A Poptional Thanksgiving Plan

The last of the turkey has been gobbled up and the fam’s not fans of football. What to do?



It’s not just the turkey and sides that needs preparation for Thanksgiving — you also need to plan ahead for how you’re going to entertain your family over the long, long weekend. Thanksgiving vacation is tricky: your family is wired from holiday excitement, and the vacation is short, so they never get into full-on relaxation mode. If you don’t find ways to channel that energy, it could spell disaster. Here are some things you can do with your family once the dishes have cleared, and you’re staring down the rest of the days off:

If you’re looking to head back to simpler times:
Historic Hudson Valley decks out its sites for the holidays in period style during its “Gateway to the Holiday Season” weekend. Go to Philipsburg Manor, Van Cortlandt Manor, or Washington Irving’s Sunnyside to take a tour and see how the winter holidays were traditionally celebrated. Then, you can set up your kids with some of the hands-on activities and crafts they have going on, while you get a jump on holiday shopping in the gift shops. Celebrations occur from November 26 to November 28.

If you’re looking to reconnect with the simpler life:
Your kin might appreciate that big Thanksgiving dinner more if they understood where the ingredients came from. Take them to the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and put them to work doing farm chores. On November 27 and 28, children can choose between taking part in the hands-on egg collecting or the hands-on gardening tours.

If you’re looking to take a day trip:
Take a ride and spend the day in Stamford, Connecticut. Start off at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, where kids can marvel at the low-tech toys on display in the “Dolls, Toys, and Teddy Bears: Playthings of Yesteryear” exhibit. Or, if your kid has a killer sweet tooth, take them to see the “Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects” exhibit, where local chefs create out-of-this-world gingerbread creations. At night, move on over to the Stamford Center for the Arts for Cirque D’Or, at which the famed Golden Dragon Acrobats put on a high-flying show that incorporates traditional dance, costumes, and music. Performances are on November 27 and November 28.

What’s going on further north, Hudson Valley? Share your plans in the comments box below!


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About This Blog

Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY


Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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