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How to celebrate Thanksgiving in Boston

Plan your Thanksgiving in Boston—from finding the perfect wine for your feast to running a traditional Turkey Trot.

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni
Written by
Time Out Boston Staff
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Want something to do around Thanksgiving in Boston? Whether you're looking to go out with friends from home or trying to plan the perfect holiday feast for your family, we've got you covered. From Thanksgiving meal prep to calorie-burning outdoor activities, these seasonal festivities are fun for all. If you don't feel like cooking this Thanksgiving, dine out at one of the best Boston restaurants open on Thanksgiving or grab takeout from these local eateries offering Turkey Day feasts to go

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Thanksgiving in Boston

  • Restaurants

Make dessert taste even sweeter this Thanksgiving by buying a customary pie through Community Servings’ annual bake sale, Pie in the Sky. Now in its 29th year, the seasonal fundraiser allows folks purchase pies prepared and donated by more than 150 local chefs, bakers and restaurants, with proceeds supporting the Jamaica Plain nonprofit. Pies—whose flavors include pumpkin, apple, pecan and sweet potato—go for $30 a pop and enable Community Servings to provide critically and chronically ill community members with tens of thousands of scratch-made, diet-specific meals throughout the year. There are pie pick-up points conveniently scattered throughout the Bay State and, if you’re not much of a dessert person, you can always purchase a pie for a Community Servings’ client and their family instead.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

During the holidays, gathering with family and friends is key—and fortunately, Woods Hill Pier 4 is giving Bostonians another way to come together and get cozy. The Seaport restaurant has brought back its outdoor igloos for the season, so you and your loved ones can snuggle up and enjoy farm-to-table eats and craft cocktails on the waterfront, with epic views of the city skyline. Full seasonal dinner and brunch menus are available in these heated oases, which can seat two to six people. Pricing varies and reservations are required, so be sure to book an igloo beforehand.

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  • Shopping
  • West Cambridge

An impressive Thanksgiving dinner begins with impressive hors d'oeuvres. Formaggio Kitchen has everything you need to wow your guests. Peruse cases full of artisanal cheeses from around the world, then move on to charcuterie and the perfect complementary condiments. Pick up a few sweet treats for after dinner, too. For dinner itself, you’ll find plenty of interesting grains, beans, salts, spices, and other ingredients to make a spectacular dish.

The best way to prepare for a massive turkey dinner is a brisk 5K on Thanksgiving morning. The Franklin Park Turkey Trot is a beloved Thanksgiving Day tradition, returning to its in-person glory this year. Join diehards for this Turkey Day run on November 25 at 9am. Racers of “all ages and paces” are welcome, including folks with strollers and friendly, leashed dogs. Register online ahead of time.

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  • Travel

You're going to have to earn those Thanksgiving calories, so why not take a hike or two? There are plenty of quality hikes near Boston that are easy to get to. Whether it’s climbing a lung-busting hill or exploring trails through scenic wooded reservations, these Boston hikes offer relaxation and a healthy dose of fresh air that will have you ready for Thanksgiving.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Jamaica Plain

Walk off all the turkey and sides by strolling around the famous arboretum, open daily including on Thanksgiving. Search for the last remaining splashes of fall color as you enjoy fresh air and natural beauty. After some fresh air and a brisk stroll, you might just be ready for some leftovers.

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