When the football games have wrapped and your card game banter has gone from friendly to feisty, it's a universal sign: time to escape the living room. Wondering how to dodge the Black Friday frenzy while still having a blast? (Hey, we love supporting local, but variety is the spice of life.) Good news: Thanksgiving Weekend in Burlington is anything but dull. Dive into our curated list of family activities that offer a slice of our distinctive local culture. Because here, holidays are an adventure, not a routine.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD

Hotel Vermont | Thanksgiving Dinner at Juniper | Burlington

Booking for Hotel Vermont's Thanksgiving Dinner feast kicks off October 15 for their in-house guests. Ring Juniper at +1 802-651-5027. For everyone else, you can reserve a spot on Resy starting October 22. Juniper's holiday spread boasts Red Hen rolls, a savory sweet potato soup, zesty autumn greens, hearty VT turkey with accompaniments, a choice of distinct pies, and warming beverages to wrap it all up.

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH

 

Santa Parade | Burlington

Ah, the Santa Parade—a tradition, yet far from ordinary here in Burlington. Mark your calendars for Friday, November 24th at high noon. Watch St. Nick defy convention as he ambles up Church Street Marketplace. Starting at the City Hall Block and culminating at the Mall Block, little revelers can catch Santa at Homeport. Get a snapshot and whisper those unorthodox wishes for the holiday tree.

Phil Hanley |  Vermont Comedy Club - Burlington

This Thanksgiving weekend in Burlington, get ready for comedian Phil Hanley's side-splitting performance. Phil's unique comedy style, blending reflective humor with sharp accuracy, guarantees an evening of non-stop laughter. As you enjoy the festivities of the holiday weekend, don't miss the chance to catch Phil's live show at a local venue – a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving plans!

Tree Lighting | Burlington

Join us at 6PM sharp for an extraordinary beginning to the holiday season. It's not just a tree lighting; it's an experience. Bag O' Chips Productions graces us with a twist on a classic holiday play. Carolers serenade you beforehand, but don’t expect the usual tunes. When the clock hits 6, the Marketplace erupts in a luminescent cascade—100,000 lights, including our towering 30+ foot tree, make a gleaming statement that's uniquely Burlington.

Tree Lighting on Church Street

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25th

 

Free Hot Chocolate Tasting | Lake Champlain Chocolates 

Sip, Sip, Hooray! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 25th, from 12-4pm, and head to the newly renovated Flagship Store at 750 Pine Street. It's Small Business Saturday, and you're in for a treat with a FREE tasting experience that's perfect for the entire family. Get ready to redefine happy hour as you discover America's top-notch hot chocolate. Sample an entire flight of hot chocolate and savor your way to an extraordinary chocolate moment. Don't miss out on this delicious adventure!

 

GMAA Turkey Trot! | Burlington

Join the 46th Annual GMAA Turkey Trot 5K Food Drive on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, at 10 a.m. The course offers a scenic 5K loop on the UVM women’s cross-country course with excellent footing on cinder/paved paths, grass, and even some single track—perfect for a holiday run. It's a fantastic way to kick off your Thanksgiving celebration with a dash of fitness and community spirit!

 

 

ALL WEEKEND

 

Winter Lights | Shelburne

 

Shelburne Museum doesn’t just light up; it dazzles. From November 24th through January 6th, 5PM-8PM, the museum transforms into a luminescent gallery. The campus gets adorned in a grand spectacle of lights, harmonized with a musical backdrop. It's an extravaganza that makes you rethink what a holiday light display can be.

 

BTV Winter Market | Burlington

Come on down to City Hall Park for a weekend of shopping locally! Join in on the fun as BCA and Love Burlington have put together a collection of local artists showcasing some of the most unique and eclectic gifts for the holiday season. Explore Church Street and the beautiful Tree Lighting Ceremony and discover great Holiday Shopping! 

 

Winter Lights in the Park | Essex

 

Stroll through Maple Street Park this holiday season and let the holiday lights glow in the magic of the season. Scan the QR code at the entrance and embark on a quirky scavenger hunt. Will you spot all the elusive ornaments nestled in the trees? Open to all ages, from November 23rd to January 1st