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How to Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Like a VIP

Skip the crowded sidewalks in favor sweeping views and free-flowing champagne at these hotels and restaurants. But hurry, spots are going fast.

There is nothing quite like seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—six-story Ronald McDonald, John Legend, and Martina McBride in tow—roll down the streets of Manhattan live. That said, we wouldn’t recommend battling the crowds for a spot along Sixth Avenue’s sidewalks. Instead, settle into one of the many luxury hotels and restaurants on the parade route. Each offer unrivaled views of the procession (not to mention a cozy respite from the cold), and are pulling out all the stops for their VIP guests—think extravagant brunches with free-flowing champagne and elaborate food displays, and decked-out viewing spaces with cozy couches and festive decorations.

And though many of the city’s top viewing spots were sold out months ago, there are still a few tickets left to the most sought after viewing parties. Snag one, and make your holiday one you and your family will never forget.  

JW Marriott Essex House

At the JW Marriot Essex House, you’ll get to experience the Thanksgiving parade in the most low-key way possible: from your cozy suite. You and your family can keep your pajamas on, curling up with a mug of hot chocolate to watch the parade float by directly outside your window. The hotel will provide a basket of treats to keep you nourished, and you can arrange for an in-room photographer to capture your family’s delight.  Once the morning’s festivities wrap, you can head over to Central Park for an ice skating session followed by a ride in one of the iconic horse-drawn carriages (both experiences are included in the price of the package if you book for at least three nights).

If your hotel isn’t on the parade route—or if you’re a local looking to get in on the action—you can book in at the Southgate Bar & Restaurant, where there will be a hot and cold buffet and champagne cocktails (It costs $3,500 for a table of four, and $875 per extra person). Your table will also grant you access to a special roped off section outside that puts you in the heart of the parade without the crowds.


Bluebird London NYC

In London, Bluebird is the place to see and be seen. Celebrities from Cara Delevigne to Eddie Redmayne spend their Sundays there mixing and mingling over Bloody Marys.  Just in time for Thanksgiving, the restaurant has opened a stunning New York City location with unbeatable views of the main event—and celebrating its entry to America with a blowout brunch during the parade. A ticket ($300 per-person) will get you a table with sweeping views of the route, along with a menu of beef wellington, H. Forman & Son ‘London Cure’ smoked salmon, fall cocktails, and all you can drink bubbles. There is also a special kids section with a buffet full of mini pancakes and macaroni and cheese, and there is even a cookie decorating station both adults and kids will love.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

For decades, the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park has been the center of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade festivities. Guest rooms and suites look out onto the action, and the hotel’s signature restaurant, the Auden Bar & Bistro, is situated just steps away from the route. The hotel rooms are already fully booked, but there are still tables you can reserve for a festive Thanksgiving morning brunch. Snag a reservation and order the Central Park Basket: a multi-course menu full of delicious pastries, followed by a traditional New York Strip. In between courses, head outside to take in a float or a song by a marching band.

The Quin

Even on a regular day, a stay at the Quin is a treat. The art-themed boutique hotel expertly rides the line between quirky and lavish, and each of the 208 guest rooms have their own look, accented by original pieces of art. On Thanksgiving, checking in to the artsy property is a dream. Your morning will start with a delivery of fresh seasonal fruit and pastries, locally roasted coffee, and a selection of premium teas. Then, you can either watch the parade’s action from the comfort of your bed, or you can walk out the hotel’s front door to put yourself in the center of the action. Though all of the rooms offer spectacular views of the procession, we recommend booking one of the Terrace Suites (or, if you really want to splash out, you can try the over-the-top triplex Penthouse Suite). Each boasts 400-square-foot outside spaces complete with lounge furniture and spectacular city views, meaning that you’ll be able to soak up all of the parade’s sights and sounds. That way you don’t have to decide if you want to watch the parade from inside or outside.


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