Archives pour la catégorie NYC with Kids

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Normally, I’m not a person who is drowned to events with crowds. But three years ago, I was giving an opportunity to full fill a life long dream and see the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The opportunity was all about the location, because it is a very important aspect of the experience of viewing the parade. We were invited to a building on Broadway and 60th street, which for me and my roommate at the time felt like winning the lottery. It was the perfect spot to experience our very first parade.

If you are a fan of American Tv Show and movies like myself, you might have a picture in your mind of what the parade would be like. Every year, the world famous department store  Macy’s organized the world’s largest parade. This tradition started in 1924, one of my favorite aspect of the tradition is that they give the employees the choice to march alongside in the parade. They all march together down to their flagship store on 34th street with the final part of the tradition having Santa Clause close out the parade and welcoming in the Holiday season.

The other part of the tradition that makes the parade so famous are the beautiful gigantic balloons and displays. Some of these balloons can be as long as a football field and high as 3 stories. To give you an idea of how huge these balloons are, they need 90 people to handle each balloon.

I should add one of the other fun things to do is you should go uptown to the museum of Natural History and watch them blowing the balloons the day before the parade. Kids are always amazed and this is something that they will forever remember. This is a great opportunity to create a family tradition like thousand of New Yorker.

I think this is such a unique event, I’ve never seen that before. I’m adding a picture of this year route so you can have an idea of where to go if you decide to join the fun next year. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph your location is very important. The crowds can get very large and the weather can be cold so dress warmly and bring snacks. The reason I was so lucky is that got the chance to watch it indoors from a building. It was warm, there was food and we had a great view point. It felt like we won the lottery. Not everybody will get the opportunity to see the parade that way but it is still a lot of fun.

To give you an idea of how popular this parade is, there are over 44 million people watching it every year on television. Since 2013 it has been broadcast simultaneously in Spanish and had won 9 Emmy Award for outstanding achievements in special event coverage since 1979.

As a lot of you know, Thanksgiving is a very big holiday in the USA. If you live here, you can’t miss, especially if like me you are married to an American. This is part of their traditions. We usually spend Thanksgiving cooking but if you have kids or if you are visiting NYC during this time of the year, the parade is something you definitely can’t miss if you want to discover their culture. This is something that they are so proud of. It is a fun day in the city before the craziness of Black Friday.

Have you ever been to the parade? If so What was your favorite balloon and memory of it?

 

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Halloween Harvest Festival @t Socrates Sculpture park

When you are an expatriate, it is important to get involved in your community. I have leaned from my personal experiences that staying busy and involved in your adopted home is the best antidote to home sickness. One of the great things about Astoria is all the wonderful oportunities it gives you to do just that. There are all sorts of very cultural, artistic and community oriented activities to meet everyone interest.   

Every year, Socrates Sculpture Park organizes a Halloween Harvest Festival to close the season before the winter comes. It’s a huge event with hundreds of people and of course puppies. This year’s theme was “Dia de Los Muertos” with a procession and dance performance presented by Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York, they were accompanied by music from Academia De Mariachi Nuevo Amanecer.

It was an exciting event for kids, they had a face painting booth by Agostino Arts and costume and art making by the Socrates artists.

The reason why we always go to this event is because the park organizes it every year along with the Canine Costume Contest. This year the judges were coming from Chateau le Woof, Friends with four paws Rescue and Rapawzel Dog grooming and day care. I love seeing how creative pet owners get with their pooches… Our little monster Willie hates costumes so usually go as spectators.

This is such a great event if you have kids and live in the neighborhood or if you just want to experience a traditional halloween harvest festival. The crowd is friendly and everybody always looks like they are having a great time in this disconected digital age. I really appreciate what this community has to offer us every months. If you are not familiar with the Astoria community, you should come by and check it out.

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