6 Festive Things to Do Thanksgiving Weekend

Get out with the family and have some fun!

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1. Pick out a Christmas Tree and support local nonprofits.

No time to trek into the wilderness, Griswold family-style, to find the perfect tree? No problem.  You may well find the spruce of your dreams at the Optimist Club’s Tree Sale in the Wells Fargo parking lot near the corner of Lee Highway and Glebe Road (starting Friday, November 23). Or from the Clarendon UMC Tree Sale, which starts Saturday, November 24. All proceeds from Clarendon UMC’s fundraiser will be donated to three charities: THRIVE, Wings of Caring and Rise Against Hunger.  Proceeds from the Optimist Club sale help to support academic, civic and sports programs in Arlington.


2. See The Grinch remake.

Dr. Seuss’ cult family classic has been remade with modern animation technology for a hilarious holiday tale. The film is playing in most theaters now, including AMC Shirlington, Regal Ballston Quarter and AMC Courthouse Plaza in Arlington—plus DC Cinemas in Falls Church. See individual theater websites for show times and ticket prices, which average between $8-13.


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3. Shop Small Business Saturday.

Support the small businesses you love. Saturday, November 24 is National Small Business Saturday, and many local retailers will be offering in-store deals. That includes a handful in Arlington, and more than 50 independently owned boutiques in Alexandria, where Old Town will be decked out with holiday decorations and a live DJ.


Photo by Cheryl Young

4. Run the Arlington Turkey Trot 5K.

Looking for a fun way to burn a few calories on Thanksgiving morning? The Arlington Turkey Trot is a non-competitive 5K race for families (and pets!), and themed costumes are encouraged. Advance registration required (there is no same-day signup), so click here. The fee is $45 for adults; $25 for kids. Children under 6 are free. Race proceeds benefit six local charities.


5. Go Ice skating at Pentagon Row.

Pentagon Row’s outdoor ice skating rink is officially open for the season with a beautiful view of the Pentagon City Christmas Tree and holiday decorations. Skate rentals available on site. You can sit rink-side and sip hot chocolate in between axels and sit-spins.

Greg Rakozy for Unsplash

6. Visit the David M. Brown Planetarium.

Check out “Season of Light,” a multicultural presentation that traces the history of some of the world’s most enduring winter holiday customs and solstice celebrations. Learn about a few Northern hemisphere winter constellations, find out why we have seasons, observe the Sun’s path across the sky throughout the year, and see the Earth’s tilt and orbit around the Sun. Appropriate for all ages; performances begin on Black Friday.

Categories: Community