Looking for things to do during Thanksgiving week? Not only can you spend the most American of holidays where it all began; from period celebrations at Plimoth Plantation to the Parade of the Big Balloons in Springfield, you can also get a sneak peak at the upcoming Christmas season. Below you will find events happening over the Thanksgiving holiday from the weekend before to the weekend following Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Dining in Boston
Thanksgiving Day feasts abound in Boston where you’ll find all the trimmings in addition to gourmet delights such as Harvest Pumpkin Bisque with Roasted Pecans, Pan Roasted Duck with Cranberry Molasses Sauce, Ricotta Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce and Sage, Apple Cranberry Tart with Pumpkin Gelato and Cinnamon Spiced Popcorn, Hot Mulled Apple Cider and more!
Meeting House Sunday
Join one of Boston’s oldest churches for worship in the same building where Samuel Adams signaled the start of the Boston Tea Party. Once a year, Old South Church in Boston returns to the Old South Meeting House, the congregation’s ancestral home, for Thanksgiving Festival Worship. The service begins at 11:15 am. Prelude music begins at 10:45 am. Music will include the great Thanksgiving hymns, the Old South Church Choir under the direction of Minister of Music Harry Huff, the Old South Ringers handbell choir, brass, percussion, and piano. Senior Minister Rev. Nancy Taylor will preach, and the Governor’s Thanksgiving Proclamation will be read. The Meeting House is located in the heart of downtown Boston at 310 Washington Street, and easily accessible by all subway lines.
November 24 @ 11:00
The Verve Crown Plaza, Natick
Leave the cooking to us! Extensive and delicious menu of holiday and seasonal offerings. Adults $42; children ages 4-15 $25; kids 3 and under are free. Reservations highly recommended – 508-416-1352
Have fun the day after Thanksgiving and spend a memorable day at the Zoo!
Admission will be half-price on November 25
Burn off the turkey and get the family out of the house on Friday, November 27 at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo! Admission will be half-price the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful opportunity to spend a memorable day with family and friends while discovering all of the incredible animals at each Zoo.
November 25, 2016-January 1, 2017
A beloved holiday family tradition returns to Stone Zoo when ZooLights opens on Thanksgiving. This winter wonderland attracts thousands of visitors each year who get into the holiday spirit by strolling along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Upon entering the Zoo, guests will visit Yukon Creek, which not only features dazzling holiday lights but is also home to bald eagles, porcupine, lynx, a gray fox and a pair of reindeer. Children will want to make sure they visit with Santa, who awaits their arrival in Santa’s Castle.
Stone Zoo, Stoneham
NORTH OF BOSTON
Historic Thanksgiving at the Old Manse
Historic Thanksgivings at the Manse, a special house tour explores the Thanksgiving stories of Manse residents who feasted on a bountiful array of foods at their holiday celebrations. Discover what they ate and how they prepared these dishes. Enjoy the sights, aromas, and tastes of the holiday as you stroll through the kitchen and parlors of this 18th century house museum. After your tour, enjoy a tasting of desserts inspired by historic menus. And you can get a head start on your holiday shopping while enjoying 15% off in the bookshop. A great way to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday for visitors of all ages.
22nd Annual Methuen Festival of Trees
November 19-December 3
Visitors are invited to attend the Festival and view the 200+ trees donated by individuals, businesses, organizations, and school groups from Methuen and several Merrimack Valley communities. The proceeds from the Festival of Trees provide funding to preserve our heritage and the monuments that make Methuen so unique.
Valley Office Park, Methuen
Annual Sugar & Spice Weekend
Saturday, November 19th and Sunday, November 20th
Beat the crowds, nibble an array of homemade cookies and find that perfect gift, in our colorful gift shop. The Brush Studio Artists will be on hand to enrich your visit and answer questions about their creations. Gift Certificates are available.
Brush Art Gallery, Lowell
Thursday, November 24th-Seating times: 12:00pm-2:00pm
Enjoy a Thanksgiving feast at the Holiday inn Boxborough. Buffet will feature festive entrees, a carving station, assorted traditional desserts and all the fixings! Adults: $29.95, Seniors: $26.95, Kids 6-12: $14.95, Under 5: Free. Please call for reservations 978.889.1716.
