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

State of NJ

NJ COVID 19 Update:
At this this time, New Jersey has lifted all COVID-19 Restrictions.

We  continue to recommend viewers contact the event sponsors before heading out to a listed event to confirm their status.

2021 Thanksgiving Holiday Themed Events

The Pilgrims in the Netherlands
Sunday, November 14, 2021; 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage State Historic Sites
71 Somerset Street
Somerville, NJ
Free Event
For the 400th anniversary of the "First Thanksgiving" explore the Dutch world of the Pilgrims before the Mayflower. Walk through the historic Wallace House to explore the long history of giving thanks in America from traditional thanksgivings of American Indians and public thanksgivings declared by George Washington to the establishment and development of a federal holiday and the four-nation observance of the anniversary by the Wampanoag, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands today.
Jennifer Sinsigalli, writing as J.L. Rose, is author of Before the Mayflower, a novel on the sojourn of the Pilgrims in the Netherlands in the years before their fateful voyage across the Atlantic four centuries ago. During informal author talks throughout the afternoon, the author discusses the history that informs her novel and shares her own experiences of field research in the Netherlands and Massachusetts.

Thanksgiving Celebration- Big House Ceremony

November 17, 2021: 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Schiff Nature Preserve
339 Pleasant Valley Rd
Mendham, NJ
Cost: $10 – $15
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! This is a drop-off program for children ages 5-10 (K-4th)

Two Town Turkey Trot! Lambertville – New Hope

Saturday, November 20 - Thursday, November 25, 2021
11 Bridge Street
Lambertville, NJ
Website/Registration .
This event features two races, the 5K Run and 1 Mile walk on Thursday, and the Turkey Trot at Home Edition (VIRTUAL) can be run any time between 11/20 and Thanksgiving morning.
The 5K Run and 1 milw walk will start promptly at 8 a.m. at the Lambertville Station. Runners are encouraged to arrive no later than 7:15 am and will be running rain, shine, or snow. 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, all participants who pre-register will receive a commemorative race shirt. SHIRTS are limited to the first 500 registered participants
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.

Colonial Thanksgiving Dinner Demonstration & 18th Century Table Customs

Sunday , November 21, 2021; 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.

The Fast and the Furriest 5K Turkey Trot

Thusday November 25, 2021
Music Pier
825 Boardwalk
Ocean City, NJ 08226.
Website / Registration
All events start and finish at Music Pier
5k Run Overall: Top 3 Male & Female Age Groups: Top 3 Male & Female 8 & Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14. 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 & Over 1M Kids Fun Run Age Groups: Top 3 Male & Female 6 & Under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Help us help the animals and keep a tradition alive in the process. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Ocean City. Thank you for your support.

Thanksgiving Day Cruise
Thursday, November 25, 2021: 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
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.

Read Feed Run Turkey Trot
Thursday, November 25, 2021: 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 Ceremony
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 25, 2021
One Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ US 07452
Website / Registration
Runners will enjoy a super flat course, plenty of parking, and another year of the Thanksgiving day run.
Two Races:
5k Run, $35; 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Kids Fun Run, $20; 9:45AM - 10:00AM

Tom O'Reilly Turkey Trot
Sunday, November 28, 2021 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