Written By: Leise Trueblood

This year’s Thanksgiving is one-of-a-kind. Yet despite the pandemic, there are still many great ways to celebrate! Whether you’re quarantining solo or with a small group of family or friends, we have ten fun things you can do to keep your spirits up and entertained this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at N!

1. Watch this year’s special Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
You didn’t think the good folks of Macy’s were going to give up that easy, did you? Tune in Thanksgiving morning to watch this year’s unique Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which originally started here on Nantucket!). There will still be floats and entertainment, just no crowds this year. Snuggle up with your morning coffee (or a mimosa) and enjoy from the comforts of home.


2. Take the Virtual Turkey Plunge
If your Nantucket Thanksgiving typically kicks off with a chilly dip at Children’s Beach, you can still carry on the tradition safely this year! The Nantucket Atheneum is encouraging participants to get #FreezinForAReason at home this year, all in the name of raising money for the Weezie Library for Children. Get creative – use an ice bucket, take a dip in a pond or backyard pool, or just fill up the bathtub with ice! To register and find more information, click here.


3. Watch Theatre Workshop of Nantucket’s Home for the Holidays Special
Get in the holiday spirit with TWN’s Home for the Holidays Special, featuring classic seasonal tunes sung by local performers! Sing-a-long to favorites like “Jingle Bells”, “Snow”, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and more. Available to watch online only on November 26, 27, 28, and 29.


4. Have Thanksgiving dinner made for you
If you have to be away from family this year, we know one of the hardest parts will be missing Thanksgiving dinner. But there’s no reason not to have an incredible feast, even if you’re not the chef in the family. The Nantucket Hotel, Bartlett’s Farm, the Brant Point Grill, PPX Events, and Faregrounds will all be serving Thanksgiving dinners available for pick-up or dine-in. For more information, click here.


5. Watch the virtual tree lighting
One of this week’s biggest traditions is lighting the tree at the top of Main Street, and it will still take place – just virtually! No matter where you are this year, you can enjoy the beauty of Nantucket as we prepare for this one of a kind holiday season. The countdown begins Friday, November 27, and when the clock strikes 4:30 pm, over 150 tress will magically come alive in a blaze of light all over Nantucket Town. The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce encourages you to tune in and light your own tree at home at the same time to join in on the fun! For more information, click here.


6. Check out the Artists Association of Nantucket’s Faculty Holiday Showcase
We could all use a little extra art in our lives to cheer us up right now, and the Artists Association of Nantucket has 3 ways to brighten your quarantine surroundings: 1) You can purchase a one-of-a-kind stocking stuffer online through their Holiday Works sale, going on now. 2) You can see the pieces in person during their Holiday Small Works exhibit, starting November 27. Or 3) you can check out their Faculty Holiday Showcase & Sale, also going on now. Magnifique! For more information, click here.


7. Tune into Nantucket Book Festival’s At Home with Authors Series
Now that the 2020 election is behind us, we can take a moment to gather our perspective on all that lead up to it (and luckily, if you’re not meeting up with family this year, you don’t have to rehash all of it over dinner!). Tune in to hear author Ben Fountain join Michael Schulder of Wavemaker Conversations in a candid conversation about the state of our nation. To watch and listen online, click here, and for more talks in NBF’s At Home With Authors series, click here.


8. Wander through the NHA’s Festival of Trees
Not even COVID-19 can stop this favorite tradition this favorite tradition from lighting up the Whaling Museum. This year, the Festival of Trees is even opening early! In order to stay safe, the NHA is booking timed arrivals to enjoy the trees. For more information and to book your reservation, click here.


9. Shop, shop, shop!
One of the bright sides of this holiday season is that there won’t be big crowds for Black Friday sales. In fact, many stores have extended their sales to go for days to encourage distanced shopping. Peruse the windows around town and get your holiday shopping started early. Or, treat yourself to something special – we can all use a little extra treat this year! Make sure to bring your mask and hand sanitizer with you, and grab a coffee beforehand. As many stores have capacity limits, you may need to hang outside for a minute or two to wait for a safe space to shop. P.S. Keep an eye out for our Holiday Gift Guide coming this weekend! For more information on sales and holiday shopping programs, click here.


10. Raise a glass
We’re almost to the end of 2020 and that alone deserves a toast. Celebrate with a special bottle of booze from Épernay, or stop into Current Vintage for a hand-picked bottle of vino paired with cute cocktail napkins to dress up your Thanksgiving table. Looking for a little extra pick-me-up? Check out one of our cocktail tastings featuring a variety of spirits, including Monkey 47 Gin, Avion Tequila, or Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve. Cheers!

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