Things to Do

Things to Do Around DC on Thanksgiving Day and Weekend

Need a break from cooking and eating? You've got lots of options.

Yayoi Kusama at the Hirshhorn Museum. Photograph by Evy Mages .

If you grow tired of sitting around on Thanksgiving—and the weekend after—there are plenty of things to do outside the house. Here’s where to bring the family, or sneak in some alone time.

See a Movie

Find a showing at your local theater, or catch a 40th Anniversary screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, which begins showing on Thanksgiving Day.

Visit a Smithsonian Museum

All Smithsonian museums will be open on Thanksgiving Day. This would be a great time to wow your out-of-town relatives with the infinity rooms at the Yayoi Kusama Exhibition at the Hirshhorn, or to check out the recently renovated Air and Space Museum.

Shop at the Downtown Holiday Market

The Downtown Holiday Market, held outside the National Portrait Gallery, will be closed on Thanksgiving day, but up and running on Thanksgiving weekend for outdoor shopping, eating, and live music. It’s open daily from noon to 8 PM and features over 70 exhibitors selling art, clothes, crafts, jewelry, and more.

Run a Turkey Trot Race

Gather up a crew to run a Thanksgiving day 5K or one-miler. Here are 13 races around DC, many of which benefit local charity organizations.

Volunteer Your Time

There are several organizations where you can donate goods or volunteer in person around the holiday.

Grab a Drink

Here’s a list of bars that will be open late the night before Thanksgiving. Some have extended hours for Thanksgiving and/or World Cup celebrations.

Visit a Farmers Market

A bunch of farmers markets around DC will stay open through December. Markets in Arlington, Foggy Bottom, Reston, Columbia Heights, Downtown Silver Spring, H Street NE, Monroe Street, Mount Vernon Triangle, Oakton, and Springfield will all be open Thanksgiving weekend. 

Buy a Christmas Tree

And of course, you can always embrace the holiday spirit early and visit a Christmas-tree farm, where you can make a day of chopping down your own tree. Here’s a list of places to get a tree.

Katie Kenny
Editorial Fellow