Holiday Inn Boxborough
Vine Brook Tavern
Thursday, November 24th from 11:00am-3:00pm
Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Vine Brook Tavern. Celebrate Thanksgiving without having to worry about the clean up! $40pp/$10 per child. Reservations required 781.863.2012.
Thanksgiving Grand Buffet
Spend Thanksgiving at the beautiful seaside Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport. From noon-5pm, enjoy a delicious 3-course meal with your family for only $45 per person, $22.50 per child (ages 3-10). Tax and gratuity not included.
Emerson Inn by the Sea, Rockport
12th Annual Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run
Work up your appetite on Thanksgiving morning at the largest road race on the North Shore! All proceeds go to Boys & Girls Club and Salem Park & Recreation Youth programs.
Lowell City of Lights Parade and Holiday Arts Stroll
November 26, 11 am – 8 pm
Celebrate the coming holiday season in Lowell with festivities including family activities, music and a hot chocolate competition as well as a holiday parade featuring local and regional floats and marching bands. 978-970-4257
Festival of Wreaths
Saturday, November 26th from 2:00pm-6:00pm
Brought to you by the Brush Art Gallery and Studios are part of the City of Lowell’s Festival of Lights Parade. Each wreath will then be given to the lucky winners whose raffle tickets are drawn at approximately at 5:00pm. Free Admission.
Edson Hall, Lowell
SOUTH OF BOSTON
Thanksgiving at Plimoth Plantation
Celebrate the quintessential Thanksgiving experience at Plimoth Plantation. Be among the thousands who make the annual pilgrimage to the museum to share in the holiday spirit. Visitors will explore the Plantation’s multiple sites, which include the Wampanoag Homesite, the 1627 English Village, the Crafts Center and Mayflower II.
Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth
Thanksgiving Day in America’s Hometown
November 24, 9am-5pm
North Street, Water Street Leyden Street, Town Square, Main Street, Plymouth Visit Pilgrim Hall Museum and Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock, National Monument to the Forefathers, Jabez Howland House & more! 10am – “The Pilgrim Progress” Procession A reenactment of the Pilgrims’ march to their original church site followed by a short worship service. This annual Thanksgiving Procession begins at the Mayflower Society House at the foot of North Street. Costumed participants, representing the 51 Pilgrim survivors of the first, harsh winter of 1620/1621 assemble to the beat of a drum, march down North Street, past Plymouth Rock, up Leyden Street and to the top of Burial Hill, the site of the first fort where Pilgrims met for worship. Psalms sung are taken from “The Book of Psalms” by Henry Ainsworth, which was actually used by the Pilgrims in Holland and in Plymouth. Passages read by Elder Brewster are selected from Gov. William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.” After the brief service, the participants descend the hill and travel north along Main Street through the downtown back to the Mayflower Society House. 12 Noon – National Day of (American Indian) Mourning Ceremonies Participants honor Native ancestors and their struggles. Held at the Massasoit Statue on Cole’s Hill (Water Street).
Thanksgiving Day Dinner Train
November 24 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Looking to try something new this Thanksgiving? Start a tradition this year on the Cape Cod Central Railroad! Enjoy a leisurely five-course gourmet meal, beautiful scenery, and all the elegance of a bygone era — without any of the work! Reservations are required.
Cape Cod Central Railroad
252 Main Street, Hyannis
Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims
November 5, 12, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26 at 5:30 p.m.
Your Pilgrim hosts, residents of 1627 Plimoth, will spice up your dinner conversation with tales of England, old and new. Discover the table manners and recipes that traveled across the Atlantic with the Pilgrims, and find out about what happened at the famous harvest celebration of 1621. For reservations call 800-262-9356 ext. 8353, 8364, or 8365. Call early as these popular dinners sell out quickly.
America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade and Celebration – November 18-20 in Plymouth
Join the excitement this year at one of the TOP 20 Massachusetts USA Events & Festivals! Featuring Patriotic Concerts, Crafters Village, The New England Food Festival & Waterfront Activities, and The Annual Thanksgiving Parade, which takes place on Saturday morning at 11am. Festivities begin on Friday with Pilgrim-guided waterfront tours starting at 2pm at Plymouth Rock, followed by the PIDC (Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation) Patriotic Concert in Plymouth Memorial Hall. Concert doors open at 6:30pm, concert begins at 7pm. Illuminate 2016 takes place Saturday at 4pm with location to be announced.
