Thanksgiving with kids
By Jody Halsted
More families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving than any other holiday in the US, bringing together relatives from far and near. But has your family outgrown Grandma’s house? It’s not surprising.
This year, give your family a bit more space and take the stress out of busy holidays with kids. From turkey dinner with all the trimmings to activities everyone can enjoy, these family-friendly hotels and resorts go all out to make sure your Thanksgiving is filled with fun, thanks and plenty of memories.
The Inn at East Hill Farm near Troy, New Hampshire, is the perfect escape for families who want a bit of nostalgia in a resort environment. East Hill Farm is a working farm where guests have endless opportunities to interact with the animals – including gathering eggs, milking cows, pony grooming, and feeding. Kid-friendly recreational programs keep everyone busy with guided hikes, bread making workshops and crafts, while the more competitive members of your family can engage in dodge ball and ping pong tournaments.
Meals at The Inn at East Hill Farm are locally sourced and home cooked. A traditional Thanksgiving meal is served at noon. Enjoy your afternoon by the fire or splashing in the indoor pool before the evening buffet that features your Thanksgiving dinner favorites. Just like at Grandma’s house.
Choose rooms in the Inn or opt for more privacy in one of the charming cottages.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club offers families plenty of holiday activities this Thanksgiving. (Courtesy The Gasparilla Inn & Club)
The Gasparilla Inn & Club at Boca Grande along Florida’s Gulf Coast combines historic Southern charm with a family-friendly ocean getaway. The nearby gulf inspires many of the activities including sand sculpting, kayak tours, paddle board lessons and shelling. Sports enthusiasts will love the chance to compete in tennis clinics, golf outings and beach Olympics.
Your family will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the bounty from the Gasparilla Inn’s kitchens with afternoon and Teddy Bear Teas, cookie decorating (followed by cookie eating!) and, of course, a succulent Thanksgiving feast.
Choose between rooms in the historic inn or the homier atmosphere of one of the private houses.
Canaan Valley Resort features a Thanksgiving dinner plus a few other holiday favorites for families. (Courtesy Canaan Valley Resort)
Canaan Valley Resort offers a family-friendly escape to Canaan Valley State Park in West Virginia where you can enjoy indoor activities with a kid-friendly focus, such as board games, crafts and a family bingo night. Compete with your cousins in the pie eating contest, turkey gobbling contest and turkey bowling. And don’t forget to pack your winter wear for snow tubing and ice skating.
Thanksgiving dinner at Canaan Valley Resort features a traditional menu, which includes roasted turkey, glazed ham, cornbread stuffing and candied sweet potatoes. Other holiday favorites—plus a few culinary surprises—guarantee your family won’t leave hungry.
Families can enjoy the mountain views from comfortable lodge rooms or private cabins.
Big Cedar Lodge, nestled in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, offer guests holiday events and the stunning Ozark wilderness to keep your family busy from the moment you arrive! Put together a team for the Sleigh Bell Scurry—solve each clue to find the ornaments to trim your tree—then enjoy toasting s’mores around the bonfire.
Big Cedar Lodge offers families the option of enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving dinner delivered to your lodging or one of three complete buffet experiences. Work off Thanksgiving dinner at the Gobble Wobble or Scavenger Hunt around the scenic property.
Guests have a choice of a private log cabin among the trees or a cozy lodge room overlooking the 43,000 acre lake.
Family-friendly The Resort at Paws Up has Thanksgiving offerings in a rustic ranch setting. (Courtesy The Resort at Paws Up)
The Resort at Paws Up is known for family-friendly luxury set in Montana’s natural beauty. For their first-annual Thanksgiving celebration, the resort has created an itinerary filled with kid-friendly fun including fireside s’more toasting, apple bobbing, archery and hay rides.
Thanksgiving dinner, served at the resort restaurant or in their private home, promises to be a feast of locally sourced foods created with a ‘refined rustic ranch’ flair. After the holiday the rest of the weekend includes cookie decorating, a mini rodeo, crafting, and a musical performance.
Guests relax in luxury ranch homes located on the 37,000 acre cattle ranch.