It’s a late Thanksgiving this year – Thursday, November 28 – which means a late Black Friday, which means wrestling an elderly woman for the final discounted TV has to wait a little longer than usual. But never fear, analytics show our readers are young and vivacious, so not only can your metabolism handle all that turkey, but you’ll also be able to dominate the elderly at Walmart.
Other than shopping till you drop, popping open the top button on your jeans after too much mashed potato, and vegging out while the Buffalo Bills play the Dallas Cowboys, what else can you do? Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get cultured in New York and to enjoy all of the special events that the city throws to celebrate one of America’s oldest traditions.
We’ve rounded up the best events, found what’s still open, and discovered some of New York’s best restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner.
Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
Giant balloons have been floating down New York’s avenues since 1927 and close to a century later, they’ve only gotten bigger and better. Look out for your favorite characters and get wrapped up in the feeling of pageantry and community spirit the parade brings. If you’re lucky you might even see one deflate (RIP Barney). Catch the parade as it passes from 77th St in Uptown Manhattan, down Central Park West to Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.
Watch the balloons being blown up:
Head towards the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. There’s an entry point at 79th St & Columbus Ave. The inflation will take place on Wednesday, November 27th. Entry is from 13:00-20:00, the balloons start to take shape around 16:00.
TIP: Book a spot at Del Friscos in Midtown and you’ll get one of the best parade views in all of Manhattan.
Bank of America Winter Village
This market is open from October 31, so by the time Thanksgiving has arrived, the village will be in full swing. There’s 150 kiosks to peruse – so if you need a NYC souvenir, or want to do some Christmas shopping before the shops get too crazy – this is a must.
The winter village also has a 17,000 square foot ice skating rink that has free entry… that is if you have your own skates. Renting a pair will cost you $18-$33 depending on the date.
Where: 41 W 40th St, between Sixth and Fifth Avenues
The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
Once the clock has struck midnight on the night of Thanksgiving, Christmas songs are fair game. If you crave something other than the incessant warbling of Mariah Carey (I say that with love and the dream of achieving perfect pitch), then this NY tradition is the best way to get in the spirit.
Kicks so high they put Bruce Lee to shame and enough theatricality to make even the grumpiest Grinch smile: the Rockettes show at Radio City Music Hall is a landmark event in the Big Apple. It would be like visiting Buckingham Palace and not seeing the Queen’s Guard, but replace marching and bearskins with the can-can and sequinned jackets.
Attractions that are open during Thanksgiving
With native New Yorkers busy visiting family, or indulging at home with a Friendsgiving, some of the city’s most popular spots will be a little quieter than usual.
You’ll find the following places still open on the day.
Get high on the Rock – 30 Rock
The Rockefeller Center isn’t lighting its Christmas tree until December 4, but you can still go to the Top of the Rock this Thanksgiving Day. Take in panoramas over Central Park and get a view of the city that rivals the Empire State Building’s – which you’ll be able to see from up top, too.
A New York State of Mind at the Empire State Building
The king of NYC’s skyscrapers (maybe not in height, but in age and fame), the Empire State is open every day of the year. So while everyone else is filling up on Turkey Day, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to visit one of the city’s busiest landmarks with a degree of peace and quiet.
Pay respect at the 9/11 Memorial
Post 9/11 America has changed the country in immeasurable ways, but the sacrifice made by emergency services in September 2001 gives us a lot to be thankful for. The memorial will be open on Thanksgiving, allowing visitors the chance to read the history of the day through firsthand accounts.
Go to NYC’s highest point at One World Observatory
New York’s tallest building offers more than stunning views. The multimedia elevator that takes you 102 stories up in only 47 seconds and during the ride chronicles the story of the city, from barren plains to a thriving metropolis.
Take a tour on a Hop-on Hop-off Bus
The streets will be busy with the Macy’s Day Parade and catching a cab has the potential to be a nightmare, so hop-on and hop-off whenever you feel like it with a bus tour. You’ll be able to make it around Manhattan on two routes with 30 stops and take in the views while you’re at it.
Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City
If you’re looking for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in NYC, we’ve rounded up some of the best restaurants that are open.
Stay classy at Oceana
Take your pick from traditional turkey, Scottish salmon and more at Oceana this Thanksgiving.
Each course has five to six options to choose from, so all tastes are catered to.
Thursday, November 28, 12pm-9pm
3 courses, $88 per person
$50 for children under 12
Get charitable at French Louie
Give back this Thanksgiving. 15% of menu sales will be donated to Brooklyn based charity, Neighbors Together, who aim to alleviate poverty and hunger in the community.
Three courses with the option of added oysters. Start with mussels, soup, salad, or chicken liver pâté, then choose from organic turkey, beef bourguignon, sole grenobloise, or a delicious vegetarian option. Finish up with pumpkin meringue pie. chocolate mousse cake, or apple walnut crumb cake.
Buffet Dinner Thanksgiving Day with live jazz music
Nothing helps digestion quite like jazz flute. Have dinner with a show – and an open bar – at The Bryant Park Lounge in Midtown, New York. It’s only a ten minute walk from the Empire State Building, so once you’ve feasted your eyes, give your stomach a go.
Thursday, 28 November 2019