Special & Safe: Thanksgiving 2020 Last Updated: November 2020
'Tis the season to cherish what we're grateful for — even if it looks a little different this year. To keep your family and community safe, we recommend reviewing the state's holiday guidance and considering these low-risk celebration ideas . The holiday may be smaller and quieter in 2020, but we certainly can still make it memorable. We've gathered a few Thanksgiving ideas for you and your closest kin, so you can still make the day special!
From unique take-home feasts and dine-out dinners to farm fresh shopping, Christmas tree chopping and more, the Thanksgiving fun doesn’t just make your day great — it helps support beloved Connecticut businesses who have been hit hard by the pandemic. And when you do, you can even use our hashtag #SupportCTBusinesses to help keep our restaurants, attractions and hotels top of mind.
As always, be sure to check with each location before making plans as hours and details may change due to COVID-19.
Dine Out While Staying In
Many of us have spent a lot of time preparing our own meals this year — so take a load off! Pick up a mouthwatering feast made by top Connecticut chefs from some of the state's finest restaurants. Your take-home meal will come complete with all the fixings — from turkey and mashed potatoes to unique chef twists on favorites like stuffing and other sides. You'll get all the flavor of a restaurant in the comfort of your home.
Since this year's already different, why not make your meal a little more interesting? Take home a barbecue Thanksgiving from Bear's Smokehouse BBQ and enjoy a smoked turkey, buffalo chicken dip, smoked brisket gravy, cider cocktails and more. Make it a Southern Thanksgiving with apple wood smoked turkey, pecan praline sweet potato souffle, green bean & mushroom casserole, cornbread stuffing, bourbon pecan pie and more from Judy’s Bar + Kitchen. Or go plant-based with Impossible meatloaf, artichoke 'crab cakes,' truffle 'Mac & No Cheese,' creamy cashew and coconut Oreo 'cheesecake' and more from Flora.
Here are some other great restaurants offering delicious Thanksgiving menus you can take home. Plus, find all Thanksgiving events and dinners here.
Serving wine, beer or other spirits? You can find takeout, curbside pickup, and deilvery libations all across the state.
Enjoy Dine-Out Holiday Feasts
Photo credit: Winter Caplanson, CT Food and Farm
If you have 8 or fewer in your gathering, why not let someone else do the cooking and the clean up? You'll find fine Thanksgiving feasts at restaurants throughout Connecticut. Some of them are even offering their menu for take-out! All restaurants will be following safety guidelines and operating at reduced capacity. Be sure to call ahead for reservations.
Bring the Farm to Your Table
Cooking the meal from scratch? Make it extra special with farm fresh ingredients! From handpicked produce and local turkeys to homemade pies and other treats, here are some spots where you'll find fixings for your feast. Taking the trip to the farm can even be part of the experience! You may even decide to try a whole farmer's market like the Westport Winter Farmer's Market or the Guildford Farmer's Market, which runs through December 19.
Safety-Friendly Family Fun
Making memories is certainly not canceled. There are still plenty of safe ways to get out and have fun with the family this Thanksgiving. Check out these hiking and biking trails — there’s a trek for every county! For a slower pace, you might even stroll through outdoor art locations like the New London Mural Walk, the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk, or even these Instagram-worthy outdoor murals. Before venturing out, we recommend checking for temporary closures as well as reviewing these steps to take to enhance “social distancing” when enjoying the outdoors.
If one of your Thanksgiving traditions is lacing up your sneakers and running for a good cause, don't fear! Your favorite road race may not be drawing crowds this year, but that doesn't mean you can't still participate. Here are a few Connecticut turkey trots that have gone virtual:
This year more than ever, it's important to support Connecticut businesses. Whether you're an avid Black Friday shopper or simply browsing early in the season, consider these fantastic Connecticut-made gift ideas or even these unique presents that don't come in a box. Avoid large crowds by shopping online, at small boutiques, or even outdoor malls like the Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk, the Shops at Yale, Olde Mistick Village, or those in these shopping towns. You might even try outdoor shopping events like the Thankful Marketplace in Deep River or the “Home for the Holidays” Crafter and Artisan Market at the Westbrook Outlets.
As always be sure to check with each location before venturing out as hours may change due to COVID-19.
Get in the Holiday Spirit
If you’re like many, the end of Thanksgiving means the beginning of Christmas! Luckily, there are still so many ways to safely celebrate the season in Connecticut. Plan ahead for these dazzling light festivals and adventures or mark your calendar for all the ways to spend Christmas Connecticut-style. Or if you celebrate Chanukah, plan for these holiday events.
You might even consider attending these virtual holiday events:
- Virtual Greenwich Holiday Stroll (Dec. 1-24)
- “Comfort & Joy at Home 2020” Virtual Tour with Jim Brickman (Dec. 12)
- High Hopes Virtual Holiday Market (Nov. 15 -28)
And who could forget — the tree! Round up your household members and kick off the season by picking out your own tree at these Connecticut Christmas tree farms.