Massachusetts is the home of Thanksgiving, so Bostonians know how to do this holiday right. But there is more to the day than simply a meal. Spend time with family and friends in the city doing everything from theater and shopping to fitness and museums! This is a great opportunity to give thanks to this great city and remember all of the wonderful opportunities the area provides to its residents and visitors.

From 2013 Boston Ballet 'The Nutcracker' (Photo: Boston Ballet)

From 2013 Boston Ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ (Photo: Boston Ballet)

See The Nutcracker
The Boston Opera House
539 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 259-3400

Thanksgiving is the official start to holiday season, which means everyone’s favorite ballet returns to the stage. Boston Ballet performs a season of The Nutcracker each year at the Boston Opera House. The show begins on Thanksgiving weekend, so this is the perfect time to purchase tickets for the show since the whole family will be in town! Plus, getting dressed up for the ballet is a great opportunity to take that family holiday photo to send out in the following weeks.

Mayflower II (credit: Plimouth Plantation)

Mayflower II (credit: Plimouth Plantation)

Visit Plimouth Plantation
137 Warren Ave.
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 746-1622

Make this Thanksgiving special by celebrating the way the pilgrims and Native Americans did back in the 1620s. Plimouth Plantation is like stepping back in time to America’s first Thanksgiving. It’s a great activity for people of all ages and will help children understand the true meaning and history behind the beloved holiday. On Thanksgiving, Plimouth Plantation offers dining options including a buffet and seated dining — both of which are extremely popular and sell out quickly, so make sure to reserve a spot asap.

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

Go Shopping
Beacon Hill
Charles St.
Boston, MA 02116

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are the biggest shopping days of the year, which is both fun and overwhelming at the same time. Avoid the lines and hassle at big box stores by perusing Boston’s one-of-a-kind boutiques instead. These shops will be offering great deals without being quite as crowded. Charles Street in Beacon Hill is a great spot to start. Black Ink, Flat of the Hill, Follain and Crush Boutique all offer amazing gifts and high-quality items that everyone on your list will love. Plus, great to-go restaurants like Pressed and Tatte Bakery will keep you fueled for a full day of shopping.

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Photo Credit ThinkstockRun A Road Race
Thanksgiving Day Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-Miler
Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144

Earn your feast by running one of the many road races around New England the morning of Thanksgiving. One of the best loved Thanksgiving road races in the area is Somerville’s Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-miler. Plus, this race is a great option for city dwellers, since it is easily accessible from the MBTA red line. Each year, more than 3,000 runners in Thanksgiving-themed costumes flood Davis Square to start off the holiday on the right foot. Burning so many calories in the morning means you can have an extra slice of pumpkin pie, so sign up now!

Family, Dinner, Meal, Roast

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

Get Thanksgiving Dinner

Not a good cook? Take the pressure off the holiday by letting others serve you a Thanksgiving feast. Many restaurants around Boston are open for special dinners with both traditional and innovative dishes. One of the most well-known Thanksgiving dinner offerings is at Beacon Hill Bistro. This is a perfect option for those with family visiting from out of town because the bistro is attached to a gorgeous boutique hotel.

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Cameron Bruns is the founder of and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on