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Top 5 Things To Do While Visiting York City for Thanksgiving

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Spending a holiday in New York City is something that everyone should experience. The city possesses a unique buzz all year round, but there’s something special about festivities in the Big Apple. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to New York City this Thanksgiving, here are 5 things you should add to your itinerary.

Macy's Thanksgiving parade New York

1. Find a cozy restaurant for a Thanksgiving Feast

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey! Now while it is usually tradition to prepare and eat at home, we recommend heading out for your Thanksgiving Feast if you are in New York. The city has a plethora of dining options, but the stakes are well and truly raised for this holiday. Think creamy mashed potatoes, delectable cranberry sauce, and scrumptious pumpkin pie, all without the hours of preparation and dirty dishes! 

Toasting wine in New York

You’ll have a range of options at your fingertips, whether you choose to dine out or order in. For a fancy meal, The Regency Bar & Grill is highly regarded and offers a sophisticated take on Thanksgiving classics. Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem has a relatively lower price point and offers great value for a typical holiday feast, complete with turkey, butternut squash soup, and candied yams. If you’re looking for a takeaway option, Aquavit provides Michelin star food to devour in the comfort of your own hotel room.

Harlem cityscape at dusk

2. See the Big Apple’s best sights

Make the most of your time in the city by heading out to see the sights and soak up the atmosphere. Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you can’t experience the city and all it has to offer, whether you choose to head to big tourist attractions or wander lesser-known streets. Most major attractions, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and the Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour, will operate every day over the Thanksgiving weekend so you can fill your itinerary with visits to all of the hotspots. 

The Statue of Liberty

3. Go for a skate at one of the various rinks

There’s something magical about ice skating in New York, no matter what rink you choose! Grab your skates and a buddy, and head out for a fun Thanksgiving activity for the whole family. You’ve got your pick of indoor and outdoor rinks, with The Rockefeller Center rink and Central Park’s Wollman rink being crowd favorites each year. World Ice Arena and Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers are great indoor options if you aren’t willing to brave the weather, while City Ice Pavillion will make for a unique experience as the city’s only rooftop rink. 

4. Soak up the atmosphere of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

No New York Thanksgiving list would be complete without mention of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. This iconic celebration is the largest parade in the world, dating all the way back to 1924. It doesn’t get bigger or bolder than this, with larger-than-life floats and balloons that inflate to a height of several stories tall. The parade starts in Central Park West and finishes in Macy’s Herald Square, but you’ll want to get there early to secure a good viewing spot. 

Annual Thanksgiving parade New York

5. Indulge in some retail therapy with the Black Friday sales

If you’re looking for a bargain, there’s no better time to snap up a good deal than the Black Friday sales, and where better to hit the shops than New York City? Black Friday represents the official start to the holiday shopping period and occurs the day after Thanksgiving.

New York Macy's shopping

To make the most of the deals in New York City, put on your comfiest shoes and hit the streets. You’ll be able to see what’s on offer and walk off some of your Thanksgiving feast! Stores like Macy’s, Apple, and Best Buy always offer great value with their Black Friday sales, although the best deals will be found by keeping an eye out for signs and simply going into different stores.

busy New York holidays

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

Top 6 U.S. Destinations to Spend Thanksgiving Weekend

Travel Insurance Top of Mind As Americans Travel For Thanksgiving


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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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