thanksgiving vacation ideas for families blog cover, Close-up image of a Thanksgiving turkey being carved

16 Best Thanksgiving Vacation Ideas for Families

A staple of American tradition, it’s important to make your family’s Thanksgiving holiday vacation a memorable one, even if you won’t be traveling far. We’ve selected 16 of our favorite spots to visit for Turkey Day, and included tips for making your trip fun for your whole family!

1. Go Horseback Riding in Upstate New York

Horseback riding is a great family bonding experience, so if you find yourself in New York during your Thanksgiving vacation, we strongly recommend you visit Rocking Horse Ranch. The ranch also has plenty of other seasonal entertainment options available, including a complimentary Thanksgiving turkey dinner for all guests! 

Key Information: Rooms start at $550-$600 a night. Childcare is available at $20 for 75 min.

Good To Know: Rocking Horse also offers ice skating, hay rides, a kids club, and an indoor water park. 

2. Visit Myrtle Beach for the Turkey Trot

If you and your family enjoy outdoor activities like running, visit South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach and spend Thanksgiving enjoying the annual turkey trot! Choose a 5k or 10k route, both of which will lead you through a scenic view of the area.

Key Information: Entry for the turkey trot is $50 for the 5k route, $60 for the 10k route, and FREE for the special Gobbler Kids Dash.

Good To Know: Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and attend some of the local live music events!

3. See the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade LIVE From the Comfort of Your PJs

As one of the biggest events in the United States around this time of year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a time-honored tradition that everyone should see in person at least once. To avoid dealing with the crowds, book a room with a view and watch it from the comfort of a luxury hotel!

Key Information: Rooms with a good view are in high demand, so be sure to book early! Rates range from $1300-$1700 a night.

Good To Know: Visit the Rockefeller Center for ice skating in the heart of the Big Apple!

4. Enjoy Holiday Treats from Around the World at EPCOT

A prime family vacation spot, Disney World’s EPCOT is the perfect place to enjoy autumn traditions from all across the globe. Book a tour to get the most out of this unique theme park experience! 

Key Information: Standard 1-day admission starts at around $100 a night. Guided tours start at $500 an hour, Room prices will vary by resort. Accessible rooms are available.

Good To Know: November 25th marks the beginning of EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays, where you can see how the holidays are celebrated across the world!

5. Hit the Slopes in Alta, Utah

Cliff Lodge at Snowbird Ski Resort in Alta, Utah is the perfect place for you and your family to spend your turkey day skiing! Snowbird resort offers a special Thanksgiving dine-and-stay that includes a gorgeous gourmet Thanksgiving dinner buffet. 

Key Information: $190 a night, and Thanksgiving dinner usually includes live music and entertainment. 

Good To Know: Looking for easier slopes for kids? Just as your concierge! 

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6. Spend Thanksgiving Golfing with the Family

At the Amelia Island Resort, you can hit up a golf course, go fishing, relax on the beaches, and so much more! It’s great for active families who want a variety of options while on vacation.

Key Information: $300 a night if you take advantage of early booking offers. Kid’s day and night camp start at $95 per child.

Good To Know: Both indoor and outdoor activities are available, so you can enjoy anything from a bike trip to a day at the spa!

7. Take a Hiking Trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Nothing beats the natural beauty of a national park, and this Thanksgiving, we recommend you visit the Great Smoky Mountains! If camping isn’t your thing, reserve a room at the Bearskin Lodge

Key Information: $180 a night. A grab-and-go breakfast is available for busy kiddos.

Good To Know: If you’re looking for a beautiful, kid-friendly hike, visit Grotto Falls!

8. Escape the Cold & Have a Hawaiian Thanksgiving

As great as the Thanksgiving season is, let’s face it: it’s freezing! Visit Hawaii’s Turtle Bay Resort for a warmer, more relaxed Thanksgiving vacation, with local activities for kids and adults alike!

Key Information: $850 a night – Thanksgiving Dinner $130 per adult, $65 per child (4-12), Kids under 4 eat FREE. 

Good To Know: Events such as a pony meet and greet will be perfect for small children, while musical families can sign up for ukulele lessons together!

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9. Visit the Capital of Fall Color for Incredible Autumn Foliage

Stowe, Vermont is known for its gorgeous fall foliage, and sightseeing families absolutely shouldn’t miss it! As for hotel accommodations, we recommend the Topnotch Resort!

Key Information: $290 a night – Complimentary pack and plays – Junior tennis lessons $60 per child.

Good To Know: Take in Stowe’s scenery by hiking, biking, and skiing!

10. Spend Thanksgiving Weekend in Washington DC

There’s no better way to celebrate this historic American holiday than spending the week in the nation’s capital, Washington DC. Book a stay, and spend your vacation enjoying everything DC has to offer! 

Key Information: A standard family room at Marriott Inn will cost around $250 a night.

Good To Know: Visit Smithsonian’s National Zoo to see it lit with most than half a million lights and glowing sculptures. 

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11. Watch a Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Windy City

New York isn’t the only city with a Thanksgiving parade! Reserve a room in Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel and experience everything Chicago has to offer, from parades to shopping, and even live music!

Key Information: Rooms start at $99 a night – Grab and go food options.

Good To Know: Check out one of Chicago’s many live music spots after the parade– many are family-friendly.

12. Enjoy a Beachside Thanksgiving in South Carolina

There’s nothing quite like spending Thanksgiving by the beach, and South Carolina is here to deliver! Book your turkey day getaway at the Wild Dunes Resort, and enjoy the local beaches, dining, and history!

Key Information: Family rooms start at $270 a night – Get Thanksgiving dinner delivered to your room!

Good To Know: Take a ferry ride to Fort Sumter National Monument, and grab a sweet treat afterward at Beardcat’s Sweet Shop.

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15. Experience Thanksgiving on the East Coast

Cape Cod, like Provincetown, is the site where migrating pilgrims first landed, and a fabulous place to bring your kids for some seaside revelry, and a dose of history. Enjoy the Thanksgiving Getaway Package at Bayside Resort, which includes lodging for 2 or more nights, and lots of fun activities to keep you occupied. 

Key Information: Prices start at $129 per night—including nightly marshmallow roasts.

Good To Know: For Thanksgiving dinner, visit one of Cape Cod’s many restaurants!

16. Relax & Play at a Holiday Resort in West Virginia

If you’re the type of family who prefers to take it easy, we recommend the Oglebay Resort in West Virginia! With dining, shopping, and even a zoo, there’s a bit of something for everyone here!

Key Information: Rooms start at $1,200 per night – Zoo Admission is $14.14 for adults, $9.78 for children, FREE for kids under 2

Good To Know: During the holidays, you can take a narrated arctic express tour!

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13. Eat Delicious Holiday Treats From Around the World at EPCOT

Every culture has its own way of celebrating the holidays, and EPCOT provides a fun, informative way to experience them. If you enjoy learning about everything the world has to offer, this is the Thanksgiving vacation for you!

Key Information: Prices will vary. Accessible rooms are available.

Good To Know: Visit the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, starting on November 25th.

14. Visit New Orleans for the Bayou Classic

The Bayou Classic, a citywide celebration including football, parades, and band competitions, is the embodiment of American tradition. 

Key Information: Tickets start at just $16!

Good To Know: Even if football’s not your thing, we recommend staying for the Battle of the Bands, a breathtaking competition the night before the big game.

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