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10 things to do in Boston this Thanksgiving weekend

BosTen is your weekly guide to the best events and coolest happenings in and around Boston.

A scene from Boston Ballet's performance of "The Nutcracker."
A scene from Boston Ballet's performance of "The Nutcracker." Liza Voll/Boston Ballet

Celebrate Thanksgiving with these Boston-area restaurants

If you’re looking to celebrate Thanksgiving without shedding any sweat and tears in the kitchen, Boston’s best restaurants and hotels are ready to host you and yours — or help prepare a takeout feast to bring home. We’ve compiled a big list of Boston-area restaurants that offer the best Thanksgiving dining options for both dine-in and takeout, including Alcove, Bistro du Midi, Scampo, and dozens more. Be sure to book quickly, as many takeout offerings close their ordering options up to a week before Thanksgiving. — Shira Laucharoen

Watch Team USA face England at a World Cup watch party

Is there anything more American than gathering around the table with your loved ones for Thanksgiving? What about gathering at a bar full of fans rooting for the Americans to crush England? On Friday, the Boston chapter of the American Outlaws, the largest supporters’ group of U.S. Soccer in the nation, will host three official World Cup watch parties as Team USA faces off against England’s Three Lions at 2 p.m. The Americans will be underdogs against the firepower of England, who boast a fearsome front three anchored by world-class striker Harry Kane. But Team USA has a generational talent of their own in Christian Pulisic, as well as top players like Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie who have faced world-class opposition in the Champions League. The main watch party will be held at The Banshee in Dorchester, with satellite options at The Dubliner in Government Center and Parlor Sports in Cambridge’s Inman Square for every Team USA match. Along with its official watch parties, American Outlaws will also partner with WeGotSoccer for a fourth viewing party just for the USA-England match at House of Blues Boston. All four bars will likely fill up quickly, so be sure not to wait until kickoff to arrive. — Kevin Slane

Walk into a winter wonderland at Miracle pop-up bars around Boston

Restaurant crews throughout the land are getting their festive sweaters ready: Are you? Miracle, the Christmas-themed bar that pops up at locations nationwide, including three in Greater Boston, returns this season to the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel Lobby Bar in Cambridge, Mystic Station in Malden, and Central Tavern in Milford starting this Friday. New this year to the Miracle canon of cocktails are a few drinks, including warm mulled wine, the fizzy Santa’s Little Helper with gin, spiced caraway syrup, eucalyptus, sage, lime, and seltzer; and the chocolate-mint Christmas Cricket with blanco tequila, vanilla liqueur, minty amaro, coco pandan, cream, mole bitters, and dark chocolate. To see a full cocktail list for this year’s Miracle, click here. — Jacqueline Cain

‘The Nutcracker’ returns for another holiday season

Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or the 15th, it’s always a seasonal joy to watch the wondrous journey of Clara in “The Nutcracker.” Very rarely does a young lady get a Christmas present that transports her into a dreamy world of toy soldiers, come-to-life candies, fighting mice, dancing snowflakes, fairies, and sugar plums. Artistic Director of Boston Ballet Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” returns to the stage, for another holiday season November 25 through New Year’s Eve. Tchaikovsky’s renowned score, performed by the beloved Boston Ballet Orchestra, takes you through an extraordinary Christmas Eve when a gifted nutcracker magically transforms into a handsome prince who leads the young girl through an enchanted forest and on to a lavish Kingdom of Sweets. There are 41 performances this season, and regardless of when you indulge in its yuletide cheer, the Boston Ballet promises a show sure to become your new favorite Christmas tradition (if it isn’t already). You could say you’re clearly on pointe with the true holiday experience. Check here for a full list of performance dates and times. — Cheryl Fenton

Go holiday shopping at the SoWa Winter Festival

Starting this Friday, the SoWa Winter Festival returns for its seventh year at the SoWa Power Station. Dozens of artists, artisans, and specialty vendors will gather to sell their wares under one roof, along with live music, food trucks, and featured cocktails from guest bartenders. Vendors at this year’s festival will sell goods like handcrafted leather products, woven baskets, natural cosmetics, jewelry, candles, and specialty food items like hot sauce and honey. Featured food trucks will include Moyzilla, Bon Me, and PieSon’s Pizza.  A block up Harrison Avenue is more fun, as the SoWa Art + Design District on Thayer Street will host food and beverage trucks, a fire pit, shops like the SoWa Vintage Market, and open artist studios that visitors can browse. — Natalie Gale

