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The 5 Best Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in New York City This Year

Category Broadway

|by Mark Robinson |

Give thanks in the Big Apple with Broadway shows, cruises and more

Giving thanks, dining, and spending time with friends and family are what Thanksgiving is all about. Spending the holiday in NYC offers special opportunities for you and yours to create lasting memories and that will ignite your holiday cheer. Though there are practically dozens of things to eat, enjoy, and experience around every corner, here are some top-notch possibilities for you to plan for during Thanksgiving week in the Big Apple:

Spend your Thanksgiving in the Big Apple celebrating with delicious food, drinks and more (Photo: iStock)

Spend your Thanksgiving in the Big Apple celebrating with delicious food, drinks and more (Photo: iStock)

Take the Family to a Broadway Show
Taking the family to a Broadway show is a great holiday tradition, particularly a great choice for the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Fortunately, Broadway has many musicals running that ae perfect for a family outing. From the long-running hits such as The Lion King, Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera, to newer shows such as Frozen, Beetlejuice and Mean Girls, there is something for every age range and interest. You can enjoy a magic carpet ride and attend Aladdin or take a trip to Mount Olympus and see The Lightning Thief. And of course, if you have the time to invest in a two-part show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is guaranteed to bring some magic to your holiday.

See the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular
A yearly tradition at New York City’s famed venue since 1933, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular has become as much a part of a New York City holiday season as the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center or taking a carriage ride through Central Park. The show is a mesmerizing mélange of holiday spectacle, yuletide melodies, and those high-kicking dancers known as the Radio City Rockettes. With several shows a day (including three on Thanksgiving), what better way to get into the holiday spirit?

Enjoy a Thanksgiving Cruise
Who says Thanksgiving dinner has to be eaten on land? Thanks to a wide variety of Thanksgiving cruises around the waterways of New York, you can make that conventional family holiday an unconventional one. Hornblower NYC offers three different options guaranteed to delight. There is the Nautical Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise (From $195), The Admiral’s Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise (From $210) and The Premier Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise (From $250). Enjoy the delicious cuisine, a sumptuous feast composed of traditional favorites, with the NYC skyline, waterways, and landmarks as your backdrop. One the meal is over, there is an onboard DJ spinning the tunes as guests are invited to take to the dance floor.

Catch a Show at Feinstein’s/54 Below
Feinstein’s/54 Below offers a variety of wonderful cabaret shows that feature some of Broadway’s greatest talent performing in an intimate setting. Highlights of their programming for week of Thanksgiving include 5 concerts by the celebrated sisters Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway in their show “Broadway the Callway!” which runs November 26 through November 30th. Also, on the calendar on November 26 is “Tuesdays at 54” with Robbie Rozelle, a Broadway-inspired talk show where the comedic host brings together performers from the Great White Way for interviews and performances. His show on the 26th will feature Mauricio Martinez (On Your Feet), Michael Longoria (Jersey Boys) and Marty Thomas (Xanadu), and you can almost always count on a few other surprises.

The 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Without a doubt, one of the most-exciting ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in the Big Apple is to line up along the parade route for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A yearly tradition sponsored by the titular department store on 34th Street, the parade features high-flying balloons, myriad marching bands, scenes from Broadway shows, and a dazzling display of celebrities performing on the magical parade floats drifting down Central Park West toward Herald Square. The festivities conclude with the arrival of Santa Claus and the ushering-in of the official holiday shopping season. It is holiday magic on the grandest of scales, a tradition that is celebrating its 93rd anniversary!

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at

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