4th Annual Turkey Trot – November 24 in Plymouth
The Second Helping Challenge is a 2-race, “ONE DAY” challenge where runners run two races back to back on Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth Massachusetts. The races are the Plymouth Turkey Trot and the Plymouth Pilgrim 5K. Runners will be taken back in time to run past five Pilgrim sites of historical significance. The race starts at Plymouth Rock. It circles Forefathers Monument, the tallest granite monument in the United States and a testament to the original vision of our founding fathers. Forefathers Monument is the highest point in downtown Plymouth with a spectacular view. Run past Burial Hill where many original Pilgrim family members are buried. Then run past The First Church of Plymouth where families have gathered for almost 400 years to worship. Then on to an exciting down-hill finish at Plymouth Rock. Save up to $15 by signing up early.
CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS
Annual Thanksgiving Festival
Ag Hall in West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard
This largest holiday art show by Islanders, features many holiday gifts such as one of a kind winter hand-made sweaters, hand-made soaps, Island lavender, and fine crafts including leather and vintage material bags, wood butcher block cutting boards, and so much more. The best part of coming to the Vineyard Artisan Festivals is meeting the artists and listening to how they love there art and enjoy making these beautiful gifts. A $2.00 parking fee for Scholarship fund benefits students at MVRHS.
Annual Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument
Watch as one of the most recognizable landmarks on Cape Cod is illuminated with 5000 lights. The lights go on at 6:00pm followed by entertainment and refreshments.
Festival of Wreaths
November 23, 25-27, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Take a chance and bid on one of the many stunning wreaths made by Nantucket artists, designers, and merchants for this annual silent auction. Free admission.
Peter Foulger Gallery, 15 Broad Street, Nantucket
Thanksgiving 1830’s-style at Old Sturbridge Village
November 5-6, 12-13, 19-21 & 24
This Thanksgiving, costumed historians at Old Sturbridge Village demonstrate hearthside cooking in early New England – roasting turkeys in a tin kitchen and also before the fire suspended on skewers and string to evenly rotate the meat. Old Sturbridge Village re-creates various activities from an early New England Thanksgiving Day, including cooking at the hearth, demonstrations of 19th-century table manners, a Thanksgiving sermon, and after-dinner entertainment. The Thanksgiving Day menu includes turnip sauce, stuffing, pies and Marlboro Pudding. Proper 19th century table manners required eating from one’s knife. After dinner, the men will demonstrate a target shoot, the 1830s entertainment equivalent of today’s Thanksgiving Day football games. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge
Salem Cross Inn
Check website for dates
Relax by the fire or lend a hand as dinner is prepared for you 18th century style. Stir the chowder as it bubbles in the cast iron cauldron. Watch your prime rib turning as the only known Roasting Jack still operating in America rotates slowly over a crackling fire of cherry logs.
Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield
Publick House Thanksgiving Day Feast
November 24, 11:00 a.m. Menu available online
On the Common, Route 131, Sturbridge
Parade of the Big Balloons
A Springfield tradition for the whole family. This wonderful parade features giant helium balloons led by the 75ft “Cat in the hat” along with marching bands, a visit from Santa, and plenty of fun for all ages.
After-Thanksgiving Weekend Sale featuring Midnight Madness
Lee Premium Outlets will open at midnight the day after Thanksgiving for the Annual Thanksgiving Sale featuring Midnight Madness! Visit our website for weekend hours and to download weekend offers and specials.
Lee Premium Outlets, Lee
Thanksgiving Holiday Buffet
The Log Cabin & The Delaney House
Thanksgiving @ 30 Boltwood
November 24, 7-10 AM & 11AM-9PM
30 Boltwood at The Lord Jeffery Inn, Amherst
Join us for a special menu on Thanksgiving for either breakfast or dinner
Tree Lighting Ceremony and Hometown Holidays
On the evening before Thanksgiving (Wednesday November 23rd 6-8 Pm) Join hundreds of festive faces as North Adams gears up for the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Hometown Holidays kick-off event! A crowd will gather around the tree at Monument Square on Main Street (between the First Congregational and First Baptist Churches), and count down the seconds until the switch is thrown and thousands of twinkling lights adorn the downtown. After the ceremony, Santa will make a special visit. The rain date will be Friday, December 2nd. CLOSURES: Main Street around the monument starting around 5pm