ALL BLOWN UP: The Night Before
Every year the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the holiday season in NYC with 2.5 miles of balloons, floats, falloons and celebrity-carrying balloonicles. But first, Shrek, Garfield and newcomers like the Pillsbury Doughboy and Spiderman come to life the night before on the streets surrounding the American Museum of Natural History. Hundreds of people show up, and they get there early, so here’s what you need to know: where to watch, how to get there and where to park—if you’re daring enough to bring your car.
On Thanksgiving Eve, the blowing-up viewing entrance (77th Street and Columbus Avenue) opens at 3 p.m. and the balloons start getting inflated around 4 p.m. on 77th and 81st streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Most should be blown up by 8 p.m., but will remain on view until 10 p.m. However, the viewing entrance closes at 9 p.m. so if you want to take your chances coming late, make sure you don’t get there too late.
If you aren’t a master of shortcuts and city navigation, the best parking spot is probably the one at your local train station. The B and C trains will take you to 81st street, or the 1 train to Broadway and West 79th Street, only a few blocks away. But if you do decide to drive in, the museum does offer parking on the premises, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, if you get there early enough to beat the crowds and are willing to pay the price for the time. If you want to try for a spot on the street remember that alternate side rules and parking/Muni meters are in effect and, of course, the earlier you get there the better.
THE BIG PARADE: Thanksgiving Day
Contrary to what some may say, parade day isn’t just for tourists who don’t know any better. There really is nothing quite like freezing your butt off with a crowd of millions in the greatest city in the world. If you can’t appreciate that, turn on NBC at around 9 a.m. But if you can, listen up. This year, the parade will be following a different route and will not be heading down Broadway, so if you secure a spot right near the curb any time past 5 a.m. remember: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Check the map below before you leave.
The new route is as follows:
Starts at 77th Street & Central Park West
Heads south to Columbus Circle at 59th Street
Turns east along Central Park South
Turns south at 7th Avenue, continues through Times Square to 42nd Street
Turns east at 42nd Street for one block to 6th Avenue
Turns south onto 6th Avenue and finishes in front of Macy’s Herald Square at 34th Street.
Good luck, have a happy Thanksgiving—and now excuse us while we go squeeze our jellied cranberry sauce out of the can.
SAT 11.28 & SUUN 11.29
Enjoy the sights and smells of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving, as wood-burning stoves, beehive ovens and hearths are used to prepare foods and baked goods made from 19th-century recipes. The culinary exhibits include the “spitting” and roasting of turkey in a tin reflector oven beside the Williams House hearth and preparation of pies at the Powell House. OBVR will also display 19th-century methods of food preservation employed for late fall crops. Historical period music will be played while at the Noon Inn, children’s stories will be read several times each day. Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage. 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Community Thanksgiving Day Feast @ Central Presbyterian Church
240 Main St., Huntington. 631-421-3663. 1 p.m.
Everyone is invited for a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings!
DONATE A TURKEY
Help feed the hungry on Long Island by joining Island Harvest‘s Turkeys and Trimmings campaign. Donate a frozen turkey or your free turkey coupons. For donation drop off information call 516-294-8528 or go to www.islandharvest.org. Through Dec. 24
Long Island Cares/The Harry Chapin Food Bank welcomes gifts of canned, packaged and bottled food as well as cleaning supplies and personal toiletry items. To donate food products, e-mail Neal McAlister at [email protected] or call 239-334-7007 ext. 33. www.licares.org.
Waldbaum’s makes donating easy during the holiday rush. Just buy a pre-packaged donation dinner on your way in and place it in the special drop-off box on your way out. Simple as that!
THANKSGIVING DAY RUNS
Before you stuff your face on Thanksgiving, burn off some calories at these early morning races, you know, to keep healthy…or just work up an appetite.
Thanksgiving Day 5-Mile Run @ Manorhaven Beach Park
Manorhaven Boulevard, Manorhaven. $50. 8 a.m.
Thanksgiving Day Foot Races @ Miller Avenue School
Miller Avenue, Shoreham. 631-821-8116. 5K @ 8 a.m.; 1-mile @ 8:15 a.m.; 5-mile @ 8:50 a.m.
4-Mile Townwide Fund of Huntington Thanksgiving Day Run @ American Legion Hall
Route 110, Halesite. 631-549-3006. 9 a.m.
Mattituck-Cutchogue Turkey Trot 5K @ Mattituck H.S.
Main Road, Mattituck. 9 a.m.
SUN 11.22 – THU 11.26
THE GREAT ESCAPE
Not in the mood to see the family this year? This may be your last chance to run away. Escape to Montauk, where you’ll be served Thanksgiving dinner in style at this sea water spa. Gurney’s is offering a Thanksgiving Getaway, which includes accommodations for two for two nights, with the third night FREE, $26 dinner credit per person per night, $15 breakfast credit per person each morning and use of the general spa facilities. Gurney’s Inn Resort & Spa, Montauk. 631-688-2345. Package rates start at $491.