Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2014: Everything You Need to Know

We are just about a week away from seeing the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and what they have in store for us this year! Roughly 3.5 million people gather the streets, to watch the parade each year, and 50 million from their homes! Thats more home viewers than the 2014 World Series had! Many who are going to be attending the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will, without a doubt, have their breathe taken away, not only from the amazement of the parade but from the overwhelming crowd the event draws. To help you out, whether it be your first year attending the parade, or if your looking to get some insight on the event, and maybe attend next year, you have come to the right guide!

A Little History on The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Close your eyes and let’s go back in time to 1924 where it all began. (don’t actually close them because then you wont be able to read this…) What we know as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was not always called that nor was it everything we get to enjoy now. It actually was first called The Macy’s Christmas Parade which was started by Macy’s Employees. Not only did it have a different name at the time, it didn’t even have giant balloons! It actually featured animals from the central park zoo. (I would enjoy, even now, seeing a tiger or giraffe walking down central park west). After such a great response to the first parade, Macy’s decided to make the parade an annual event. Fast forward to 1927 when the parade finally had its first gigantic balloon! Felix the cat was the parades first-ever giant character balloon! What a lucky cat.

Now Jump ahead to 1929 which involved probably one of the most epic balloon hunts in the world. The 1929 Parade featured balloons equipped with return labels and safety valves which, after the parade was over, would let the balloons float to the sky. The newly equipped safety valves would allow the helium to slowly leak out and the balloons to float high up above the city and eventually come down. Now the hunt was on. People would then search for where the balloons landed and, when returned, would be given a reward by Macy’s. Does thanksgiving get much better than that?!

Click Here to Read More About The History of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation.

Seeing the Parade is always an experience but seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation, the day before, is an experience all in its self. The parades balloon inflation opens for viewing at 3pm and closes at 10pm. For many, attending the balloon inflation is a must do each year and the kids love it! You get to see the balloons taking shape and see them up close and just a few feet away from you. For me, the Macy’s Parade balloon inflation is almost more enjoyable. There is something about walking around, on what is usually a brisk day/night, with your family or friends and watching these giant balloons take their shape. If you have never attended the balloon inflation before I highly recommend it and if your not sure where to go to view it, it is held near the American Museum of Natural History. If you are a pretty good city slicker we recommend entering at W 79th St at Columbus Ave.

88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

Best Spot To View the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Well the best spot, of course, would be if you happen to be fortunate enough to own, rent, or have a relative who has an apartment somewhere along the route. That is the best case scenario. However if you want to be out on the streets to view the parade there are a some good spots out there but they usually go quick and might call for some early morning staking out. And when I say early morning staking out, I mean like 6am or earlier probably. In my opinion the best spot to be, for a not so crowded area and a good view, is somewhere on Central Park West between the 60’s and 70’s.  And keep in mind that there are no restrooms along the route so plan accordingly!

What to wear for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Kids, listen to your parents on this one when they tell you to bundle up for the day. The last thing you want is to be in the crowded streets of New York during this huge event and be cold. If I were toughing the streets for the parade I would most definitely have a sweatshirt, a decently thick or windproof winter jacket, gloves, a winter hat, and a scarf. A wise person once told me, you can always de-layer if you are hot.  If you are cold and want to layer-up, unless your a magician, those layers are not just going to appear unless you have them with you.

Be sure to take a lot of pictures (and post them on Instagram with #EatUpNewYork).  We hope everyone has a great time this year at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and don’t forget to stay safe and stay warm!

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