Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

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Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby mike433 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:23 am

As a non American I really don't know much about Thanks Giving, but i get its a big deal involving public holidays etc. Anyways, I'm going to New York with my Dad and we are going that time of the year. What i want to know is what problems are there with Thanks giving as a tourist? as in, are all shops and attractions shut as its a public holiday? is it a massive party? is it great to embrace as a tourist or best avoided?

Also, if im going to avoid it, how long does it really last? i read its the 4th Thursday of Novemeber and the weekend after is usually involved too
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby thecakeisalie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:02 am

All holidays are great to embrace, if possible! You may find traveling around to be more difficult, as Thanksgiving is typically the busiest travel period of the year (and that includes Wed. to Mon.). But here's the scoop on Thanksgiving:

The holiday itself is on Thursday, but the festivities often start the night before. Thanksgiving Eve (Wed.) is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, right up there with New Years Eve. Reasons vary, sometimes its because college kids are home on break and meeting up with friends at a local bar, families are often in town together in anticipation of the long weekend, but mostly its because businesses (with some exception) are closed down until Monday, so everyone has a nice four day weekend ahead of them.

On the holiday itself, it is customary for family and friends to gather together for a feast, typically anchored by a turkey as the main course. Other traditional foods consumed are sweet potatoes, stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes, pies of all sort (pumpkin, apple), green bean casserole (at least in my family!) and lots more. Ask 100 people, you'll get a 100 different answers as to what's on the menu, and as to what's best! And because of this, you may find a lot of restaurants and other businesses closed on this day. Best to plan ahead for eating out on this day, but even better if you can get yourself invited to a turkey dinner at somebody's house. Alternatively, volunteering at a shelter or food bank is an eye opener, as you get to help feed those who are less fortunate, all the more meaningful on a holiday that's centered around family. As for the rest of the day, there's always football on TV (American football, that is), and leftovers to eat... ;)

The rest of the weekend is spent recovering, relaxing, shopping, etc., and you may find crowds higher than normal all over the place, especially in NY. There's a big parade on Thanksgiving day, which is a huge tourist attraction, and then Friday is the largest shopping day of the year, because that's typically when big sales start for Christmas merchandise. You'll hear it called Black Friday, and my advice is stall away from malls, because people who shop on that day are crazy! In fact, I believe it is humanity at its worst, everyone piling over each other just to get a deal. Take the day to go visit a park instead, away from crowds.
Well, lots more can be said, I'm sure others will add their two cents (and probably argue about the dinner menu ;))
Enjoy!
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby ballu » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:50 pm

I would say Thanksgiving is more of a family holiday, not many parties to be had and most things will be closed that day, but you could score an invite to a turkey dinner and be forced to watch American football...after that, if you go anywhere near a shopping centre the day after...or days after, God help you :lol: It will be crowded and crazy.
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby mike433 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:50 am

Thanks for the advice. Given my Dad is in his mid 50's with a heart condition i think it may be best avoided. Too many people and too many party goers may be a more stressful then fun. Although that parade sounds pretty cool though and im sure an American family meal sounds ace, theres probably more negatives then positives for us going at that time. Thanks for your help :D
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby moviegeekjn » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:36 am

Ballu is correct--locally in the US Thanksgiving is a family gathering day. Most stores are closed but a number of restaurants will be open--some catering specifically to Thanksgiving dinners (turkey & fixings). Post dinner "family" activities traditionally revolve around the TV set with NFL football games.... but movie theaters are also open to big business (non football fans and for people who need to get away from family for a couple hours or seek family entertainment).

Depending on the city you are in, mass transport is likely to remain running but may have reduced services and longer waits.

Avoid air travel the day before Thanksgiving as it ranks among the top travel days in the US, and rates will often be at peak levels. The Sunday afterwards should be avoided to as it will be a heavy travel day with people going back to home destinations.
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby vermontcathy » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:37 pm

I'm American, and I'd never heard of Wednesday being a big drinking night. I'd say, here's how the holiday would impact tourists:

On Thanksgiving Day, many businesses will be closed, including some restaurants. You may want to make reservations for dinner, if you plan on eating in a restaurant because the ones that are open may be full.

New York City (as opposed to the state of New York) may actually be less crowded on the streets because so many people are hanging out at home, but many tourist attractions (museums, etc.) will be closed.

There will be a lot of traffic (mostly car and plane traffic, but also bus, subway, train, etc.) from Wednesday through Sunday.

Many people go shopping on Friday, so I personally would stay as far away from Malls, etc. as possible.
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby robert77 » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:54 pm

Thanks for the advice. Given my Dad is in his mid 50's with a heart condition i think it may be best avoided. Too many people and too many party goers may be a more stressful then fun. Although that parade sounds pretty cool though and im sure an American family meal sounds ace, theres probably more negatives then positives for us going at that time. Thanks for your help :D
:twisted: :roll: :lol:
Johni Imtiaz..!!
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby eagle81 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:38 am

mike433 wrote:As a non American I really don't know much about Thanks Giving, but i get its a big deal involving public holidays etc. Anyways, I'm going to New York with my Dad and we are going that time of the year. What i want to know is what problems are there with Thanks giving as a tourist? as in, are all shops and attractions shut as its a public holiday? is it a massive party? is it great to embrace as a tourist or best avoided?

Also, if im going to avoid it, how long does it really last? i read its the 4th Thursday of Novemeber and the weekend after is usually involved too

As others have said, you will be in New York during one of the biggest parades of the year. That would be fun to see. I don't know what the tourist locations would be like in New York, but most stores will be closed. Some restaurants might be open and if you can get a turkey dinner and watch some football to experience the holiday. Definitely not a massive party like New Years Eve in Times Square. I would also avoid the stores the Friday after. Black Friday brings out some insane shoppers. Maybe if the weather is good just explore Central Park.
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Re: Visting USA a Thanks Giving?

Postby morgan56 » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:57 pm

New York is one of my favorite cities in USA. It is also one of the most visited and expensive cities of the world. I have a plan to visit this city again to celebrate Christmas and New Year celebration. I want to know about some best spots that are best for these great celebrations.
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