Great Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving Differently This Year

Familial traditions are always the best part of the holidays, but what’s great about them is that you can make your own. New York City is a bustling town full of things to do on any day of the year, but especially on Thanksgiving. Escape the pressures of toiling away in the kitchen all day and enjoy your day at home with the family; perhaps even find a new way to give back to those in need this year. Band together with your friends and family and make this holiday season one to remember.

Here’s a round up of unique ways to spend Thanksgiving with the family this year.


Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation

The Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the most New York things to do during the holidays! But, almost comparable to watching the ball drop in Times Square, it can be unbelievably difficult to get a good spot to see it. Watching some of your kids’ favorite cartoons go up outside of the Museum of Natural History will be a fun treat for you and the kids.


Go on a bike ride around the city and collect food for your local charities! Cranksgiving is a do-it-yourself food drive that welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to take part in it. There is no registration process, strict qualifications, or anything; all you need is $15-20 for food, a bike, and a bike lock to join.

Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant!

The best part of making your own traditions this Thanksgiving is that you and your family can do what you want. Eating out on Thanksgiving can be seen as almost taboo—what do you mean you don’t want to eat turkey?—but that’s what makes it fun! This takes away the added holiday effort of waking up at 8am to prep an eight-course meal for your family and guests. Enjoy this Thanksgiving with the ones you love at a restaurant you love, by making a reservation on OpenTable.

Turkey Cupcakes Workshop (Ages 2-5)

The Toddler’s Cooking Kitchen offers a variety of classes for children to get familiar with cooking and baking. This workshop helps little ones learn how to bake and decorate Thanksgiving-inspired cupcakes, and is just one of many family-friendly cooking classes that are available this holiday season.

Turkey Trot

If you’ve caught the running bug and want to keep busy on Thanksgiving morning, you should join in on the Turkey Trot! On Thanksgiving day, the Turkey Trot will be taking place in Valhalla, Westchester County; however there will also be one in Roosevelt Island on the 24th.

Big Apple Circus

The Big Apple Circus is one of those touristic New York City events that not many New Yorkers get to go to, but it may be something new to try! They will be around for all of November, but they even have one show on November 22 at 1pm.

Catch a Movie on Thanksgiving

What can you do to kill time before Thanksgiving dinner is ready and served? Catch a midday showing of that movie you’ve been dying to see and feast on snacks and candy before the big meal.

Black Friday

After all of the Thanksgiving festivities are over, it’s time to focus on the holidays. It’s too easy to leave gift purchases for the last minute. but Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a great way to buy everything at a bargain. This includes gifts for the family. but also gifts for yourself! Not to mention, it’s the perfect opportunity to start putting up decorations for the holiday season.