Thanskgiving in New York
The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts by the settlers that founded the village. After a rigorous winter that proved terrible for the summer harvest, in 1621 the settlers had a good corn harvest and the village’s governor honored that progress with a big open air dinner.
Nowadays, Thanksgiving is a very important holiday in the United States and Canada. It’s a day spent in family in which you give grave for everything that happened throughout the year. Around a table where the protagonist is the stuffed turkey, families gather to celebrate all the events and victories they lived as the year went on.
To make your day a memorable one, here are a few suggestions. Happy Thanksgiving!
WHAT TO DO
Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The first Macy’s parade happened in 1924 and it’s one of the most prestigious events of the year in New York. The parade attracts over 3 million spectators and another 50 million people watch it on television. This parade includes vehicles, famous characters, giant floats that delight both children and grown-ups, cheerleaders and bands. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade crosses four kilometers and counts on the help of eight thousand volunteers. It’s a Thanksgiving event you can’t miss!
The parade starts on the West side of Central Park, on 77th Street around 9AM, but people start grouping from 6AM onwards. It’s important to get there early to get a good spot. The best spots to watch the parade are between 60th Street and 70th Street. We don’t recommend spots between 34th Street and 38th Street because they’re the places preferred by television. We recommend that, on the parade day, you check the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade website to have access to all information on routes and timetables – these are subject to change.
Stroll through Central Park
On Thanksgiving’s eve, from 3PM to 10PM, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade floats start being inflated and everyone can see first-hand their favorite characters gaining shape. Take the chance for a Central Park stroll and stop by the Museum of Natural History afterwards to see what the parade’s themes are.
Ice skate on The Rink
The most famous ice skating ring in the world is in New York, in the Rockefeller Center. Put on your ice skates and have fun on The Rink after the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Watch the Nutcracker
There’s no ballet more Christmas-y than the Nutcracker and, to enter the spirit of the season, you can watch it at the David H. Koch Theatre from November 25 to 30. You can find ticket information here. There’s no better time to watch one of the most iconic plays of the world of classic ballet.
Gain a new perspective on the city
Some tourist attractions are closed on Thanksgiving but that’s not the case for the Empire State Building or the Top Of The Rock. Take advantage of the holiday to see the city from a different, broader perspective, and marvel at the panoramic view these places provide.
WHERE TO EAT
At dinner time, unlike what most people think, there are several open restaurants with menus dedicated to Thanksgiving and to traditional dishes. Some follow the recipes passed along from generation to generation to the letter, others reinvent those same dishes:
The Sea Grill
At the Rockefeller Center, with a view to the skating ring, enjoy the traditional turkey dinner.
This restaurant, located in the street of the same new, prepares a three-dish menu every year entirely dedicated to the holiday.
La Pecora Bianca
A restaurant that offers a new perspective on Thanksgiving dishes without ever losing the taste for the ingredients of the season.
Thanksgiving is one of Bubby’s events of the year thanks to its typical dishes, that range from entrées to the gravy and desserts.
Eleven Madison Park
There are many options on the menu but, regardless of your choice, they’ll be guaranteed hits. This is one of the fanciest restaurants of New York and it’s consistently reinventing itself to present a surprising menu. For an even more special experience, the Eleven Madison Park offers you the option of having a private dinner.
If you prefer to dine at home but don’t want to spend the afternoon in the kitchen, know that a few restaurants and markets prepare the traditional dinner for you, prioritizing take-away service so you can enjoy the family dinner in the comfort of your own home. Such is the case, for example, of Whole Foods, Citarella, Hill Country and Fresh Direct, being that the latter does home delivery.
Thanksgiving warrants a slice of pie and, although flavors vary a lot from bakery to bakery, there are some you simply must try:
The most popular and most associated to this season thanks to its main ingredient. You can find it in almost every bakery at this time of the year but our recommendation goes to Baked, located in Tribeca.
As well know as the pumpkin pie and made by grandmas all around the world. At Bubby’s – in Tribeca or in High Line – you’ll find a special apple pie, alongside a creamy vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate Mousse Pie
Every celebration deserves a little bit of chocolate, right? If you’re a fan and wish to try chocolate mousse pie, go to Blue Stove in Brooklyn and take the opportunity for a stroll over to the other side of the bridge.
Key Lime Pie
It wouldn’t make sense not to mention the world-famous lime pie. At Little Cupcake Bakeshop you’ll find the traditional lime pie in a mini format and many other sweet options.
WHERE TO STAY
If you don’t have a place to stay yet, pick a hotel as special as this time of the year.
Located in Broadway, the NoMad Hotel has a restaurant with a head chef who’s been awarded three Michelin stars. For Thanksgiving dinner, the typical turkey awaits, cooked by the best by uniting the most diverse flavors in a single gastronomic experience.
Located in Tribeca, the Smyth hotel presents a minimalist and careful decoration in shades of grey, white and black. The hotel’s restaurant is perfect for vegetarians, since it doesn’t include elements from animals in any of its delicious dishes (some of them fairly well-known) – if you’re looking for a vegan meal away from the traditional turkey, you’re in the right place.
The New York Edition
This isn’t a conventional hotel. It’s a home away from home, with all the comforts you seek and a modern, elegant staircase. The strong, dark colors of the bar contrast with the bedrooms’ straight, simple lines but, in the end, everything fits together into one wonderful experience.
Each room is different from the next but everything comes together and all the pieces are in synch in The Mark, at the Upper East Side. The patterns and textures surprise us in this 1927 hotel that reopened in 2009 for a new age, and nobody can remain indifferent to its irreverence.
A European hotel in New York. Once upon a time it was the tallest hotel in the world, and its chandeliers, Italian marble and Louis XV style-inspired furniture leave no questions: this is an exquisite hotel that will remain in your memory. Did you know that the famous Bloody Mary cocktail was created at the King Cole Bar – the hotel’s bar – in 1934?
New York is a fascinating and magical city throughout the year but it gains a special charm during the coldest months. We’re sure you’ll love to live the Thanksgiving spirit in one of the most iconic cities in the world. Enjoy!