Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade | Nov 27, 2008

by NYJ Team

Every year, over three million people line the streets of New York to watch the most spectacular holiday parade in history – The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Over 4000 people march their way among stunningly beautiful and intricately created balloons and floats for 2.5 miles through the streets of New York, before passing outside the city’s famous department store Macy’s. In fact, it was a handful of Macy’s employees who, in 1924, decided to entertain the crowds on New York’s streets with their impromptu parade down the avenue. Today, more than 44 million people watch this extravaganza on NBC television broadcasts throughout the day.

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – the 82nd – will take the usual route, beginning at Central Park West and 77th Street, proceeding to Columbus Circle and moving down Broadway. The parade finally turns at 34th Street, moves past Macy’s Herald Square and comes to a dramatic end at Seventh Avenue. As always, the event covers around three hours – beginning at 9 am and ending at 12 noon. Visitors are advised to get to the area very early (some even go around 6 am!) to get a good viewing spot, due to the popularity of this parade, and to dress appropriately as November can be quite chilly in New York.

This free parade is definitely one of the city’s most eagerly awaited events and will comprise 14 magnificent float-balloons called falloons that represent some of the more popular characters in contemporary media along with over 12 floats. In addition, more than 50 balloons will vie for the spectator’s attention. Traditionally, stars and celebrities take part in the parade, although they are usually outshone the sheer beauty of the event itself. Marching bands, clown groups and school bands will ensure that spectators are kept entertained for the entire event.

Click for the official site of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

New York’s Best Skating Rinks

by NYJ Team

It’s a bit early and the snow has not fallen yet but when it does, New Yorkers are filled with excitement at the prospects of ice skating on the city’s designated rinks. As soon as the ice is strong enough, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation designate outdoor safe skating areas across the five boroughs. These ice skating areas are clearly signposted around the city, informing the residents that they are safe for winter sports.

There are several options to skate in the city’s numerous ice skating rinks throughout the winter.

  • Abe Stark Rink, located at the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn is open until April, on weekends.
  • Kate Wollman Rink is located on Prospect Park and runs through to March. The rink is open all day, throughout the week and provides plenty of extras such as a gift shop and cafeteria.
  • Lasker Rink, in Manhattan’s Central Park, is open ’til April, during the week and on weekends.
  • The Pond at Bryant Park is a free-entrance ice skating rink offering lessons, birthday party solutions and even skate sharpening service.
  • Wollman Rink, just north of Central Park, is open until April. This rink is open throughout the week and also has special ice dance sessions. The Wollman’s Skating School is associated with the rink.
  • World Fair Ice Skating Rink is open throughout April and located in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
  • Staten Island War Memorial Rink is located in Clove Lakes Park, until April, on weekends.
  • Rockefeller Center Ice Arena is an exclusive ice skating rink located at the Rockefeller Center and offers exciting options like marriage proposals on the ice rink and romantic dinner-skate combinations.

For more information on other things to do in New York City, take a look through our attractions and tours guides.