Best Thanksgiving Themed Events in New Jersey

Thanksgiving in New Jersey

Your guide to Thanksgiving in New Jersey:
Popular Holiday celebrations and things to do

What many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving took place in December 1621 as the religious separatist Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest.

The day did not become a national holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving, President Franklin Roosevelt later declared that Thanksgiving Day always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping.

While the turkey is generally served as the main dish for a Thanksgiving dinner, goose, and duck, and ham, are now sometimes served in place of the Thanksgiving turkey. Some other alternative recipes for a Thanksgiving dinner include the Chinese recipe for goose that could be used on the similarly-sized American bird. Vegetarians or vegan's usually have tofurkey, a tofu-based dish.

"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twenty minutes. Football Half-times take twenty minutes. This is not coincidence." - by Erma Bombeck

Note: Sometimes conditions require cancellations or changes of dates, times and location which are not reflected in the original schedule. Before planning a trip to visit one of the listed events, it is suggested that you call the event sponsor to confirm the event schedule or for additional information on the event.

2022 Thanksgiving Holiday Themed Events

Thanksgiving Celebration- Big House Ceremony
Thursday, November 17, 2022: 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Schiff Nature Preserve
339 Pleasant Valley Rd
Mendham, NJ
Cost: Member fee is $12 per child, Non- member fee is $15 per child
This event features an afternoon filled with fun, friendships and adventure as we walk the steps of the indigenous people who lived here long ago whose culture and customs closely followed the rhythms of nature, and they too celebrated this post-harvest time of year with a "Big House Ceremony" which had several characteristics very similar to our Thanksgiving traditions!
Visit the LENAPE! Shelter building, animal tracking, making coil clay pots and playing games Lenape children played are just a few of the many things children will enjoy as we discover the Lenape way of life!

Thanksgiving with the Keans

November 17, 2022: 6:00 pm 8:00 pm
Liberty Hall Museum
Kean University
1003 Morris Ave.
Union, NJ
Reserations. Must be 21 or older to attend. Reservations Required.
Cost: $50.00 +$2.75 Fee
Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, oh my! Are these a part of your Thanksgiving dinner? Join Liberty Hall for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – Kean Style! Using Kean family recipe books and other recipe books from the collection.
You are invited to give thanks at this historical meal! Learn about fun and different family traditions, as we celebrate together as a Liberty Hall family. An evening set for good food, good friends, and good times!

Colonial Thanksgiving Dinner Demonstration & 18th Century Table Customs
Sunday , November 20, 2022; 2:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Miller-Cory House Museum
614 Mountain Avenue
Westfield, NJ
Admission is $5 ages 13 and older; $3 ages 3-12, and free age 2 and younger.
A special day of thanks has been part of the American tradition since 1621. The Miller-Cory House Museum cooks will demonstrate the preparation of an early American Thanksgiving feast over the museum's open-hearth fire, using colonial recipes and seasonal ingredients. (Please note that this is a demonstration only; dinner is not being served.) Proper colonial dining also requires proper table customs. The program includes a presentation on authentic early American manners, place settings, and other interesting "table top traditions." Docents will be available to give visitors a "quick look" tour of the fully furnished colonial era farmhouse.

Thanksgiving Day Cruise - Perth Amboy
Thursday, November 24, 2022: 12pm - 3pm, Boarding 11:30am
Cornucopia Cruise Line
401 Riverview Drive
Perth Amboy NJ
Cost: Adults Ages 13+ $79.95; Children Ages 3-12 $59.96
A Thanksgiving feast…without the dishes and clean-up after! Let Cornucopia Cruise Line take care of all that hard work and provide you with a fantastic family experience.

Thanksgiving Day Cruise - Weehawken
Thursday, November 24, 2022; Board: 11:30am | Cruise: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Lincoln Harbor Marina
1500 Harbor Blvd
Weehawken, NJ
Cost: Adult $74.90, Adult Ticket with Guaranteed Window Table $99.90, Child (Ages 3-12) $59.90, Kids Free (Ages 2 and under
You and your guests will enjoy a celebratory lunch buffet with all the trimmings freshly prepared by their chef. While onboard, enjoy incredible views of New York City's iconic skyline, City Cruises' distinctive hospitality, full bar service, and festive décor.

