Thanksgiving can be a challenging time for many people who either don’t have family nearby, don’t enjoy spending time with certain family members, don’t feel like traveling, or simply don’t feel like celebrating.

Whatever the reason may be for not partaking in a traditional Thanksgiving celebration, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the long weekend and enjoy the holiday, either with friends or solo. 

Go on a Solo Camping Trip

Do all of your friends have plans already? Then take yourself on a solo camping trip. If you’ve always wanted to camp alone, then Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to give it a try. Depending on where you live, campgrounds may be closed for the season, so you may get to practice wild camping for the first time.

Get a Bunch of Friends together for an Adventure

Got a bunch of friends who also don’t have plans for Thanksgiving? If they are on the adventurous side, plan a fun adventure run or multi-sport event. Come up with a fun, creative endurance event that you can run together. Afterward, you can indulge in a Friendsgiving feast or find somewhere to eat out together.

Take a Trip or Enjoy a Staycation

Make the most of a long weekend by treating yourself to a vacation somewhere you’ve been wanting to go. Look for off-the-radar spots that won’t be overrun with Thanksgiving travelers. Local tourism boards are great sources of information because they know the region inside and out.

Alternatively, consider a staycation and get things done around the house that you’ve been putting off for months. Make it fun by putting on some good tunes and planning an awesome meal for yourself…or just get take out, since you earned it with all the work you got done!


Consider offering your time at a local soup kitchen that’s serving a Thanksgiving meal to others. Animal shelters are often also in need of volunteers on the holiday to help walk and feed dogs and cats. 

Participate in a Local Race

What better way to give back to the trails on which you recreate regularly than by volunteering with a trail crew. Turkey Trots take place all over, even in small towns, so there’s a good chance that there will be some kind of running event near where you live.

Game Night with Friends

Plan a game night with friends after they’ve finished their Thanksgiving meals with family. It’ll give those friends who need it a break from family time and game night is a fun way to spend time with friends without having to worry about hosting a big meal. Everyone will have already eaten, so you likely won’t have much work to do at all!

Go for a Hike You’ve Had on Your List

Since most people will be spending the day in the kitchen or with family, Thanksgiving is an ideal day to go out for a hike or trail run you’ve been meaning to do for some time, especially if it’s a popular trail. 

Do a Goal Setting Session

Most people tend to wait until the end of the year to do a goal setting session, but any time is a good time to set goals! With a day off of work and most businesses closed, Thanksgiving will offer a quiet space of time where you can sit down and think about your goals for the coming year and beyond.

Try a New Outdoor Activity

The cold temperatures and short days can make recreating during the winter months more challenging, but with a day off, you’ve got the entire day to play! Make the most of your time off by trying a new sport or outdoor activity.

Need some ideas?

  • Cross country skiing
  • Downhill skiing
  • Mushroom foraging
  • Running
  • Hiking

If you’re planning to go for a hike or do another outdoor activity be sure to check out our trail-specific styles! Looking forward to something more low key? Our minimalist styles make for the most comfortable companions!

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