How about a side of recreation to go with your Thanksgiving meal? If you’re going to be in town for the holiday and are looking for pre- or post-feast activities, here are some ways to complement the main event of the day. Happy Thanksgiving!
1) Hit the ice to enjoy some active fun. You can ice skate under the sky at one of several outdoor rinks in the area that are open on the holiday. Most of our faves, all DC rinks, will be welcoming skaters, so you can glide with beautiful Potomac views at Washington Harbour, right over the river at The Wharf, and amid the city bustle at Canal Park. Find info on those and more in Virginia and Maryland. And be sure to check ice rink websites for Thanksgiving Day hours!
2) 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 and the National Zoo 8am – 4pm. The National Gallery of Art (which is not part of the Smithsonian, just a neighbor on the Mall) is open, too, from 10am – 5pm.
3) Experience Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden. The always delightful model train exhibit, constructed from plant materials, is back outside in the National Garden again. And the Conservatory will be filled with its signature holiday decor, including sculptures of iconic DC sites, also made from plant materials. Open 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.
4) Enjoy a holiday hike. Looks like it should be a pleasant Turkey Day this year, great for some time on the trail. In honor of the day, I suggest going to Turkey Run. 🦃😉 Rock Creek, Great Falls, Roosevelt Island, Huntley Meadows, and Riverbend are all nice parks for family tramping. This post has details on all of them along with even more recs for local walks in the woods.
5) Hang out at a playground. Beauvoir, Hains Point, Clemyjontri, Cabin John Regional Park, Wheaton Regional Park, plus loads of DC Parks and Rec locations, and many more in the DC Metro are good places to take littles to play while you’re waiting for the feast.
6) Get into the holiday spirit at National Harbor. There is a nightly tree lighting and light show in the Waterfront District that runs every half hour from sunset until 9pm. Plus, there’s much more holiday magic at the Gaylord National.
7) Take an evening drive or stroll through a holiday light display— several around the area have started dazzling visitors with twinkling wonderlands.
8) Catch a flick. Just about all of our local movie theaters will be open, and there are so many good films to see! (On my list: Glass Onion, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, TÁR, She Said, The Menu.) See what’s playing at a theater near you.