In other parts of the country, Thanksgiving is often about staying in with the family. In New York City, the city that never sleeps, this is not really the case. Even during this quiet football-and-food holiday, the city keeps rocking with many Thanksgiving events that are sure to turn an otherwise-sleepy holiday weekend into an exciting one. Thanksgiving Eve is when the festivities get started. If you have kids, you might want to head over to Central Park West and Columbus Avenues between 77th and 81st Streets to see the parade balloons get inflated for the next day's Thanksgiving Day Parade. You can see the enormous helium balloons inflate between 4 and 8 PM. For the party people out there, Thanksgiving Eve is a classic club night in New York - many clubs hold special parties with drink specials, celebrity DJs, and wacky themes.
On Thanksgiving Day, the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade takes over Manhattan. Over 2.5 million people attend the parade, which marches down the West Side from 70th Street to the Macy's flagship store on 34th Street. If you want to see the infamous balloons and floats, dress warmly, get your spot before 7AM, and don't bring your folding chair - it will be way too crowded. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can always watch the parade on NBC that morning. The parade happens from 9 AM to noon. And then, of course, there is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Almost every shopping destination in NYC has a day-after-Thanksgiving sale, so be sure to set your alarm clocks so you can get in some early bird holiday shopping.