March 20, 2023

There’s more to this holiday than turkey in New York City

NYC’s Rockefeller Center ice skating may be famous, but Wollman Rink in Central Park is a picturesque alternative.
New York may be a city best known for its Christmas and New Year’s festivities, but that doesn’t mean Thanksgiving is an overlooked holiday here. The long weekend offers a smattering of events and activities that will help you celebrate Turkey Day – and start getting you geared up for the rest of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving Day Parade: The famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a New York City tradition dating back 87 years. This festive kick-off to the holiday season brings spectators from all over the world – no matter what the weather! – to view larger-than-life balloons, floats and performers as they proceed through the streets of the city. The 2013 parade will make its way from 77th Street and Central Park West at 9 a.m. to Macy’s, at 34th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Volunteer Your Time: What better time could there be to help the less fortunate than around a holiday dedicated to giving thanks for what you have? NYC has a variety of organizations that help volunteers give back, and these are just a few to consider donating a few hours to: City Harvest, Citymeals-On-Wheels, Coalition for the Homeless, Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen, and God’s Love We Deliver.

Go Ice Skating: There’s nothing that exemplifies winter in New York like taking a turn around one of its iconic ice skating rinks. Temporary outdoor rinks are set up at Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center, drawing visitors from all over to enjoy holiday shopping, festive skating, and steaming cups of hot apple cider. For a slightly less crowded option, try Wollman Rink in Central Park, where a moonlight skate surrounded by the lights of the city makes for a romantic date or a fun family outing.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting: Once the turkey leftovers have been devoured, it’s time to start thinking about the rest of the holiday season! The iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a bucket list site for many a traveler. This year, the annual tree lighting will take place on December 4 – just in time to put Thanksgiving behind you and turn your attention to the festive spirit that brings New York City to life each December.

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