Image of members of North Carolina A&T's Blue & Gold Marching Machine with Al Roker at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Join the celebration by attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
[Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0]

As the official kickoff to the holiday season, Thanksgiving is an important day for New Yorkers. It is a day where busy New Yorkers get to finally wind down with a hearty meal, give thanks to their loved ones, and begin to participate in the holiday shopping season. Whether you’re preparing a “Friendsgiving” dinner or a traditional Thanksgiving meal, here is a list we’ve compiled for you on how some New Yorkers enjoy this turkey-loving holiday.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Each year, Macy’s hosts the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City that is broadcast live on national television. The parade stretches over 2.5 miles from West 75th Street to 34th Street with locals and tourists alike lining the route to catch sight of their favorite giant balloon characters! Some popular artists that have performed in the parade include John Legend, Jimmy Fallon & the Roots, Tony Bennett, and many more. Along with live performers, the parade lineup also consists of famous balloons like SpongeBob Squarepants, popular floats like 1-2-3 Sesame Street, marching bands, clowns, and performance groups. If you would like to watch the parade live and upfront, but do not want to trek across town first thing in the morning, we recommend staying at this 1 Bedroom Midtown West vacation rental that is only one block away from a great vantage point.

Image of a golden brown turkey in the center of Thanksgiving decorations

About 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving.
[Photo credit: This Mama Loves]

Fantastic Recipes to Try

The perfect Thanksgiving meal is not complete without a giant turkey in the middle of the table. To find the perfect turkey to cook, you do not need to look far in New York City. Specialty farms like Di Paola Farms set up shop at Grow NYC Markets to bring good quality turkeys closer to you. If you aren’t able to visit any Grow NYC Markets as they are open mostly during the weekends, Whole Foods is a great place to buy a good quality turkey. Cooking a big bird in an apartment might seem difficult at first, but with the right kitchen equipment, a great classic dry-brined roast turkey is easier than you might have imagined. Developed in a New York City kitchen, this classic turkey recipe uses few ingredients and minimal prep work making it a great introductory Thanksgiving turkey recipe.

Image of a pie crust being filled with apple in a pie dish.

Try New York’s official fruit, the apple, for your next pie flavor.
[Photo Credit: pxhere]

Fall in New York City means some delicious produce is in season. Some great seasonal additions to your Thanksgiving meal would be roasted Brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Don’t forget about the nationally loved mashed potatoes with gravy! Additionally, many varieties of apples are grown in New York State, as it is the official state fruit. Don’t miss out on their delightfulness by making this apple pie, a great recipe to make with kids.

Rows of different colorful vegetables neatly stacked inside a grocery store.

Visit your local grocer for fresh fruits and vegetables.
[Photo Credit: Unsplash- nicotitto]

Another important dish to have on the table is cranberry sauce. Cranberries are one of the only fruits native to North America, which makes them a classic addition to a Thanksgiving meal. Their sweet yet tart flavor is commonly paired with turkey and mashed potatoes. There will definitely be leftovers the next day, so take the extra cranberry sauce and make some cranberry muffins! Cranberries can be found at local supermarkets like Whole Foods, Keyfood, C-Town, and Foodtown. Farmers markets throughout the city also carry them or you could also order ingredients from a grocery delivery service.

Image of overhead view of a dining table filled with pie, mulled wine, challah bread, and apples.

Share a delicious dessert with your family starting with a spice-filled pie.
[Photo Credit: Unsplash-Element5 Digital]

A Big Meal means a Big Kitchen

Most New York City apartments are equipped with small kitchens, which could wreak havoc for a family trying to prepare a Thanksgiving-sized meal. Thankfully, we have some apartment suggestions with fully-equipped kitchens for meal prep and spacious surroundings for gathering friends and family.

Image of the kitchen in vacation rental NY-17637 on the Upper East Side with an oven, dining table, and a portable island.

Check out this 4 bedroom vacation rental in the Upper East Side for your trip to NYC. (Rental ID: NY-17637)

This elegant Upper East Side 4 bedroom vacation rental is spectacular for hosting a Thanksgiving gathering in. The kitchen contains ample amounts of countertop space, a large oven, and a two-door refrigerator. The apartment is within walking distance to Whole Foods and Keyfood supermarkets, where you’re sure to find all of your Thanksgiving feast ingredients. With seating in the dining area, living room, and balcony, family members will never run out of space to enjoy their time at the apartment.

One of the bedrooms in this apartment offers a king-sized bed, while the other three have queen-sized beds. They all feature flat screen TVs so the whole family can watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade in their cozy beds. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the 6 train down to Grand Central and walk to Bryant Park to see the parade up close. In addition, the apartment offers five full bathrooms, so there’s no need to fight over a sink! Staying in the heart of the Upper East Side means you’re within close proximity of Central Park and Museum Mile. This apartment is only 4 blocks from The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum! Families who plan on staying in New York for a longer duration could also extend their stay in one of our furnished apartments for a month or more or browse our New York vacation rentals for a short stay.

