PHOENIX Thanksgiving Round-Up

Written by Lauren Loftus Category: Lists Issue: November 2016
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Thanksgiving greetings via Wikimedia Commons.Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are few things I enjoy more in this world than copious amounts of comfort food and day drinking. And (I feel you reading this, Mom) quality family time, of course.

I like that it's the only holiday I can recall that feels distinctly American. Tangent: 10 years ago, I was studying abroad in England over the holiday and my host university attempted to cook us homesick Americans Thanksgiving dinner. It was a lovely gesture but no amount of dried out turkey breast and typically British, flavorless sweet potato pie could replace the epic meals we'd grown up with.

I suppose part of that is because Thanksgiving often falls close after Election Day, forcing far flung relatives of differing political persuasions into perilously cramped kitchens, paving the way for an innocent gravy burning to morph into a familial battle royale over who voted for who. Ahhh, the sweet smell of Democracy.

But most of all, I love that it's the everyman's holiday – about nothing more than friends and family coming together and sharing a really good meal. No required gift giving, no obnoxious music and nary a jingle bell in sight.

The PHOENIX Magazine offices are closed Thursday and Friday so we can recover from that third helping of pumpkin pie. In lieu of regularly scheduled blogs, we're instead giving you this round-up of Thanksgiving odds and ends from around the Valley.

From all of us here at PHOENIX, happy Thanksgiving!

Mmmm Turkey. Courtesy Chompie's.EATING

Don't feel like waking up at the crack of dawn to cook a ginormous bird? Try dining out instead. The Valley is chock-full of restaurants whipping up decadent Thanksgiving menus, both traditional and eclectic. Check out our list of where to dine out this holiday and give yourself a break from the potato mashing and dish washing.


According to the American Council on Fitness, the average person consumes a whopping 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving. If you're not into cutting portions to cut your caloric intake (because, really, who is?), try burning those cals with exercise instead.

The Lifetime Turkey Day Run in Downtown Phoenix offers 1 mile, 5K, 10K races for all ages, so you can get those steps in before the turkey coma sets in.

Turkey Day Run
Wesley Bolin Plaza, 17000 W. Washington St., Phoenix
Thursday, Nov. 24
Registration 6-7:30 a.m.

Not into racing? Burn off the bird the day after with a free workout at DeSoto Market in Downtown Phoenix. Roosevelt Row’s food hall is partnering with the YMCA to host the workout of five different exercise routines including cardio kickboxing, cardio athletic step, barbell strength, core exercises and a yoga and pilates mixed class. Post-workout, get some green nutrients into your system with 20% off all juice and smoothies at Radish

DeSoto Black Friday Workout
915 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Friday, Nov. 25
8:30–11 a.m.

CitySkate Phoenix. Courtesy J. Lauren PR & Marketing.In Phoenix, our Thanksgivings are usually mild if not downright tropical. For the many transplants who now call the Valley home, memories of crisp autumn walks or even snow might make them blue amidst all our sunshine. But, don't despair: Some geniuses have brought real ice outdoor ice skating rinks to locations across the Valley. It may be a balmy 75 degrees outside, but now we can burn off dinner on the ice with the best of 'em.

Outdoor rinks
CitySkate at CityScape
1 E. Washington St., Phoenix
Opens Nov. 25

Skate WestGate
6751 N Sunset Blvd, Glendale

In my humble opinion, the only dark side of Thanksgiving is the day after it. That Black Friday has started creeping into Thursday, with “door buster deals” happening before the last dish is washed, is downright criminal. BUT there are plenty who would heartily disagree with me. For those who live for a good deal, why not try shopping local this year?

Avoid the maddening crowds at Alternative Black Friday Vintage Market at CityScape Phoenix. More than 30 local, vintage and handmade vendors will be on hand with a focus on authentic vintage goods and vintage-inspired goods including jewelry, furniture and décor from vendors like Robert Black Vintage, Redhead Sadie Vintage, GROWop Boutique, Pearly Mae’s Vintage and Bosque. Sip mimosas, stroll and shop to your heart’s content while listing to live acoustic music at Patriots Park.

Alternative Black Friday Vintage Market. Mmmm Turkey. Courtesy J. Lauren PR & Marketing.Details
Alternative Black Friday Vintage Market
CityScape Phoenix
1 E. Washington St., Phoenix
Friday, Nov. 25
10 a.m.–5 p.m.

If you're like me and would rather avoid shopping at all on Black Friday, get outside the day after for Small Business Saturday. Jackalope Scottsdale's Indie Artisan Market is setting up shop for a two day market with 150+ exhibitors selling their handmade wares. There are also several DIY workshops each day, teaching participants how to make their own holiday gifts such as handmade soaps and bath bombs and winter mittens. Can we get an "awww"?

Jackalope Indie Artisan Market
WestWorld of Scottsdale
16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale
Sat, Nov. 26 and Sun, Nov. 27
10 a.m.–5 p.m.