Spending your Thanksgiving in Washington, D.C. and the DMV area? Looking for things to do? We've got you covered. We have some fun ideas for things to do in November to help make the most of your holiday weekend. You could be taking family members out to see the sites or exploring new attractions in your hometown. Whatever you're planning on doing, there is something for everyone in DC. Check out our list of top DC attractions for Thanksgiving below, including...

  • George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation
  • Washington Walks Tour
  • Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens
  • Holiday Parade
  • Christmas Village
  • And more!

Consider adding a few of these attractions to your Thanksgiving in DC itinerary.

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these Washington DC attractions is available on the Go Washington DC Pass®. Choose as you go from top attractions and save up to 47% on combined admission vs paying at the gate. See all available DC passes, attractions & prices. Please note, some of these special November events may be separately ticketed and not included in the Go Washington Pass.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

washington dc thanksgiving go city Image credit: University of Virginia.
We tend to think of Thanksgiving as being rooted in Pilgrim traditions from colonial New England. But did you know that the official Thanksgiving holiday was created by our first President, George Washington? Visit Washington’s home and library to see where this original proclamation is stored. See what life was like when Washington first asked the country to give thanks. There is no better time to visit this attraction than on Thanksgiving itself. So make sure this is on your itinerary! George Washington's Mount Vernon is also just a fantastic place to visit for history buffs. The house, grounds and winter gardens are worth a few hours of your time. Getting In: Admission to George Washington's Mount Vernon is available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Go for a Family Bike Ride

washington dc thanksgiving go city Image credit: Bicycling.com
Fall is a wonderful time of year to cycle in DC. The weather has finally cooled down (for the most part), and the majority of tourist crowds are thinning out. Ride around the Tidal Basin and the National Mall for nice paths that attract local bikers and runners. Or brave the city streets and pedal to your next destination. (Don't worry - many streets have bike lanes.) Cycling around DC is a great way to see the city at your own pace. And a way to work up an appetite for your Thanksgiving dinner! Getting In: DC Bike Rentals by Bike and Roll DC are available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Washington Walks Tours

washington dc thanksgiving go cityAnother great way to enjoy D.C.'s beautiful fall weather is with a guided walking tour. These expert local guides will escort you throughout the city on themed excursions. They will target specific areas of the city, like "Get Local," which focuses on local neighborhoods. Tours that will be running around Thanksgiving are "Embassy Row," "U Street," "and "National Mall Memorials". On the Sunday after, you'll get to choose from "Georgetown" and "Women Who Changed America". Remember to dress in layers, because you'll likely be a bit chilly. D.C. weather can be quite brisk this time of year. Getting In: Washington Walks Tour tickets are available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens

If you're hoping to spend some time with nature, then you have to visit the lovely Hillwood Estate. Located in Northwest D.C., this lovely estate comes complete with year-round gardens and a well-curated museum. Enjoy their Fall Garden around Thanksgiving to get into the festive spirit. Getting In: Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens tickets are available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Holiday Parade

Reston Town Center November 29, 2019

The holiday parade in Reston Town Center is a great way to kick off the holiday season. After you’re done digesting and shopping, of course. Enjoy a full day celebration (complete with requisite Santa Claus appearance) that the kids will love. The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is an especially popular part of the day’s events. While you're there, join in the festive Claus family sing-along. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can run the Gingerbread Man Mile that morning, too! Getting In: Admission to the Reston Town Center Holiday Parade is free.

Season’s Greenings

United States Botanic Garden Dates TBA

washington dc thanksgiving go city Image credit: U.S. Botanic Garden.
Immerse yourself in a beautiful exhibit at the United States Botanic Garden on the Capitol grounds. Their festive garden will be on display from around October through the holiday period, making it a great Thanksgiving activity. Check the United States Botanic Garden website for updates on this year's theme and dates. You can also enjoy live seasonal music on selected Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout December. Getting In: Admission to the United States Botanical Garden holiday exhibits is free.

Christmas Village

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor November 23 – December 24, 2019

https://vimeo.com/81540377 Launching around Thanksgiving, the Christmas Village in Baltimore is a tremendously popular local attraction. This German-style event combines the best of bespoke holiday shopping with fun Christmas entertainment. Plus delicious food and drink, of course. It’s a great way to ring in the holiday season and is a fun alternative to commercial shopping. The Christmas market has a strong showing of authentic German traditions and craftwork. Getting In: Admission to the Christmas Village in Baltimore is free. Some minor admission fees apply to indoor areas on select weekends; admission can be purchased in person.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

We listed just a few fun suggestions for things to do in November and Thanksgiving in Washington DC 2019. Of course, there are plenty of other activities to help fill your itinerary. Remember, many of these great options are available on the Washington DC Explorer Pass®. You can save up to 47% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate. Please note: the November and Thanksgiving events may be separately ticketed and not included with the Explorer Pass. Consider adding a few of these fun options to your November weekend itineraries.

Share your trip with us

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and share your adventure with us. Tag us at @GoCity on your travel photos to keep us up to date with your vacation!