Seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is something I have always wanted to do. Even though I lived in NYC for a short time, it seems I left the city around the major holidays and never had the chance to experience this holiday tradition. Well, last year I made it happen and it was definitely worth it! Here are some tips on navigating this special holiday event and my recommendation for the best way to see Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

First, you need to understand that this is an event where NO TICKETS ARE SOLD. There is no way to purchase a seat or spot along the parade route. Those bleachers you see when watching the parade on TV are reserved for Macy’s employees and guests. Therefore, you will need another plan to see the parade in action.

One way is to study the parade route, wake up very early, and arrive on the parade route by 6 am to secure a spot on the street. Be sure to pack your warmest clothes and food to last for hours. And keep your eyes open for any public restrooms, because that will be your only option as you camp out on the street!

A better way to see the parade, and the choice for our family, was to stay at a family-friendly hotel along the parade route. We stayed at the New York Hilton Midtown, but there are several hotels in the area that are perfect for parade viewing!

New York Hilton Midtown

This is where we stayed on our trip to New York. New York Hilton Midtown has rooms with full and partial views of the parade coming down 6th Avenue. We really valued being able to watch the parade from the comfort of our room. We had the parade commentary on the TV so we had a full explanation of the floats and then a perfect sky-high view of the entire parade. All this while lounging in our cozy warm room with snacks, drinks and our own bathroom!

However, to get the full experience it is also nice to see the parade up close outside, and New York Hilton Midtown also has a great view on the street level. The parade passes directly by the hotel offering a close-up view of the giant inflatables. Being outside made us feel like we were part of the parade action.

Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street

You can’t get any closer to the heart of the action than the Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street. Stay warm and enjoy front-row views of the parade from the comfort of your guest room as the parade makes its way to the final stop at Macy’s Herald Square, across from the hotel. With its location at 35th Street and 6th Avenue, you’ll have prime views of the parade. Keep in mind that if you want to stay in your room to view, you’ll have to book a special Parade View Room—don’t wait too long, they always sell out!

The Quin Central Park by Hilton Club

If you’re looking for a luxury experience, The Quin is right for you. This gorgeously restored Arts & Crafts landmark hotel features magnificent views of central park, thoughtful amenities, and full-service conceiges to help curate your experience. The Hotel is also located directly on the parade route at 57th St. and 6th Avenue. Enjoy the excitement from the comfort of your guest room as the balloons pass in front of your window or reserve a room without a parade vista and immerse yourself in front-row energy at street level. Contact the hotel directly to guarantee a room with a parade view.


Seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of us, and to make the most of it we recommend staying at a Hilton hotel along the parade route. Wherever you stay, enjoy the parade—and stay warm out there!

This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.

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