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Avoiding the Crowds: Thanksgiving Alternatives to the Macy’s Day Parade  blog image

Avoiding the Crowds: Thanksgiving Alternatives to the Macy’s Day Parade

October 24 2022

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest celebrated holidays in the United States and the Macy’s Day Parade is the most famous Thanksgiving parade in the world – but what if it’s just not your thing?

If you’re not into crowds, waking up at dawn, or standing in the chilly streets for hours on end – the Thanksgiving Parade is probably best avoided. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other things to enjoy over the Thanksgiving weekend – while avoiding the crowds and traffic, and general stress of the festive week.

Whether you love Thanksgiving, or it brings out your inner Chandler, here are our best Thanksgiving alternatives to enjoy in New York City this November.

Best Thanksgiving Parade Alternatives

Winter Village

For many New Yorkers, the Winter Village is one of the highlights of the holiday period and a great place to enjoy all the best bits of winter. The Winter Village at Bryant Park is one of the most popular in the city, and nothing kicks off the festive season like your favorite hot chocolate, toasted marshmallows, or a holiday cocktail.

Ice Skating

It’s that time of year when the city’s famous outdoor ice rinks reopen. All popular rinks will be busy all winter round – but on Thanksgiving Day (when the city is distracted by the parade) you might just get lucky and find your favorite skate-spot deserted.

There are plenty of places to try ice skating within walking distance of the Hotel Beacon – but our favorite is under the Wollman Rink in Central Park (a 20-minute walk).

Wollman ice rink in Central Park with the New York skyline in the background and trees with the fall colours

Dinner Cruise

What’s better than dinner with a view? Manhattan can get hectic over Thanksgiving and the combination of the crowds and closed roads can make it a lot harder to navigate than usual. A great way to avoid the traffic and the crowds is to book a dinner cruise. There are hundreds of different cruises to choose from in the city and many of them will be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner – serving all your favorites. It's best to book dinner cruises well in advance, as many sell out especially on holidays like Thanksgiving Day.

Whatever brings you to New York City this November, being centrally located will help you to make the most of your trip to the city – learn more about the Upper West Side’s Hotel Beacon here.