The holidays are here and it’s time to start thinking about what to do when the family comes to town for Thanksgiving. There’s always so much going on between cooking the turkey and making tons of sides but when the meal is over and out-of-town guests need to be entertained, don’t sweat. Why not show off everything there is to love about where you live? Keep reading for some fun ideas for what to do in Hoboken + Jersey City with family during Thanksgiving time.
Eat Out on Thanksgiving | Multiple Locations
Restaurants across Hoboken + Jersey City are serving Thanksgiving meals with all the trimmings which can take the stress out of planning and cooking the meal. Barbès Restaurant, which will have a $60 prix fixe menu, and Halifax, which will serve a 3-course prix fixe dinner for $75, are two of the Hoboken restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Consider making a reservation now to snag a table at one of these spots.
Make Matching Tie Dye Shirts | 155 1st Street
Tipsy Tie Dye can be fun for all ages and this craft hub in Hoboken hosts both family-friendly and 21+ “tipsy” events. Bookings can be made online and everyone in the family can leave with new memories and matching tie-dye shirts.
Read More: Hoboken’s Historic Thanksgiving Traditions
Play Thanksgiving-Themed Trivia | Multiple Locations
Trivia A.D. runs trivia nights throughout the year, but the questions come with a Thanksgiving twist during turkey week. The How I Met Your Mother Trivia — Slapsgiving! event will be held on Monday, November 20th, 2023 from 7PM-8:30PM at Madd Hatter. The Friends Trivia: The One with the Thanksgiving Episodes event will take place on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023 from 8PM – 9:30PM at Black Bear Bar + Grill.
Run the Annual Hoboken Turkey Trot | 100 Sinatra Drive
Hoboken has a Turkey Trot every year and this race is a huge tradition in town. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, November 18th, 2023. There is a 5K and 1-mile fun run along the Hoboken waterfront. It’s a big celebration that includes music, professional photos, food, hot chocolate + lots of turkey hats.
Volunteer Together | Multiple Locations
Families that want to volunteer together can check with local nonprofit organizations around town to find ways to give back. The Hoboken Shelter has opportunities for on-site and remote volunteering and families can sign up for shifts online. Hospitals and nursing homes often collect holiday cards to share with patients so your family could spend a few hours over Thanksgiving weekend making cards to spread some cheer in the community.
Catch up Over Coffee | Multiple Locations
Quality family time is one of the best gifts of the holiday season. When the family comes to town, take them to a favorite coffee shop to show off the neighborhood and to catch up. Jersey City + Hoboken have tons of excellent cafes to pick from but if it’s a nice day, consider surprising them with an al fresco coffee break at a cafe with a hidden backyard. Dames Coffee Espresso Bar is located at 581 Jersey Avenue, Dream Vista Cafe at 177 York Street + Lackawanna Coffee at 295 Grove Street all have cozy gardens to relax and chat.
Get in the Spirit at Miracle on Mercer | 292 Barrow Street
Franklin Social transforms into a magical Christmas bar every year and the pop-up, called Miracle on Mercer, is a community tradition in Jersey City. The menu features holiday-themed cocktails and snacks and the restaurant is decked out with garlands, lights, and ornaments to get everyone in the Christmas spirit once the Thanksgiving meal has been finished. Reservations can be made online now.
Run the Jersey City Turkey Trot | Exchange Place Plaza
Jersey City has a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day which means the family can sweat it out together before the big meal. There is a 5K and 1-mile fun run along the Jersey City waterfront on the morning of Thursday, November 23rd, 2023. It’s a big party, just like the Hoboken Turkey Trot, and runners can expect music, food, hot chocolate, and professional photos.
Show Off Newark Avenue | Newark Avenue
Newark Avenue was recently upgraded and the pedestrian plaza is a fun place to wander and take out-of-town guests. This part of downtown Jersey City is filled with some top-notch eateries, like Porta + Roman Nose, plus bars like The Archer, Pet Shop, + Barcade. If everyone is full from the Thanksgiving meal, it can also just be a good place to go for a walk and look for holiday lights (yes, the Downtown Jersey City Christmas tree and Menorah are already up in the PATH Plaza at the end of Newark Avenue).
Take a Walk on the Waterfront | Jersey City Waterfront
The waterfront is a great place to go when everyone needs to blow off a little steam or get some fresh air. Out-of-town guests are always impressed by the Manhattan views and it’s a beautiful backdrop for a big, family photo.
Visit Liberty Science Center | 222 Jersey City Boulevard
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Liberty Science Center is an incredible museum in Jersey City and a fun way to entertain any kids in your Thanksgiving crew. The Science Center has limited hours over the Thanksgiving weekend but is open on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023 from 10AM- 4PM + Friday, November 24th, 2023 through Sunday, November 26th, 2023 from 10AM-5PM. There is a special exhibit right now called “The Science Behind Pixar” which looks like it will be engaging for the entire family.