Spending Thanksgiving in Boston? While we’re sure you’ve already got plans for the big meal itself, there’s plenty to do the rest of the holiday weekend that’s sure to delight family and friends.
If you’re researching some activities for Thanksgiving in Boston 2018, check out these suggestions of local activities and more seasonal things to do in November.
Save on Attraction Admission
Regular admission to a number of these Boston attractions are included on the Go Boston® Card.
Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
Please note, some of these special November events may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go Boston® Card.
Get in the holiday spirit with a visit to Plimoth Plantation, a recreated seventeenth-century village that encompasses authentic Native American and early Colonial settlements.
Engage with compelling actors as you explore real and reconstructed artifacts from the time period. And, in the Wampanoag Homesite, you’ll get the opportunity to chat with Native people eager to share their history with you.
Learn all about early relations between the Europeans and the Native Americans, and how the first Thanksgiving is said to have come about. There’s no better place to celebrate this holiday than at such a historic venue!
Before you go, be sure to check out our guide for visiting Plimoth Plantation!
Getting In: Plimoth Plantation tickets are included with the Go Boston® Card.
While most museums will be closed on Thanksgiving Day itself, there’s no better way to entertain out-of-town visitors than with a trip to one of Boston’s award-winning museums.
Got a lot of kids in the family? Bring them down to the Boston Museum of Science for an immersive educational experience that’s exciting and fun.
Hosting some art lovers? Spend an afternoon at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where art and history thrive in their magnificent collections of painting, craftwork, furniture, sculpture, and much more.
The MFA in particular has popular special exhibits on display around the holidays, including the darling “Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic,” which features the artwork and artifacts from this beloved childhood character and his friends.
Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.)
November 23, 2018
Join up with other smarty pants people at MIT and create a massive chain reaction as participants contribute their individual inventions or contraptions to the larger picture.
Marvel at how they all fit together, and learn a ton about science and engineering along the way. It’s a great activity for the kids!
Getting In: MIT Museum tickets are included with the Go Boston® Card. Tickets for F.A.T. are sold separately and are available at the museum.
New England Aquarium
In search of more science this November? Then you’ll want to visit the New England Aquarium to explore their popular new exhibit, “The Science of Sharks.”
Featuring sharks from around the world — mainly of the smaller variety — this exhibit highlights the unique features of different shark species.
You’ll get to see rare sharks hailing from halfway around the globe engage in distinctive behaviors, like watching a Halmahera walking shark “walk” across the reef with its fins.
There’s also a touch tank that allows you to actually interact with a few shark species. The kids will love it!
Getting In: New England Aquarium tickets are included with the Go Boston Card.
Boston Sightseeing Trolley Tour
If you’re looking for ways to entertain your out-of-town relatives, then a trolley tour sounds like a great option.
Choose this hop-on hop-off tour to give you and your family the flexibility to explore nine stops in different exciting Boston neighborhoods.
You can choose to stay on to learn something new about your own city (and introduce the relatives to your hometown), or get off and explore when something interests your party.
Getting In: Boston Trolley Tour tickets are included with the Go Boston Card.
The Nutcracker Ballet
The Boston Opera House
November 29 – December 30, 2018
Attend a performance of the Christmastime classic, The Nutcracker.
The Boston Ballet performs this perennial favorite at the Boston Opera House each year and the choreography is more enchanting and more beautiful with every season.
The Nutcracker’s opening performance marks the start of the holiday season for Bostonians, and it’s a real treat for anyone who loves Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece and its gorgeous pageantry and scenery.
While this falls the weekend after Thanksgiving this year, it’s still a great seasonal activity to enjoy with the whole family.
Getting In: Admission to The Nutcracker is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go Boston® Card. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the ballet’s website.
Boston Bruins Hockey
November 23, 2018
Are you or your family members big sports fans? Then you must catch a game at the world-famous TD Garden. This year, the Bruins are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins the day after Thanksgiving and it’s bound to be a stellar matchup.
Bruins games have been incredibly exciting this season so far, with promising young talent and accomplished veterans on the team — and some impressive wins.
Look out for special holiday pricing.
Getting In: Admission to Boston area sports events is not included with the Go Boston® Card. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website of your desired team.
Holiday Decorations at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall
November & December
Stop by historic Quincy Market to get a taste of “Blink!,” a stunning collection of festive decorations and Christmas lights that festoon the tree and pathways of the Faneuil Hall neighborhood.
For many local folks, the lighting of the tree at Faneuil Hall also marks the beginning of the holiday season and the start of many festive events.
Lights will be up the week before Thanksgiving, but you might want to save your walk for after Thanksgiving dinner, when you can use the opportunity to digest as you enjoy the lights.
Getting In: Admission to Quincy Market is free.
Fall Foliage & Other Natural Beauties
Head down to Jamaica Plain and stop by Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum for the chance to see the beauties of nature in full fall swing.
If you’re waiting until around Thanksgiving, then the foliage is likely to be faded, but that just means you’re in time to marvel at the evergreens!
Be sure to stop by their Bonsai Pavilion for a fun, unique experience. They also offer a number of guided tours and activities, so check out their event calendar before you go to see what’s on!
Getting In: Admission to the Arnold Arboretum is free.
Remember to Save on Attraction Admission
However you decide to spend the time with family and friends this Thanksgiving weekend, we’re sure you’ll find something rewarding and exciting to explore in Boston.
We listed just a few fun suggestions for things to do in November and Thanksgiving in Boston 2018. Of course, there are plenty of other activities to help fill your plans.
Remember, many of these great options are included on the Go Boston® Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
Please note, the November and Thanksgiving events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go Boston® Card.
Consider adding a few of these fun options to your November weekend itineraries.