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19 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving with Kids in Rockland County

19 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving with Kids in Rockland County

Fun Thanksgiving activities for kids and families in Rockland County, plus a few ideas for new traditions to try.

Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and extended family this year or are still keeping the holiday gathering small, there are plenty of fun Thanksgiving activities you can do with your kids. From Thanksgiving activities at venues across Rockland County to new traditions to start at home this year, there are plenty of fun ways to keep the kids entertained (especially while you’re cooking up a delicious feast!).

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New Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas

Because this is already an unusual year, it might be just the right time to stage an alternative Thanksgiving. Think outside the box to make this holiday a little different. 

Enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is back, live and in person this year! But if you don’t want to see the parade in person (and who could blame you with all the crowds?!), the beloved tradition, as always, will be broadcast nationwide on NBC. What's more, there are a few new balloons and floats making their parade debut, Broadway shows will perform, and there are plenty of music acts to keep your whole family entertained for a few hours.

Watch a movie marathon.

After watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the comfort of your couch, why not continue the day with some fall family favorites? Screen the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, then watch as turkeys try to save the day (and their kin) in the animated Free Birds. Not rooting for any of the teams playing on Nov. 25, but still in the mood for football? Try Remember the Titans, Rudy, or Radio. And you can always start the holiday celebrations a little early with Elf, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, or one of the other dozens of Christmas movies for kids.

Plan your own family turkey trot.

Running (or walking or biking or scooting) your own 5K is a great way for the whole family to get some exercise. Who needs other runners? This way, you’ll all win!

Have a friendly Thanksgiving dish competition.

Do the kids love making chocolate chip cookies? Does your sister usually make a mean sweet potato pie? Invite family members to bring their favorite homemade dishes to your dinner—and then have a competition where you “judge” the best dish. Don’t forget to make something for them, too!

Invent your own tradition!

Whether it’s a new recipe, an excursion, or a new activity, do something that you’ve never done as a family. Start a new Thanksgiving tradition with your family and incorporate it again next year!

Decide how you'll volunteer this season.

Now's the time of year when many people think about volunteering. So spend some time this Thanksgiving to research the various volunteer opportunities in New York and decide how your family will do a little good for the community.

Thanksgiving Activities for Kids in Rockland County

Thanksgiving Platters

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 8, 10am-2pm or 4-8pm
WHERE: Color Me Mine at Palisades Center, 3770 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack
AGE: All
WHAT: Color Me Mine will have plenty of platters available to paint for Thanksgiving! These generously sized platters are perfect for your turkey, tofurkey, ham, or whatever you eat on Thanksgiving! Explore the book of samples or show them something you found on the internet and they will help you recreate it!
WANT TO GO? $20 fee covers your table fee and any customization you may require on your platter. Pay for your platter when you come to paint. If you do not reserve a table size your reservation can not be guaranteed.

Taste of Thanksgiving

WHEN: Nov. 13-14, Saturday-Sunday, 11am-4pm
WHERE: Museum Village, 1010 Route 17M, Monroe
AGE: All
WHAT: This Thanksgiving, Museum Village is heating up the hearth and making a traditional 19th-century tasting! Enjoy samples of food cooked over a fire while you explore the grounds and buildings.
WANT TO GO? $15; $13 seniors; $10 children ages 4-12; free for children ages 3 and younger. Advanced registration required.

Terrific Turkeys

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 21, 11am-12pm
WHERE: Tenafly Nature Center, 313 Hudson Ave., Tenafly, NJ
AGE: Families with children 3 and older
WHAT: Discover the real lives of wild turkeys. Learn about hens, toms, poults, caruncles, wattles, and snoods. Join a Tenafly Nature Center Environmental Educator and perform the turkey strut and learn a turkey call! Make a terrific turkey to take home.
WANT TO GO? $8; $5 members. Advanced registration required. Program will be held entirely outdoors. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held under cover. Social distancing in effect. Masks required when distance cannot be maintained.

5 Mile Turkey Trot for The Marisa Fund

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 25, 8:30am
WHERE: Rockland Lake State Park, 299 Rockland Lake Road, Valley Cottage
AGE: All
WHAT: The Rockland Road Runners' 5 Mile Turkey Trot for The Marisa Fund has become the largest running event in Rockland County, drawing more than 3,100 participants from the NY metro area and beyond. 2021 is the 30th Annual Run! The money raised will support the efforts of the Marisa Fund to eradicate childhood cancer. 
WANT TO GO? $40; $30 RRR members; $25 seniors ages 65 and older. Advanced registration required. Virtual option available. 

