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 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!
November 23-December 31 5:00-9:00pm 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
Thanksgiving with the Grafton Group
NORTH OF BOSTON & GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY
November 23-December 7
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
November 28 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
November 28 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.
November 30, 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
SOUTH OF BOSTON
November 28 – 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
Thursday, November 28
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).
November 28 – 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
November 2, 9, 16, 23, 24, 27, 29, 30 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.
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CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS
The largest Holiday Art Show on the Vineyard with over 85 Island Artisans. Balsam wreaths and ceramic ornaments to start off the holiday season and gifts galore from the Islands finest artists and craftsmen. Fine jewelry, glass, ceramics, fine art, clothing, book arts and much more.
Agricultural Hall, West Tisbury
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.
November 27, 29-30, December 1 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
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November 28-December 2
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
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
November 28, 11:00 a.m. Menu available online
On the Common, Route 131, Sturbridge
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.
November 29-December 1
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