Thanksgiving Weekend in the U.S

new york thanksgiving parade float photo
Photo by Ben+Sam

Turkey, pumpkin pie, giant parades, football. Thanksgiving is an American holiday that fills our screens every year, leaving our mouths watering and our spirits heightened ready for Christmas. This year, join in on festivities for real, and head to one of America’s best places to spend Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November every year. The national holiday began as a day to give thanks for the harvest in the 1600’s and the first took place as a celebration for the Pilgrims who arrived from England. The day centres on food, family and entertainment. The table is spread with turkey, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potato, corn, pecan pie and pumpkin pie. The cities come to life with parades, events and shows in the festive spirit. The country is one big playground.

New York

new york thanksgiving parade float photo
Photo by joiseyshowaa

The Big Apple is a sensational destination on a regular day, but when the Thanksgiving parade fills its streets it is astonishing. The annual pageant is made up of balloons, floats, cheerleaders, marching bands, stalls and Broadway shows. There are thousands of participants, 3 million spectators and over 50 million home viewers each year. Spiderman, Paddington Bear, Scooby Doo and a giant Turkey are just some of the amazing floats filling the streets. Dine at one of the city’s best restaurants for the full Thanksgiving feast. Make time to fit in shopping, because Black Friday falls this weekend and where better in the world to shop on Black Friday than in NYC?

Plymouth

plymouth thanksgiving photo
Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Do Thanksgiving traditions right by visiting the site of the very first Thanksgiving. Plymouth, Massachusetts, is where the Pilgrims first landed from England and settled in 1620. There’s a Pilgrim monument to see and a replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to the USA. What’s more, there’s a Plantation tour showing a re-enactment of the first settlement. Plymouth is just south of Boston, so you can explore the beautiful city of Boston too. The autumnal colours of Boston are picturesque and you can enjoy some sports watching a good Thanksgiving spread.

Chicago

chicago wreathing of lions photo
Photo by brianholsclaw

Chicago is another city full of life over the weekend. On Wednesday night the Mayor kicks off the celebrations by lighting up the official Christmas tree. The next morning another fantastic Thanksgiving Day Parade begins with giant helium balloons, floats, performance groups, dancing, celebrities and marching bands. Later in the weal is the annual “wreathing of the lions” at the Art Institute of Chicago, when the museums two lion statues are covered in evergreen wreaths. After, there’s a party inside celebrating the season.

San Francisco

san francisco autumn photo
Photo by Bongsgraphy

San Francisco is perfect for family friendly Thanksgiving treats. Traditional banquet meals are served city-wide and the city is alive with a buzzing spirit. Autumnal treats are on offer everywhere, set on the backdrop of the fiery hues of the season. An amazing and unique experience is joining the Thanksgiving San Francisco Turkey Trot. On the morning of Thanksgiving, crowds of people dress up as turkeys and take part in a fun run around the Golden Gate Park. Get your turkey outfit ready and jet off now!

New Orleans

turducken photo
Photo by jeffreyw

New Orleans is steeped in history and it has a charm that leaves a mark in the memory of every visitor. The Thanksgiving tradition, the turducken originated here, a triple-poultry dish of chicken, stuffed into a duck and then stuffed into a turkey. This delicacy can be enjoyed at any of the cosy local eateries. Another common eat, that may sound unusual is deep-friend turkey. Of course, there’s a parade filling the city, the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade that travels throughout the city ending at the French Market. The following day, the oak trees in the City Park are draped with thousands of twinkling lights making for the ultimate cosy end to the weekend.

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