Special Events

The 11 Best Thanksgiving Events to Attend When You’re Not Busy Eating

When you’re not gorging on potatoes and pie, give thanks to New York’s cornucopia of happenings.

Photo courtesy of Bronx Night Market/Facebook

We may spend most of our November energy prepping for the year’s biggest dinner, but there’s more to Turkey Day than feasting to our heart’s content. At its core, Thanksgiving is about the time we spend with our loved ones. Whether that involves designing the perfect cheese board or dominating your dad at flag football is your call, but we have 11 juicy outings around Thanksgiving to get you into the holiday spirit.

Touchdowns and Touched Hearts

Instead of gloating about how you’re better at football than whomever’s currently playing on TV, prove it! Williamsburg’s newest boutique hotel is hosting a flag football game at the nearby East River State Park, with donations going directly to the local nonprofit Coalition for the HomelessThe Hoxton, 97 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg; Saturday, November 23; noon–2 p.m. 

Photo by Dave Adamson/Unsplash

Jokes About Thanksgiving’s Sordid History

News flash: Your textbooks lied to you about the pilgrims’ intentions. Learn the truth about every fourth Thursday of November, courtesy of Native American comedians Brian Bahe, Tai Leclaire, and Dash Turner at Park Slope’s Union Hall. Even better, their lighthearted approach to our country’s history won’t make you feel weird about Thanksgiving being your favorite holiday. Union Hall, 702 Union Street, Park Slope; Friday, November 22; doors at 9:30 p.m.

A Night With Arlo Guthrie

After more than five decades hosting his Thanksgiving concert, the legendary folk singer behind “Alice’s Restaurant” and “City of New Orleans” is ending his annual tradition after this year. His last show won’t be a melancholy affair, though; he’ll be joined by his daughter Sarah Lee and a secret lineup of some of his famous friends. Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue (at West 57th Street), Midtown; Saturday, November 30; 8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Arlo Guthrie/Facebook

Light Up Your Nights!

’Tis the season to get lit—the family-friendly kind of lit. Two incredible immersive light attractions—the Winter Lantern Festival in Snug Harbor and the new LuminoCity Festival on Randall’s Island—transform their respective temporary homes into twinkling nighttime wonderlands. Bundle up, grab some hot cocoa, and enjoy the show! Winter Lantern Festival opens Wednesday, November 20; LuminoCity Festival opens Saturday, November 23

Photo courtesy of LuminoCity Festival/Facebook

Build Your Cheese Board on Thanksgiving Eve

If you’re a hostess with the mostess or just a gracious guest, you’ll be plenty prepared for the big feast after Murray’s Cheese curdologist-led class—complete with wine and champagne—on how to build a dreamy, creamy cheese board. Murray’s Cheese, 254 Bleecker Street (between Leroy and Morton Streets), West Village; Wednesday, November 27; 6:30–8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Murray’s Cheese

Dine in an Igloo on Thanksgiving Day

We love feasting in traditional settings, though 230 Fifth is hosting a Thanksgiving celebration inside a most unconventional setting this year. Set atop its cozy heated rooftop, the buffet includes the classics—butcher block turkey, green bean casserole, three types of pie—along with a bird’s-eye view of NoMad. You can even reserve one of its 17 igloos to give thanks in style. 230 Fifth Rooftop, 230 Fifth Avenue (between West 26th and 27th Streets), NoMad; Thursday, November 28; 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Photo courtesy of 230 Fifth: Best Heated Rooftop Bar/Club/Restaurant In NYC/Facebook

Early Holiday Shopping, Bronx-Style

With Thanksgiving being so late, the holiday shopping season is going to feel a lot more crammed this year. Avoid the Black Friday crowds and get a head start at the inaugural Bronx Harvest Festival, where dozens of local artisans and small businesses will be selling their goods. And as an added perk for the kiddos, there will be plenty of activities (pumpkin carving, a hay maze, and a selfie station!) to keep them occupied. Fordham Plaza, Washington Avenue and East 189th Street, Bronx; Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17; noon–8 p.m.

Masterpieces Made of Cans

Who knew sculptures could be so tasty? Canstruction has blended art and charity into one eye-popping presentation for the past 12 years, and its large-scale artworks (made by some of the city’s brightest architects, engineers, and students) eventually get donated to City Harvest, feeding New Yorkers in need throughout all five boroughs. Your children will also have fun voting for their favesBrookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street (at West Street), Battery Park; through Thursday, November 21; 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Photo by Ashok Sinha/Courtesy of Canstruction New York

Wait to See the Infinity Room…for an Infinite Amount of Time

You’ve seen it on our Instagram, but see it for yourself! One of the most influential artists of the 21st century, Yayoi Kusama, is back in New York for an extended stint, beginning with the debut of her new Infinity Room. We suggest heading to one of our favorite neighborhood brunch spots, Citizens of Chelsea, to reward yourself for the wait…or just grab some doughnuts from nearby Donut Pub for in-line snacking. 537 West 20th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), Chelsea; through Saturday, December 14 (closed on Thanksgiving Day); 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Photo courtesy of David Zwirner/Facebook

Movies With the Addams Family

Join Club Cumming’s resident DJ, Bright Light Bright Light, for his weekly movie night/dance party. The theme this week? Arguably cinema’s most unconventional Thanksgiving flickAddams Family Values. Bedlam, 40 Avenue C (between East 3rd and 4th Streets), Alphabet City; Tuesday, November 26; doors open at 7 p.m.

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