The Macy’s Day Parade | A Life Goal Adventure In NYC

I wanted to make sure I posted our Macy’s Day Parade adventures on the blog before Christmas. This year Matthew and I went on a magical journey to New York City to check off another goal on my life list: watching the Macy’s Day Parade right outside of Macy’s on 34th street in New York City. It was just as magical as the specials I have watched live on television since I was a kid. Next year I will be sharing my tips that I learned form the experience so you may enjoy it for yourself, but for today I wanted to share the magical moments we experienced at the parade on Thanksgiving. 

For seven out on nine years, I have spent Thanksgiving with my finance’s family. A tradition of mine has always been to watch the parade on television on Thanksgiving morning, but Matthew’s family is not a fan of the parade (I know the assets story on Earth) so I haven’t watched it in years! This year his family was in Florida (and coincidentally, so was most of mine!) so we took this as an opportunity to make up for all of the parades missed by watching it in person! 

We took the train into the city the night before (as we knew driving would be a nightmare after the parade) and I booked us a hotel right around the corner from Macy’s for less than $100, directly across the street from Madison Square Garden. Then we wandered around the city at night as people set up for the parade. First stop: warm socks and gloves for Matthew. Second stop: A hot beverage. Third stop: Macy’s.You may know that I am not a fan of corporate consumerism, but Macy’s is a lovely and magical place. The decorations, the beautiful things, and the chocolates! Plus, they created this beautiful holiday tradition that I look forward to every year. #Thankkful
Keeping my hands warm with a chai tea latte. Look closely at these escalators….They’re made of wood!Hello, chocolate. Then it was straight to bed for an early start. Unfortunately, I only slept for a few short hours. The noises of the city kept me awake (lots of horns, definitely not a stereotype!) and when I finally fell asleep I was awoken by loud laughter in the hallway at 2:30 in the morning and couldn’t get to sleep again. 

We got up at five and we found a great spot directly across from Macy’s (where I took the photo of the building posted up above the night before), but we were told we had to move. This year, they wouldn’t let anyone close to the building (except for people with tickets for the grandstand) because of heightened security after Vegas. We were a little nervous. I think you could feel it in the air. After a recent attack in the city and the shooting in Vegas, many people were on edge. Thankfully, there were hundreds of people in the city for security for the event and it went smoothly. Right before six in the morning we found this spot just one block down from the grandstand. It was already pretty full and we still had hours to go! Matthew took a nap on the curb before we were told we had to stand. No sitting allowed! It was a long cold morning and it kept getting busier and busier. Bundled up to stay warm!Shortly after ten we saw our first glimpse of the floats, this year lead by Frozen’s Olaf. Suddenly, the crowd pushed forward and we were pushed up against the gates. The classic Thanksgiving Day float:Connecticut representatives: My favorite float: Charlie Brown. Look who we saw: Jimmy Fallon.That moment when the SpongeBob balloon lost control and hit the scaffolding above us. This guy right here is the greatest! Matthew travelled with me to the city, woke up super early, faced the freezing cold with me for five hours of waiting, and made my dream come true! We waved to several celebrities including Patty LaBelle, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Flo Rida. Things they don’t tell/show on tv: For one thing; no music! They don’t want the sound to disrupt the television broadcast so if you are close to Macy’s you won’t hear any music from the bands or the flats. Another thing is that all chaos breaks out when they get close to the corner. All of a sudden hundreds of band members, dancers, clowns, and flat riders are dropping all their jackets and running into formation for their television performance. The first time it happened it really startled the crowd who thought something bad had happened. Here comes Santa!Before we knew it, there was a flurry of movement and the crowds were on the move. We raced back to the hotel, Hotel Pennsylvania, for our bags and made our way back to Grand Central Station for the train ride home just in time for Thanksgiving dinner and homemade pumpkin pie. 

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