Be a tourist in your own town
Even if you don’t live in a major city or tourist destination, there’s almost certainly something interesting within driving distance. When was the last time you went? Have you taken the kids? Many of them will open for the Christmas season after Thanksgiving. Various city and park festivals and holiday light displays will open on Friday as well. Try finding one near you, perhaps:
- Old Salem, NC – The town of Old Salem is best visited during the Christmas season. It will be open Thanksgiving weekend, but if you can, I recommend waiting for a Candle Tea.
- Lancaster, PA – Yuletide at Wheatland lets visitors enter author Clement C. Moore’s house and hear “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Reimagined” beginning November 29.
- Charlottesville, VA – Monticello, like many historic homes, has a variety of Christmas events, including wreath workshops and open houses hosted by TJ himself.
Many ski resorts call Thanksgiving “opening weekend.” If you’re lucky enough to live near one, I don’t blame you for ditching the sales and hitting the slopes. Check the projected opening dates for the resorts near you.
See a parade or tree lighting
Maybe you weren’t in New York on Thanksgiving for the Macy’s Day Parade or in Philadelphia for the less-famous but oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country, but plenty of cities save their parades for Saturday. For example:
- Pittsburgh – The My Macy’s Holiday Parade will be held on Saturday, November 30 with all the celebrities and giant balloons you’d expect.
- Austin – The Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade will collect toys from spectators for the Operation Blue Santa Program.
- Napa, CA – The Twas The Night Before Chirstmas Parade awards two $500 prizes to participants.
Run in a race
Who wants to do a Thanksgiving Day turkey trot when you could be stuffing your face with turkey and trotting to the sofa to watch a parade? Frankly, I’m not the sort to race any day, but if you are, you can either run from other shoppers on Black Friday, or you can run in races that still have registration available, including:
- West Islip, NY – The 11th Annual Run Your Turkey Off
- Washington, DC – City Running Tours White House 10k
- Howell, MI – Howell Fantasy 5k
Go the traditional route
Or, of course, you can always save all of that for the next weekend and just go shopping. If you’re that sort, check out our Black Friday geek roundup.