What's Open on Thanksgiving Day in NYC 2012: 10 Things to Do with Kids Besides the Parade
Yes, everyone knows about Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But what happens once it's over? Your dinner doesn't start for another few hours, and if you're not the one cooking, you're going to find yourself with free time on your hands.
Luckily, New York City never sleeps. There actually are things to do on Thanksgiving Day in New York City that don't involve eating turkey, watching giant balloons or camping out for Black Friday sales. Here are ten fun ways to spend part of your holiday with the family.
Happy Thanksgiving to your family from all of the moms at Mommy Poppins NYC!
1. See a flick Movie theaters are open on Thanksgiving Day and there are plenty of family films playing. My kid is dying to see Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph. If you're looking for something less commercial, GKIDS (a.k.a. the organizer of the annual New York International Children's Film Festival) is screening films by Japanese animation great Hayao Miyazaki today as part of its Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahat and the Masters of Studio Ghibli fest. Catch My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and more at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village.
2. Go ice-skating Thanksgiving is a great day to hit the ice before or after your big feast. Citi Pond at Bryant Park, Wollman and Lasker Rinks in Central Park, Riverbank State Park and Rockefeller Center are all open for skating today, as is the Bronx's brand-new rink in Van Cortlandt Park. Note: Since Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marches down Sixth Avenue this year, wait to head to Bryant Park until after the parade passes by. You can even do some holiday shopping at its market, which will be open too.
3. Take a stroll My family and I plan to walk off our dinners by checking out all of the awesome department store holiday windows in Midtown before the crowds arrive for Black Friday. Thanksgiving is also a great day to take a quiet stroll through one of our city's lovely green spaces. Central, Prospect, Flushing Meadows Corona and Van Cortlandt Parks are all open.
4. Get a workout before you feast Cycle your way around the city at the all-ages NYC Pilgrim Pedal Thanksgiving Day Morning Bike Ride or watch the brood break a sweat in the Long Island City YMCA's Kids Turkey Trot Fun Run/Walk, featuring short races for various age groups.
6. Hang with the animals Although the Bronx Zoo is closed for the holiday, the Prospect Park, Queens and Central Park Zoos are all open. (Sadly, the New York Aquarium suffered severe damage during Hurricane Sandy and is closed until further notice.)
9. Explore a museum Although most cultural institutions are closed for the holiday, the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the National Museum of the American Indian are open and both are FREE. You can also hit Midtown tourist spots like Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium and Discovery Times Square, where the popular Harry Potter: The Exhibition is on view.
10. Pamper yourself If all that Thanksgiving planning, cooking and feasting wipes you out, take a dip in the rejuvenating waters of the family-friendly Spa Castle, which is open on the holiday.
Start planning the rest of your holiday season with our Holiday Fun Guide.