Secrets of a balloon-watcher

The “official” best spots

Central Park West between 61st and 72nd streets

Macy’s annually recommends standing on Central Park West between 61st and 72nd streets for the best view. They also warn that the east side of Central Park West between 59th and 75th will have limited viewpoints because of private viewing grandstands.

The “unofficial” best spots

From a hotel, restaurant or bank
See sidebar for parade route
We’ve gotten lucky by standing inside the vestibule of a corner bank; the doors are usually open, and if they’re not, customers can use their ATM card for access. You can also try and score a window seat at a local restaurant or café.

Multi-task

Bryant Park
42nd Street at Sixth Avenue
The Midtown park is the perfect spot to catch the parade — and ice skate while watching the balloons pass by.

Stay warm

Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle
You may feel a bit far away, but the second floor of Time Warner Center is the ideal spot to watch the parade if you don’t want to stand out in the cold.

Turn, turn, turn

Central Park Drive South
Located across the street from 200 Central Park South (the famously curved building), Central Park Drive South, closed to traffic, provides a fantastic view as the Parade turns down Seventh Avenue.

Good to know

Bundle up! Even with the unseasonable warmth we’ve been experiencing, it is still November.

Get there early! We like arriving at about 7:30 a.m. to get a good view, though Macy’s encourages far earlier.

For the full experience, attend the balloon inflation along Central Park West by the Museum of Natural History the night before the parade.

Talk to people. Don’t be afraid to make friends with the people standing around you. You never know, they just might be the key to a better view


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