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Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

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Raleigh, North...
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Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

I haven't missed a parade in years. It is a holiday tradition for me but I am still in search of the optimal location to view it from without having to get up hours before the parade starts to claim a spot. Do tickets ever become available for the Grandstand area?

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Brooklyn, NY
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1. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Not unless you're a VIP for Macy's.

Raleigh, North...
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2. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

That's kind of what I thought. I have seen passes for sale on Craigslist or ticket broker sites for several thousand dollars! I love being in the crowd, anyway. I was just hoping to find a better spot for taking pics this year. It seems to be less crowded along Central Park West. Any ideas?

New York City
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3. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The higher up in Streets you go, the more space there is and closer you can get to the Parade.

Ive gone every years except one for at least the last 10 years and except once had a great spot (Make sure you can look Uptown)

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4. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Hola.

For 20+ years we were among the 80 makeup artists that paint the faces on the 700-800 clowns that annually walk in the Macy’s parade. We churn them out between 5AM - 8 AM at the New Yorker Hotel and at that point they are bussed uptown to the start of the parade. Can you imagine 700-800+ adults and kids lining up to be costumed, painted and powdered and then bussed uptown to where the parade starts? What a treat to be able to sit in the lobby for that sight on Thanksgiving morning. Note: The last time we did this was 3 years ago, but believe that this is still the place.

In past years we have either gone to the starting point with the “clowns” (it is a hoot there standing with the on-lookers and can be crowded, but so is the rest of the route; or we have gone to stand with the camera crews in front of Macy’s to watch the professional acts (many are from Broadway shows). But, ultimately, we found that the best views of the parade, floats, balloons and the professional performers are at home on the couch in front of the TV.

If you are watching the parade along the route, you are likely to miss the professional acts in front of Macy’s. And if you are lucky enough to get a seat or standing room in front of Macy’s, you lose the perspective of the crowds. And in either case, you are likely to be cold and/or wet as it often rains on Thanksgiving Day. The TV gives a superior prospective on the entire event and is much more comfortable.

Bottom line: If you LOVE crowds and MUST have the experience of the parade, then go. We recommend standing along Central Park West a few blocks south (below) of the line-up on the west side of the avenue. Stay away from the area around Macy’s. It will get VERY crowded in those locations. In any case, start the adventure with an empty bladder!

Hope this helps. Your questions are always welcome.

Abrazos,

Matt

Casa Hoffa (South), Bahia Chahue, Huatulco, MX

Casa Hoffa (North), Fire Island, NY USA

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5. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Hi Tarheelhoops

I've only been to the Macy's parade once, but we were very happy with our viewing location. We couldn't see everything, but we had room to move (I hate crowds). We entered Central Park around West 86th Street and walked south inside Central Park along the edge. If you are happy just seeing the balloons you can find a nice spot on the grass somewhere and just watch the balloons go by. The downside is you can't see ground level. Or if you are nimble you can climb up onto the walls, into the trees etc - like everyone else. We moved around a bit. I put up a post with some pictures on my blog site - which will give you an idea of what our view was like. alittlebigapple.com/2012/11/macys-thanksgivi…

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6. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

I have watched it from the mid-60s on CPW. I think that works pretty well. It gets much more crowded in Midtown/columus Circle.

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7. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Thanks Tarheelhoops for posing this question. I will be in NYC this November and intend on getting off of my couch, and outside to see this parade! I too have wondered what would be an optimal place for viewing. My plan is to get out very early. Sounds like the West side of CPW between 67th and 75th might be good? What about between 58th and 67th? Sounds like crowds are thicker around Columbus Circle? If anyone can weigh in, that would be great.

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8. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

We are there also staying on E48th and Lexington so aim to be on the mid 60's on CPW as suggested. Whats the best time to be up there?

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9. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Be there by 6.30am.

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10. Re: Best place to view the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

We are also going to NYC to see the parade. We are staying on 34th & Lex. What is the best way to get from our hotel to CPW by 6:30 am, subway or taxi...By the way there 16 in our group plus one in the parade so we of course we would love a decent view. Thanks in advance for any suggestions?

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