Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, a day spent with friends and family, eating savory food and watching football—hey the Detroit Lions are actually good this year! The festivities usually extend into the weekend, with more indulging and family talk. Instead of eating leftovers, staring blankly at the television or bickering with siblings, why not join one of these four events around the country?
Thanksgiving gets top billing in “America’s Hometown.” Plymouth, Massachusetts, site of the Mayflower landing, hosts myriad activities all weekend long. Visitors are treated to waterfront tours of the harbor, complete with reenactments, a concert for war veterans on Friday night, a Thanksgiving parade and a food festival and crafter’s village during the weekend.
Why not celebrate Thanksgiving in a place named after the holiday? Like many towns big and small around the country, Lehi, Utah, hosts a 5K run on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Point Institute, a nonprofit organization in town, sponsors plentiful events throughout the year but its annual pilgrim run is one of its most popular. Runners from around Utah dress up as turkeys or pilgrims to score cash prizes. The institute also boasts one of the more authentic Thanksgiving reenactments in the country.
Laughter can make even the most dreary day feel brighter. The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles hosts its 35th annual Free Thanksgiving Day Feast on November 27. Top comedians will be on hand to serve food to the city’s homeless and downtrodden. This year features Dane Cook, Kevin Nealon, Tim allen and Shawn Wayans. The club hosts four free seatings throughout the day followed by four comic performances. Reservations are recommended.
Maggie Harrison’s cult winery in Dundee, Oregon—you’d be hard pressed to find her wines at most shops—boasts three tastings daily Friday, November 28, through Sunday, November 30. Tastings include five wines from the 2013 vintage as well as the Lillian Syrah, Harrison’s pet project. Many wineries in the region host open tastings throughout the holiday weekend as a way to celebrate the harvest.