Virtual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Viewing Party: Practical Tips to Yummy Recipes!

No, it’s not being cancelled! The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City will instead—like so much else these days—be going virtual for the first time in its nearly 100 years existence. This beloved, iconic event will reportedly be largely pre-recorded and the huge number of bands and entertainers trimmed down to avoid large gatherings of performers. (You can check for parade updates at the Macy’s website.)

But for the rest of us "parade goers" not in NYC., we’ve most likely been enjoying the spectacle on our TV screens each year anyway. And many of us probably held our own viewing parties, too. This year, though, let’s jump on the virtual bandwagon (or parade float?) and throw a virtual Macy’s Parade viewing party across several households!

Read on for our tips on how to do this—as we gear up for the live broadcast of the parade on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, 2020 on NBC from 9:00 a.m. to noon across all U.S. time zones. (*this post contains affiliate links)

Virtual Viewing Party Tips

  • Contact family members and friends ahead about the idea of holding a Macy’s Parade viewing party simultaneously wherever you may be.
  • Send out an e-vite with all the details of date, time, network, games and prizes, and viewing party snacks and drinks that each household or viewer will prepare.
  • Note that the parade broadcast is before lunch, so you might make this a brunch leading up to your main Thanksgiving dinner later.
  • Share ahead the recipes of the snacks and drinks you’ve chosen (see our delish suggestions below!). So everyone can buy and prep the needed ingredients.
  • Pre-order limited edition souvenir items from Macy’s Parade Shop that can be used as prizes for the virtual viewing party games (more on that in the last section below). Or you may choose just one to raffle off for a lucky viewer to win!
  • Have each household choose a spot where they can gather round their TV—and also mount their webcam, laptop or mobile device to livestream themselves watching the parade and also joining in the games you’ve got planned.
  • It would be fun to record each group at the party, then edit the separate recordings into one keepsake video of your first Virtual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Light Menu, Easy Decor, and Fun Attire for Your Viewing Party

Okay, now for some yum and fun details! From light and easy recipes to share, simple decor for an "on-cam backdrop," to a Thanksgiving t-shirt you can all pre-order to wear.

Remember, though, there’s still Thanksgiving dinner coming up later in the day. So enjoy the parade, but leave the "getting stuffed" to the turkey!

Virtual Macy's Parade Food and Drinks

Great choices of munchies to snack on would be a bowl of Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix (1), a festive tray of Cranberry Baked Brie (2) and crackers, Apple Brie Bruschetta (5) made with caramelized apple slices and a hint of cinnamon, and homemade Low-fat Spinach Dip (3) served with crunchy veggie sticks and pita chips.

Then, for drinks, get into the holiday spirit by mixing up Hooray! Sensational Cocktails without the Alcohol for a Baby Shower! Cranberry Apple Cider Mocktail (4) or Holiday Cranberry Fizz (6). Perfect for all ages, from seniors to kiddies!

Thanksgiving Day Give Thanks Garland

Got to have a video-worthy backdrop, right? Keep it simple, though, with even just a Thanksgiving garland* (7) mounted on your living room mantel or some other visible spot.

Thanksgiving t-shirts with message parade, turkey, nap, and more turkey.

Finally, add to the fun by ordering matching Thanksgiving t-shirts* (8) for your viewing party attire. We found this one that mentions the parade, so that’s pretty cool!

*This item available via Amazon.

Family Activities While Watching the Parade

Plan activities and games that can keep viewers of all ages entertained during the parade broadcast—while also being doable simultaneously online.

Enjoyable options could be:

  • Voting for the favorite float in this year’s parade
  • Decorating balloons inspired by the gigantic Macy’s Parade character balloons
  • Making hats to be worn at Thanksgiving dinner later
  • Playing a DIY "Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade" trivia game from info gathered online by each group of viewers, and to be read aloud for the other groups to answer
  •  The Great Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Game

  • In households with many family members present, playing a board game like The Great Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Game (available on Amazon) that’s for 2 to 4 players

So with the first-ever virtual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coming up, this sounds like a plan, right? It won’t quite make up for not being able to all gather together, but it should be fun!

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