Where’s the Best Place to Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Yesterday’s post offered 9 Tips to Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But the perhaps the ultimate question for anyone wanting to watch this holiday tradition live and in-person is, “where’s the best place to watch the Macy’s parade?”
Avoid Macy’s Department Store
Directly in front of Macy’s Department Store (Herald Square) is where NBC Broadcasts the parade. Many seats are reserved for dignitaries and other ticket holders. It’s best to avoid this area and choose a spot along 7th Avenue. Be aware that the blocks before and after this area are delineated as Quiet Zones for filming purposes. Marching Bands and musicians won’t perform in this area in order to avoid noise intrusion on the live broadcast. Unless you know someone, you won’t get close here.
Get There Early
Don’t be picky. All you need is a spot that offers a clear view down the street and a public bathroom nearby (Starbucks is often free, but lines are long). Note that many companies will reserve the sidewalk in front of their office for their employees. A good rule of thumb, if you see an available spot take it. Don’t walk further down the street to find a better spot. Chances are, there won’t be one and someone else will snag that primo spot that you just left.
Many groups section off their spot with Caution Tape, Chairs, Bleachers and other barriers – another reason to get your spot early. It’s awfully frustrating to see wide-open spaces and being told “this spot is reserved for the rest of our family who is coming later.”
You have 4 options in this situation:
- Continue Walking and Hope You Find Another Spot - not always successful but it’s the most chosen option by shy individuals. I told you that you should have woken up earlier!
- Say, “Screw You” and proceed to takeover their space - also not advisable since you’ll immediately be on their bad side. You’ll have several hours of taunting, dirty looks and confrontations to deal with. As soon as you leave to run to the bathroom they’ll be hot on your case and take their space back. Remember, you want to enjoy the parade, not be worried about what the group behind you is plotting the whole time.
- Ask a nearby police officer about the rules of saving spots - Depending on the officer they may/ may not want to get involved. They may share that it’s first come, first serve, giving you some weight in proceeding with option # 2. Or…they may decide to not get involved and leave you on your own.
- Plead, beg, bribe – Perhaps the best way to sneak your way into these “reserved” sections is to befriend the protector of the seats. Approach them with a pleasant smile, offer to buy them a coffee and some doughnuts and stress that your party is small and that you’ll help them protect their space from other vultures. Appeal to the human emotion of care and consideration towards others.
When it’s all said and done, it truly doesn’t matter where you watch the parade, but rather who you watch it with.
So where did I end up? Across the street from the studio where David Letterman films. It was a fantastic spot. And how’d we get our front-row spot? We proceeded with option #4.
What tips do you have on selecting the best place to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Share by commenting.
I’ll see you out there…! Save me a spot
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