Things to Do

What to Do If You Want to Get Out of the House on Thanksgiving Day

5 Fun Outings With Family—or to Get Away From Them

See the holiday show “Season's Greenings: America's Gardens!” at the US Botanic Garden from November 28 to January 5. Photograph courtesy of the US Botanic Garden.

Staying in all Thanksgiving Day isn’t for everyone. Whether you need some fresh air or to work off that pumpkin pie, there’s plenty to do around town on the holiday.

Go See a Movie

The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is screening Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller North By Northwest in honor of the film’s 60th anniversary. You can see it at a matinee showing at 3:15 p.m. Tickets are $13 for general admission.

Check Out the Botanic Garden’s Holiday Display

The US Botanic Garden’s annual Season’s Greenings holiday show opens on Thanksgiving. Check out recreations of DC landmarks in the Garden Court and a decorated tree with a model train in the West Galley. The conservatory will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is free. Plus, most of the Smithsonian museums are open during the holiday.

Run a Holiday 5K

Join SOME for its 18th annual Thanksgiving Day Trot For Hunger. The 5K, which starts at Freedom Plaza, raises funds to fight poverty and homelessness in the District. There’s also a festival at Freedom Plaza with live entertainment, music, and games during the run. The timed race begins at 9 a.m. You can register here. For more holiday-themed 5Ks, check out this list.

Grab a Drink

We get it—hanging out with the family can be stressful. There are plenty of bars around the city that will be open if you want to grab a quick drink away from the madness.

Go for a Stroll Around the City

Feeling a bit stuffed after your holiday meal? Walk off those extra calories down by the National Mall. Plus, the Washington Monument will be open on Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Editorial Fellow

Madeline Rundlett is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She previously covered All-Met sports for the Washington Post and was an editorial intern at The Hill. Madeline graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in Political Communication in 2019.