Check out these fun and low-cost things to do with kids for Thanksgiving in New York City, including turkey-themed crafts, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and holiday shows in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
It's the holiday we all look forward to: Thanksgiving! The day we lowly earthlings get to gorge on football and turkey. But Thanksgiving is also, in many ways, the culmination of autumn—a celebration of the harvest, gourds and pumpkins, and fall colors. Many November events celebrate the harvest season through activities that are not overtly about Thanksgiving, yet are in keeping with the spirit of the holiday.
Get Crafty in Queens
Drop by Tuesday-Friday throughout November to make Tree-Mendous Thanksgiving Cards at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City.
Kids ages 5-12 can also stop by the Auburndale Library in Flushing on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14 to make Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts, including seasonal decorations. FREE!
Learn About Native American Culture in Brooklyn and the Bronx
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights celebrates Native American culture throughout November with a handful of classes and activities. On Nov. 16-17, the Play Lab Workshop's Native New York will teach kids about the first people who lived in our area and how they lived. Another activity at the museum is Kidmade in Brooklyn: Cornhusk Dolls, in which kids learn an Iriquois story (The No Face Doll) and make the same doll that inspired the tale.
Celebrate corn and harvest time during a Family Art Project at Wave Hill in the Bronx on Nov. 23-24. Listen to tales told by Native American Danielle Soames, and hear the story of the first cornhusk doll. Then tie, weave, and shape dried husks into a single cornhusk doll or corny doll family.
Give Thanks in Queens
Kids can join Young Chefs: Giving Thanks at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Douglaston on Nov. 23 and prepare a delicious sweet potato soufflé and sautéed broccoli meal for themselves. They will be given a $5 coupon to go shopping in the APEC supermarket. The food the class purchases will be wrapped in a basket and given to a family in need for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Celebrate Thanksgivukuh in Manhattan
What happens when Thanksgiving and Chanukah fall on the same date? You light a menorah, baste a turkey, and celebrate! Catch the Thanksgivukuh spirit Nov. 24 at the Museum at Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side. Make Thanksgiving gelt, chocolate dreidels, Thanksgivukuh Art, and join the Great Dreidel Scavenger Hunt. (You just might find a turkey along the way!)
Join The Dirty Sock Funtime Band as it celebrates the spirit of Thanksgivukkah and the release of its new album, The Dirty Socks Come Clean, at Drom in the East Village on Nov. 10. Bring a new pair of socks or other new or gently used winter clothing item to donate to the Dirty Sock Funtime Band Menurkey Holiday Clothing Drive and you’ll be entered to win a special Thanksgivukkah prize.
Turkey with a Side of History in Staten Island
In Staten Island, Historic Richmond Town hosts a Thanksgiving Kitchen Tour Nov. 29-30 in which participants observe kitchens from the colonial era and learn about some Thanksgiving recipes from way, way back.
Let’s Have a Parade in Manhattan
Families who prefer to watch the parade at home in their PJs can still experience part of the live feat at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation the night before the big event (Nov. 27). Head to Manhattan’s Upper West Side to get a first look at the parade balloons, then enjoy the actual parade on Thanksgiving Day from the comfort of the couch. Nov. 27. FREE!
Enjoy one of America’s most beloved holiday traditions at the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Nov. 28. At this March of Magic, generations are dazzled by the pageantry and shear enchantment of 50-foot-tall balloons, spectacular floats, and of course, a visit from the Big Guy in the Red Suit. FREE!
Search for more fun and low-cost family activities in the NYC area in our full calendar of events