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Thanksgiving activites for the family in NYC

photo credit kowarski/CC by 2.0

America's favorite holiday is almost here: Thanksgiving or "Friendsgiving" as it seems to be for most of us Aussies living in New York.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday that we can all enjoy. It's a non-religious celebration and a great moment for our kids to stop for one day of the year and think about what they are thankful for!

There is so much going on for kids in New York City over the Thanksgiving holiday break as most kids have a few days or an entire week off school!

Of course the big drawcard is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but personally, I think the balloon inflation the evening before the parade is better. The balloon inflation takes place on Wednesday 21 Nov from 1- 8pm. Basically, you can stroll from W 73rd St up CPW (Central Park West) to 77th st and then around the Natural history Museum and view all the balloons being inflated along the way. It does get crowded so I suggest going earlier rather than later. We went around 3pm last year and it was not crazy busy.

The Macy's Thanksgiving parade on Thursday 22 Nov, starts at 9am on 77st & CPW and winds its way down 6th Ave to finish at Macy's on 34th st. If you want to watch the parade anywhere along the route you will need to get there early since the crowds start gathering from 6am. Remember it will be cold!!

Other fun things going on the city to keep the family entertained include:

  • The Holiday Windows have been installed at Macy's, Barney's, Tiffany &Co and Bloomingdale's and are a great activity to enjoy with the kids after eating your big Thanksgiving Day lunch.

  • The Big Apple Circus at the Lincoln center, which I saw a few weeks ago with my daughter and we both loved it. Great performances and time wise it does not go for too long (approx 45 mins) so it's good for the little ones.

  • The ice skating rinks around the city are now up and ready for you to take a spin, from Rockerfeller Center to Bryant Park and of course Wollman skating rink Central Park, there are lots of options for you to explore.

  • The are several pop-up exhibitions in NYC at the moment including Candytopia, theTrolls Experience and Mickey: The Original Exhibition. From my experience, these pop-ups are good fun, but short and expensive, with tickets usually starting at $40 pp. You need to buy tickets in advance for all pop-ups.

  • FAO Schwartz is reopening its famous toy store in NYC for the holidays, located at Rockefeller Plaza and it will have the famous giant piano.

  • A new museum getting a lot of buzz is the Museum of Illusionsin Chelsea. Lots of optical illusions and a fun interactive experience.

Are you thinking of staying home and cooking your own Thanksgiving meal? My big tip is to order your food in advance to be delivered on Wednesday evening or even Thursday morning, (yes they do deliver on Thanksgiving!) so it won't take up space in your fridge all week and you avoid the supermarket crowds.

I have used Wholefoods and FreshDirect. I believe most big supermarket chains will deliver. You can get your turkey and all your sides, desserts etc delivered and you simply heat them up. You still need to "cook" the turkey but you can order one that is pre-seasoned in the foil tray ready to go in the oven! Perfect.

If you decide to eat out here is a list of family friendly restaurant options care of Mommy Poppins.

I hope you all embrace and enjoy this very American holiday and remember what you are all thankful for.

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