Thinking of doing a family vacation for Thanksgiving? This can be a wonderful alternative to doing the traditional big family reunion or dinner. Sometimes, it can all get a bit too hectic with the food prep, the hosting, the shopping, the home cleaning and more. Taking your immediate family on a vacation is a great way to bond with them in a way that still feels special and to make some amazing holiday memories together. Here are some wonderful family vacation destination ideas for Thanksgiving:
Why hit the big apple for Thanksgiving? 4 words: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This annual event is a must-do for families, at least once. Check out the giant balloons and extravagant floats go by. Don’t feel like standing in the crowd? There are many hotels surrounding where you can see the parade right from your room’s window or balcony. Check out the tourist favorites like Central Park, the Central Park Zoo, the Empire State Building, the Harry Potter store and more.
If your family is into history, this is the perfect place to take them. Plymouth is where the original Thanksgiving took place. Check out the site of the original colony settled by the Pilgrims who traveled on the Mayflower. Visit the historic 17th-century Plimoth Plantation that was once an old New England colonists’ village. Step back in time on the Mayflower II, a full-scale replica of the sailing ship. Check out Myles Standish’s sword, Bradford’s Bible and other artifacts at the Pilgrim Hall Museum. Plymouth also has a celebration with food festivals, live entertainment, parades, and a crafters village.
If you’re a cabin in the woods type of family, this is the perfect place for you. Gatlinburg is tucked away in the Smoky Mountains, one of the most popular family destinations in the country. If you go early enough in November, you’ll likely catch the changing leaves of the season. You can stay in charming vacation rentals like cozy cabins to mountain chalets. Enjoy a variety of activities and events like the Great Smoky Thanksgiving and Christmas Arts and Crafts Show is the perfect place to pick up unique holiday gifts. Here you’ll find ski resorts, ice skating rinks, snow trails and much more. Pack plenty of leggings, sweaters, jackets, shackets, boots and cardigans to prep for the cooler weather!
Want a getaway from all that cold? Go to the complete other extreme and head to a lush, tropical setting like Hawaii. November tends to be a less popular time to visit the Hawaiian islands, so it’s a great time to consider a vacation there. It does happen to be a rainier month, but you’ll still enjoy the dry side of the islands, like the southern or western coasts of Kauai, like Poipu, Wailea on Maui, Kailua-Kon on the Big Island or Waikiki on Oahu. If you visit Waikiki, there’s a local holiday parade, held the Friday after Thanksgiving each year. The parade commemorates Pearl Harbor by honoring survivors and veterans in memory of the attacks on December 7, 1941, with local Hawaiian bands, marching bands from the mainland and more. Be sure to bring your tropical outfits for some fun photo ops in this gorgeous vacation destination.