We have a family tradition at our house on Thanksgiving day that goes something like this. We sleep late, eat sweet rolls, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, and then head over to someone else’s house for dinner. With the exception of 2016 when I had a momentary lapse of sanity and decided to host, this has been our tradition every year.
Traditions are big in Texas, especially around Thanksgiving time it seems. We have friends whose Thanksgiving tradition is a pre-dawn rush to the mall at zero-dark-thirty on Black Friday. And I have relatives whose Thanksgiving tradition is to get ready for Christmas by putting up and decorating their Christmas tree. The way they see it, everyone is home, so why not? By comparison, our Thanksgiving tradition seems a little dull, but hey, I’m all for any tradition that includes sweet rolls.
If you’re looking for a new tradition, or just ready to replace an old one, check out these fun, family-friendly activities for Turkey Day weekend.
Get up early Thanksgiving morning and help out some worthwhile programs at the Dallas YMCA’s annual Turkey Trot in downtown Dallas. You have your choice of an 8-mile race or a family-friendly 5K run/walk. And the kids can participate in a 1K Junior Trot. As always, costumes, dogs, and strollers are welcome. If you aren’t a runner (I, myself, fall into the NON-runner category) fear not, because there will be lots of fun activities for those of us cheering from the sidelines. Fort Worth Y is holding it’s 37th annual Turkey Trot for those interested in burning off that extra slice of pumpkin pie. There will be a 10K run, a 5K run/walk and a 1K Gobbler Trot for the kiddos. And for those of you who live in the Denton area, the Denton Area Running Club is holding its 3rd annual Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning. Proceeds from the 5K Run/Walk and the kid’s Gobble Wobble will benefit the Denton Community Food Center.
Another excellent way to get out of that turkey-induced fog is to grab the kids and do a little ice skating at Panther Island Ice, Fort Worth’s only outside ice skating rink. The popular rink is open on Thanksgiving Day and every day (including Christmas Day) through Jan. 14. Admission is $12, which includes skate rental.
Take the family for a stroll through the Dallas Arboretum. The beautiful ornamental gardens will help everyone relax and forget the Thanksgiving drama. If you’ve got a family that’s ready for the yuletide season to begin you’re in luck because the elaborate The 12 Days of Christmas exhibition is currently on display. The exhibit features a collection of life-size Victorian gazebos–12 to be exact–that are filled with costumed characters and scenery made in the theme of the famous Christmas carol. The kids will have fun spying the small details–our favorites were the sleeping kitties in the Eight Maids-a-Milking gazebo–and it will remind grandma and grandpa of fancily decorated store windows from Christmases past.
If getting into the holiday spirit is what the family wants then take them to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum for the “Deck the Halls and Welcome All” exhibit. The show is a look back at Christmas at the White House in 2006 when color schemes of scarlet, crimson and fuchsia accented the traditional touches of the holiday decorations. The exhibit features behind-the-scenes photos and a replica of the Blue Room White House Christmas tree.
If you simply can’t stay away from the mall this weekend, be sure to take time out from your shop-o-palooza to catch Missile Toes, the famous ice skating, back-flipping, pyrotechnic Santa Claus at Galleria Dallas. For two special performances on Friday at noon and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., the big guy will be performing with local children around the country’s tallest indoor Christmas tree as part of the Grand Tree Lighting Celebration. He’ll also play host to an array of national and international skating celebrities this holiday season, including 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis.