16th Annual Beaujolais and Beyond Festival
McNichols Event Center
144 W. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80238
Date: Nov. 20, 2014 – 5:30 p.m.
Sure, Thanksgiving is all about eating way too much but why not start even earlier with this wonderful annual festival? You’ll indulge in lots of amazing French wines, appetizers, entrees, cheeses and, of course, desserts from more than 20 of Colorado’s best chefs. While you are there, you’ll also celebrate the latest Beaujolais wine and you’ll get to vote for your favorite chef during the culinary competition. Benefits from this festival all go to support the Rocky Mountain French-American Chamber of Commerce.
Kids’ Thanksgiving Fun!
Humphrey History Park and Museum
620 Soda Creek Road
Evergreen, CO 80439
Date: Nov. 26, 2014 – 3 p.m.
Start the four-day Thanksgiving weekend off right with an afternoon of fun and crafts for the kids at this great history museum and park. Your children will love making a whole family of pinecone turkeys that you can proudly display as your centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table. They’ll also get to roast pumpkin seeds to enjoy as a snack. While you are there, you can take a trip back in time and learn what it was like to celebrate Thanksgiving on a traditional Colorado ranch from the 1920s through the 1940s. This event is ideally suited for kids age seven and up, and reservations are requested.
Related: Top Denver Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving
Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace
321 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Daily – 12 p.m.
You’ve got relatives flying in from all over the country, so surprise them with one of the longest standing traditions in Denver. Afternoon Tea at the historic Brown Palace is a wonderful way to share a few hours with your family, chatting and catching up, while enjoying some of the finest teas, scones, pastries and sandwiches in Colorado. Plus, in addition to the amazing English teas, you’ll be able to enjoy Devonshire cream that is shipped here directly from England. Of course, no tea would be complete without some classic piano or harp music playing softly in the background as you enjoy your afternoon. Spaces for Afternoon Tea fill up quickly so make sure to get those reservations in as early as possible.
41st Annual Turkey Trot
1700 E. Louisiana Ave.
Denver, CO 80209
Date: Nov. 27, 2014 – 10 a.m.
Even Thanksgiving in Denver has its healthy side. The annual Turkey Trot is the best way to gear up and get that appetite ready for the huge Thanksgiving meal. This four-mile course will take you through Washington Park, or you can do the shorter quarter mile fun run with the whole family. While you are at the park, make sure to check out the start village for lots of fun activities and then following the race, check out all of the freebies, booths and even the beer garden at the finish village. Plus, all proceeds from this annual tradition benefit the Mile High United Way, so you’ll also be helping a truly great cause.
Downtown Denver Grand Illumination
Union Station to the City and County Building
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Nov. 28, 2014 – 6 p.m.
One of the best Thanksgiving traditions in Denver is the annual Grand Illumination of the Denver City and County Building. The night after Thanksgiving, the iconic building is lit up with thousands of brightly colored lights to usher in the official start of the holiday season. You can head down to the City and County building shortly after 6:30 p.m. to enjoy the free countdown and lighting ceremony. Or, you can also check out the lighting ceremony on the same night just down the street at Denver Union Station. Either one is a wonderful way to end Thanksgiving and start officially getting ready for the holiday season to come.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.