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5 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in New York City

5 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in New York City


Thanksgiving is a time to honor the friends and family that make our lives so special, and there’s no better way to show your appreciation for your loved ones this season than by spending time together. In New York City, there’s an event or outing to suit every taste this Thanksgiving weekend, so gather up your inner circle and start making holiday memories you’ll cherish long after the holiday season has passed.

Visit the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: There is, perhaps, no holiday gathering in New York that’s quite as iconic as Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now going into its 89th year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a quintessential New York celebration of both the city and the holiday season.


The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® (Photo:
Macy's Day Parade (Photo: Business Insider)
Macy’s Day Parade (Photo: Business Insider)


Enjoy dinner at one of New York’s swankiest restaurants: After slaving away for hours on Thanksgiving Day, it’s important to let somebody else take the reins in the kitchen for the rest of the weekend. Treat yourself to an elegant meal from one of Manhattan’s celebrated restaurants, like Michelin Award-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s venerated Union Square bistro, ABC Kitchen. If you find yourself making a night of it in the Meatpacking District, stop into Bagatelle on Little West 12th Street, where you can enjoy some of the city’s most inventive French cuisine in an intimate environment adorned with crystal chandeliers and linen banquettes. Even those looking to forgo meal prep entirely can still have their turkey and eat it, too — on the Upper East Side, Café Boulud is celebrating in style with a three-course holiday feast.


ABC Kitchen (Photo by Melissa Hom)
ABC Kitchen (Photo by NYMag Melissa Hom)
 New York's Bagatelle ( Photo: Forbes)
New York’s Bagatelle ( Photo: Forbes)
Cafe Boulud - New York City (Photo: Cafe Boulud)
Cafe Boulud – New York City (Photo: Cafe Boulud)


See the sights from the Empire State Building: While much of the city closes up shop for the holiday, the city’s most beloved building still welcomes guests with open arms. The Empire State Building keeps it doors open for visitors every day this holiday weekend, allowing guests to see the city from Manhattan’s most incredible vantage point and live out their Affair to Remember fantasies.


Empire State Building Observation Deck, facing South.
Empire State Building Observation Deck, facing South.
An Affair to Remember (Photo by Twentieth Century Fox - © Twentieth Century Fox)
An Affair to Remember (Photo by Twentieth Century Fox – © Twentieth Century Fox)


Visit the Top of the Rock: The Empire State Building may be New York’s most famous structure, but when it comes to offering a rich New York history and an amazing view, Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock comes pretty close. From the building’s 850 foot high roof deck, you’ll be able to see all of the city’s most famous sights in one fell sweep, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park.


Top of the Rock (Photo: Destinations360)
Top of the Rock (Photo: Destinations360)


Pay Your Respects at the Freedom Tower: Thanksgiving is all about recognizing the things we’re grateful for, from our family and friends to our freedom. This holiday, take a moment to remember those who aren’t here to celebrate with a trip to the One World Observatory, colloquially known as the Freedom Tower. In a mere sixty seconds, you can go from the ground level to the 104th floor, where you’ll get to enjoy amazing vistas from the top of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest tower while reflecting on the history of the site.


Freedom Tower & 9/11 Memorial James Keivom (Photo: NY Daily News)
Freedom Tower & 9/11 Memorial James Keivom (Photo: NY Daily News)
911 Memorial Freedom Tower Fountains (Photo by NYC & Company / Marley White)
911 Memorial Freedom Tower Fountains (Photo by NYC & Company / Marley White)


Don’t let the holiday festivities keep you cooped up this Thanksgiving — celebrate the sights and sounds of New York with a trip to some of the city’s biggest and brightest attractions this weekend.


Note: This is a guest post by Candace Schaffer; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author. Candice Schaffer works at Knightsbridge Park, a leading digital marketing firm for luxury real estate brands such as Four Seasons Private Residences and Fasano Hotel and Residences at Shore Club.

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    November 25, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Some great tips here and although I won’t be there for Thanksgiving, I’m so excited to be visiting NYC again next month which will be my first time there in the winter so I’m taking notes of the restaurant recommendations in this post and the viewpoints!

    • Carmen
      November 27, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      December is also a great time of year to go to NYC. I really enjoy seeing all the holiday decorations through the city and the tree.

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