The Best Things to do on Thanksgiving in New York 2023

What to do on Thanksgiving Day in the city

Thanksgiving is a widely celebrated holiday across various countries. The original feast involved 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims and lasted three days. Nowadays, it’s a time for family and close friends to gather. In NYC, Thanksgiving is especially vibrant with countless activities and sights.

Read on for more information about Thanksgiving in New York!

Is Thanksgiving a good time to visit New York?

Visiting New York during Thanksgiving is a great idea. The weather can be super chilly but you’ll get to see the city all decorated andOK there are beautiful Christmas lights everywhere.

When is Thanksgiving in New York?

Thanksgiving in New York is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. In 2023, it falls on November 23rd.

What to do on Thanksgiving Day in New York

Even though most locals will with their families and friends on Thanksgiving Day, there’s still a lot of things to do on Thanksgiving in New York. Explore the best attractions in the city, hop on a Thanksgiving Cruise or enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner at one of the best restaurants in New York.

Where to watch Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the most iconic events in New York City, so expect crowds. Although, if you seek out your spot early enough, you should be fine with securing a spot to watch. The parade begins at 77th st. in the Upper West Side at 9 am on Thursday, November 23, 2023 so we suggest getting a spot in between 60th and 70th on Central Park West before 6 am.

Anywhere above Herald Square, you will find lighter crowds. The traffic down there will be heavier because of the live performances that happen in front of the Macy’s in Herald Square! Unfortunately, Grand Stand tickets are not for sale to the general public. The route is 2.5 miles though so your chances of finding a spot to watch are high!

Thanksgiving Parade details 

Shop Black Friday Deals

Black Friday in NYCOne thing most Americans are super excited about when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, is the day after. Black Friday is the best day to go shopping. Most stores, malls and outlets in the Tri State Area are offering really good deals. You might even see folks making lines in front of certain stores on Thanksgiving Day. One of our go-to spots for great Black Friday Deals is Woodbury Premium Outlets in Upstate New York.

My tip: This is my complete guide to Black Friday in New York (best shops, neighborhoods & discounts)

New York Broadway Thanksgiving

Radio City Musical Hall Tickets

Unfortunately, there are no Broadway Shows on Thanksgiving Day in New York City. A great show that we recommend watching on Thanksgiving is the famous Rockettes and their Christmas Spectacular. The Rockettes have one show on Thanksgiving Day and it’s always sold out. So make sure to secure your tickets ahead of time.

Check Tickets

Are New York attractions close in New York on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the major holiday in the United States which is why most of the attractions will be closed or will close early that day. The following attractions are open on Thanksgiving Day in New York City which includes main attractions like the Empire State Building, One World Observatory and Statue of Liberty:

The best Thanksgiving Cruises and Tours

Don’t miss out on the best things to do on Thanksgiving in New York. We highly recommend taking a festive dinner cruise to enjoy a great Thanksgiving meal and stunning views of the New York City Skyline.

Where to eat Thanksgiving dinner in NYC

Traditionally you would celebrate the holiday at home. But when you’re visiting NYC on Thanksgiving, it’s important to find a cozy, festive restaurant to enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner. Most restaurants are closed for the holiday. Some though are celebrating Thanksgiving with their guests. 👉 Here you’ll find our favorite places to go eat on Thanksgiving Day.

Make sure to secure your table in advance.

Most restaurants offer a fixed course traditional Thanksgiving meal. Ask on the phone or check their websites for details.

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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Thanks for the article, as my family is looking for things to do in NYC on Thanksgiving!
Really helpful.

BTW-I think you need to add ‘home’ to the first line in your About the Author. 🙂

I used to live in NYC years ago. Definitely miss it.

Thanks again!


Very useful article and a great site. However, according to their ticketing website, the Met is not open on Thanksgiving Day. Just thought I let you know. I wish it was open that day though…


Hi Tikky,
first of all THANKS for you compliments and you are right!! I updated the list 🙂

Big big thanks!!


Thanks for the great article and suggestions! We booked our hotel and Amtrak reservations today for Thanksgiving week 2023. Woo hoo!

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