What To Do on Thanksgiving Day (Besides the Obvious) in Connecticut - Fairfield County 2013
Sometimes, there is nothing better than having your whole family over to your home for Thanksgiving dinner. And sometimes, there is nothing better than shipping your whole family to your sister’s house across town for Thanksgiving dinner! Let’s face it; peeling, prepping and cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal can be exhausting. But should you find yourself not chained to your oven this Thanksgiving, you may have some time on your hands. Lucky you - there are some fabulous CT Thanksgiving traditions to get out and enjoy with or without your kids!
1. Southport’s Pequot Turkey Trot
There is no better way to kick off Thanksgiving - hosting or not! - than by heading to Southport for the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. For runners, there is a 5 mile, flat, shore run. For walkers - and strollers, which are banned from the running course - there is a 2.5 mile loop. Register early for an early bird discount and free T-shirt. So dust off the running shoes, and join the trot! The views are lovely, the atmosphere is festive, and you’ll feel great! The run kicks off at 8:15; make sure to get there early so you have plenty of time to park.
Wakeman Boys and Girls Club, 385 Center Street, Southport, CT, 203.557.0672
2. The Great Turkey Escape
If you're looking for a shorter Thanksgiving run, consider heading to Redding for their Great Turkey Escape. The 5K run starts at 8AM, followed by a kids 1K at 9AM. The entry fee is $35 for the 5K and $15 for the 1K.
306 Umpawaug Road, Redding, CT
3. Brunch at Bill Miller’s Castle
Not up for lacing up the running shoes on Thanksgiving morning? Head north on Rte 1 to Bill Miller’s Castle for a lovely brunch instead. The brunch menu includes omelets, Belgian waffles, a carving station and a host of delicious pies. Seatings run from 11am - 2:30pm and the prix fixe is $34.95/adult, $16.95/under 12, $5.95/under 5.
834 East Main Street, Branford, CT, 888.514.5551
4. Bridgeport Rescue Mission
When you’re lucky enough to have food on the table most days, it feels pretty amazing to help out those who aren’t as lucky. The Bridgeport Rescue Mission has been helping feed the people of Fairfield County for almost 20 years, and on Thanksgiving Day volunteers distribute meals and coats to families in need. Volunteers are also needed in the days prior to Thanksgiving to pack the meals - call the Bridgeport Rescue Mission to learn how you can participate.
1088 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT, 203.333.4087
5. Local high school football rivalries
Football is a staple of Thanksgiving! While the Packers vs. the Lions may be the game of choice for afternoon entertainment, try checking out your local high school football game in the morning. Brookfield vs. Bethel, Greenwich vs.Westport, and Danbury vs. Ridgefield are a few of the local rivalries. Your kids may really enjoy cheering on their local team, connecting with friends, and perhaps a tailgate with...turkey sandwiches?
6. Family Hike, Anyone?
If it’s peace and quiet you’re craving, try heading out for a family hike either before or after your Thanksgiving meal. Check out the New Canaan Nature Center’s trail, a 2-mile loop that is manageable for even the smallest hikers. Post hike, your kids may enjoy the Nature Center’s new Play Garden, an interactive playspace with a Turtle’s Nesting Pit, an Eagle’s Nest and a Climbing Rock for little explorers. If this combo doesn’t tire them out, we don’t know what will!
144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT, 203.966.9577
7. The movies
Dying to catch up on those movies you haven't had a chance to see? Head to Stamford's Landmark Center on Thanksgiving Day to catch a movie. I'm thinking of seeing Freebird, starring Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson. Showtimes are 11:30, 2, 4:10 and 6:30.
5 Landmark Square, Stamford, CT, 06905
Finally, while I hate to even think about it, there will be several stores open on Thanksgiving Day. National chains that have stores opening at midnight - or even earlier - include Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy and Sears. I suppose that shopping is a better choice than tackling your 5th piece of pumpkin pie. Maybe.
But the bottom line it, if you’re itching to get out of the house, there are lots of fun things to do on Thanksgiving Day in CT. Of course, the age-old traditions of overeating and relaxing by a fire shouldn’t be missed either! Either way, Happy Thanksgiving!
Originally published 11/6/12.