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Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation 2010


On the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, the streets surrounding the American Museum of Natural History are closed to traffic and are filled instead with giant character balloons which will fly down the avenue in the Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday.

The balloons are held down by ropes and sandbags while they are inflated. Thousands of people of all ages come to watch them be inflated, hawkers selling small balloons and snacks come too,  and it is a holiday street event to start the lovely, long Thanksgiving weekend.

If you are coming with young children, try to come early when it is less crowded, from 3pm to about 5pm.

By 5pm many balloons have their final shape. Young children get lots of pleasure from this, even if they see only a few balloons.

The viewing is from 3pm to about 10pm, on West 77-81st Street, Columbus Avenue and Central Park West .

If you are coming into town by car, do not try to drive around and see the balloons, it is not possible, not enjoyable, it would be just a frustrating traffic jam with sad children in the car. Park somewhere else, perhaps in a garage, and walk or take a cab to as close as you can get.

Or better yet, come earlier in the day and go to the American Museum of Natural History and enjoy the new fabulous exhibit about the Human Brain, or visit the New York Historical Society, then walk out of the museum and enjoy watching the balloons being inflated.

That would be really smart of you!

Here are a few family friendly restaurants nearby: Fred’s (83 and Amsterdam), Jackson Hole (85 and Columbus), Uno’s (81 and Columbus), Ray’s Pizza (82 and Columbus), Famous Original Ray’s Pizza (don’t even ask) (82 and Amsterdam, Shake Shack (Columbus and 77)…..there are many more just a few blocks away from the crowds.

Happy Thanksgiving

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