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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

New York City Marathon
Started in 1970, the New York City Marathon has grown from 55 finishers doing laps in Central Park to 35,000 athletes, 12,000 volunteers, thousands of city employees, and more than two million spectators who line the streets of five boroughs in this week-long televised celebration. Events throughout the week, including a Health and Fitness Expo and fireworks, lead up to the 26.2 mile race. Not lacing up your Nikes for the race? Cheer on the runners at the Finish Line Banquet held at Tavern on the Green.
11/6
 Marathon: 8am; Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island (foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge); 212-423-2249, ingnycmarathon.org
 Finish Line Banquet
: 9:30am-3:30pm; Tavern on the Green, Central Park at W. 67th St.; ingnycmarathon.org

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular
One hundred and forty performers, eye-popping costumes, a peppy holiday score—and the Rockettes.
11/3-1/2/06
 Dates and times vary; Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave. between 50th and 51st Sts.; 212-247-4777, radiocity.com, tickets on sale 4/17.

Holidays at the New York Botanical Gardens
Every year the Botanical Garden builds a cityscape called "Holiday Train Show," ning two entire galleries of the Conservatory, out of plants. Model trains run throughout over the1,000 feet of large-gauge track and through intricate recreations of city scenes. See plantish replicas of the Statue of Liberty, the Apollo Theater, and the Brooklyn Bridge as well as new additions which include Rockefeller Center, City Hall, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Visitors to the Gardens can also tour the winter flowers and learn how to choose a Christmas tree. See a schedule of tours and lectures.
11/18-1/8/06
< class="darkgreytext"> The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd., 718-817-8700 or nybg.org. Free with admission

The Balloon Blow Up
Before you hit Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade tomorrow, bundle up and make your way to the Upper West Side for a free pre-parade look at your favorite balloons coming to life oh, what a little helium will do.
11/23
77th to 81st Streets between Central Park West & Columbus Aves with entrance at 79th St. and Columbus Ave.; 3pm-10pm;

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Where can else can you find Santa, Scooby-Doo and Mr. Potato Head all flying overhead? It's a Thanksgiving favorite for tourists and resident New Yorkers alike, so be sure to arrive early for a good viewing spot.
11/24
 9am-noon; parade starts at 77th St. and Central Park West; 212-494-4495, macys.com

The Nutcracker
The world-renowned New York City Ballet presents this classic tale by George Balanchine, complete with a regenerating Christmas tree and that vicious battle between Clara and the evil Rat King.
11/25-12/30
 Times vary; New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, Columbus Ave. at 63rd St.; 212-870-5570, nycballet.com

Lighting of the Tree at Rockefeller Center
It's a New York tradition like no other. Thousands gather in Rockefeller Center to watch more than 30,000 lights glow on the enormous tree. The good news is that you'll stay warm surrounded by thousands of others hoping for a glimpse of the famous tree. The not-so-good news is that you'll be packed in with thousands of others hoping for a glimpse of the famous tree.
11/30; also broadcast live on NBC
< class="darkgreytext"> 7-9pm; Rockefeller Center, Fifth Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts.; 212-332-6868; < class="bodystyle">rockefellercenter.com