8 Things To Do Thanksgiving Weekend from Boston to Cape Cod

Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell

Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell

Thanksgiving is one of the best times of the year, full of wonderful food, family, and fun. But if you’re not a die hard shopper, nothing can erode the holiday spirit faster than Black Friday. There is something about the hordes of frenzied shoppers and the long checkout lines that make everyone quickly forget what they were thankful for on Thanksgiving.  If you are looking to keep the warm, familial feeling of Thanksgiving going and are searching for an alternative to the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, we have selected 8 things to do Thanksgiving weekend from Boston to Cape Cod. Whether it is learning about the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in Plymouth or getting into the Christmas spirit by watching sugarplum fairies pirouette across the stage in the Nutcracker, we have something for everyone to enjoy.


8 Things To Do Thanksgiving Weekend from Boston to Cape Cod 

1. The Annual Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument

8 Things to do Thanksgiving Weekend - 1: Pilgrim Monument LightingEvery American is taught that the Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock and the 102 passengers – men, women and children from Plymouth, England – went on to establish the first European settlement in New England. It is a little known fact that the Pilgrims first landed in Provincetown on November 21, 1620 before settling in Plymouth. The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, built in 1910, commemorates that historic first landing.

On Wednesday, November 21st  from 5 to 7 PM, there will be a wonderful ceremony to celebrate the annual lighting of the Pilgrim Monument. Last year almost 1500 people came to this iconic event to witness the Monument festooned with more than 3,100 “landing lights” which shine nightly through January 6 of the following year.

  • When: Wednesday, November 21st from 5 to 7 PM
  • Where: The Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum: 1 High Pole Hill Rd, Provincetown, MA
  • Tickets: Admission is free
  • More Information: Visit the Pilgrim Monument website

2. Holidays at Highfield

Delight all your senses with the sound of music, culinary delights, scents of fresh cut holiday greens, and elegantly arranged décor inspired by nature. Discover a contemporary holiday design style that mixes antiques with fresh, natural elements.

Enjoy shopping for handcrafted and unique art in the local artist Gift Gallery. Admire the international crèche collection and model trains, and savor holiday treats with family and friends in the cafe. The annual Holidays at Highfield fundraiser is fun for the whole family.

  • When: November 23-December 2
    • Friday-Sunday 10 am – 4 pm, Monday-Thursday 12pm – 4pm.
  • Where: Highfield Hall & Gardens, 56 Highfield Dr, Falmouth, MA
  • Tickets: $10/ $5 for members
  • More Information: Visit Highfield Hall’s website

3. The Train to Christmas Town

Based on the beloved children’s book, the Train to Christmas Town, their holiday ride recreates on board the story book tale that is sure to become a family favorite tradition!

All guests will enjoy other activities and games on board as they interact with the cast and crew. Kids will be able to play a game of I-Spy as they look for animal friends hidden throughout the car like the gentle snowy owls and Bubble and Squeak the chatty mice that frequent the train.

  • When: Friday, November 23 to Sunday, December 23
  • Where: The train departs from the Buzzards Bay Depot at 70 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA 
  • Tickets: $54-79 for Adults and $44-$69 for Children
  • More Information: Visit the Train to Christmas Town website

4. Heritage Museum and Garden’s Gardens Aglow

Gardens AgloEvery holiday season, the beautiful grounds of the Heritage Museum in Sandwich are transformed with more than ten miles of holiday lights. Heritage’s expansive gardens will be aglow with beautiful light displays, extensive indoor holiday décor and numerous activities around the grounds and galleries.

  • When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 23 to December 30 from 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Where: The Heritage Museums and Gardens, 67 Grove Street
    Sandwich, MA
  • Tickets: $15 Adult Members, $5 Youth Members, $18 Non-Member Adults, $7 Non-Member Youth, Children 2 and under free
  • More Information: Visit the museum’s website

5. Thanksgiving Day Hunt with Norfolk Hunt ClubThanksgiving Day events

The Norfolk Hunt Club’s Thanksgiving Day Hunt takes places Thanksgiving morning from 9-11am. Bring family, friends, and neighbors out to see the hunt off. Interact with hounds, riders, and horses. You can follow the hunt after its departure from the Steeplechase Course by going to the Medfield State Hospital.

  • When: Thursday, November 22nd, 9-11am 
  • Where: The Steeplechase Course, Medfield

6. The 22nd Annual Gobble Gobble Gobble Thanksgiving Race

Gobble Gobble RaceLooking to work off some of that turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie? Then grab your sneakers and take part in this fun and fantastic four-mile race, which is open to runners, joggers, and stroller families of all ages and abilities. All proceeds will benefit Project Soup, a free supper program for the homeless in Somerville, as well as Somerville Track PAC, which gives college scholarships to Somerville high school students.

  • When: Thursday, November 22nd. Registration goes from 7:30 to 8:45 AM. The race starts promptly at 9 AM. 
  • Where: The race begins and ends in Davis Square, Somerville. 
  • Tickets: Registration in the race is required and costs $3

7. Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker

NutcrackerThere are few things more Christmas than listening to the enchanted music of Tchaikovsky while watching the magnificent ballet dancers of the Boston Ballet dressed as sugarplum fairies, soldiers, and snowflakes, leap and twirl across the stage in the beloved Christmas classic The Nutcracker. It’s a wonderful holiday tradition for the entire family.

  • When: From November 29 to December 30
  • Where: Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, MA
  • Tickets: Prices range from $55 to $250. 
  • More Information: For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Boston Ballet’s website

Visit here for a comprehensive guide to theatre in Boston and Cambridge.

8. Thanksgiving Day at Plimoth Plantation

Plimouth Thanksgiving

Nothing compares with the rich tradition of gathering together at harvest time and celebrating the abundant joys of the season. Plimoth Plantation is a great place to share that special meal with your family and friends – and with people from around the country and the world. Join us for a wonderfully memorable holiday dining experience.

  • When: Thursday, November 22 from 11 AM to 4 PM
  • Where: Plimoth Plantation is located at 137 Warren Ave, Plymouth, MA
  • Tickets: The Thanksgiving Buffet at Plimoth Plantation is $100 for Adult Member/$73 for Children Members under 12 and $80 for Adults/ $60 for Children
  • More Information: Visit the Plimoth Plantation’s website.