Interesting Way to Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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My family is planning a trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City this year, and as a result I’ve been thinking through some different ways to actually see the parade.  By far the most likely scenario is that we will line up at too-early-o’clock and simply stand outside and hopefully get lucky with the weather and the almost-five-year-old’s stamina just like 95% of the rest of the parade attendees.  However, I think it is fun to look at all the options for seeing the parade that are out there, even if they aren’t options within our budget.

Macys Parade Route

Parade Route from

The Warwick Hotel VIP Thanksgiving Day Parade Option Includes Someone to Hold Your Place on the Sidewalk the Morning of the Parade:

One option I was emailed today that really made me giggle was from The Warwick Hotel.  Lots of hotels in NYC along the parade route have some sort of VIP Parade offering, but this hotel has partnered with TaskRabbit to offer VIP views on Sixth Avenue by having “your personal Tasker reserve prime real estate on the sidewalk for ideal parade watching.  The Tasker will hold your spot on the sidewalk until you’re ready to head outside, and up to four hours of “hold time” is included with the package.”

This means, theoretically, that your Tasker would be on the sidewalk holding your space near the hotel from say 4:30AM – 8:30 AM, at which point you finish your coffee and head outside.  I shake my head both at the brilliance and simultaneous absurdity that this is even an option.

The package also includes daily breakfast for two at Murals on 54th, accommodations for two, and starts at $500 a night with a three night minimum in effect.

Packages and Indoor Parade Viewing Options:

For those looking for other options, I have heard of an Amex package that includes brunch at Stone Rose Lounge with parade view, theater tickets, and dinner at Gotham Bar & Grill for $1,500.  I’m sure it’s great, but that is never going to happen for our budget. 

There was also a $200 (now sold out) experience at the Museum of Arts and Design offered by Inside Access by Chase that included:

  • Thanksgiving Day Parade Viewing
  • Breakfast Buffet with Mimosas and Hot Chocolate
  • Family-Friendly Activities

Last year there was a similar sounding $100 experience offered by MasterCard Priceless cities that included indoor viewing at Lincoln Center with a buffet and kids’ activities provided, but I have not yet noticed that opportunity this year.

While it is kind of late at this point to secure VIP access to the parade for 2014, this should give you an idea of the types of opportunities that are out there for future years.  Keep in mind that most of these sort of things (especially the ones in the $100 – $200 range) sell out very quickly, so move quickly if something you are interested in comes across your inbox or Twitter.

Or, perhaps you could simply pay someone to hold your spot on the sidewalk…I’m still chuckling over that one.


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  1. Welcome to nyc. another option would be to watch the balloons being inflated the evening before and then watching the parade on tv the next day.

  2. Another option is to just hop onto Broadway in the low 50s and you’ll typically be 3-4 deep to the front of the curb. After a bit folks tend to let little kids sit on the curb itself. I’m sure it’ll work out just fine.

    Have fun – no matter what you choose to do.

  3. Joey, we absolutely plan on doing that!
    Mike, thanks for the info. We are looking forward to it!
    Alanea, no because the hotel view rooms at those hotels are sold at a premium, and I’m just staying on points. We are staying very close to the parade route though.

  4. Look for me! HA! but yes, likely just planting ourselves near the parade route beginning at the time you mentioned above! We too are going on pure points redemptions. Taking our lovely 12 yr old for her first NYC visit.(Our second, we are loving this city!)

  5. You mean there is an Amex package and Amex isn’t giving it to you for free so you’ll write about it on this blog??? How dare they not encourage you to sell out even more by plying you with endless freebies.

  6. A few years ago we booked a room at Crowne Plaza on Broadway using ICH points and requested a Broadway facing room. The parade route ended up being rerouted 1 block over, but we still had a view of all the balloons from above and of the intersection, so we could see all the ground stuff as well. We had the tv on and saw it all about 10 minutes after it passed us. We were in pajamas eating cheesecake and drinking coffee. We went out for brunch afterwards.

  7. We will be there with out 3 and 5 year olds. (Thank you companion pass and Hilton points and 5th night free at Doubletree.) And its all canceable, so if its gonna be nasty weather, looks like we will be going to grandmas house instead. Thought about the AMEX party, but for $800 that’s pretty darn steep to watch a parade. (not sure if they had kids rates, but still…) Definitely looking forward to watching the balloons the day before in central park.
    Looked on Craigslist, and surprised there aren’t parade place holders for like $50-$100. Wouldn’t mind doing that if could pay via credit cad or PayPal….

  8. Hi MP. I was just curious to see if you have an update to this….or after going if you have any suggestions/recommendations. I am hoping to use points to take my daughter to the parade.

  9. Hello, just wondering if there’s an update to this article. We are planning on going this year and I would like to start planning early using points. Thank you 🙂

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