Things to do on Thanksgiving in New York

What to do on Thanksgiving Day in the city

Image of author Sabrina
Sabrina
7. January 2020
322 ratings

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Liberia, and some of the Caribbean Islands! The first feast lasted three days and was celebrated 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. Today, many spend this holiday with family and close friends. The exciting part about celebrating in New York City is that there is so much to see and do. Read on for more information about Thanksgiving in New York!

Contents

Is Thanksgiving a good time to visit New York?

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

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 ParadeThe 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 26, 2020 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.

Shopping in New York Woodbury Premium Outlet

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:

  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the Rock and most of Rockefeller Center
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
  • Times Square – Hershey’s Store, M&M Store, Hard Rock Cafe, and many other retail stores.
  • 9-11 Memorial/9-11 Memorial Museum
  • Central Park and all other parks in NYC
  • One World Observatory

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. Besides that there are a few more tours on Thanksgiving Day you should take into consideration:

Where to eat Thanksgiving dinner in NYC

Where to eat on Thanksgiving Day in NYCTraditionally 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. Below you’ll find a list of 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.

  • Bubby’s, Meatpacking/Tribeca
  • Seabird, West Village
  • Delicatessen, Soho
  • Irvington, Union Square
  • Narcissa, East Village
  • Ms. Lilly’s, 7A Alphabet City
  • Frankies, 457 Brooklyn
  • The Litte Prince SoHo
  • Antique Garage SoHo
About the author
Sabrina

Calling New York City home is still pretty surreal. After moving here 5 years ago, I still see it as my dream life. Ever since I’ve been exploring this amazing city for Loving New York I’ve grown to love it even more. I love hooking all of you up with the inside scoop, top attractions, events and everything in between. I'm your go-to person for the hidden gems, best restaurants and the absolute best things to do in the city that never sleeps.

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Peter

Sabrina,
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!
-Peter

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