Fun Things to Do in the Triangle Over Thanksgiving
Make memories at museums and parks, on trails and at special events this week
You have lots of options to make fun family memories this week in the Triangle.
Photo courtesy of Jeannine Patel
Enjoy the Triangle with your family and friends during Thanksgiving week. Check out these ideas for family fun, and don’t forget to call ahead to ensure that venues are open.
1. Burn off those Thanksgiving dinner calories in a Turkey Trot. These short walk-run races are fun for the whole family no matter what shape you’re in. Check out this list of local options.
photo courtesy of josh duewer
2. Take in a light show. Many of these dazzling holiday light displays across the Triangle and the state begin this week.
photo courtesy of the chinese lantern festival
3. See the North Carolina Symphony’s special event concert “The Merry Elf!” on Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. A playful elf, sent by Santa to confirm the nice and naughty list, stumbles upon the best place to find holiday cheer — at Meymandi Concert Hall with the North Carolina Symphony, of course. This hour-long, family fun concert includes music from “The Polar Express” and “Frozen,” plus a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by WRAL’s David Crabtree. Arrive as early as 2 p.m. and visit with Santa in the lobby, get a festive face painting and learn about symphony instruments at the instrument zoo. Tickets are $28.
4. Take part in Historic Yates Mill County Park’s Thankfulness Project anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Nov. 19-21. Taking place in the park’s Finley Center, you and your kids can participate in this collaborative community art project celebrating what you’re thankful for, play a game of “Roll a Turkey” and take home your own pine cone turkey craft. No preregistration is necessary for this free activity.
photo courtesy of historic yates mill county park
5. Check out PlayMakers Repertory Company’s holiday musical, “She Loves Me,” at Paul Green Theatre on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus Nov. 14-Dec. 2. This musical comedy is suitable for all ages. View show times and purchase tickets, which start at $12, here.
6. Take a hike at one of the area’s many kid-approved trails and walkways. Given our recent rainy weather, double check to make sure trails are open at your intended destination.
photo courtesy of the terjanian family
7. Enjoy the stage version of the television classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. Shows run from Nov. 23-Dec. 24 and tickets start at $15. Kids younger than 12 months do not require a ticket.
photo courtesy of robert orazi
8. Explore one of North Carolina’s Rail Trails on a bike, on foot, scooters, or on skates. Flat, wide, clear trails run for miles through cities and rural areas alike. Given our recent rainy weather, double check to make sure trails are open at your intended destination.
photo courtesy of dave connelly
9. Visit the North Carolina Museum of Art and take in their permanent collection and limited exhibits like “Park Pictures,” “Transcience Emerging Artists Exhibition,” “The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art” and “Candida Höfer in Mexico.” It’s open every day this week except Nov. 19 and Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. The museum's park is open every day from dawn to dusk. Admission to the museum’s permanent collection and Museum Park are free, while “The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art” and “Candida Höfer in Mexico” have a fee and require tickets.
photo courtesy of the nc museum of art
10. Learn about our state’s past at the North Carolina Museum of History. It’s open all week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day.
photo courtesy of the nc museum of history
11. Explore seven floors of interactive exhibit spaces that span two city blocks at our own North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It’s the largest natural history museum in the Southeast United States, and it’s right here in the Triangle. The museum is open all week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day.
photo courtesy of the nc museum of natural
12. Give back to your community in the way that you choose. Visit Activate Good to search for volunteer opportunities by location, cause, skill, date and age of participant. There are so many of our neighbors in need — you can make their lives better this week and every week.