-sausage stuffing and brown butter-whipped potatoes. Desserts are traditional as well, with pumpkin pie taking the lead, followed by a seasonally-focused apple-cranberry crumble and a spicy ginger ice cream sandwich.
Second on the list is fancy Bouley also located in Tribeca at 163 Duane Street. An upscale meal in what looks like a cozy European living room, famous chef and restaurateur David Bouley is offering a lavish six-course Thanksgiving meal in his namesake eatery. The menu won’t be released until the day of, but you can expect the same great meals as last year, including Colorado lamb, Pennsylvania turkey, gnocchi with chestnuts, squash soup, local Brussels sprouts, black walnut-sage pudding and more. The dinner comes with a heavy price tag of $175.00 per person and additional $105.00 per person for the wine pairing, not a budget option but totally worth it, when else can you say a famous chef prepared my Thanksgiving dinner?
The number three option is The Smith. This place is known for an amazing comfort food, so it makes perfect sense to have Thanksgiving dinner there. They offer a three-course spread for $62.00 per person that includes Natural Heritage turkey, pot pie, roasted breast or osso buco with pumpkin risotto. Also on the menu is spiced pepita and crème fraîche-laced butternut squash soup, brioche stuffing, cranberry-orange jam and an amazing mac-n-cheese made in-house. You can choose from the three locations in the city: East Village, Midtown or Lincoln Square. Don’t leave without trying a dessert like the pumpkin cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding.
We hope you will enjoy your holidays in New York City.