Holiday Hits

13 Reasons to Leave the House This Turkey Day Weekend

Need to keep the clan happy and active during the long weekend? These Thanksgiving plans are fully baked.

By James Stevens November 13, 2018

Something to brighten those long winter nights: the Oregon Zoo's annual ZooLights opens Thanksgiving weekend and runs through January 5.

Thanksgiving with family should match your turkey: stuffed! (Avoiding excess time spent fretting over election results or grabbing “just one more” pumpkin ale.) Be it a family fête or an in-law invasion, more options are always better. Below, we dish up 13 family-friendly ways to get up, get out, and tour the town with your crew.

Thursday, November 22

  • Thanksgiving Day Runs 
    8:30 a.m., Tigard, Hillsboro, Portland, $33 for adults
    Earn that post-dinner immobility with a quick holiday 5k on Thanksgiving Day morning. Starting locations are in Tigard, Hillsboro, and downtown Portland, with a separate quarter-mile trot for the tykes.
  • Thanksgiving Day Ecstatic Dance
    10 a.m.–noon, location TBA, $20–25 
    If the afternoon is about consumption, make the morning about catharsis. Give your gratitude an outlet with dance instructors Meshi Chavez and Winky Wheeler as they lead a two-hour session of movement and mindfulness.
  • Andina Thanksgiving Dinner 
    1–8 p.m., 1314 NW Glisan St, $65 for ages 12 and up, half price for children
    Why risk a culinary catastrophe? Head to family-owned Andina and let executive chef Cliff Denny serve you a three-course Thanksgiving with Peruvian palette. Turkey breast with aguaymanto compote? Yes, please.   
  • Rum Club Thanksgiving 
    8 p.m.–1 a.m., 
    720 SE Sandy Blvd, prices vary
    And if your family is older? Say, over 21? Maybe it’s time to shoo away the fall freeze in the cozy red-hued Rum Club. Because of all the things we’re thankful for, aged Guyana rum with lemon oil, Torino vermouth, and orange and falernum Bitters (aka the "Pedro Martínez”) is pretty high on the list.

Friday, November 23

  • Pioneer Square Tree Lighting
    5:30 p.m., Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE
    Join thousands downtown for the city’s unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, complete with sing-a-longs, musical performances, and a 75-foot Douglas fir bright enough to light your way into 2019.
  • Wine Country Thanksgiving
    Various times and locations from Nov 23–25, prices vary
    You’ve made it past the big day. Now, celebrate with 130 of your best friends—if your friends are 130 local wineries wooing you with special varietals, food pairings, and live music.
  • The Holiday Express
    Various times on weekends from  Nov 23–Dec 16, $20 and up for adults, $13.50 and up for children under age 12 
    All aboard! Leaving from Oaks Park, this round-trip 45-minute wilderness ride along the Willamette River on the Oregon Pacific Railroad will include decorated passenger cars, scenic views, and “he who will not be named.” Oh, wait. Never mind. It’s Santa.

Saturday, November 24

  • Shanghaiers, Saloons and Skullduggery: A Walking Tour of Portland
    4–6:30 p.m., 118 NW Couch St., $18
    What happened in Old Town stayed in Old Town. That is, until historian Doug Kenck-Crispin dug it up, dusted it off, and decided to scare you with it. Learn about the bars, bordellos, and debauchery of Portland’s past.
  • Portland Scavenger Hunt
    Various times departing from Pioneer Courthouse Square, $49 for teams of 2–5 people
    Forgot to make plans? No problem. Schedule your own self-guided 3-hour recreational recon of downtown. Starting at Pioneer Courthouse Square, use your phone to solve clues and explore the Portland Art Museum, Powell’s City of Books, historic hotels, and more.
  • Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree
    Various matinee and evening times, Keller Auditorium, Nov 23–Dec 2, $20–60
    Since 1962, members from local choirs (now representing over 130 congregations) have come together to sing in the season, weaving in a heartfelt holiday story. These rousing solos, dances, and traditional standards will have you saying “Hallelujah.” Literally.

Sunday, November 25

  • Blazers Versus Clippers
    9 p.m., Moda Center
    We’ve waited a while to say it, but: the Blazers are for real! Track down a ticket and watch Dame and company sink the Clips.
  • Christmas Bazaar
    Nov 24–26, Expo Center, FREE
    The turkey is long gone and your nerves are shot, but what about your consumer cravings? Take your naughty or nice list to the Portland Expo Center for more than 300,000 square feet of retail therapy.
  • “Zoolights” at the Oregon Zoo
    Evenings from 5 p.m., Nov 21–Jan 5, $12.95–17.95 
    Before the weekend wraps up, make one more stop at the Zoo. Ride the lighted train before making a date with the Humboldt penguins and a hot cocoa. That is, unless 1.5 millions lights aren’t your thing (and your heart is ice)…
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