9 Thanksgiving activities for families.

Here are some fun online and in-person Thanksgiving activities provided by the amazing businesses in our area.

1. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020 (virtual)

The annual pageant of giant balloons, floats, cheerleaders, clowns, marching bands, theater and Broadway in New York performances and celebs is one of the best NYC events in November, but this year, the parade will happen without the throngs of crowds, so you can tune in to the “reimagined” rendition of the annual event in your PJs to keep the spirit alive.

2. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Halloween won’t even be over this year when New Yorkers’ favorite winter festivity begins. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park returns on October 30 with its holiday festivities, shopping and food. Its 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink that’s free to use (if you bring your own skates) is the highlight, while about 60 shopping and food kiosks are there to peruse—all at one of the best NYC parks. This year will be slightly different given new health and safety protocols. Get ready to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!

3. Bronx Zoo Holiday Light Show

The Bronx Zoo’s striking seasonal celebration featuring animated lights and LED displays of safari animals from around the world is returning again this year. This year’s experience will take place in a larger area in the zoo for ample room to social distance, and visitors can expect the zoo to have close to 50 more animal lanterns than last year, and five geographically representative lantern safaris from various corners of the world. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, ice carvings, costumed characters, stilt walkers, souvenirs and seasonal treats like hot chocolate and s’mores. 

4. Macy’s holiday windows

On Nov 19, the Herald Square store will unveil its 2020 window theme, “Give, Love, Believe,” a tribute to first responders and our city. Those who pass by can expect a lot of heart: One window features a busy city with “thank you” neon signs in 16 languages; another depicts the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, which is making some changes this year. Shoppers will be able to catch a glimpse of the six windows on the Broadway side of the Herald Square flagship until Jan 1, 2021. 

5. New York Botanical Garden Glow

The New York Botanical Garden is adding a splash of color to its holiday celebration. This year, the Bronx family attraction will host NYBG Glow, an outdoor light experience that will brighten up the grounds with Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at its center. Visitors can expect thousands of energy-efficient LED lights and festive installations—an ideal backdrop for a family holiday photo op. Plus, there will be dance performances, ice carving demonstrations and other seasonal activities to enjoy (at a distance). Tickets, which are timed and mandatory, go on sale on Nov 10. Learn more about the new safety measures online. All ages. 

6. Brooklyn Navy Yard Holiday Market

More than 20 local Brooklyn vendors will show off their wares online, including nearly two dozen that are based at the Yard. Instead of just a weekend this year, you can peruse skincare, home goods, clothing, accessories, art, food and wine for a month and a half during their virtual market. You’ll find companies like vintageloft llc., Walker Wear, Hip Hop Closet, and Indulgence Lab. 

7. The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights 2020 display has definitely earned its striped as one of the best New York attractions. What’s not to love about all that razzle-dazzle to get you in the Christmas spirit? The Kings County neighborhood in Brooklyn is home to the most over-the-top Christmas light decorations with life-size Santas, sleighs, snowmen and some houses even bump Christmas carols from loudspeakers. Crowds of all ages flock to the nabe to wander down the multiple blocks and avenues and experience one of the top things to do in NYC in the winter.


8. LuminoCity Festival

A few miles north of the hustle and bustle of Rockefeller Center, is a pop-up winter wonderland called LuminoCity. The immersive, outdoor holiday spectacular of light sculptures and art installations first touched down in 2019, and proved it’s place as a must-see light show in the city. Here, holiday revelers take a 45-minute walking, narrative journey, with twinkling and towering LED sculptures along the way. Think: fairy palaces, alluring lollipop trees, and mystical mushrooms. You’ll cross multiple “lands” with their own sets. This year the sets include Mysterious Forest, Dangerous Dunes, Forgotten Ruins, Hidden Land of Hria, and Mystical Moon Land. 

9. The Rink at Rockefeller Center 2020

The Rink at Rockefeller Center will be open and ready for skaters. Ice skating is not only one of the best Christmas things to do, but it’s one of the best things to do for fall and winter! Every year, The Rink at Rockefeller Center ushers in the holiday season by opening up to the public to skate under a golden Prometheus. Once peak season hits, there’s going to be a bit of a wait to get on the slick stuff. Use our handy guide to navigate your way through one of the best New York attractions.