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!
November 22 @ 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
November 23-December 31
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
25th Annual Methuen Festival of Trees
November 17-December 8
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
Festival of Wreaths
Saturday, November 24th
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
15th 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.
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, and the Crafts Center. Mayflower II is currently away for restoration.
Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth
Thanksgiving Day in America’s Hometown
November 22, 9am-5pm
North Street, Water Street Leyden Street, Town Square, Main Street, Plymouth
Visit Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, National Monument to the Forefathers, Jabez Howland House, Plimoth Grist Mill and and the waterfront exhibit Shall I Stay or Shall I Go. 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).
Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims
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 – November 16-18 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 Thanksgiving will take place at the New Town Hall, 26 Court Street in downtown Plymouth from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18. The event is free and open to the public
Plymouth 400 5th Annual Illuminate Thanksgiving – November 17 – National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse, Plymouth – This special annual event focuses on young people and their ability to be that “one small candle” making a difference in the lives of many. Families with smaller children can also opt to visit the Plymouth 400 children’s area, also starting at 4:30pm, inside the lobby of the Post Office Building at 6 Main Street Extension, footsteps from Town Square. The costumed characters Barnicle & Husk from the book by the same name will be there to greet children, accompanied by author Mary Shields. Peter Dubay, author of the book Thanks-For-Giving Day will also be on hand with FREE candle giveaways courtesy of Yankee Candle Village.
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 21, 23-25, 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
Wednesday-Sunday, November 1-22
Experience the traditions of an early 19th-century New England Thanksgiving. Learn about 1830s dining etiquette and watch the men of the Village compete in a post-dinner target shoot. Smell the scents of roasted turkey and pies warming by the fire. Hear the minister talk about the true meaning of Thanksgiving in the Village’s historic Center Meetinghouse. Learn how preparations were made for this holiday meal. On weekends, guests can enjoy a delicious bountiful harvest buffet in the Bullard Tavern (see below for more information).
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
Thanksgiving at Salem Cross Inn
What better way to celebrate a historical moment of thanks then by participating in a traditional Thanksgiving meal with Salem Cross Inn!
Publick House Thanksgiving Day Feast
November 22, Seatings from 11:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
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.
Thanksgiving Holiday Buffet
The Log Cabin & The Delaney House
Thanksgiving on the Farm – November 23 – Hancock Shaker Village – Enjoy Thanksgiving weekend at the farm. It’s an ideal setting to spend time with family and friends. See our heritage breed turkeys in the barnyard and say hello to other animals in the historic Round Stone Barn. Enjoy a peaceful meander along the Farm and Forest Trail, a 1-mile accessible trail.