Learn to curl at Snowport

Among the many seasonally appropriate events at the Seaport’s holiday outdoor market Snowport is Learn to Curl, a free event led by North End Curling Club that teaches enthusiastic curling novices the basics of the sport. For those who didn’t watch the Winter Olympics, curling is typically played on ice, with two teams taking turns sliding stones made of granite toward a target circle. Snowport’s curling lawns are iceless, but slippery enough that you’ll get a good idea of how to play. Lessons occur in 30-minute increments and are free to attend, though RSVPs on Eventbrite are required. — Ria Goveas

Ride the Polar Express on Cape Cod

All aboard the Polar Express this holiday season on the Cape Cod Central Railroad, which whisks visitors away for a 90-minute journey from Buzzards Bay to the “North Pole” starting this Friday. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas, just like in the movie, as they head to the North Pole to meet Santa. Onboard, the waitstaff and chefs perform while the soundtrack from the movie plays, the conductor punches golden tickets for each child, and guests hear a reading of the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. Staff will also treat guests to hot chocolate and snickerdoodle cookies before the train arrives at the North Pole, where Santa and his elves board the train to give each child the first gift of Christmas.  — Natalie Gale

Celebrate the season with The Trustees’ ‘Winterlights’

As the nation’s first preservation and conservation nonprofit, The Trustees of Reservations’ landscapes and landmarks have a history of inspiring. And its holiday season celebration is no different. Three of the Trustees’ beautiful garden properties — Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens in North Andover, and Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton — sparkle with thousands of shimmering, artfully designed holiday lights during the annual “Winterlights,” starting this Friday and running through January 7. This delightful, fun, and safe outdoor experience is family-friendly and packed with holiday revelry, food, refreshments, and more. While visitors to Naumkeag and Bradley can look forward to the same magic they’ve enjoyed throughout the years, there’s a brand new experience at Stevens-Coolidge, as The Trustees unveils a new route, more lights and displays, and a walk through the house brimming with seasonal splendor. — Cheryl Fenton

Hear Alice Howe’s folky, bluesy voice at City Winery

Alice Howe, a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who originally hails from Boston, is a self-proclaimed “old soul inside a 30-something millennial.” She’s bringing her sound — a unique blend of blues, folk, country, soul, and rock — to City Winery Boston this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. When you listen to Howe’s original tracks, you get the sense that Howe is playing for her own sake, that you’ve just happened to overhear. The result is a listening experience that feels especially intimate and made only more beautiful by Howe’s whimsically lilting voice. With an EP and an album under her belt from 2017 and 2019, respectively, Howe just recorded her second album, “Circumstance,” at the iconic Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where it was produced and arranged by her creative partner, veteran bass player Freebo. — Madeleine Aitken

WWE’s Survivor Series brings ‘WarGames’ to the Garden

Since the inaugural event in 1987, no city has hosted WWE’s Survivor Series more than Boston. But as one of pro wrestling’s marquee nights returns for a fourth time, promoters are promising fans a new twist to the ever-evolving format. Fans of a certain generation might still remember when Survivor Series came to the old Boston Garden on Thanksgiving Eve 1993, and the main event featured The All-Americans (including Lex Luger, The Undertaker, and the Steiner Brothers) taking on a team dubbed the Foreign Fanatics. Those sides staged an elimination match, which has long been the signature of the Survivor Series event. The elimination match is still in the mix this year, although the WWE announced it will be held in a WarGames format. That means there will be two rings side by side inside a steel cage, with two teams battling it out with five wrestlers per side. The change should allow the organization’s second-longest running pay-per-view event (behind only WrestleMania) to go back to its storyline-guided roots. And it’ll also go back to the place it has been more than any other. — Dave D’Onofrio

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