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Five Things To Do in NYC on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us! If you don’t live in the United States, this means nothing to you, but for all you Americans, this means you likely have Thursday off and if you’re really lucky you also have Friday off.

But it also means that my home, New York City, becomes inundated with tourists who all have one thing in common: they’re all looking forward to the parade!

As you can see from my photo above, I’ve been to the parade. Shortly after my family and I moved to the east coast, I was dragged by my mom and some of my aunts to see Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was not thrilled. It was freezing and crowded. I was probably tired, too. I don’t really remember because I was six or seven.

The next time I was almost talked into going to the Parade was in 2003. I was staying in the city with family friends from Pennsylvania. I snuck off in the morning to watch the Broadway shows rehearse so it wasn’t too bad (aside from the fact that I was shocked to learn that all of the numbers are LIP SYNCHED).

Safe to say that I think attending the parade in person is overrated. It’s a much better idea to stay home, in your sweatpants, and watch the parade on TV. You’ll have the best seat!

But that brings me to today. Two days before Thanksgiving and you might be on your way into town and looking for things to do that don’t involve getting felt up by strangers at 5am and freezing your ass off.

Luckily, I have you covered. You’ll be happier than I was in this photo.

What to do in NYC besides the Thanksgiving Day Parade!

  1. See a Broadway show. Show schedules are a bit different this week, but you can go see a show the night before Thanksgiving, during the day of Thanksgiving, or even that night. It’s WAY better than watching freezing actors lip-sync outside Macy’s. Check out the schedule here.
  2. Go to the Bronx Zoo: For the first time since 2007, the Bronx Zoo is going to have their magical holiday light display on for the public! The Bronx Zoo is one of the best zoos in the world and although I’ve never been, it certainly looks amazing! Just hop on the 2/3 train up to the Bronx after you say see you later to your family at Herald Square.
  3. Have a Drink at R Lounge: My friend recently let me in on a little secret that is R Lounge. Inside the Renaissance Hotel on 48th and 7th, the bar upstairs has the best view of Times Square and the place was virtually empty. The atmosphere is amazing and the drinks aren’t too overpriced either.
  4. Take a Walking Tour of Central Park: Since all the tourists will be in Herald Square, there has never been a better time to see the sights of Central Park. Here are just a few that are available.
  5. Visit the American Museum of Natural History: I haven’t visited this museum since I was in elementary school, but I hear it’s pretty awesome, AND they have a new dinosaur. What could be better? BONUS: Okay, this is sort of related to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, but if you go to the AMNH the day before Thanksgiving (i.e. tomorrow), you’ll leave the museum and get to see the balloons being blown up! (Wind might actually cancel the parade this year, but nothing has been decided yet.) I’ve gone to that a couple of years in a row and it’s MUCH more fun than the actual parade. (I saw Tina Fey there one year!)

So, I think those are some pretty decent alternatives to getting up at 4am to go stand on the sidewalk to see the same floats you’ve seen on TV all your life. You can thank me later.

Nevertheless, Happy Thanksgiving!

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