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Thanksgiving Balloon Inflation and Uptown Tour

Tour the Macy's Parade Balloon Inflation Staging area before the Thanksgiving parade!
On Wednesday before Thanksgiving we'll take you uptown to the festive area where the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade begins to take shape. You'll see some of the grand balloons being inflated, take lots of pictures and perhaps hear commentary from parade veterans.

Choose either a 10am departure or a 11:30am departure.

10am Morning Tour11:30am Morning Tour
Adult Price From: $55.00
Child Price From: $45.00

10am Balloon Inflation Tour

A licensed NYC tour guide will meet you at a convenient Midtown location and escort you on a climate-controlled motorcoach past Columbus Circle, Trump International Hotel and Lincoln Center on a tour of the Upper West Side, stopping for a visit to St. John the Divine, the world's largest cathedral. This spectacular Episcopal cathedral, a house of prayer for all people, welcomes all faiths and communities. Its massive structure was begun in 1892 and is still not finished - but once inside you'll marvel at its spectacular columns, beautiful stained glass and 7 smaller chapels dedicated to and designed for the immigrants that populated New York City. Your tour guide will provide information for you prior to arrival so that you can tour the awe-inspiring Cathedral on your own and at your own pace.

Balloon InflationAt the conclusion of your visit to St. John the Divine Cathedral we'll board our motorcoaches for the ride to the Macy's Parade Balloon Inflation area. We'll disembark for a stroll around the area that has become a festive and traditional start to the New York City holiday season. You'll see some of the gigantic balloons take shape as the Macy's employees and handlers pump life into crowd favorites like Charlie Brown, Spiderman, Snoopy, Ronald McDonald, Spongebob Square Pants and even Santa himself (of course, not all balloon creatures appear every year - it's just too tiring for them!).

You're invited to take lots of pictures as you make your way around the 3-block perimeter of the inflation site. Our tour guide will give you lots of hints on how to proceed, how to get back to the motorcoach, and how to go ... if you need to! You can even stay longer if you'd like. Our tour guide will give you instructions on how to return to Midtown on your own.

The motorcoach will arrive back in Midtown at the starting location about 2pm.

"Excellent tour - traffic delays were a pain, but the cathedral visit was an excellent end to the day, and our guide was extremely knowledgable and entertaining."

"Hal was our guide for this tour. We thoroughly enjoyed his insight, humor and knowledge of the city. Definitely recommend him and NYCtrip for future tour!" Julie, Olathe KS

"We have returned home from our trip and I wanted to take the time to thank you all for a wonderful time ... What an experience! The tour guide shared a lot of information, the bus driver did a fantastic job - everything was incredible-please pass on my thanks, it was a wonderful day. Additionally, the coupons we used were for the Empire State building and the Museum of Natural History-both were great. I could go on and on but let me say that all parts (stay warm breakfast, dinner, hotel, etc.) were memorable. Thanks again for getting this set up!" RM

SCHEDULE The tour departs at either 10am or 11:30am on Wednesday (choose the time when you purchase), the day before Thanksgiving. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure. Total time of the tour from departure to return is approximately 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

DOCUMENTS You will receive a confirming voucher that you must bring in order to be admitted to the tour.

CHILDREN Children of all ages are welcome on the tour. Kids between the ages of 2 and 12 get a special rate. Kids under 2 get an even more special rate - they're free!

CROWDS The Balloon Inflation Area had become a very popular event for both tourists and locals. NYCVP has conducted tours to the site for many years. We know that crowds are heaviest later in the afternoon and in the evening. That's why we depart earlier! You'll appreciate your early arrival when you watch the local news in the evening and see the reports on the huge crowds that we will have avoided.

SECURITY The Balloon Inflation Area, and entrance to it, are tightly controlled by the New York Police Department (NYPD). Although our tour guides are experienced in conducting tours of the area - and we have advance "scouts" at the site prior to your arrival - we still have to abide by the policies of the NYPD.

ACCESSIBILITY The visit to the Balloon Inflation Area requires a half mile or so of walking. Although our motorcoaches are not mobility-device accessible, we can store devices in the luggage compartment. You are then welcome to use your mobility device upon arrival at the site. There is accessibility to the interior of Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
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