Besides missing school, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was always a highlight of Thanksgiving growing up.
Every year, my mom would make a delicious hot breakfast, and then we all gathered around the television to watch the parade. New York City seemed magical during the holidays – the cold weather, lights, decorations, and the hustle and bustle.
I also couldn’t wait to watch the performers, marching bands, and dancers – especially my favorite, the Rockettes.
I always told myself one day I would go to the parade in person. Experiencing it first-hand would be a dream come true. To be a part of something so historic and celebratory was a bucket list item for me, and I finally got to fulfill my dream a few weeks ago!
My husband and children decided to celebrate Thanksgiving in New York City this year. It made sense since my daughter has an apartment on the Upper East Side where she attends college, and we would be able to stay with her.
During the days leading up to Thanksgiving, we were able to enjoy ice skating in Bryan Park, browsing at the holiday fair, seeing the Rockefeller Center tree, and going to a Broadway show. New York City during the holidays is a definite must!
The day before Thanksgiving, we checked our weather apps and thought the forecast was a cruel joke. The HIGH was going to be 20 degrees??? I’m a native Floridian, that kind of cold is foreign to me. And the irony was that the coldest day of the week was Thanksgiving Day.
The entire week we were there, the highs were in the 40s, but Thanksgiving Day was apparently going to welcome an arctic blast. The day we planned on spending hours outside.
The adults in the group toyed with the idea of not going. Watching the parade on TV with hot chocolate and a warm living room seemed ideal. But the kids put a stop to that and said absolutely not! I’m glad they put their foot down. I didn’t travel all the way across the country to miss such an epic event.
The night before, we went to the drugstore and purchased hand and foot warmers and adhesive heating pads for our torsos. Then we set our alarms for 5am. Ugh.
For some reason, when I woke up, I was ready to go. We all put on our warmers and several layers of clothing, then headed down to meet our Uber driver.
We arrived at our destination a little before 6AM and walked to the corner of 6th Avenue and Central Park South. It was the perfect spot! There was a Pret a Manger located there where we could get coffee and go to the bathroom.
We sat in the freezing cold and waited for 3+ hours for the parade to finally make its way down the street. It was well worth the wait!
I’m so glad we got to do this as a family. But next time, I’d like to watch the parade from the Ritz-Carlton. I’ll wear my robe, order room service, and view it from my warm hotel window!