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Ten Things to Do to Make Thanksgiving Fun

Mile High United Way's Turkey Trot is Denver's premier Thanksgiving sporting event.EXPAND
Mile High United Way's Turkey Trot is Denver's premier Thanksgiving sporting event.
Brandon Marshall
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From ice-skating rinks to twinks and turkey trots to teas, there's a Thanksgiving event for just about everyone next week. Here are ten of our favorite events celebrating Turkey Day and the (official!) beginning of the holiday season from Tuesday, November 21, through Saturday, November 25.

Petals & Pumpkins Flower Class
Tuesday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
Something Styled, Inc.
If you're the kind of host who pays as much attention to the table's centerpiece as you do the food, this may be the class for you (in which case, we can't believe you're leaving the flowers until the last minute!) Or you may be the type of person who likes to stop and smell the fall foliage. Either way, take a few hours out of your evening to relax and enjoy the peaceful, meditative nature of floral design at this Thanksgiving-themed class. Beverages, flowers and rustic wooden vases are provided, so all you have to do is show up in a festive fall mood. Tuition is $50 at eventbrite.com.

Downtown Denver Rink
Wednesday, November 22, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Skyline Park
If you don't have the day before Thanksgiving off from work, just call in sick (you feel a cold coming on, right?) Then break out your warmest wool socks and fill up a Thermos of hot chocolate (peppermint schnapps optional) before heading over to Denver's favorite outdoor ice-skating rink. There you can lace up a pair of skates and glide along the ice with the grace of your Christmas tree's angel topper. Or perhaps you'll fall on your ass and spend some time looking up at the magical canopy of twinkling Christmas lights above you. Either way, the Downtown Denver Rink is a dirt-cheap (free, if you bring your own skates) way to kick off the long weekend, with free admission and skate rental starting at just $6. The season opens the day before Thanksgiving and will run through Valentine's Day; check out downtowndenver.com for hours and specials like free skate rental, skating lessons and season passes for the aspiring Olympic athlete.

Thanksgiving Tea and Tour
Wednesday, November 22, 1 p.m.

Cherokee Ranch and Castle
Little did you know there's a castle — complete with gargoyles — south of the Mile High City. Designed by architect Burnham Hoyt (best known for creating Red Rocks Amphitheatre) in the 1920s, the historic edifice perches on a stony outcropping and emulates a fifteenth-century Scottish castle. And if you put on your tartan and knitwear, you, too, can channel Outlander at the Castle's Thanksgiving Tea, where you'll daintily nibble scones and sandwiches before touring the manse, its collection of art (including pieces by Sir Christopher Wren) and furniture. Tickets, $50, are on sale at Cherokee Ranch.

Film for All Seasons: Die Hard
Wednesday, November 22, 2 and 7 p.m.
Landmark Mayan Theatre
It's that time of year when the important questions are asked and the debate rages over pumpkin pie: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? We're not taking sides, except to say that you should absolutely kick off your holiday season with a screening of the classic action movie, starring Bruce Willis in prime beefcake mode, the late, great Alan Rickman as the inimitable, scene-chewing Hans Gruber, and Bonnie Bedelia's hair. Tickets, $8.50, are on sale at Landmark Theatres. Yippee-ki-yay, here come the ho-ho-ho-holidays.

Paws & Claws Night at the Santa Photo Experience
Wednesday, November 22, 4 to 7 p.m.
Southlands Shopping Center
Every Thanksgiving, Santas pop up in malls around America, kicking off an epic holiday tradition that culminates in blurry photos of toddlers trying to get away from a cigarette-smoke-scented man with a terrifying beard. If you absolutely can't live without a framed photo of Kris Kringle on the wall this season, beat the crowds by heading over on Thanksgiving Eve, and skip the kids in favor of your furry children. Cats, canines, chameleons, cockatiels and caimans are all welcome. The best part? Your fur babies won't complain about standing in line, and Santa only has to hand them a treat, and they'll be a very good boy or girl (at least until the treats are gone).

Holiday Roast
Wednesday, November 22, 8 p.m
Comedy Works Downtown
If you have Eric Idle's seasonal ditty "Fuck Christmas" on your holiday playlist, you won't want to miss the Holiday Roast on Thanksgiving Eve, which will serve as a prophylactic to the onslaught of holiday cheer starting the very next day. Your childhood holiday favorites (Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and, naturally, the Nutcracker) have grown up and become cynical, and they're dredging up humiliating stories over holiday dinner and going in for the kill after a few too many mugs of mulled wine. Revel in the familial savagery (and give thanks this will be funnier than your own Thanksgiving dinner) for just $14; tickets are on sale at Comedy Works.

An estimated 20,000 participants attended the 2016 Mile High United Way Turkey Trot.EXPAND
An estimated 20,000 participants attended the 2016 Mile High United Way Turkey Trot.
Brandon Marshall

Mile High United Way Turkey Trot
Thursday, November 23, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Washington Park
The Turkey Trot has been around for over forty years now, and it's a huge fundraiser for the Mile High United Way, bringing in over $400,000 last year. The four-mile run/walk around Washington Park gives Denverites of all ages and fitness levels the chance to don outlandish turkey toppers and even strut their stuff in full-body fowl fashion, all the while telling themselves the calories burned will offset their second (perhaps third!) helping of mashed potatoes later that day. Who could possibly pass up a tradition that's equal parts cosplay and denial? It's not too late to register for the race ($30 for kids, $45 for adults) at United Way Denver.

Thanksgiving Flow
Thursday, November 23, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Gather Yoga
No doubt you'll be up early on Thanksgiving: There are turkeys to stuff and put in the oven, potatoes to mash and cream to whip. Get a jump on food prep, then take a break for a workout that's not as strenuous as running away from hordes of furries (see above). There's no charge for this class, but Gather Yoga will be accepting donations, which will go toward hurricane relief in still-struggling Puerto Rico. Give thanks for your ability to donate (and for the clean water you're using to whip up that Turkey Day feast). Check out the details and sign up at Gather's Facebook page.

Skivvy Strip Down: Get Stuffed
Thursday, November 23, 9 p.m.

Of course you're stuffed after Thanksgiving dinner; whether you're man enough to strip down to your undies after all that indulgence is another question. If you are, you'll be be rewarded by extravagance of another sort altogether, as you get $3 drinks when you belly up to the bar in your briefest briefs (or boxers) for kink bar Trade's bi-weekly bacchanal. And at midnight, the Black Friday deals make an appearance — we can only hope the ensuing stampede to the bar will have a happier ending than any charge through Walmart's doors.

Leftover Turkey Trot
Saturday, November 25, 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Roger's Grove Park
Let's be honest: Some days you just can't fit in a workout. And despite the inspiring (or annoying?) Thanksgiving morning racers and yogis showing up in your newsfeed, there's no shame in being too bleary-eyed to make it out of the house Thursday morning in time for a jog. After all, most of us are up until 2 a.m. frantically trying to defrost that turkey without giving anyone salmonella. Enter the most realistic 5K race of the weekend: Indulge on Thanksgiving, sleep in the day after, race on Saturday. Check it out and get registered ($25 and up) at Because of Becca.

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