Thanksgiving in Manhattan and the ways to spend it

You have moved away from your family and into New York. It doesn’t really matter if it was for college, to find a job or just because you needed space. And at first, it seemed like a great idea. The prospect of living alone, in a city as huge as New York might have been both frightening and exciting. Soon, you figured everything out and learned not to regret relocating to Manhattan. However, that’s when November comes around the corner, and the holiday season arrives. When the holidays hit, you can start missing your home. You might get homesick, and wonder what you are doing in the big city, and why you can’t just go back home. To fight that, in this article, we give you some of the best ways to spend Thanksgiving in Manhattan!

Experience the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade firsthand

When someone says Thanksgiving, what is the first thing you think about? For most people, it is the family dinner, stuffed turkey, pumpkin pies and just having a good meal and an even better time. However, when you say Thanksgiving in Manhattan, then there is no person that doesn’t think about the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

A turkey - maybe you will skip this on your Thanksgiving in Manhattan.
Skip the dinner and head out to the parade.

A staple of every Thanksgiving Day, the parade is a festivity that many Newyorkers adore. And since you are moving to New York, there is no reason why you can’t experience it firsthand. Believe us, it is nothing like you saw on TV! It is far, far more interesting and exciting. There is just so much to explore and experience! You will see colorful floats and hear the marching bands. Then there are dance troupes and celebrities (including St. Nick!) and finally, the massive helium balloons!

The parade usually starts at 9 a.m. at Central Park West and West 77th Street. Then, the proceedings take the 2.5-miles long path around Central Park to the 6th Avenue, and then down to the 34th Street and the Macy’s department store. If you want to see it, however, remember to come early. The best spots usually go quickly, so you will have to work for it. If you are super excited, you might also want to go to the Upper West Side on Thanksgiving Eve. There, around the grounds of the American Museum of Natural History, you can see the balloons take their shape in preparations for the parade.

Don’t forget food when celebrating Thanksgiving in Manhattan

As most Americans can tell you, Thanksgiving is about the family meal. However, even if you are alone in Manhattan, you don’t need to skip this valuable tradition. Since New York is such a huge city, there will be a restaurant that is still working, even on holiday. So stroll don’t the streets and try to find some.

Even if you don’t run into a restaurant, there will be a take-out place or a grocery store. You can get stuff and cook your own dinner at home. Finally, another option, if you are not cooking-inclined, is to order catering services. There are many of these in New York, and a lot of them will be working during Thanksgiving. The best part of the holiday -the commute in Manhattan will be nicer because a lot of people will be home, feasting.

Do some quality shopping

As you probably already know, the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday – one of the, if not the, biggest shopping days in the country. This is where all bets are off, and the sales – and people – go crazy. However, some retailers will have sales even before that clock strikes midnight. Since you are not spending time on the family mean, you can use it to stroll down the streets and maybe score a bargain with one of them.

A girl holding shopping bags.
Do your shopping on time.

Even better, since you will not be resting on Friday, or eating leftovers from the day before, you will have time (and energy) to spend on the Black Friday, hunting the best deals you can. As far as Thanksgiving in Manhattan goes – that’s quite a deal!

Spend the day giving back

Now, let’s take a moment and remember what Thanksgiving is really about. It is not just great meals and spending time with the family! It’s about being thankful and giving back for what you have. This is why another way you can spend your Thanksgiving in Manhattan is by volunteering.

There are many things you can do. For the holiday, you can visit a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen. They usually have big drives at this time of the year, so any help is great. If you don’t know where to start, you can try visiting community centers or by asking around. Who knows, maybe they will have other projects for you.

Enjoy New York City

Finally, if none of these activities sound like your cup of tea, there is something you can always do. Whether your local movers Manhattan just deposited your stuff at your door, or you have been living in New York for some time, you can go out and enjoy the city. There is always something to see and do in New York – there is a reason why they call it the city that never sleeps!

The Statue of Liberty.
Visit the places you usually wouldn’t.

We already mentioned the best part of it – spending Thanksgiving in Manhattan means that there will be fewer people running around the streets. And many New York attractions stay open even during the holidays. So, this might be the perfect time to visit them when there aren’t that many tourists around. Venture out and spend your Thanksgiving exploring the streets, visiting the sights, and just taking in the city you are living in.