Thanksgiving Weekend at the Wildlife Education Center

WHEN: Nov. 26-28, Friday-Sunday, 12-12:50pm, 1-1:50pm, 2-2:50pm, and 3-3:50pm
WHERE: Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, 25 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson
AGE: All
WHAT: Join the animals and HHNM staff at the Wildlife Education Center for some post-holiday fun, check out some amazing local wildlife, and hear about what they had for their Thanksgiving meal! 
WANT TO GO? $5; free for members. Advanced registration is highly recommended. Call to reserve beginning Monday, Nov. 15.

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Thanksgiving Activities for Families in Westchester

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Spoon Rest Kids Fun Class

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 10, 4:30-5:30pm
WHERE: A Maze in Pottery, 76 N. State Road, Briarcliff Manor
AGE: 6 and older
WHAT: Come and have fun painting a cute pumpkin spoon rest for your Thanksgiving table! 
WANT TO GO? $21.90. Advanced registration required.

FREE Nov. Grab and Go Thanksgiving Pickup Craft

WHEN: Nov. 10-23, Monday-Tuesday, 9am-6pm; Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
WHERE: Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library, 1 Haseco Ave., Port Chester
AGE: 2-12
WHAT: Children will be given a bag with all of the pieces they need to make the craft.
WANT TO GO? Signup now by calling or emailing [email protected]

Friendsgiving Celebration

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 19, 5:30-7:30pm
WHERE: Rye Reads Learning Center, 180 Theodore Fremd, Rye
AGE: 5-7
WHAT: After reading Spookley Thanksgiving, there will be Thanksgiving dinner! Then make and take home a yummy Thanksgiving treat to share with your family or as a hostess gift.
WANT TO GO? $40. Advanced registration required. 

Make A Thanksgiving Turkey With Polymer Clay

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 20, 2-3pm ages 5-8; 3-4pm ages 9-12
WHERE: The Rye Arts Center, 51 Milton Road, Rye
AGE: 5-8 and 9-12
WHAT: Make a Thanksgiving Turkey! Using polymer clay you will learn how to make simple shapes and put them together to form a cute sculpture. All projects will be baked at home with simple instructions included with each project.
WANT TO GO? $25. Discount for members. Advanced registration required. 

FREE Parade Spectacular Park Party

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 21, 12-3pm
WHERE: Mill River Park, 1040 Washington Blvd., Stamford, CT
AGE: All
WHAT: This free community event will feature giant helium balloons, marching bands, and dance and performance groups. Partygoers will enjoy 1 hour of performances and activities repeated three times to enable crowds to be effectively managed. All the best of the annual Stamford Downtown Parade Spectacular will be brought together in one place.
WANT TO GO? Come at any time to watch a sequence for an hour, or come for the whole afternoon and enjoy the show three times over!

FREE Turkey Time Hike and Craft

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 21, 11am-12pm
WHERE: Crotona Nature Center in Croton Point Park, Crotona Park East and Charlotte Street, Croton-on-Hudson
AGE: All
WHAT: Unleash your creativity through art. Create Thanksgiving and seasonal arts and crafts using natural materials found throughout the park.
WANT TO GO? Make sure to wear appropriate clothing for the hike (and dress in layers!).

Westchester Turkey Trot 10K & 5K

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 25, 8:15am Kids Dash; 8:30am 5K & 10K start
WHERE: Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla
AGE: All
WHAT: Be part of a Thanksgiving morning tradition at the LIVE Westchester Turkey Trot 10K and 5K. Earn your delicious finisher doughnut and rock your turkey trot gear around town. Awards will be given to the top 3 participants, male and female in each age group and overall. Kids Dash finisher award to all participants. 
WANT TO GO? $70 10K; $60 5K; $9.99 5K Kid's Division Fun Run; free for Kid's Dash. Advanced registration required.

Hike Off the Turkey

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 28, 10-11:30am
WHERE: Teatown, 1600 Spring Valley Road, Ossining
AGE: 8 and older
WHAT: What better way to celebrate and rejuvenate than with a hike in the fresh air?! Hike to Teatown Hill to get a glimpse of the Hudson Highlands and watch for the last of the migrating hawks.
WANT TO GO? $8; free for members. Advanced registration required. Wear sturdy boots or sneakers and dress in layers.

RELATED | Find More Family Activities in Westchester County

Main image by phBodrova/shutterstock.com

Here at Rockland Parent, we've got everything you need to have a safefun, and festive fall and Halloween season.  Whether it is pumpkin or apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, making Halloween crafts or finding costumes and decorations, we're here to help. 

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Shara Levine


Shara Levine, originally from Brooklyn, is the Events Manager for NYMetroParents. As a lifelong New Yorker, and mom of four raising her kids on Long Island, Shara knows her hometown well and brings her love of all things fun to NYMetroParents by sharing the best in kid friendly events, festival, concerts, and performances in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland. When not helping parents plan their family's day out, Shara enjoys making random Seinfeld references and going on late-night Target runs. 

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