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Three New Ideas for Connecticut Thanksgiving Fun

Connecticut was one of the original colonies to celebrate Thanksgiving, so it’s no wonder that CT has so much to offer this time of year. If you need some culinary direction before prepping your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to check out one of Connecticut’s world-class cooking schools. Satisfy your appetite for history by visiting one of the many historic Connecticut homesteads to see how Thanksgiving was observed during Colonial days. Or, kick back, relax and let someone else do the cooking with a stay at one of Connecticut’s cozy B&B’s, where all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings will be prepared for you – free of stress. 

See below for some of our favorite Thanksgiving and holiday activities. For more, visit our Facebook page at our Twitter page at

#1: Check out a cooking class to prep for your Thanksgiving meal

Learn the basics with a lesson from the pros at The Secret Ingredient (Fairfield):For those in need of some culinary direction this Thanksgiving, The Secret Ingredient offers Thanksgiving 101 and 102 classeson Nov. 3 and 16 where you’ll learn the fundamentals of turkey and fixings and how to whip up traditional side dishes. 

Give your Thanksgiving meal some Italian flare at The Silo Cooking School (New Milford): The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm offers an Italian Thanksgiving classon Nov. 17 where you’ll learn to make irresistible Italian dishes like Lugurian Style Stuffed Mushrooms and Pomegranate Glazed Butterflied Turkey Breast.

Enjoy an authentic Connecticut Thanksgiving meal by shopping locally-sourced: Connecticut makes it easy for you to prepare your entire meal using locally-sourced ingredients – including everything from turkey and fresh produce to pies and more. Check out a list of local vendors by FarmerDirect2U here:

#2 Step back in time and experience a historical Thanksgiving

Experience an 18th Century Thanksgiving at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum (Wethersfield): Delicious fare will be prepared by a culinary historian and served in the charming Webb barn, as costumed interpreters portray the Deane family and their servants on Nov. 11. Reservations required!

Travel back in time to the Colonial era at the Welles Shipman Ward House (Glastonbury): On Nov. 18, experience a Thanksgiving meal à la the early 1800s – see a cooking demonstration of delicacies of that time period, how vegetables were preserved and more.

Celebrate the harvest with food and fun at the Pequot Museum (Mashantucket): On Nov. 23 and 24, the Pequot Museum will celebrate wunnekeepunumooôk (good harvest). Visit to learn about the many Native American thanksgivings as Leah Hopkins (Niantic/Narragansett) demonstrates various traditional Native cooking methods over an open fire.

Join in for storytelling time at the Institute for American Indian Studies(Washington): Stories are traditionally told as the days grow shorter and the winds blow colder. On Nov. 24, gather with storyteller, Four Hearts Whispering at IAIS, and enjoy her delightful and heartwarming traditional Native American stories. 

#3 Leave the Stress at Home and Eat Out this Thanksgiving

Take in the breathtaking view of the Long Island sound as you eat Thanksgiving Day Brunch at Splash Restaurant & Bar (Westport): Awarded “best of” New England waterfront dining by The Food Network, Splash Restaurant is a fine choice for a Thanksgiving meal with the family. Their special holiday menu includes carving, pasta, seafood stations and much more. 

Need a break from cooking this year? Eat your Thanksgiving meal at Winvian for one memorable family get- together (Morris): The feast features a decadent family-style menu including Turkey with foie gras stuffing, butternut squash soup served with wild mushrooms and more. 

Enjoy a truly American Thanksgiving Day meal at Apricot’s Restaurant (Farmington): It’s no surprise Connecticut Magazine readers voted Apricot’s “Best in State” for Continental Cuisine. This favorite local spot offers a classic Thanksgiving menu, starting with options like butternut squash and apple cider bisques, entrees like a complete turkey dinner or slow roasted pork tenderloin. A children’s menu is also available.  

Reunite with family as you enjoy Thanksgiving Brunch at the Bee & Thistle Inn (Old Lyme): Take in the beauty of the historic Bee & Thistle Inn as you indulge in a menu of Thanksgiving favorites that includes Roasted Turkey with Apple, Fennel and Cornbread Stuffing, Roasted Acorn Squash and Pear Bisque, and classics like Old Fashioned Apple Pie, Classic Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Praline Tart 

Brunch time with the family (Greenwich): If you’re looking for a fabulous brunch spot over Thanksgiving weekend, check out Winfield’s at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich - voted the "Best Sunday Brunch" in Fairfield County by the People's Choice Award in Connecticut Magazine. Call 203 637 1234 for reservations and more information. 

And…more holiday fun!

You won’t want to miss the UBS Parade Spectacular (Stamford): The parade is one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country, featuring everyone's favorite giant balloon characters (Elmo, Mr. Potato Head, Big Bird and more), award-winning marching bands and fabulous floats - it’s sure to be fun for the entire family! 

Get the holidays started with the Tree Lighting & Lighted Holiday Boat Parade at Mystic Seaport (Mystic): on Saturday, Nov. 24, a parade of lighted and decorated vessels will parade down the Mystic River and return to the Mystic River Park, where judging and awards will take place for the most spectacular vessels. Vessels of any size are welcome and there is no cost to participate. 

Enjoy the spirit of the season at the Lake Compounce Holiday Lights event (Bristol): Starting Nov. 30 the park will be covered in lights and have plenty of festive entertainment options, including holiday-themed rides to offer every weekend in December.


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