The Fast and the Furriest 5K Turkey Trot
Thusday November 24, 2022; 8:30 AM
Music Pier
825 Boardwalk
Ocean City, NJ 08226.
Website / Registration
All events start and finish at Music Pier
The events include a 5k Run, 5K Walk, & a Kids One Mile Fun Run
All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Ocean City.

Read Feed Run Turkey Trot
Thursday, November 24, 2022: Starts at: 7:00 AM EST Ends at: 9:30 AM EST
Ginty Field
50 Woodland Avenue
Morristown, NJ
7:00 a.m. Packet Pick-up & On-Site Registration 8:30 a.m.
5K Run 8:45 a.m., 1 Mile Fun Walk/Run 9:15 a.m., Kids' Trot (12 & under)
9:30 a.m. Awards Ceremonyy
Proceeds from this event will help support the health and well being of eligible Morris County residents in need by providing access to food, nutrition education and related resources.

The Racefaster Thanksgiving Day Run
Thursday, November 24, 2022
460 Doremus Avenue
Glen Rock, NJ
Website / Registration
Turkey trot through the beautiful streets of Glen Rock, NJ. Join your friends, neighbors, and family for this annual tradition.
Two Races:
5k Run, $35; 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Kids Fun Run, $20; 9:45AM - 10:00AM

Two Town Turkey Trot! Lambertville – New Hope
Thursday, November 24, 2022; Registration 7:00am / Trot at 8:30am
11 Bridge Street
Lambertville, NJ
Before you sit down to your Thanksgiving feast this year, work off some pre-dinner calories at the 7th Annual Two Town Turkey Trot! The streets of Lambertville, New Jersey and New Hope, Pennsylvania will fill with runners working up an appetite for their turkey dinners this Thanksgiving morning as the Greater Lambertville Chamber of Commerce holds the 5-kilometer Two Town Turkey Trot and 1-mile health walk.
Starting and ending in downtown Lambertville, the course will take runners across the historic and charming Lambertville-New Hope Bridge, through the streets of bustling and festive downtown New Hope, back across the bridge and through Lambertville's historic downtown business district. Runners will be electronically chip timed. Participants who pre-register will receive a commemorative race shirt. Shirts will be limited to the first 1000 registered participants. . Prizes will be awarded to the winners!
Proceeds from this event will support the Chambers' programs and Fisherman's Mark, a local non-profit organization that serves those in need in all of the Delaware River Towns communities.

Gobble - Gobble Hike, South Mt. Reservation
Friday, November 25, 2022, 9:30 AM – 12:30
South Mountain Reservation
Essex County Dog Park
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Hike the Fairy Trail, Hemlock Fallls, Lenape Trail, and more Trail hike for 4-5 miles.
Coordinator: Risa Olinsky -Finish the will depend on the pace of the group. Estimate is 3 hours.
They will walk some newly blazed trails, in addition to the Fairy Trail and onto Hemlock Falls. Risa will have FreeWalkers SWAG for sale as well: Cash, check or venmo - all items $10. : Every year Gobble, Gobble has raised money for a charitable organization (even FreeWalkers) but this year they are partnering with The GENWEALTH GROUP (local financial adviser group) collecting coats for Jersey Cares Coat Drive. Have coats you don't need? Please bring them along to drop off at the start of the hike. Directions: Enter South Mt Reservation from South Orange Ave onto Crest Drive(from either east or west). Drive straight to where the road ends. Turn right onto Bear Lane. Park near the gazebo and look for the FreeWalkers banner by the dog park.

Tom O'Reilly Turkey Trot 5K
Sunday, November 27, 2022 10am - Noon) (Rain or Shine)
Colonial Park
156 Mettlers Road
Somerset, NJ US 08873
Schedule & Registration
Come and enjoy the new course, a fast, flat, two loops within beautiful Colonial Park. Bring the whole family and enjoy the park facilities.
Raritan Valley Road Runners (RVRR) is setting up a scholarship fund. Donations made to the club in Tom's name will be directed into this fund. A minimum of 10% of the profits from the Turkey Trot will go to this scholarship in Tom's Memory.

Other New Jersey Thanksgiving Things To Do