Are you spending Thanksgiving weekend in Vermont this year? That's great! Although it is a time for families to come together, you know that, like clockwork, the excitement of spending that much quality time with your loved ones usually wears off before you've finished the first round of leftovers for lunch on Friday. 

After several football games and rounds of cards, when everyone politely starts getting on each other's nerves, you know it is time to get out of the house. You may ask, "what else can we all do that doesn't involve black Friday shopping?" (Not that there's anything wrong with supporting our local retailers.) Luckily, Thanksgiving Weekend is packed with fun activities. Check out some of our favorite things you can do with your family. 



Santa Parade | Burlington

Burlington officially kicks off the Holiday Season with Santa! He makes his way up the Church Street Marketplace on Friday at noon. The Parade starts at the City Hall Block and ends on the Mall block, where kids can visit Santa at Homeport. He will pose for photos and hear what children dream about finding under their tree this year.


Holiday Market | Burlington

"Tis the season! Spend the afternoon shopping, strolling, and soaking up the season's spirit at this magical outdoor market. City Hall Park will be the place to connect with a rotating group of 20 outstanding local artists, makers, and food vendors. Cozy firepits, hot cocoa, and some of the best bites in BTV will keep you warm while you browse unique handmade goods crafted with care by talented VT makers. 

Tree Lighting | Burlington

Join holiday revelers on Friday at 5:00 pm for Vermont's version of the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony. Carolers will sing holiday favorites in front of the 30-foot tree, with the show culminating in the illumination of over 100,000 lights.



Tree Lighting on Church Street




Sled Dogs | Burlington

Join ECHO on Saturday from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm in welcoming the October Siberians Sled Dogs back to ECHO as they celebrate the start of the winter season! Learn about this incredible team of huskies before meeting them up close on their terrace. Check our website for presentation times.


Hot Chocolate Tasting | Burlington

Gourmet chocolate maker, Lake Champlain Chocolates, is hosting a free hot chocolate tasting at their Pine Street location from 12:00-4:00 pm on Saturday. Sip and sample a flight of their hot chocolate, made from the highest quality organic and Fair Trade Certified Ingredients.


Nutcracker Ballet | Burlington

The Albany Berkshire Ballet presents a thrilling performance of The Nutcracker on Saturday at 3:00 pm at the Flynn. Set to Tchaikovsky's famous score, all of the characters you know and love, like Uncle Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker Prince, the Mouse King, and the Sugar Plum Fairy, tells the story of Clara's magical Christmas Eve dream she has on Christmas Eve.   







Winter Lights | Shelburne

Shelburne Museum shimmers, sparkles, and shines during Winter Lights, their annual holiday extravaganza. Beginning Friday, November 25. fourteen buildings and gardens, including the Ticonderoga, will be lit with holiday lights for all to enjoy. While there, you can warm up with a warm beverage and snack from the Weathervane Café. 

This ticketed event runs through January 1, 2023.