Where to Play on Thanksgiving Day

The Air & Space Museum and all of the Smithsonian Museums remain open on Thanksgiving!



How about a side of recreation to go with your Thanksgiving turkey? If you’re going to be in town for the holiday and looking for pre- or post-feast activities, here are some ways to complement the main event of the day. Happy Thanksgiving!

* Visit a Smithsonian museum or the National Zoo. They are all open on Thanksgiving from 10am – 5:30pm, except for the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery which are open 11:30am – 7pm. The National Gallery of Art (which is not part of the Smithsonian, just a neighbor on the Mall) is open, too, from 10am – 5pm.

* Experience Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden on opening day! Get an idea of what to expect in this post with scenes from last year’s exhibition.

* Hang out at a playground. Hains Point, Clemyjontri, Watkins Regional Park, Beauvoir, Cabin John Regional Park, Wheaton Regional Park, plus loads of DC Parks and Rec locations, and many more in NoVa and Maryland are great places to play while you’re waiting for the feast.

* Get gliding and enjoy some active fun. You can skate under the sky at one of several ice rinks in the area that are open on the holiday. Find info for them here.

* Bundle up and enjoy a holiday hike. For those who like to get out, even on chilly days — it’s going to be a cooold Turkey Day this year — Rock Creek, Great Falls, Roosevelt Island, Huntley Meadows, Prince William Forest, Riverbend, and Turkey Run are all great parks for family tramping. This post has details on all of them along with even more recs for local walks in the woods.

* Go bowling. Pinstripes in Georgetown hosts Kids Bowling from 10am – 12pm, when ages 12 and under bowl for just $6 (and parents bowl free!). You can also hit the lanes at Lucky Strike in Penn Quarter, Bowlmor in Bethesda or Rockville, or Bowl America in several NoVa locations.

* Get into the holiday spirit at Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort’s spectacular seasonal attraction.

* Dance off the turkey dinner at the Kennedy Center. The evening’s free Millennium Stage performance features their annual Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party with music by Pittsburgh’s Dr. Zoot and swing dance instruction and performances by Gottaswing. This all takes place from 6-9pm, and admission is free.

* Take an evening drive or stroll through a holiday light display — several in the area have started dazzling visitors with twinkling wonderlands.


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