Written by on 7.11.22

The holiday season is nearly here, and as the streets start getting busier and the holiday lights go up, New York City takes on that magical hue that makes it the premiere holiday destination. If you live here though, the crowded streets and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can make it difficult even for the most seasoned New Yorker. Here are some things to do around the Thanksgiving holiday – with the Thanksgiving Day Parade being the most obvious!

Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! It’s also live on TV (channel NBC). Immediately following the parade is another Thanksgiving institution, the National Dog Show. Since the majority of Broadway shows and museums are closed on Thanksgiving Day, you can expect the evening to be quieter and slower-paced than usual. You can start your Black Friday shopping as early as Thanksgiving evening.

Thanksgiving Eve

On Thanksgiving Eve, people are able to walk alongside the parade’s huge balloons as they lie in wait on the Upper West Side in preparation for the following day. From 12-6 p.m., the balloons are inflated and spectators are treated with the first glimpses of these one-of-a-kind balloon masterpieces coming to life. Head toward the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West, located between West 77th and 81st Street. It’s a great way to get photos with your favorite inflatables and in general just a fun way to spend the afternoon. The inflating takes place the Wednesday before the parade from 12-6 PM.


Ice skating is one of the most popular things to do during the holiday season inNew York City, and few locations are as iconic as Wollman Rink in Central Park. The best part? This famous rink is one of the handful of attractions open in NYC on Thanksgiving day. Located in the southern part of the Park, the rink is encircled by trees and skyscrapers. The setting is right off of a postcard.

Opened in 1950, the Rink in Central Park has been a local go-to spot for generations. It’s become so famous that the rink has been featured in movies, and more and more tourists  and locals make the effort to join in on the fun.

The rink is open 7 days a week. And although you’ll be past the peak, if you’re lucky, you might get to skate amongst some scenic fall foliage.

Just note, ice skating at Wollman Rink can get crowded, especially with so many folks wanting to partake in this great New York City experience..

Expect to wait in line, but it is well worth it. And if you’re more on the impatient side of things consider visiting one of the many other popular New York City ice skating rinks!

Stroll through Chelsea Market’s fall decorations

The Chelsea Market is a popular food hall mixed with unique shops, restaurants, and cafes. The market has 35 vendors waiting to impress you with tasty treats and fare .Checking out Chelsea Market during Thanksgiving is a no brainer. Think of Chelsea Market as the house on the block that goes all out for Halloween or Christmas. No corners are cut  when it comes to decorating. 

Whether you plan on shopping or just strolling through the epic decorations, swinging by Chelsea Market is a can’t-miss NYC Thanksgiving activity. Not to mention it’s a good place to rest your legs, have something warm and get out of any crummy weather.

Check out the Bryant Park Holiday Market

One of the best ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is to visit the Winter Village at Bryant Park. The park is transformed into a European-style holiday market, equipped with 100 vendors that line a magical ice skating rink that sits in the shadow of the New York Public Library. The stalls sell fun Christmas decorations, handmade crafts, unique jewelry and food.  The 17,000-square foot NYC ice skating rink is free to use if you have your own skates, otherwise rental skates are available. Open 8:00AM to 10:00PM (Mon-Thur) & 8:00AM-11:30PM (Fri-Sun), ice skating should fit into your NYC Thanksgiving trip with ease.

Topics: NYC Arts & Culture , NYC Things to Do