Guide: Everything you need to know before you head to the Thanksgiving Day Parade

Are you planning to go to the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
The classic New York City celebration, features balloons, fantasy floats, performances and celebrity appearances.
Below is everything you need to know before you head to the parade:

THE ROUTE

The parade will begin at Central Park West and West 77th Street at 9 a.m., head down its traditional 2.5 mile route from Central Park West to Columbus Circle and turn onto Central Park South to Sixth Avenue. From there the procession will move south on Sixth Avenue from West 59th Street to West 34th Street, ending in front of the Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square. Click here for a full map of the route
Credit: Macy's

WHERE TO WATCH

Central Park West: Early risers arrive starting at 6 a.m. on the west side of Central Park West from West 75th to West 61st streets. Great views can be found along this stretch. Please note: No public viewing on Central Park West between West 59th and West 60th streets.
6th Avenue: Great views from West 59th to West 38th streets!

AREAS TO AVOID

If you plan to go - organizers say to avoid the following areas:
There’s no, or limited, public viewing at kickoff on West 77th Street and Central Park West at 9 a.m.
Columbus Circle: No public viewing here.
Avoid watching on 6th Avenue between West 34th and West 38th streets, and on West 34th Street between 6th and 7th avenues. The national television broadcast limits viewing here.
Also remember, Macy's limited grandstand tickets are not for sale to the general public.
No public viewing or press access in the telecast area on 6th Avenue from West 34th to West 38th streets, and on West 34th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue. Limited public viewing on the south side of West 34th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

PARADE WEATHER

Check out the video below for a look at the weather for the parade from Mike Rizzo and Hope Osemwenkhae!

HOTELS

Want to watch the parade from a hotel? Click here for a list of hotels that are directly along the parade route, with each offering different room categories and parade-viewing options as well as special packages based on availability.

HOW TO GET THERE

On Thanksgiving Day, New York City subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Saturday schedule. 
Metro-North is operating a special schedule with extra service before and after the parade. The Hudson Rail Link buses at Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale do not operate, nor do the ferries between Ossining-Haverstraw ad Beacon-Newburgh. 
The LIRR and Metro-North’s West of Hudson service will operate on a weekend/holiday schedule with extra service before and after the parade.
There are many bus routes that either do not operate on Sundays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on Thanksgiving Day should check Sunday schedules, lines and routes.   

BALLOON INFLATION

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, Macy’s famed balloon inflation event prepared 16 giant character helium balloon stars and 40 novelty and heritage inflatables for their Thanksgiving Day flights. Here's everything you need to know about the event.

THE BALLOONS

New giants joining the line-up this year include Bluey by BBC Studios; Diary of A Wimpy Kid by Abrams Books; DINO and Baby DINO by Sinclair Oil; and Stuart the Minion from Illumination.

THE FLOATS

This Turkey Day, new floating wonders will debut during the parade.
Each year a new set of floats is conceived and crafted by the artisans of Macy’s Parade Studio, a design and production facility that includes carpenters, engineers, electricians, painters, animators, balloon technicians, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic and costume designers. While they are built for entertainment, they are also a showcase of creative design, engineering, and skillful construction.  
This year’s six new floating wonders include Baby Shark by Pinkfong and Nickelodeon; Geoffrey’s Dazzling Dance Party by Toys“R”Us; People of First Light by Macy’s; Supersized Slumber by Netflix; Winter Dragon by Macy’s; and The Wondership by Wonder. 

THE LINEUP

The holiday season’s biggest stage for entertainment will feature performances and appearances from Paula Abdul; Big Time Rush; Blanco Brown; Cam; Jordan Davis; Blue’s Clues & You! host Josh Dela Cruz; Broadway’s A Beautiful Noise, Some Like It Hot and Disney’s The Lion King; Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan; Jimmy Fallon & The Roots; Fitz and the Tantrums; Kirk Franklin; Mario Lopez and family; Ziggy Marley; Lea Michele and the cast of Broadway’s Funny Girl; Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles; the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street; Sean Paul; the cast of Peacock’s Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin (Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg); the Radio City Rockettes; Joss Stone; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Jordin Sparks; Dionne Warwick; and Betty Who.
And of course - the most important person at the parade will be Santa!

HISTORY OF THE PARADE

Want to learn more about the history of the parade? Click here for an overview.