Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York
flew to New York on a Tuesday, a couple of days before the parade. It was our second time in NYC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The first time we had a suite at the Sheraton and as the weather was in the low 30s, we mostly watched the parade from there with our elderly mother and some friends. This year we travelled with family again, but we wanted to have the full experience. We were looking forward to enjoying the parade from the street.
We took a taxi from JFK airport to our hotel in Times Square. We stayed at the Marriott Marquis, a huge (2,000 rooms) and iconic fixture of Times Square. The property was built in 1985 but it has been newly renovated. Our room had a modern look and a decent size for being in Manhattan.
For our first night we had dinner at Lattanzi, an Italian restaurant in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, which is only a few minutes from the hotel. We had been there before, but this time we were disappointed. Some of the staff were arrogant and the pastas were not that great.
On Wednesday our brother-in-law wanted to show off his ice-skating skills (his wife decided to pass) and had a reservation at the Rockefeller Center Rink. A lot of people had the same idea, but everything went smoothly. Afterwards we walked down 5th Avenue to reach Bryant Park, where we had lunch. We then crossed the street and visited the Winter Village. They have restaurants, shops and a large ice-skating rink. We spent some time there before walking back to our hotel. It was getting busy by now as a lot of people were checking-in. We did not want to go too far for dinner and made reservations at Junior’s, a New York’s institution known for having the best cheesecake in the city. It was extremely busy as hundreds of people were standing in line to pick-up the cheesecakes they had pre-ordered for Thanksgiving.
We woke up around 4:00am on Thanksgiving Day in order to find a great spot on the parade route (we had scoped the area the day before). It was chilly but nothing compared with our previous experience. We had brought our folding chairs and found a very good location near a large coffee shop (For Five Coffee Times Square). That was very convenient and we took turns going there for snacks and bathroom breaks.
The parade started at 9:00 and lasted about three hours. There is something for everybody: 28 floats, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns, 16 giant balloons and …one Santa Claus. Altogether 6500 people took part in the parade. We had a wonderful time. Great weather, blue sky and a lot of fun. We went back to the hotel just after the parade without realizing that a few thousands people had the same idea. Guests were lined-up by security and we had to wait a good thirty minutes before we were able to catch an elevator to go to the lobby and to our rooms. That was a zoo, but a well-organized one.
We had reservations for our Thanksgiving lunch at the hotel’s Broadway Lounge Restaurant. They had a very nice buffet with some of the season’s favorite dishes. We had a window table with a great view of Times Square.
Our day was not yet over as we had booked tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Rockettes Show. Our hotel was near the venue, so there was no problem walking there. We had to wait a few minutes in line outside before they let us in. We had seen their Christmas show before and once again it was fantastic. They keep modernizing the show without removing some of the classic moments (nutcrackers, wooden soldiers and nativity scenes). They still have the two camels, sheep and donkeys. We all had a great time and walked back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest.