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Thanksgiving Day Opportunities for Fun

These events have passed, but check out our calendar for fun today, this week, this month!

While Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to reflect on our blessings over a special meal, the DMV has many other ways to bring your loved ones together that may, or may not, include a turkey!

Check out the day’s lineup for all kinds of family-friendly happenings, including turkey trotting, winter walking, ice-skating, and more!

Ice Skating
Lace up your skates and hit the ice! Ice skating is a great way to burn those Thanksgiving meal calories, plus you might even pick up a new favorite hobby!

We called the rinks below to confirm they are open on Thanksgiving Day; however, be sure to check each for hours and potential weather-related closings:

Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion | Reston, VA
Pentagon Row Ice Rink | Arlington, VA
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink | Washington, DC
Rooftop Skating at The Watergate Hotel | Washington, DC

Want even more ice skating links for year-round fun? Check out our Guide: Indoor/Outdoor Ice Skating Fun in the DMV.

Illumination Events
Enjoy a wintery walk, or drive, among thousands of dazzling lights! The area boasts plenty of ways to get your twinkle-fix from the comfort of your car or under the starlit sky! We called the destinations below to confirm they are open on Thanksgiving Day; however, be sure to check each for hours and potential weather-related closings:

Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights | Vienna, VA
Bull Run Festival of Lights | Centreville, VA
LightUp Fest | Ashburn, VA

Want even more illumination events? Check out our Guide: Tree Lightings & Illumination Events in the DMV.

Movie Time
If movies are your thing, then you’re in luck! Tons of family-friendly flicks are out on the big screen, and Thanksgiving Day is a great time to catch one!

We’ve linked up some best bets below to their Common Sense Media reviews to help you make the best pick for your family:

Dr. Seuss’ the Grinch
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Instant Family
Ralph Breaks the Internet (opening Nov 21, 2018)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Robin Hood
(opening Nov 21, 2018)

Atrium Tree Lighting at the Gaylord National
Round out your evening with a beautiful spectacle at the Gaylord National at National Harbor! Each night, the hotel’s atrium comes to life with laser lights, Christmas music, and a dancing fountain! Stick around for the indoor snowfall, too!

No need to reserve a room; this holiday happening is free and open to all! Plan your visit here.

Take a Spin
The Capital Wheel at National Harbor is open Thanksgiving Day! On your ride, you’ll soar 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront. When the weather cooperates, sights visible include the White House, the Capitol, and the National Mall to name a few! Plan your visit here.

Explore the Outdoors
You never know what the weather will bring to the DMV, but if the temperature’s right and you’re up for an adventure, try hitting up one of these parks or trails! Enjoy a walk or hike before you head home for your Thanksgiving meal or dessert!

Great Falls Park
NOVA Parks (NVRPA) Trails

Turkey Trots & Fun Runs
Start your day with a brisk run, jog, or walk in one of the many trots offered throughout the area! Check out the short list of options below to plan your Thanksgiving cardio:

Arlington Turkey Trot
Ashburn Farm 10K, 5K, & 2K
Fairfax Turkey Trot
Turkey Day 5K

Visit a Museum
Washington, DC, is rich in history and culture and with more than ten museums just on the National Mall. Thanksgiving Day is a great time to visit some of these local landmarks as Smithsonian museums are open every day of the year except December 25th (unless otherwise noted at link); check them all out here.

Visit a Panda, Crocodile, Monkey, & More
Take a walk with some wildlife at the Smithsonian National Zoo! Check out the bears, elephants, and tigers, or venture through the primate exhibit. Plan your visit here.

Can’t make it, but still want to see the animals? The Zoo also boasts plenty of fun webcams, including the Naked Mole-Rat Cam, Lion Cam, Giant Panda Cam, and Elephant Cam.

Snuggle Up at Home
Not ready to brave the cold, or just want to spend the day in your jammies? Once the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is over, there are still plenty of ways to sit back, relax, and get in the holiday spirit from the comfort of your couch!

ABC Family’s Countdown Until Christmas
Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas
Netflix’s 2018 Original Christmas Movies

Start Decorating for Hanukkah or Christmas
Need we say more? There’s no better time to trade your turkeys for trees or menorahs and locate your elf! Since the family is already together, put those extra hands to good use and get everyone involved in the decorating!

Have something to add? Let us know! Drop us an email or submit a comment.

Disclaimer/Terms: These opportunities are subject to last minute cancellations and changes that might not be reflected in this post. Please, always confirm by calling/clicking.

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Passed: Can't Miss November Fun 2018

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