A tradition since 1927, the giant character balloons are slowly blown up and brought to life in the streets around the American Museum of Natural History. The enormous balloons take up two full city blocks. Nets and sandbags are used to keep the balloons from escaping during the night.
The action starts around 4pm on Thanksgiving Eve on 77th & 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Public viewing is from 3 pm until 8 pm. Regular attendees recommend arriving at about 5 pm when the balloons really start to take shape.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation
When: Wednesday, November 21, 2012, approximately 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: Central Park West and Columbus Avenue starting at 79th Street
Get behind-the-scenes info about the preparation work that goes into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Learn more about the process of building the floats
See what goes into creating a Balloon
Learn more about the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and its famous balloons:
- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by Robert M. Grippo -- This book explores the 80-year history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and features rare and historic images from the parade's glorious past.
- Inside Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- This History Channel DVD traces the history of the parade and goes behind the scenes to show the extraordinary year-long effort it requires to plan the big event each year.
- Macy's on Parade! by Pamela Pease -- This beautifully illustrated pop-up book will delight kids of all ages.