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 with the Grafton Group
Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at Russell House Tavern .
November 27-January 3
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
Town Meeting Bistro at The Inn at Hastings Park
Enjoy Thanksgiving brunch and dinner to go
27th Annual Methuen Festival of Trees
November 21-December 20
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
Wednesday, December 2
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
18th Annual Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run– VIRTUAL
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
New England Harvest Feast
November 21-22 & 25-27
Take a savory journey into the past. An evening of entertainment and hospitality awaits you as you sit down to a 17th century meal filled with the finest food that this season
Plimoth Patuxet, Plymouth
America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration & Parade – CANCELLED
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.
Plymouth 400 7th Annual Illuminate Thanksgiving – November 25 – An annual tradition, Illuminate Thanksgiving 2020 will be held as a televised special on NBC 10 Boston, Plymouth 400’s Lead Media Sponsor. The time of the broadcast is still to be determined, and we will include an update on this page. The first half of the hour-long broadcast will tell the story of Plymouth 400 and the legacies of the 400th anniversary through projects, collaborations, and events. The second half of the program will focus on the signature event, Illuminate virtual event, the One Small Candle Award, and other details that are still being finalized. Past recipients of the award will be featured along with new recipients this year.
The Story of Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving is America’s holiday and Plymouth is the symbol of where our national celebration began. This November, come home to Plymouth. Our popular America’s Thanksgiving Dinner features classic roast turkey and all the traditional New England trimmings. Enjoy the company of your family and friends, as Pilgrim role players and Native interpreters greet you. People come from around the country and the world to be at Plimoth Plantation for these special meals.
This is a very popular annual event and some seatings sell out quickly, We suggest that you make your reservations early. Please note our family style form of service has changed to individually plated style service.
Thanksgiving Day in America’s Hometown
9am-5pm visit Pilgrim Hall Museum and Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, National Monument to the Forefathers, Jabez Howland House & more!
10am – “Pilgrim Progress”, reenactment of the Pilgrims’ Sabbath procession to worship. Costumed participants representing survivors of the winter of 1621, assemble to the beat of a drum, proceed down North Street, along Water Street past Plymouth Rock, up Leyden Street to Burial Hill where a short Pilgrim worship service is observed on the site of the original fort/meetinghouse. Psalms sung are from The Book of Psalms by Henry Ainsworth, used by the Pilgrims in Holland and in Plymouth. Passages read by “Elder Brewster” are from Governor Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation or other sources. After the service, the march continues through town on Main Street, ending at the Mayflower Society House via North Street.
12:00 Noon – National Day of Mourning March and Ceremonies
Massasoit Statue, Cole’s Hill www.uaine.org
Since 1970, Native Americans and their supporters have marched to Plymouth’s Town Square and then gathered on Cole’s Hill at noon to observe a National Day of Mourning. Organized by United American Indians of New England (UAINE), the march has brought about revisions in the depiction of United States history and government as well as settler relationships with Native American peoples. A day of remembrance and spiritual connection, the annual event is held to create a renewed appreciation for Native American culture, and to protest the treatment of American Indians.
CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS
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
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
A New England Thanksgiving – Old Sturbridge Village
2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, and 28
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).
Gnomevember – Tower Hill Botanic Garden
It is said that gnomes inhabited the property, long before Tower Hill was ever built, but strangely, over the past two years gnome activity has been on the rise. But why? Perhaps the gnomes are tired of hiding. Or maybe they are curious about the visitors, or the new gardens we’re building. All we know is that ever since they started showing up, things have been going awry. Every morning our horticultural staff finds pots turned over, tools missing, and muddy footprints in the Visitor’s Center.
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
On the Common, Route 131, Sturbridge
Parade of the Big Balloons – CANCELLED
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