Turkey day is on its way, and we’re all ready to eat! For a lot of you senior mamas Thanksgiving means being home with the family (because you were able to ask for the weekend off). For you others, not so much. If you were fortunate to get the time off, though, we didn’t want to leave you hanging.

Which is why we’ve created this handy dandy detailed list of excellent ways to spend the holiday in NYC. It’ll work for those of you who, last minute, got the time off and really are craving an adventure, as well as those who’d just not rather spend it at home!

Either way here’s our favorite destination where you can get in on all the Thanksgiving fun. So whether you’re overnighting here, avoiding the family or looking to take them somewhere new, get ready to bookmark this post and pack your bag. Thanksgiving plans are on their way in 3… 2… 1…

Thanksgiving in New York City

It’s an obvious choice but still such a great option, we think! It’s not like there’ll be a lack of things to do. It’s got tradition, activity, and fun galore (plus you overachieving Christmas fanatics can go ahead and start your merriment early). Here’s what we suggest you check out…

For Accommodations

Of course, we’ve got rolling deals year round, but here a few places you can stay – you know, just for holiday fun. These options are gonna rock your socks. Why? THEY’RE ON THE PARADE ROUTE! (Yas!)

$$$ – Residence Inn New York Manhattan / Times Square

Not the cheapest option out there, but you’re still going to pay less than anywhere else ?. This place has it all, and it’s luxury to the max! The rooms are pet-friendly (so you can bring Fido), they offer a full breakfast, and it’s only a few blocks from Grand Central, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building and Times Square.

$$ – The Hilton New York Midtown

Also close to sites like Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Modern Art, this place is a bit more affordable, yet still offers some pretty great amenities. Get an in-room spa treatment, grab a drink at the ice bar, or grab breaky at the buffet from Herb N’ Kitchen.

$ – Americana Inn

For the budget traveler, Americana Inn offers no frills but puts you right in the action. You’ll be within walking distance of Bryant Park, Macy’s and Grand Central Station, but you’re gonna have to share a bathroom.

***Check out a few more hotel options on the route here.***

For Fun

Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Duh!)

The parade is a classic that you simply can’t miss if you’re in town on the actual day. Of course, we’ve seen time and time again that although the parade is a must-see, the balloon inflation is really “where it’s at”. You can avoid more of the crowds and see more of the behind-the-scenes fun. Plus if you nabbed a hotel on the route you can watch them inflate the balloons then observe the 91st parade Miracle on 34th Street style.

See the Rockettes

Again it feels obvious, but it’s another classic that you simply can’t miss. Get in the Christmas spirit early by watching the Rockettes do the historic soldier fall. Tickets range in price so there’s an opportunity to see it no matter your budget! The Nutcracker is another entertainment option if for some reason you don’t have a sould and the Rockettes aren’t for you.

Skate your Heart Out

This outdoor rink is open late and free (although you’ll have to shell out a few $$ to rent skates). There’s a spacious restaurant rinkside called Public Fare where you can warm up by ordering a cocoa. The tree lighting is on December 1st, but it’ll still be a great Insta-able location for you to rub in your followers’ face.

#Rockettes prepping and primping in their dressing room before the show in 1937. #TBT

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For Cheap

Live Like You’re in a Movie…

…Or a book! The Plaza is home to many a story and since you’re in town you can experience it firsthand! They’ve got an interactive experience this year in honor of Home Alone 2’s 25th anniversary. You can feel free to just pop in and enjoy it, eat at The Plaza’s Todd English Food Hall (for a throwback 90’s-themed meal), or really invest by booking the Home Alone 2 Anniversary Room Package (rates start from $895 FYI…).

Not into Home Alone? The Plaza also offers an Eloise experience. Get to live a life similar to that of this extravagant 6-year-old book’s characters by attending a themed event, eating at The Palm Court, or shopping at the Eloise Shop.

Finally, no New York Thanksgiving would be complete without a Miracle on 34th street movie tour. We found a free one that’s approximately 2 hours long that includes a few other movie stops as well. Just make sure you make a reservation to attend!

Shop ‘Till You Drop (Hello Black Friday Deals!)

If you’re pushy, competitive, and unrelenting then shopping Black Friday Deals in New York City is for you. There are quite a bit of options, so we recommend making a plan and starting EARLY. Focus on Macy’s and be there by 5 AM, or try more options at The Shops at Columbus Circle (open at 10 AM). Here’s what you’ve got to work with.

Celebrate Turkey Day with the Animals

The Central Park Zoo is open every day of the Thanksgiving weekend from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Go see the penguins at the Polar Circle bob for fish at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM, or ride the Central Park’s restored 1908 carousel. Here you can also pop over to the Wollman Rink we mentioned above.

***Check out a few more tour options in the city here.***

To Eat

When it comes to good food in big cities like NYC the sky is never the limit. It’s more like to “infinity and beyond!” This is why instead of three simple restaurants we gave you three ways to pick the right place.

Choose By Location

Eater always gives great options when it comes to restaurants and the map is one of the bigger reasons to use it. Sometime you just can’t make it to that restaurant across town and you need to eat somethingnow. Also, it gives you a variety of Thanksgiving options for you to choose from like maybe dumplings are the way you want to go on the big day!

Choose By Price

TimeOut seemed to have some fabulous intel on the city, and here they have an article listing the best places to eat the big meal in order of price. Go big or go small, at least now you have options and you’ll know what you’re getting into ahead of time.

Choose By Locals’ Recommendations

TripSavvy had some awesome suggestions on how to eat your Thanksgiving meal like a local – and we’re not just talking restaurants. Did you know that you can have your turkey day meal catered in? #OnlyInNYC. Stay in, watch the parade. We would!


We sure enjoyed making last-minute NYC Thanksgiving plans with y’all, and we hope you enjoy reading them and even get to use them! Do you have any suggestions you’d add to our list? If so let us know below in the comments. Until next time Interliners, safe travels and keep your eyes on the skies!

Author: Emily (@ID90 Travel)

Emily is the Content Marketing Manager here at ID90 Travel. An avid non-rev flyer (she grew up in the industry), and passionate private pilot, Emily can’t get enough of all things aviation. When not writing awesome ID90 Travel content she can be found on a Texas patio, being one with nature, or annoying her ID90T co-workers with her many, many, crowdsourcing questions.