How to Watch the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC

Whether IRL or via streaming, this iconic Big Apple tradition promises big name performances plus new floats and balloons.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Gordon Donovan/Shutterstock
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Gordon Donovan/Shutterstock

As we kick off the holiday season, the world famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is just around the corner.

First held in 1924 and marking its 96th run, this year’s longstanding tradition promises big name performances, new floats and balloons, and plenty of excitement. And while tuning in is a classic American tradition among households nationwide, for us New Yorkers (and our new BFF tourists), we’re in the lucky position to witness its splendor up close IRL.

As we take part in this and other Thanksgiving festivities across the five boroughs, it’s also important to acknowledge that we currently reside on what was once the land of the Lenape peoples called Lenapehoking or Manhatta (which means “hilly island”). For ways to celebrate the legacy and culture of Indigenous peoples in New York City this year, check out our guide.

So, if you’re one of the millions planning to venture to the parade route on Thanksgiving morning, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Viktor_IS/Shutterstock

Where is the parade route?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off from West 77th Street at 9 am, moves south on Central Park West to Columbus Circle, and then heads east on West 59th Street. The journey continues south on Sixth Avenue to 34th Street and ends outside Macy’s flagship store around noon. Visualize the route here.

Where can I watch the parade from?

There are two main stretches of road where you can catch a great view of the parade. Early birds can line up on the west side of Central Park West between West 75th Street and West 59th Street—people start camping out here as early as 6 am. Late arrivers should aim to post up farther down the parade route, along Sixth Avenue between West 59th Street and West 38th Street.

No matter when you arrive, there are a handful of areas to look out for on the route with limited-to-no views. Avoid the kickoff area at West 77th Street, all of Columbus Circle, the stretch of Sixth Avenue between West 38th Street and West 34th Street, and anywhere near Macy’s on 34th Street.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Ron Adar/Shutterstock

How do I get there?

The subway is always the most reliable mode of transportation to an event where street closures are involved. We suggest getting off at a station slightly off the beaten path to minimize the chaos.

If you’re planning to watch in the Upper West Side, take the 1, 2, or 3 train to 72nd Street. If you’re planning to watch in Midtown, consider taking the E train to 50th Street or the N train to 49th Street. As always, watch the MTA’s live service updates online or on Twitter in case there’s a hangup.

What should I wear and how do I prepare?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade used to be infamous for having parade goers endure freezing temperatures. And while Thanksgiving this year shows signs of being warmer than usual, you’ll still want to arrive prepared in case the forecast changes.

If the weather does drop, the key to surviving a morning event in November is layering up. Long johns, sweaters, coats, and scarves are all great ideas, but don’t stop there. Comfortable shoes are a necessity, and head and hand protection help contain your body heat. Also, definitely keep in mind that bathrooms are limited near the parade.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Rabanser/Shutterstock

What performers, floats, and new balloons will I see?

The 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, countless performers of every kind, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

Among this year’s five new character balloons there’s Stuart the Minion from the movies Despicable Me and Minions; Bluey, from the popular children’s animated TV show Bluey; and middle schooler Greg Heffley from the book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Additionally, there are five new floats that will roll down the parade route for the first time this year including a colorful, animal dance party float by Toys “R” Us with singer Jordin Sparks; a whimsical Baby Shark themed float accompanied by musician Ziggy Marley; and a slumber party-style float by Netflix joined by the local Ballet Hispánico.

Among the many celebrities performing at the parade, expect appearances from Sean Paul, Paula Abdul, Dionne Warwick, Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland, and Jimmy Fallon & The Roots.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | RightFramePhotoVideo/Shutterstock

How do I stream the parade from home?

If seeing the parade in person just isn’t in the cards this year, enjoy the festivities from the comfort of your home. The three-hour broadcast—hosted by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker—will air on NBC from 9 am to noon in every time zone on Thursday, November 24. It’ll re-broadcast from 2 pm to 5 pm in every time zone in case you missed the morning show.

You can also stream the event on Peacock at your own leisure, and if you would prefer to watch in Spanish, Telemundo will broadcast the event from 9 am to noon as well.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Izzy Baskette is a Staff Writer for Thrillist New York. Find her on Instagram.
Kyler Alvord is a contributor for Thrillist.