Before Matt, Al, and Meredith put on their headsets and flash their pearly whites, and before the turkey is roasted and the stuffing fluffed, there will always be the Macy’s Parade Blow-Up Party along 77th and 81st streets—that annual metaphorical foreshadowing of what your appetite will bring to your poor ass: inflation. But since the holidays are all about denial, try to forget all that as you enjoy the nippy walk and the behind-the-scenes look at your favorite balloons slowly expanding into gargantuan creatures. Expect to see Shrek, Dora the Explorer, and Pikachu as well as new guys on the block like Buzz Lightyear, Horton (the Dr. Seuss elephant), and a smurf. With all this helium overload, you’re bound to get high—which is, at least, something to be thankful for.

Wed., Nov. 26, 5 p.m., 2008

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