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Things to do in Boston Around Thanksgiving Time (Fall 2022)

Thanksgiving tends to be in the shadow of larger holidays such as Christmas and New Year, with less high-profile events, causing many to consider it, and the month of November boring. However, contrary to this assumption, the weeks around Thanksgiving are actually some of the most fun times of the year in the Boston area, as the holiday originated right here in Massachusetts. So, if you are stumped for ideas on Boston activities or how to celebrate Thanksgiving time besides the dinner itself, keep reading!

Get Thanksgiving Dinner

The classic way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to prepare a traditional holiday dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, etc., to enjoy with your loved ones. However, the actual preparation of this feast can be pretty intensive. So, if you want to relax and save time, Thanksgiving is a great time to try out some of Boston's amazing restaurants for the holiday dinner. Check out our restaurant recommendations. In addition, Boston Chefs has a great list of restaurants open on Thanksgiving for take-out/catering options.

Black Friday Shopping

Another fun activity around Thanksgiving, specifically the day after on Black Friday, go shopping. Every year on Black Friday retail stores always offer amazing sales, with heavily discounted merchandise. These sales provide a great opportunity to treat yourself or get a head start on holiday shopping. Either way, there are plenty of shopping options in Boston, including the stores on Newbury and in the Prudential center.

Take a trip to Plymouth

Plymouth Plantation on a sunny day, ocean view

The first thing you can do in the Boston Area to celebrate is to take a trip from the city to Plymouth, the home of the Pilgrims, and the First Thanksgiving. Plymouth is only about a 45-minute drive from the city. It offers a cute coastal community to explore, along with exciting historical sites such as the Plymouth Rock and Plymouth Plantation.

Enjoy the Last Bit of Foliage

Foliage and views of Boston skyline from Blue Hills Reservation

Fall time in New England is famous for its crisp weather and amazing foliage, so it is really worth it to take the time and get outside to marvel at New England’s natural beauty. There are plenty of outdoor spaces in Boston, with some of the most notable including Blue Hills (in Milton, Mass.), the Boston Freedom Trail, and the Boston Public Garden.

Volunteer and Help the Less Fortunate

Thanksgiving is a holiday designed to celebrate all that we are grateful for, as its name implies. However, with this celebration, it is also important to remember the less fortunate, who may not be able to afford a Thanksgiving meal. To help give back to the community in the spirit of Thanksgiving, you can always volunteer at a local soup kitchen or donate to a food bank in Boston.

Go to a Professional Sports Game

TG Garden in Boston, MA during a Celtics basketball game

While the Patriots are unfortunately playing away in Minnesota this year on Thanksgiving, there are still plenty of sporting events to enjoy in Boston around the holiday. The Bruins and Celtics both begin their seasons in October and have plenty of home games at TD Garden in November for fans to enjoy.

Start to get in the Holiday Spirit

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, so a majority of seasonal winter activities and events begin. There are so many fun things to do in Boston during the winter, including skating on the Frog Pond in Boston Common, going to see the Nutcracker, and visiting Faneuil Hall.


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