More than 40 million people will take a weekend vacation this Thanksgiving to spend time with family, friends and catch up over the year's milestones.
Waking up early to catch up on the Thanksgiving parade is a big tradition while preparing the feast for that evening.
If you've only seen them on TV up until now, shake things up by bundling up and grabbing a spot in person.
While the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade takes the cake as most popular, we've included a few others around the country that also bring people together to celebrate all they're thankful for.
Can you believe that 2019 marks 93 years of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades? Every year, the New York City parade draws more than three million street spectators, plus more than 20 million TV viewers nationwide. Families start lining up at dawn to get the right spot to see each of the nearly 30 balloons when the parade kicks off at 9 a.m.
If you're lucky enough to get to visit New York for the parade, you can get a sneak peek at the balloons the day before as they're being blown up. It takes about 90 minutes to inflate each one and requires up to 90 handlers, or balloon pilots, to keep each one anchored to the ground.
Once you get the right spot with a cup of hot chocolate, enjoy the balloons and floats featuring celebrities, bands of merry clowns, the famous Radio City Rockettes and of course, Santa Claus himself.
While Chicago has hosted a holiday parade since 1934, it wasn't until 1999 that the parade was moved to Thanksgiving Day. Now one of only three Thanksgiving parades broadcasted nationwide, McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade brings more than half a million people to the streets of the Windy City.
The parade showcases festive floats, the iconic balloons featuring Big Bird, Kermit, Tom & Jerry and of course, Ronald McDonald himself.
Get prepared by dressing warmly, head to your preferred location early (some start arriving at before 5 a.m.) for the 8 a.m. kick-off and pack snacks and folding chairs.
If it's your first time, parade veterans recommend sitting near a department store for bathroom needs. If possible, grab a spot near the beginning of the parade so you can be in and out after the last float. Your kids will appreciate it.
Home to the very first Thanksgiving, Plymouth takes its T-Day parade seriously by hosting an entire weekend of holiday festivities. America's Hometown Thanksgiving Parade marches along a waterfront, offering a chronological look at the country's history from the 17th century to the present day.
With a military flyover kicking off the festivities, this is one of the most patriotic parades you'll experience. Aside from the parade, Plymouth hosts a craft beer and wine festival, concert event, re-enactment village and harvest market over the whole weekend. It's the perfect time to enjoy the town at its most charming.
Detroit approaches their Thanksgiving Day parade a little differently. Thanks to the Big Head Corps, a troupe of paper maché, bobblehead-like parade characters, Detroit's “America's Thanksgiving Parade" is a unique spectacle.
Marching alongside all the usual marching bands and floats, the Big Head Corps feature nearly 30 hand-crafted oversized masks, depicting all sorts of cultural figures from politicians to cartoons, historical figures, movie stars and more.
Some of the bobbleheads date back to the 1940s initially acquired from artists in Italy. Wearing one of these heads is considered a privilege, and seeing them in person is unforgettable.
For 70 years, Texas grocery giant H-E-B throws a holiday parade — now a Houston tradition. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Turkey Day, the downtown district comes alive as marching bands, cheerleaders and old fashioned floats convene for one of the nation's largest holiday celebrations.
Planning a trip to see it in-person? Find a spot among the 400,000 spectators who line the streets or plan to try to nab tickets in the limited-seating grandstand area where bands perform for the TV cameras.
When it's over, stick around and visit the Houston Space Center, enjoy dining at award-winning restaurants in the downtown area, or stroll through the Historic Heights.
The oldest one in the country, Philadelphia welcomes the 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts parade every Thanksgiving day — this year for the 100th time.
For nearly two miles, the parade boasts holiday-themed floats, massive balloons featuring Daniel Tiger, Bugs Bunny and other kid favorites. Celebrities, local choirs and dance performances as special guests entertain the crowd while they move down Market Street.
The best place to see it all is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it all ends. Bundle up and grab a warm drink from Dunkin' and watch it all from the steps. After the parade, you can enjoy some of the best restaurants the city has to offer.
Sure, watching the Thanksgiving day parades from the comfort of your couch while wearing pajamas is excellent, but we should all experience them in person at least once.
Start planning next year's stop now, with these cities as inspiration, so you can get your family bundled up and ready to peek at the balloons during Thanksgiving day in-person.