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Thanksgiving in Minneapolis and St. Paul

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Thanksgiving is November 28, 2013. Here's the rundown of Minneapolis and St. Paul Thanksgiving food, events, activities, shopping, volunteering, and more to help you plan your Thanksgiving holiday in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Twin Cities.

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Every supermarket carries turkeys at this time of year. It takes a little more work to find a Minnesota-raised turkey, a free range turkey, or an organic turkey. Here's where to find ethical Thanksgiving turkeys in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Don't Want to Cook? Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner

If you don't want to cook this year, many local restaurants will be happy to host your Thanksgiving dinner.

Local Minnesota Thanksgiving Food and Drink

As well as local Minnesota turkeys, local Thanksgiving meals and sides are stocked in co-ops across the Twin Cities. Local dairies provide butter and cream for cooking. Local squashes and pumpkins are perfect for pie, and Minnesota's famous wild rice makes great stuffing for your turkey.

Surdyks in Northeast Minneapolis is one of the largest and most comprehensive liquor stores in the Twin Cities, perfect for a special bottle of wine to drink with Thanksgiving dinner.

And since there will be football, and you will probably need beer too. The Four Firkins in St. Louis Park is a new specialty beer store with a phenomenal selection of craft beers.

Or try the Wine Thief and Ale Jail in St. Paul, for both kinds of beverages.

Here's some more ideas for incorporating Minnesota produce, and places to shop for ingredients.

Things To Do: Thanksgiving Day

Most attractions in the Twin Cities close on Thanksgiving. But there are still a few places to visit on Thursday.

Como Zoo and Conservatory is open every day, including Thanksgiving. Opening hours are 10 am - 4 pm.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is open day of the year. If you have out-of-town guests, you can't get more iconic a photo opportunity than a snap in front of the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. Open daily, 6 am - midnight.

The Depot, in downtown Minneapolis, opens their beautiful indoor ice rink on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, and will be open for skating 10 am - 9 pm.

View holiday lights in St. Paul's Phalen Park. Over a million lights and animated displays to admire every night from November 26 until New Year's Day. The admission charge goes to local charities. The lights are on from 5.30 pm - 10 pm nightly.

Things to Do: Thanksgiving Weekend

The most famous Twin Cities holiday event, the Holidazzle Parade, has the first two parades of the season on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29 and 30.

On Saturday November 30, downtown St. Paul's Rice Park Ice Rink opens. The Rice Park Christmas tree will be lit, and the ice rink will be opened, at the opening ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

Downtown Minneapolis' Macy's annual Santaland holiday display is open every day from November 23 until December 24, except Thanksgiving Day itself.

Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas? If not, A Victorian Christmas at the Alexander Ramsey House with tours of the historic house, music and refreshments, will be open on November 27, 29, 30, December 1 and several other dates from November 13 through January 1.

Thanksgiving Activities: Getting Active and Outside

Depending on snow, downhill ski and snowboard areas are open this weekend, many on Thanksgiving day. There should be snow, whether machine made or natural, and several runs open by late November.

And if there's snow on the ground, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and all kinds of snow-and-ice activities are a great way to burn off the turkey. Or work up an appetite for it.

In Minneapolis, the annual Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5K begins at the Target Center and takes runners around downtown Minneapolis. In St. Paul, you can run or walk at Lake Como in the Giving Thanks 5K and 1.5K walk. In Hastings, the Gobble Gait 8k and 2K races are on Thanksgiving morning.

The Mall of America hosts the annual Walk to End Hunger 5K on Thanksgiving morning. Register for the indoor 5K walk, bring food for the food drive, or call into the phone-a-thon to help local food banks.

Family in Town? Need a Hotel?

Many of Minneapolis' hotels are in downtown Minneapolis. There are also plenty of hotels around the Mall of America and the adjacent Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Downtown St. Paul has several hotels, and then the rest of the Twin Cities have various chain hotels scattered around.

The exception is Stillwater, in the far east of the Twin Cities metro area, which has a couple of independent inns and hotels - the Rivertown Inn, the Lowell Inn, and the William Sauntry Mansion Bed and Breakfast.

Volunteering for Thanksgiving

Volunteering to help serve Thanksgiving meals is a popular holiday tradition. Homeless shelters like People Serving People, in Minneapolis, and the Catholic Charities Dorothy Day Shelter in St. Paul, need volunteers during the holidays, and all year round too.

Donating food is another way to help out needy families this holiday season. Second Harvest Heartland accept donations of non-perishable food items at their St. Paul and Minneapolis locations. Also in Minneapolis, Emergency Food Shelf Network accepts donations of non=perishable food to distribute to local families.

Here's a list of organizations who need help at Thanksgiving.

Benefiting several food banks in the Twin Cities, the Walk to End Hunger 5K Walk and food drive is at the Mall of America on Thanksgiving morning.

Black Friday Shopping

Part of the Thanksgiving tradition for many families is going shopping and looking for great deals on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Here's when local malls and shopping centers are open for shopping on Black Friday, and resources for finding out what's on sale, where.

More November Events

What else is happening in Minneapolis/St. Paul in November? Here's a calendar of November events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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