5 Reasons to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Berkshires

Year after year, Thanksgiving follows the same pattern: shop til you drop the week before to gather everything you need to feed a house full of famished loved ones, wake up early and spend all day destroying your kitchen, sit down to a feast and stuff yourself silly, then try to ignore the piles of crusty pans and dishes while you watch a movie and attempt to relax.

This holiday season, switch things up with a trip to the Berkshires and change the way your family celebrates Thanksgiving for the better.

Activities Galore

Sure, you can watch the parade on television and there’s always a football game for anyone who’s interested, but why not try something different just this once?

Hancock Shaker Village has an annual Thanksgiving on the Farm event that spans the holiday weekend. You can have a tete-a-tete with some turkeys, take the kids to do crafts, hike the trails, or take a guided tour to soak up a bit of history. For a more far-ranging outdoor adventure, hike or bike through the fall foliage, try a canoe tour, or see if you can squeeze in a whitewater rafting trip if you’re around after the holiday itself.

Dinner is Served

While the exact roster of restaurants changes a bit from year to year, there are a ton of eateries in the Berkshires that offer Thanksgiving spreads for hungry diners who don’t want to wrestle with a turkey at home. Even if you have a kitchen at your disposal, wouldn’t it be nice to avoid the pot holders and whisks for one year and just sit down and eat?

Incredible Local Ingredients

Of course, some people are so culinarily inclined they’d rather put on their chef’s hat and create a feast for family and friends, and that’s okay too. In fact, the Berkshires are a foodie’s paradise thanks to a plethora of shops, farms, and bakeries offering top-shelf goods — pre-cooked and otherwise — perfect for thanksgiving dinner.

  • The Berkshire Food Co-op has organic and natural, no-hormone turkeys plus ready-made appetizers, organic fruit pies (some with vegan crusts) and fair-trade chocolates
  • Berger’s Specialty Foods at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace takes orders through mid-November for prepped foods such as butternut bisque, cranberry and wild rice pilaf, and peach praline
  • Berkshire Organics operates both a brick-and-mortar store and a full-service delivery route that services Berkshire County all year long; have your Thanksgiving produce delivered to save time and ask about the tofurky if you or your guests are avoiding meat

There’s Space for all the Relatives — And You Don’t Have to Make the Beds

Book into The Lake House and you and your family will enjoy a wide range of amenities from the comfort of one of seven cottages, all of which can be enjoyed individually or as part of a group package to accommodate the whole extended brood. From playing board games by the stone gas fireplace to gathering in the sizable great room at the lodge to set up the Christmas gift exchange, there’s plenty to do and for once you’re not responsible for hosting.

Solo Self-Care

If a family Thanksgiving isn’t your think or isn’t just isn’t possible, take the opportunity to get away and give yourself the gift of peace and quiet. There are restaurants, spas, and museums open around the holiday (though not necessarily on Thanksgiving Day itself), but you can also pack a couple good books, all the fixin’s for s’mores, and unplug your phone for the duration. You’ve earned it.

For more information about life and vacations in the Berkshires, check out the Lake House blog.