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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving on your Travels

Celebrate by hosting a friendsgiving, you cook the turkey and everyone else can bring the sides!
(Photo by Kimberly Vardeman / CC by 2.0)
For Americans, Thanksgiving is a really important time of the year. It's a chance to reflect on the year that has passed, all the reasons to be cheerful and to be grateful for our good luck. It's a time to come together and celebrate. Perhaps most importantly, it's a time to eat loads of delicious food.  If you happen to be travelling around New York during Thanksgiving, then it might be a good idea to get yourself a slice of the action, here's how! 

Watch the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade 
The Macy's Day Parade is a Joy to Watch (Photo by Ed Uthman / CC by 2.0)
The Macy's Day Parade is quite a New York institution. This spectacular kicks off at 9am sharp and carries on for a staggering three hours! Expect to see famous faces performing, dance troops, no less than thirty four floats and a plethora of gigantic balloons! Ones to watch out for this year include the Giant Snoopy Astronaut, which honours the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. This balloon behemoth is as tall as a four-storey building and will be the 40th time Snoopy has been in the parade. Cartoon enthusiasts should also look out for Spongebob Squarepants and Dr Seuss' Sam, from Green Eggs and Ham. 

Organise a Friendsgiving 
If you're lucky enough to be travelling in a group, or you know some people who live locally then why not organise a Friendsgiving? The term has only popped up in recent years, but Friendsgivings have been proving a hit across the states! Get together at one person's house (or perhaps hostel in this case!) and each bring a side dish. That way there's plenty of food for everyone and nobody is left with the mammoth task of cooking everything. After the meal, why not play some board games together or even organise a poker tournament? It's a lovely way of bringing friends together and celebrating when you're unable to be with your relations. 

Take Part in a Turkey Trot 
Many New Yorkers won't hesitate to tell you that Thanksgiving is mainly about eating until you can't move - and they'd be absolutely right! However, why not burn off a few off those calories in the morning to offset some of the guilt. There are a ton of 'Turkey Trots' across the city, so you're bound to find one close to you. Simply sign up, arrive at the starting line on time and either run, jog, skip, hop or walk your way around the course. The biggest is the New York City Turkey Trot, which takes place on Roosevelt Island. You can either run 15k or walk 5k and its brilliant location means that you'll have breathtaking views of Manhattan the whole way around. The best bit? There are freshly baked cinnamon rolls for everyone that finishes, so you can start that Thanksgiving binge early! Some Turkey Trots can sell out of spaces quite quickly, so if you do happen to be unlucky and can't get yourself a space then don't panic. Thanksgiving is a blessedly quiet day for most of the hiking trails around the outskirts of the city, so why not capitalise on it? Either set off by yourself or get a group of friends together and organise a hike. It's a healthy way to start the day and you'll be able to get in touch with nature a little more quietly than normal. 

Go Out to Eat 
This is the bit that we're all really here for, if you haven't been organised enough to sort out a Friendsgiving, then going out to eat is your best bet. Thankfully, there are plenty of restaurants that open for Thanksgiving, but a particularly friendly one is Houseman in the West Village. This restaurant encourages homestyle dining all year round, but particularly for this holiday. The chefs source only the best ingredients, which they used to create simple dishes that pack a real punch of flavour. Expect old favourites to be elevated to new heights, be it mac and cheese, or burger and fries, everything is cooked to perfection. It's lip-smackingly good and even when your stomach is groaning, you'll be reaching for another spoonful - exactly what you want from holiday food!

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