Provincetown Monument

What to Do this Thanksgiving Weekend on Cape Cod and Boston

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 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 are thankful for on Thanksgiving weekend. 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 ten fantastic activities – five on the Cape and five in Boston – for the whole family to enjoy this holiday weekend. 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.

5 Things To Do this Thanksgiving Weekend: Cape Cod

1. The Annual Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument

Pilgrim MonumentEvery 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 25th from 5 to 7 PM, there will be a wonderful ceremony to celebrate the annual lighting of the Pilgrim Monument. This free event features music by pianist John Thomas and cider and cookies.

  • When: Wednesday, November 25th 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

highfield hallHighfield Hall and Gardens Museum, housed in a beautiful, painstakingly restored Queen Anne mansion built in 1878, hosts a design event where top decorators and designers showcase their talents in the museum’s elegant rooms. While admiring the designs , be sure to pick up some unique Christmas presents at the gift gallery. Admire an international crèche collection on display before stopping by a tea shoppe featuring holiday breads, cider, tea and coffee. There will be seasonal music, cookie making, and special exhibitions. Even Santa Claus himself will be there on Friday, November 27 to Sunday, November 29 and Saturday, December 5 and Sunday December 6, from 1 to 3 PM.

  • When: November 27-December 6 – Friday-Sunday 10 am – 4 pm, Monday-Thursday 12pm – 4pm
  • Where: Highfield Hall & Gardens, 56 Highfield Dr, Falmouth, MA
  • Tickets: $5 for Adults and Children are free
  • More Information: Visit Highfield Hall’s website

3. Take the Train to Christmas Town

Train to Christmas TownA real treat for the kids and a perfect day of family fun on the Cape, the Train to Christmas Town takes children and their parents on a magical ride to meet Santa. Throughout the journey, elves serve cookies and cocoa while a whole cast of characters like Bumblebee the Polar Bear and Wabash the Squirrel sing Christmas Carols. Upon arrival at Christmas Town, Santa climbs on board and walks through the cars greeting each child with holiday cheer. Tickets go fast, so be sure to reserve your spots on the train in advance.

  • When: Friday, November 27 to Saturday, December 26
  • Where: The train departs from the Cape Cod Central Railroad Depot at 252 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 
  • Tickets: $25-40 for Adults and $20-35 for Children
  • More Information: Visit the Train to Christmas Town’s website

4. Heritage Museum and Garden’s Gardens Aglow

Gardens AgloThis holiday season, the beautiful grounds of the Heritage Museum in Sandwich are transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland as over nine miles of holiday lights are strung throughout the gardens. There will also be a fantastic model train exhibit, music and dance performances, and even Santa Claus himself will be there. Ride the vintage carousel, stroll the gardens, and roast marshmallow over the outdoor fire pits.

  • When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 27 to December 27 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 in America’s Hometown

Plimouth ThanksgivingCelebrate Thanksgiving Day at the place where it all started back in 1621: Plymouth. Take part in the annual “Pilgrim Progress,” 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. Then head to Plimouth Plantation for a wonderful Thanksgiving Buffet.

  • When: Thursday, November 26 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Where: The Pilgrim’s Progress begins at the Mayflower Society House, 4 Winslow St, Plymouth, MA. The Pilmouth Plantation is located at 137 Warren Ave, Plymouth, MA
  • Tickets: The Pilgrim’s Progress is free. The Thanksgiving Buffet at Plimouth Plantation is $73 for Adult Member/$49 for Children under 12 and $53 for Adult Members/ $35 for Child Members 
  • More Information: Visit the Plimouth Plantation’s website. For additional information on the Pilgrim’s Progress, visit their website

5 Things To Do this Thanksgiving Weekend: Boston

1. The 19th 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 PA, which gives college scholarships to Somerville high school students.

  • When: Thursday, November 26. 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 $29
  • More Information: For details OR to volunteer for this event, please contact The Somerville Road Runners at

2. The 30th Annual Boston TubaChristmas

Tuba ChristmasNothing will get you into the Christmas spirit faster than heading down to Faneuil Hall to hear over one hundred and fifty bundled up tuba players honk out Christmas carols.

  • When: Saturday, November 28 at 2 PM
  • Where: Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston
  • Tickets: The concert is free
  • More Information: For more details, visit the Faneuil Hall website

3. Elf the Broadway Musical

Elf MusicalElf, the 2003 classic Christmas film starring Will Farrell as Buddy the human Elf who travels from his home in the North Pole to New York City to find his biological father is now a charming musical at the Wang Theatre. It’s a warm-hearted theatrical experience perfect for the kids.

  • When: The show runs until December 6th
  • Where: The Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St, Boston, MA
  • Tickets: Prices range from $25 for student rush tickets to $125. 
  • More Information: For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Citi Performing Arts Centre website

4. Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker

NutcrackerThere are few things more Christmasy 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 27 to December 31
  • Where: Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, MA 
  • Tickets: Prices range from $35 to $199. 
  • More Information: For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Boston Ballet’s website

5. Volunteer at the New England Center and Home for Veterans

NECHVThere is no better way to give thanks than to help our homeless Veterans this Thanksgiving Weekend. The New England Center and Home for Veterans invites people to assist the kitchen staff directly by serving hot meals to Veteran residents. Volunteers should bring a baseball cap or other head covering to wear while serving the meal. If you would like to help, but are unable to volunteer on Thanksgiving, you can sponsor a meal. For details call CJ Beck at 617-371-1749.

  • When: The NECHV is looking for volunteers to help serve dinner every day of the week. 
  • Where: The New England Center and Home for Veterans, 17 Court St, Boston, MA
  • More Information: For details on how to help, visit the NECHV website

We at Robert Paul Properties wish you and your family and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving and a joyous start to the Christmas season! If buying or selling a home is on your Christmas To Do list, let our expert agents make your holiday dreams come true. Check out our exclusive listings on Cape Cod and in Boston. Then call one of our agents at 508.420.1414 (Cape Cod) or 617.262.1414 (Boston) and visit one of our offices throughout Cape Cod, Coastal Massachusetts, Boston, and Cambridge.