Macy's Thanksgiving Parade - NYC

Hi all,

I live in the UK but, along with my girlfriend, will be visiting NYC in November.  It is Thanksgiving while we are there so we are planning on trying to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

I just wanted to ask, as I am assuming the biggest user base for this site is US based, if anyone had any tips on how to make the most of it?  I know you are supposed to get their 'early' but how early is early?

Also does anyone know where  might be a good location to actually try and stand to get a decent view of the parade itself?

It's a bit of a shame 99% of the town seems to be closed on this day so not really sure what we will fill the rest of our day with as yet!

Thanks in advance for any info.