Thanksgiving is the one annual long weekend when most families want to — and can — make time to spend together. “At home” may be your most typical choice, but it’s not the only option. There are lots of appealing places for your family to gather. Here are just a few to prompt your search for others, whether near or far from home.
The Macy’s Day parade on Thanksgiving morning is the official start to the holiday season and an iconic New York event. Book the Experience Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at Moxy and you’ll see the floats, bands and celebrities close up as they march down to Macy’s in Herald Square, two short blocks away. Moxy Times Square is actually located on 36th Street at 7th Avenue and young folks — and millennials — love the vibe here; there are bunkbeds, basketball hoops in the lobby and games at weekend breakfasts on the rooftop. Sip your welcome drink at Bar Moxy, while the kids are at the foosball table, playing board games or buying snacks at the Pick-Up (snacks) counter or Ice Cream Sundae machine. Enjoy free morning coffee, a Blind Barber Grooming Kit and a View the Parade Care Package, which includes a Moxy sweat suit and Parade Ribbon Wands. Reserve a table for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, only a block away at famous Keens Steakhouse.
The Chesterfield, Palm Beach
In November, before crowds flock to Palm Beach for winter vacations, there are great deals to discover, even at a swanky Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotel near Worth Avenue and the beach. The Chesterfield hosts three seatings for Thanksgiving dinner — at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. — and serves a traditional menu with a slow-roasted turkey, sage stuffing, mashed potato and cranberries, plus additional entrée selections, such as prime ribs or pan-seared salmon. The hotel’s fall promotion includes complimentary valet service and WiFi, a traditional afternoon tea experience for two (per stay), continental breakfast for two (daily) and one drink per person at the Leopard Lounge & Restaurant (each evening). Suites have a living room area and most are furnished with a sofa bed (extra beds are available for suites).
Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
You don’t have to live on the oceanfront to enjoy Thanksgiving with a view of sand and sea. At Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, about 100 miles east of Manhattan, you can retreat to the spa, walk on the sand, enjoy stargazing, beach bonfires, live music and group viewings of the annual Macy’s Parade and football (on the big screen in The Regent Cocktail Club). The Gather at Gurney’s package for November includes accommodations in recently renovated cottages, oceanfront two bedroom suites or residences; 20 percent off additional rooms; plus a private en suite holiday meal. The locally sourced feast includes your own roasted turkey carved tableside, served with stuffing and seasonal sides.
Barcelona — with its Gaudi architectural marvels, museums dedicated to Picasso and Miro and year-round beachfront — is a must-see destination. At the 5-star luxury Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona, Chef Byron Hogan, the former executive chef to American diplomat James Costos, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain (2013 to 2017), prepares an authentic Thanksgiving dinner at SOLC. The art-filled, 271-room Leading Hotels of the World affiliate, on chic Passeig de Gràcia, is within walking distance of the pedestrian heart of the city: Las Ramblas. While the holiday meal welcomes hotel and non-hotel guests to dine in its farm-to-table restaurant, you and your five besties can be among the privileged few to stay in the 5,000-square-foot penthouse with its two panoramic terraces and a private dining room where your personal butler will facilitate Thanksgiving dinner service.
Hilton Head Health, Hilton Head, South Carolina
A resort spa— where guilt-free meals are delicious and plentiful — is an unusual, but particularly satisfying Thanksgiving weekend option. At a spa, solo, duo and small group travelers form easy friendships with other like-minded guests. Hilton Head Health provides fitness activities, wellness lectures and concierge services, plus transportation to/from the Savannah International Airport, an hour away. The resort offers bike and shuttle access to the beachfront, tennis courts and golf courses and spa services at the serene Indigo Spa. Some family-friendly housing includes front and/or back porches, a living room, dining area, kitchen and multiple bedrooms with baths. Holiday rates are reduced 15 percent for first-timers and 20 percent for repeaters.
Are your kids astronaut wannabes? Or maybe a holiday tradition in your family is to re-watch Macauley Culkin’s Home Alone every year. Either way, the brand new, dual-branded 342-room Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown South Loop and the historic 1928 Whitehall Hotel have packages designed for the little ones in your family.
The Grinch reimaged in intricate ice carvings, superfast indoor snow tubing and a Ferris wheel ride with Santa high above the D.C. area. Sound like fun? You and your family can experience all this and lots more this holiday season at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
Not a fan of giant cruise ships? This might be the year to put Celestyal Cruises on your radar, especially if your dream family destinations are the Greek Islands, the eastern Mediterranean and, new for next year, the Adriatic.
The sun-soaked beaches and piazzas of summer often come to mind when we envision what makes the perfect Italian holiday. However, there’s something to be said for visiting the country during the off season, as it presents itself as an entirely different place, with unexpectedly delightful new ways to appreciate its dolce vita in the forms of food, wine, art, culture, and sophisticated urban life. This is particularly true in Piedmont (a.k.a. Piemonte), which sits at the top of the “boot” and attaches to France.