In Canada, where I was raised and where I live, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October. My first American Thanksgiving was just 2 years ago in New York City. In many ways it was similar to Thanksgiving in Canada. There was a turkey with all the trimmings with Jamaican dishes in the mix. (Thanksgiving is the perfect time for families to gather and incorporate cuisine that reflects their heritage into the traditional Thanksgiving feast.) Against the backdrop of New York City, the celebrations took on an almost magical quality that made me aware of the appeal of New York City for fall incentives.
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, immortalized by the movie A Miracle on 34th Street, is a classic destined for the bucket list.
A number of world famous New York attractions including the Empire State Building, Discovery Times Square, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and Top of the Rock at 30 Rockefeller Plaza are open on Thanksgiving. The good news is that line-ups will be much shorter.
For corporate groups wanting to give back during the Thanksgiving season, Gobble Gobble Give NYC , God's Love We Deliver Thanksgiving Morning Meal Delivery, and the Thousand Turkey Challenge are just a few opportunities.
Radio City Music Hall has 3 shows on Thanksgiving Day. The ferries to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as well as the double-decker buses with breathtaking views of Times Square through a glass roof operate on Thanksgiving. There is even a New York Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise on the Hudson River.
George Balanchine's ballet The Nutcracker opens the day after Thanksgiving.
For relaxation, Thanksgiving is an ideal time for visitors to go for a stroll at Central Park, see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and view the beautifully decorated Christmas windows at Macy's and other stores in Manhattan.
While Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, it's the perfect opportunity for foreign corporate groups to explore the Big Apple. The good news is that some hotels slash their corporate rates during Thanksgiving week so it's also an opportunity to save. Now that is good news.
Photo Credits: Anne Thornley-Brown, Executive Oasis International