Image of a grand dining table of Harlem vacation rental NY-15383 peering into the open kitchen and balcony entrance.

Check out this 3 bedroom vacation rental in Harlem for your trip to NYC. (Rental ID: NY-15383)

Staying in Harlem is a great way to spend some much needed family time. This renovated 4 bedroom Harlem triplex vacation rental is situated on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of a walk-up brownstone building. Find yourself and your loved ones sitting at this massive dining table while enjoying the food you prepared from local supermarkets Whole Foods and C-Town, located a couple of blocks away. The mighty size of the refrigerator will have no problem fitting all of the groceries needed to cook a Thanksgiving meal. Cleaning up will be a breeze with the convenience of a dishwasher.

Many windows throughout this apartment allow natural light to blanket across the home. You’ll feel like a local as the block is quiet and residential. After a long day touring the city you can come home and relax in the Jacuzzi tub! There is a thriving jazz music scene on 125th street and Lenox Avenue. Another must-see in this area is a Sunday morning service at one of the many Baptist Gospel churches located all around the neighborhood. If you prefer to see a jazz show, you should definitely visit the Apollo Theater, only 2 blocks away.

Image of the dining space of Harlem vacation rental NY-12274 next to the modern kitchen decorated with accents of blue and yellow.

Check out this 2 bedroom vacation rental in Harlem for your trip to NYC. (Rental ID: NY-12274)

Living in luxury isn’t far-fetched in New York City. This 2 bedroom Harlem vacation rental combines pre-war and modern making it pre-war modern chic. Its high ceilings ensure a bright and lively space while the décor keeps it homey and intimate. Equipped with an open kitchen, guests of this apartment are able to watch their meals being cooked. The kitchen has maximum countertop space, a grand oven, and a dishwasher.

As autumn turns to winter, catch a glimpse of the season change on this apartment’s feature balcony. For attractions, this apartment is located by a Spanish-culture museum, The Hispanic Society of America, the oldest house in Manhattan, Morris-Jumel Mansion, and the Hamilton Grange National Memorial. You’ll love staying in a culture rich area while living in luxury. If you are staying past Thanksgiving, check out our blog on things to do for Christmas in New York!

An Alternative Route to the Usual Thanksgiving Dinner

If you do not prefer to stay on the traditional path of celebrating with a turkey, we have an alternative for you.

Image of overhead view of Kamayan Feast spread consisting of fried fish, rice, pig skin, and tomatoes, on top of a bed of rice.

Don’t hesitate to be untraditional with a Filipino meal for Thanksgiving!
[Photo Credit: Unsplash – Avel Chuklanov]

Known as the Kamayan Feast, this Filipino large format meal is served over banana leaves. There is no use of utensils here; “Kamayan” means “with hands”. Though some diners do use utensils, many prefer to eat with their hands as it is traditional and more fun. The typical spread of food includes lumpia (fried spring roll), lechon (roasted pig), barbeque chicken, marinated pork, beef, assorted seafood, and rice. To enjoy this type of meal, you can head to Queens on a short subway ride to Kabayan, a Filipino restaurant in Woodside.

If you are looking for something more cozy and warm, then a Chinese Hot Pot would suit you. Hot Pot is a Chinese interactive meal surrounding a hot broth at the center of the table with food ready to be cooked in it, on the side. Diners order mix-ins they want to eat then place the raw food in the boiling broth. Most foods only take up to a maximum of 2 minutes to cook as they are small or sliced thinly. Some favorites that people order are beef, chicken, assorted seafood, fried tofu, fresh corn, and mini sausages. You can check out Tang Hot Pot in Chinatown for this delicious meal.

Calorie Burning with Shopping

Image of the busy ground floor at Westfield World Trade Center filled with people walking.

Check out the shops at Westfield World Trade Center this Black Friday!
[Photo Credit: Unsplash – Krisztina Papp]

Need some exercise after your Thanksgiving meal? Shopping can burn a lot of calories. American Black Friday is the ultimate day for discounted shopping. Stores across the nation gear up to deliver discounted goods to start off the holiday season. Some excited patrons even line up at the early hour of 3AM on Black Friday to score insane deals. Whether you’re in the market for electronics, clothing, or home goods, there is a sale for it on Black Friday. Some places to check out throughout the city include Macy’s Herald Square and its surrounding area, stores in SoHo, Brookfield Place, The Shops at Columbus Circle, Bloomingdale’s, and Lord & Taylor.

On the day to celebrate thanks and gratitude, New York City is a special place to be. All of us at New York Habitat want to help make finding a furnished rental an easier experience. Whether it’s a short vacation or a long-term stay, we’ve got you covered. Send us a rental request and let one of our experienced agents help find you the perfect apartment for a festive Thanksgiving or holiday season in New York City.