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.