In the world of skiing, Thanksgiving has long been synonymous with one thing: Opening Day! For the lucky ones, the season starts earlier in November, for others, not till early December. However, come Thanksgiving, somewhere in America is an operating lift and a ski-able slope. So, for those of us looking to enjoy a wholesome Thanksgiving paired with some early season shredding, check out our five favorite Thanksgiving events from some of the nation’s finest ski resorts. From family friendly 5k’s to Giant Slalom racing to a good old fashioned tree lighting, find the perfect event for you and your ski crew! Starting off at number five, lets take a trip to Washington’s historic Crystal Mountain.
5. Crystal Mountain Thanksgiving Reconnect Weekend
A favorite of powder enthusiasts, Washington’s Crystal Mountain is beloved by those looking to carve up some of the 486 inches of snowfall they see on a given year. This Thanksgiving, join in on the holiday fun with Crystal Mountain’s Thanksgiving Reconnect Weekend. Starting off on Thanksgiving day, sign up for the 5k Turkey Vulture Trot starting at 9 am and get the kids involved with the 1 Mile Fun Run at 10 am!
Check in at the Kinlochen Lobby beforehand and don't forget the award ceremony afterwards at 10:30 am at the Lodge Pavillion Tent where the top three male and female winners of each age group will receive medals for their effort. At $25 and $10 registration for the 5k and fun run, help raise money for the nearby North Sky Raptor Sanctuary. Following some powder runs and a quality Thanksgiving dinner, Friday and Saturday are jam packed with family friendly activities to keep the weekend alive. On Friday, enjoy archery lessons, outdoor laser tag, the tree lighting, and horse drawn surrey rides. Close out the fun Saturday with more archery lessons, laser tag, and surrey rides, as well as a complimentary show by the North Sky Raptor Sanctuary.
4. Stratton, Vermont’s Gobble Gobble Wobble 5k
Coming in at number four on our list, Stratton’s Gobble Gobble Wobble 5k has been a long standing tradition for many East Coast skiers. Get ready to be up bright and early Thanksgiving morning for day of registration from 7 to 8:15 am followed by the race’s start at 9 am. Get an extra hour of sleep and save yourself five bucks by registering beforehand on the Stratton website (linked below) for $50, rather than the day of $55.
The race will begin and end at the village’s Main Courtyard and consists of a scenic lap around the village itself. Don’t forget the 10 am award ceremony with prizes for male and female winners of five different age groups, with first, second, and third place receiving Stratton gift cards of $75, $50, and $25, respectively, in addition to awards to the oldest, youngest, and best dressed!
3. Waterville Valley Ski Resort’s 9th Annual Cold Turkey Plunge
For those with a high tolerance for getting a bit chilly, join in on the ever exciting Cold Turkey Plunge in which participants dive into the icy waters of New Hampshire’s Corcoran Pond on Saturday, November 27th. Starting at 1 pm, with registration at noon, Waterville Valley Ski Resort’s Cold Turkey Plunge is day filled with excitement that goes to benefit the Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports, a center for the promotion of disabled skiers.
Past Cold Turkey Plunge’s have brought in fundraising to install handicap lifts connecting all three floors of the Waterville Valley Ski Resort as well as purchasing the revolutionary new Tetraski, a device which allows fully paralyzed skiers to control their skis with their breath. Make sure to bring a wild Thanksgiving costume and a sturdy pair of shoes as well as a support team ready with open arms, dry towels, and warm clothes! Stick around afterwards for some early holiday shopping and fun at the Town Square.
2. Vail’s Thanksgiving Weekend Fun
Vail, Colorado, North America’s fourth largest ski resort, offers a slew of family friendly Thanksgiving weekend events. Starting off with a free art workshop, come by the Colorado Ski Museum November 24th from 4 to 6 pm and paint your own wood tree ornament. Once you’ve enjoyed your Thanksgiving––hopefully taking advantage of some of Vail’s 193 ski trails packed with dense powder––come back to the village for a beautiful outdoor silent disco from 4 to 7 pm and astronomy night at the international village from 6 to 8 pm on the 26th.
Get loose at the silent disco before experiencing awe-inspiring views of the galaxy with state-of-the-art equipment led by a professional astronomer. Finally, gather at Sunbird Park on the 27th at 4:30 pm to watch a 15 minute performance by the Champion Figure Skaters on the Arrabelle Ice Rink, live music, and special guests followed by the lighting of the tree and beginning of the holiday season.
1. Killington’s Thanksgiving Festivities
Making its way to our number one spot is Killington, Vermont’s incredibly exciting Thanksgiving week events.
During Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, is the Fifth Annual Homelight Killington Cup in which 100 female athletes from 21 countries will compete in both slalom and giant slalom competitions. Being an official Audi FSI Ski Women’s World Cup Event, the Homelight Killington Cup is the largest ski event on the East Coast and will be watched by over 2.1 million spectators from over 60 countries. In addition to the races, Killington will be hosting live music, movie screenings, and a lively vendor village. Buy tickets and support the Killington World Cup Federation which aids in athlete hospitality and provides grants to improve winter sports infrastructure and access throughout the Northeast.
How to register and find more information:
5. Crystal Mountain Turkey Vulture Trot:
4. Stratton Gobble Gobble Wobble 5k:
3. 9th Annual Cold Turkey Plunge:
2. Vail Thanksgiving Events:
1. Killington Thanksgiving Events:
Homelight Killington Cup: