For those looking to enjoy a little pre- or post-turkey fun this Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, here’s a collection of local activity suggestions perfect for the whole family!
Whether you’re looking to sit back and enjoy a movie, or to get outside and explore, you’ll find that Thanksgiving in Massachusetts offers something for everyone.
This Thanksgiving, The Freedom Trail will be open for self-guided tours. The trail’s brick-lined path winds 2.5 miles through the city, leading walkers to iconic places like the Paul Revere House and U.S.S. Constitution. For a self-guided tour, a hard-copy brochure or audio accompaniment is all you need, both of which are available in the Trail’s online store. The Freedom Trail will re-open in full on Friday, November 29.
North of Boston
Just north of Boston, Brunswick Zone Lowell will be open, where visitors can choose between a little bowling, some time in the arcade, a game of darts or all three. For folks seeking a slightly more leisurely way to pass the time, the IMAX Theater in Reading will also be open and screening The Hunger Games. For a look at tickets, just click here.
In Springfield, Thanksgiving is an extra special day. Bright Nights at Forest Park treats visitors to a delightful drive through the city’s historic Forest Park, open from 5 to 11 p.m. The park will be illuminated by more than 650,000 lights, which are arranged in exhibits that range from Jurassic World’s towering dinosaurs to the whimsical characters of Dr. Seuss. Admission is $21 per car but a coupon on the website will get you $3 off.
Bright Lights at Forest Park Exhibit via Facebook
On the Cape, festivities will get underway before Thanksgiving itself, with the lighting of Pilgrim Monument at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27. On Turkey Day, if you’re a fan of scenery along with good food, hop aboard the Thanksgiving Dinner Train with the Cape Cod Central Railroad. You’ll get to take in the picturesque Cape Cod Canal along with a gourmet five-course meal served as you enjoy the view. For tickets, click here.
Getting a little exercise to go along with the food can be a very good thing, and it’s no surprise that the Berkshires offers some of the best places to do that. Bish Bash Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in Massachusetts, is located right off Mount Washington State Forest, which offers 30 trail miles of its own. To find a DCR park near you for walking, and to ensure that they’re open, visit their Mass Parks page. If inside activities are more your thing, Triplex + Cinema will have you covered.
South of Boston
Given Plymouth’s unique historical role in the creation of Thanksgiving, it only makes sense that there’s plenty happening South of Boston on the holiday. The Pilgrim Hall Museum will show a special exhibit featuring the signatures from people who attended the first Thanksgiving. The Mayflower II will be open for visits, as will all of Plimoth Plantation, and Pilgrim Memorial State Park will welcome visitors as well.
The Vineyard’s Thanksgiving Day Festival, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, is the largest holiday art show by Islanders, offering one-of-a-kind sweaters, soaps, crafts and more. The Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary Festival will also take place Saturday, with hayrides, face painting and more.
Greater Merrimack Valley
The Merrimack Valley also has its share of fine walking spots, which are perfectly tailored for working up an appetite or working off a big meal. The Old North Bridge in Concord’s Minuteman National Historical Park provides a scenic backdrop for strolling and will be open to the public on Thanksgiving. In Lexington, Battle Road will serve as another path where walkers can enjoy nature mixed with history.
On Nantucket, you can partake in the Cold Turkey Plunge, where intrepid souls will brave the waters of Children’s Beach to benefit the Atheneum! Nantucket Island Resorts will be providing participants with complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and pastries. After Thanksgiving, the Nantucket Noel and Nantucket Artisans Market will both get underway, giving Islanders something to look forward to after the turkey is off the table.
Callahan State Park, Hopkinton State Park and Whitehall State Park will all be open; additionally, a variety of paths will also be accessible, including Bay Circuit Trail and Rocky Narrows, to name just a couple. For a more expansive look at the paths, click here. For those looking to spend their Turkey Day somewhere indoors, the IMAX Theater in Natick is a good option.
For more events, activities and things to do this coming Thanksgiving, visit www.massvacation.com.
Do you have a fun Thanksgiving Day tradition with friends or family? Tell us in the comments below!