Credit: @throughkelseyslens on Instagram

Thanksgiving is a time for laughter, love, and sharing. Bond with the people you love, doing your favorite activities as you celebrate in New York State.

Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available.

Originally published 11/06/2018

Turkey Trot

Turkey Trot in Troy

Kick your metabolism into high gear before the Thanksgiving eatathon begins with the annual Troy Turkey Trot, a tradition in the Capital-Saratoga region since 1916. Compete with a 5k, 10k, one-mile Turkey Walk and Grade School Mile—an event for everyone means bonding for the whole family.

The Parade

Confetti falls on Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade participants and the famed Tom Turkey float
Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Most people spend Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. But why do that when you can be a part of the action? Join thousands of spectators from across the country along the 2.5-mile parade route for a collective, colorful and invigorating day of thanks in Manhattan. Watching the floats with family and friends will make for memories you could never forget. For an added bonus, watch the giant balloons come to life at the annual inflation event the day before the parade.

Wine + Chocolate

milk chocolate truffles with white sprinkles from Samuels Sweet Shop
Credit: @samuelssweetshop on Instagram

What better way to detox from Thanksgiving dinner than with a celebration of wine and chocolate! Head to the New York State Fairgrounds Saturday, November 25 for the Syracuse Wine and Chocolate Fest to decompress from holiday stress with locally bottled varietals and locally made chocolates.

Go Shopping

Main Street in Cold Spring

With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, there’s no better time to get a jump on your holiday shopping than Thanksgiving weekend. Plan a trip to New York State’s charming villages, towns, and small cities to explore picture-perfect main streets full of specialty shops, cozy cafes, and world-class dining. Discover locally-made goodies, classic souvenirs, thoughtful keepsakes, and unique handmade items for gifts that your family and friends are sure to treasure forever.

Take a Hike

Cascading water at Cascadilla Gorge surrounded by vibrant fall foliage
Credit: @ms_albrecht on Instagram

How does exploring a scenic vista, air crisp and clear, after taking down some Thanksgiving leftovers sound? Grab your family and friends and a pair of hiking boots to travel some of the country’s most stunning vistas this holiday weekend—all right here in New York State.

Visit a Farmers' Market

A view of the Ithaca Farmer's Market sign with white lanterns hanging in the pavilion in the background
Credit: @travishydeproperties on Instagram

Alas—Thanksgiving has traditionally become a day allotted to giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest. Mark New York State’s harvest with a visit to a local farm or farmers’ market. Laugh with your family and friends as you wander through pumpkin patches and corn mazes, then pick up some locally-grown produce for Thanksgiving dinner.

Learn Some History

A man and a woman dressed in period clothes pull a wagon along a path at The Farmers' Museum on a fall day
Credit: @thefarmersmuseum on Instagram

Thanksgiving is also a tradition that can be traced to a feast in Plymouth in the early 17th century. Take this weekend to get back to your roots by delving into New York State history. Whether you prefer fine art, rustic crafts, science, or live history reenactments, there is a New York museum and/or historic site for just about everyone. Draw up your own path of heritage exploration using our Path Through History site.

Visit a Holiday Light Show

Two people look at an elaborate light display at LuminoCity Festival on Long Island
Credit: @luminocityfestival on Instagram

Once the Thanksgiving Day leftovers are safely stowed away in the fridge, get into the spirit of the winter holiday season by visiting a dazzling light show. Drive through the glowing groovy wonderland of Peace, Love, and Lights at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, stroll along the enchanting LightScape at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and see other spectacular displays including LuminoCity Festival (pictured) all across New York State.

Don't forget to post photos of your New York adventures on TikTokInstagram and Twitter with #iSpyNY and #ILoveNY and tag us on Facebook!