The Ten Best Family-Friendly Activities Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Getting the turkey on the table is the least of your challenges this week: You also need to keep your relatives entertained on a very long weekend. If you’re hoping to avoid the nervous breakdown that family time often brings, we recommend getting out of the house and enjoying a few festive happenings. Here are our top ten family-friendly events over Thanksgiving weekend:

1. Southwest Rink
Southwest Rink at Skyline Park
Now through February 14

Technically, the weekend hasn't started yet — but who cares? Grab the kiddos and head to 16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver for a few laps around Southwest Rink at Skyline Park, a free urban rink that opened on November 22, and will have a special holiday skate on Thanksgiving Day between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The rink's open daily through February 14, and hours are posted online; bring your own skates or rent a pair for $2. 

2. Denver International Airport Ice Skating Rink
Now through January 1

At 9 a.m. on November 25, Denver International Airport will open a skating rink on the plaza south ofhe terminal, complete with carolers and seasonal music. The rink will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and not only is skating free, but you can also borrow skates for free. Although there might be more convenient places to skate, if you're delayed flying out of DIA, or the person you're picking up is delayed, this is a great way to distract the kids. Find out more at

3. Steuben’s Arvada 
7355 Ralston Road
10 a.m. Friday, November 25

Steuben's in Arvada is opening early — at 10 a.m.– for a special brunch. If you've still got family in town, head to this new/old diner in Arvada for chilaquiles (with shredded beef, avocado and a sunnyside egg), scratch-made biscuits & sausagegGravy, or cayenne etouffée (crawfish, shrimp, andouille, dirty rice and a fried egg). Adults in the crowd can top it with a mimosa, bloody Mary (add bacon for just a buck), or michelada. Brunch lasts until 3 p.m. Find out more here.

4. Black Friday
Punch Bowl Social
Friday, November 25

With old-school entertainment, people-pleasing fare and a stellar beverage program, Punch Bowl Social continues to draw in the crowds for family-friendly events. On Black Friday, you’ll get a shot of Wild Turkey bourbon if you bowl a turkey (that’s three strikes in a row). Don’t forget to check out the other old-school games, too, including ping-pong, darts, shuffleboard, Skee Ball, vintage arcade games and karaoke.
5. YMCA of the Rockies
Snow Mountain Ranch and Estes Park Center
Through November 25

Although both YMCA facilities held big feasts on Thanksgiving, the fun continues. At Snow Mountain Ranch, you canj oin the Moose on the Loose hike on Friday; other family-friendly weekend activities include holiday cookie decorating, animal tracking, dodgeball, bingo, and campfires with s’mores.  At YMCA of the Rockies – Estes Park Center, there will be hikes and fun and games all weekend. Lodging is still available over the weekend at both YMCA of the Rockies properties, and day passes are available at $20 for adults and $10 for kids; children under five are free. And on Cyber Monday, YMCA of the Rockies will offer a lodging deal with rates as low as $64.

Keep reading for more family-fun events.

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Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming Falcon Guide Hiking Wth Kids, Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families.
Contact: Jamie Siebrase