We’re doling out a plateful of our top Turkey Day tips.

When we think of Thanksgiving, we think of traditions. Whether yours is to get together with your family, bake your classic pumpkin pie, or yell at the TV with your friends watching football, we know how important holiday traditions are. But how about starting a few new Thanksgiving rituals right here on the Grey Lady? We’ve put together a list of Pro-Tips to help you create new favorite traditions in your favorite place.


1. Thursday Morning: Turkey Plunge

Before diving head first into your plate of turkey and trimmings, take a quick dip into the chilly waters at Children’s Beach for the 17th Annual Turkey Plunge. This annual Nantucket event is wildly popular, often hilarious, and always a great fundraiser for the Atheneum. Former Vice President Joe Biden is perhaps the most famous Plunge personality, but you never know what famous faces you might swim past. Grab your gaggle of family and friends and challenge each other to stay in the water longer – extra points if you dress in costume.


2. Thursday Late Morning: Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

After you’ve warmed up and changed into your favorite Thanksgiving-dinner-eating pants, settle in to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While it may take place in Manhattan, the famous filing of floats got its start on Nantucket. With a nice Mimosa in hand (or a hot chocolate for younger readers), you’ll be toasting to Nantucket history right from the comfort of your couch. Or, head in to town and watch it over brunch at bACKyard Barbecue or the Brotherhood of Thieves.


3. Thursday Evening: Thanksgiving Dinner, Nantucket Style

Let’s talk about the turkey. If you’re the cook in the house, you buy it, you clean it, you dress it, you stuff it, you cook it… we’re getting tired just listing the steps! Which is why one of our top Turkey tips is to skip cooking it altogether and let someone else do it for you. There are a plethora of restaurants to choose from for a delicious (and stress-free) Nantucket Thanksgiving, including Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant, Company of the Cauldron, and Oran Mor. Just don’t forget to indulge in some Nantucket cranberry sauce on top!


4. Friday Morning: Black Friday Sales

If it’s even possible to imagine, Black Friday shopping on Nantucket is not hectic – in fact, it’s darn near delightful. Most of the shops in town will reopen on Friday with sales galore and all of their holiday offerings on display. There’s no pushing and shoving, only adorable Nantucket-themed trinkets and shopkeepers ready to help you find the perfect gift. Topping off the charm and good cheer is the Holiday Red Ticket Program. At participating local businesses, Red Tickets will be given out with a $25 purchase. On Christmas Eve, a drawing of the Red Tickets will be held and five lucky winners will win $1,000, with an additional winner landing the grand prize of $5,000.


5. Friday Evening: Tree Lighting Ceremony

Watch in wonder as Main Street comes alive with a holiday glow. In the days leading up to the beloved ceremony, community members decorate over 150 mini balsam trees lining the streets of Town. On Friday night, the Town Crier invites locals and visitors to take in the lighting of the Main Street Trees and officially kick off the holiday season. Enjoy hot chocolate and sing along to Christmas carols with the Nantucket High School a cappella group The Accidentals & the Naturals. A very Nantucket Noel indeed.


6. Saturday Evening: John Kerry & David Gregory

Wrap up the busy holiday weekend with a very special one-night-only event featuring John Kerry at the Dreamland. The former Senator, Secretary of State, presidential candidate, and Nantucket summer resident returns to the Rock to chat with CNN Political Contributor David Gregory. The politician and political pundit are kicking off a new series at the Dreamland called, fittingly, “Dreamland Conversations.” Bonus: he will be doing a book signing for his new book Every Day is Extra immediately after the live discussion. Though this event is a one-time-only special, we hope our list of Pro-Tips will help you find a few new special traditions to keep up every Thanksgiving on Nantucket!

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