Feeling stir crazy already? Here are a few things going on Thanksgiving weekend (and read on for all the holiday happenings coming up in December):
The Neshobe Pie Gobbler Fun Run & Walk takes off in Brandon on Thanksgiving morning! Every 10th participant goes home with a pie.
Pop over to the Sheldon Museum to see the incredible toy train display! Each year a team of volunteer engineers sets up an elaborate mini-world of electric trains that zoom through a village, zip under tunnels and stop at tiny stations. The trains will be running on Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; included with regular admission. (Admission is free during Midd Night Stroll evenings — Dec. 1, 8 & 15 — and for the Holiday Open House on December 3.)
Watch the World Cup! The Marquis Theater is live streaming the soccer games in the cafe all week (except on Thanksgiving itself). Team USA plays Friday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m.
Ice skate at Memorial Sports Center; there are public skating hours every day except Thanksgiving.
Sled dogs are coming to ECHO! Scoot up to Burlington on Saturday, November 26, to meet a team of Siberian huskies.
Shelburne Museum’s Winter Lights event opens this weekend. Grab some tickets and head up to see all the buildings and gardens aglow for the holidays.
Or, head to Lake Dunmore to see Wayne Smith’s annual over-the-top illuminated Christmas decoration extravaganza, which he usually lights up for the month the first night after Thanksgiving.
The Vermont Folklife Center’s gingerbread house competition is back in person this year! And the deadline is Dec. 1, so Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to plan your creation. Bakers of all ages can participate!
Donate nonperishable items (or money!) to our local food shelf run by HOPE. (Here’s more detailed info about what the organization needs this year.) Or sign up to fulfill some of HOPE’s Holiday Shop wishlist items. More info here.
MEET SANTA, SEVEN WAYS
Santa is magical; that’s how he can be at the Holiday Stroll in Vergennes and Very Merry Middlebury simultaneously on Saturday, Dec. 3. You’ll find him with Mrs. Claus in Middlebury’s Triangle Park from 9-11 a.m.; reading at a special story time at the Bixby Library at 10:30 a.m.; and posing for photos at the Vergennes Opera House that afternoon.
At 5 p.m. that same day, Santa will arrive on a fire truck at Veterans Memorial Park in Salisbury, where folks will enjoy a bonfire, soup, sweet treats, a gigantic Christmas tree, and hay rides to the library for a Santa story time.
On Friday, Dec. 9, Santa will visit the Bristol Town Green for a candy cane hunt. Bonus: The amazing SD Ireland truck — a cement mixer decked out in thousands of lights — will be there, too.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, the Clauses will meet children at Maple Landmark Woodcraft (indoors this year!) This event is free but reservations are required.
And on Friday, Dec. 16, Santa will read stories to folks of all ages at Bristol’s Holley Hall at 3:30 p.m.
GET IN THE HOLIDAY MOOD WITH THESE SHOWS
Bring your little ones to a special family screening of The Nutcracker at BARN OPERA in Brandon on Dec. 3. The hot cocoa will be flowing, and there will be enough stage space for anyone who wants to dance along. Wear your tutu!
The Middlebury Performing Arts Series is offering free tickets to a streaming-only performance by the inventive theater group Manual Cinema on Dec. 9-11. The troupe performs an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” using paper puppets, miniatures and silhouettes.
Town Hall Theater is hosting a matinee screening of “The Polar Express” on Dec. 11 with a build-your-own hot chocolate bar; pajamas encouraged.
And on Dec. 21, local kids perform a Winter Solstice Pageant with lanterns and puppets outside Town Hall Theater.
SHOP LOCAL (WITH CHOCOLATE)
Shops stay open late in downtown Middlebury on Dec. 1, 8 and 15 for Midd Night Stroll (and often the SD Ireland truck makes a visit). If chocolate is your thing, you’ll want to hit up Bristol on Dec. 2 for the annual downtown Chocolate Walk.
CALLING CREATIVE KIDS!
The Better Middlebury Partnership is inviting young entrepreneurs to sell their creations — baked goods, jewelry, artwork, etc. — at a first-ever kids’ holiday market at Very Merry Middlebury on Dec. 3. Interested? Email [email protected].