10 things to do in Boston this Thanksgiving weekend

ZooLights at Stone Zoo in Stoneham.
ZooLights at Stone Zoo in Stoneham. –Courtesy The Stone Zoo

Skip Netflix this weekend—here are 10 ways to get out of your home and not be bored in the city. If you’d like BosTen delivered to your inbox every Thursday, click here. Want more things to do? Check out our events calendar at boston.com/events. You can also learn even more about awesome events around Boston by joining the BosTen Facebook group.


You can give thanks for Hanks at the Brattle this week, as the Cambridge theater pays tribute to film legend Tom Hanks with a series of screenings and double features, including Big, Splash, Turner & Hooch, A League of Their Own, and Toy Story. (Wednesday, November 22 through Tuesday, November 28 at various times; Brattle Theatre, Cambridge; $8-11; all ages)

The Color Purple


The Broadway revival of The Color Purple arrived at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre Tuesday night, and will stay in town through December 3. To honor the play’s themes of women empowerment, $10 of every ticket purchased using the code ROSIE will go to Rosie’s Place, a nonprofit that helps poor and homeless women get back on their feet. (Wednesday, November 22 through Sunday, December 3 at various times; Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston; $48-110; all ages)

Franklin Park Turkey Trot

Prepare yourself for the massive feast to come by burning some calories at the Franklin Park Turkey Trot. Folks of all ages are invited to run or walk along a scenic loop around the park, with proceeds benefitting Franklin Park’s programs. (Thursday, November 23 at 9 a.m.; Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse, Boston; $30 GA, $12 kids ages 6-17; all ages)

Boston Volvo 5K Road Race

At the same time on the other side of town, you can help out the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by participating in the Boston Volvo 5K race, which takes runners through the streets of Brighton. (Thursday, November 23 at 9 a.m.; Boston Volvo Village, Boston; $40; all ages)

La Salette Shrine Festival of Lights

For more than 60 years, La Salette Shrine in Attleboro has wowed visitors with displays featuring around 300,000 lights spread over 10 acres, as well as an international crèche museum, with more than 1,000 crèches from at least 100 different countries. This year, the shrine will kick off the season on Thanksgiving night at 5 p.m., and will be open daily through January 1. (Mondays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. through January 1; The National Shrine of Our Lady Salette, Attleboro; free; all ages)

Boston Winter


After a successful debut in 2016 that drew more than 300,000 people, Boston Winter will make its return to City Hall Plaza on Friday. Approximately 80 local vendors will dot the plaza, alongside a looping skating path, a silent disco, and a beer and wine tasting area. (Opens Friday, November 24; City Hall Plaza, Boston; free entry; all ages)


Along with holiday-themed additions to many animal enclosures like lights and holly wreaths, each year the Stone Zoo puts together ZooLights, a dazzling holiday display that illuminates the zoo when darkness falls. This year, the holiday festivities start on Friday at 5 p.m. (Friday, November 24 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through January 1; Stone Zoo, Stoneham; $7-10; all ages)

The Nutcracker

The Boston Ballet’s annual marquee show has a new ballet master — Miranda Weese, a former principal in the New York Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Beyond that, expect the same classic show that has been wowing Boston audiences for decades. (Friday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m. through December 31; Boston Opera House, Boston; $144-633; all ages)

Jay Z at TD Garden

One of the best MCs of the last quarter century, Jay Z will be in Boston this Saturday in support of his 13th studio album, this summer’s 4:44. Whether you’ve been a fan of Hova since Reasonable Doubt or you know him better as Beyonce’s husband, he and opener Vic Mensa will be sure to entertain. (Saturday, November 25 at 8 p.m.; TD Garden; $52-500; all ages)

Denis Leary’s Why We Don’t Suck Book Tour

In case his stand-up comedy or his testosterone-fueled Ford-F150 commercials didn’t clue you in, Denis Leary thinks that some Americans are too soft these days. The Worcester-born comic makes a quick return to Boston after last weekend’s Comics Come Home show to promote his new book, Why We Don’t Suck. So if you haven’t gotten enough political incorrectness from your relatives at Thanksgiving, head to the Wilbur this Sunday. (Sunday, November 26 at 7 p.m.; The Wilbur, Boston; $38; all ages)