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Best Thanksgiving Day Activities In Minnesota

Run or walk in a Turkey Day marathon. Donate your time to a community organization. Attend a light festival. See a performance at a Children's Theater. Many places are open on Thanksgiving Day, with much to see and do. Of course, don't forget Thanksgiving dinner and that turkey in the oven.
Photo Credit Thinkstock
Lifetime Turkey Day 5K
Target Center
601 First Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(952) 229-7996

Before digging into that heavy turkey dinner, go for a Thanksgiving Day 5K run. Since 1989, this event has raised funds for local food banks and provided meal donations to families and individuals in need. While the adults run, jog and walk outdoors, children ages 3 to 8 can enjoy their own fitness run on an indoor track. Participants can enjoy refreshments before and after the run. Volunteers are welcome to help prepare the event before Thanksgiving Day.

Turkey Trot For Tots
IRA Civic Center
1401 N.W. Third Ave.
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(218) 326-8100
Time: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Bring a new, unwrapped toy of up to $10 in value, or make a cash or check donation (checks payable to Toys for Tots). The IRA Civic Center is the business office of Edward Jones, a supporter of the Toys for Tots program. Toys can also be dropped off before Thanksgiving during regular business hours.

Science Museum Winter
(credit: Science Museum)

Sherlock Holmes And The Clocktower Mystery
Science Museum of Minnesota
120 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 221-9444
Time: Call for performance schedules.

Before forensics was acknowledged as true science and DNA entered the picture, crime investigators relied on sketchy clues and eyewitness accounts. At Science Life Theatre, help the great sleuth Sherlock Holmes solve a heinous crime that shocks Victorian London. The character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's wildest imagination was a keen observer who knew how to gather and piece together physical evidence. The key to Holmes' sleuthing success was his ability to link the evidence to events leading up to the crime. Guess who the character of Dr. Watson is based on? It's very elementary. (Spoiler: It's not Lucy Liu.)

Related:  The Best Thanksgiving Events In Minnesota

Bentleyville Tour Of Lights
Bayfront Festival Park
700 Railroad St.
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 740-3535
Time: Opens at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

It's a seasonal festival of lights, free of charge, on a 20-acre park on the shores of Lake Superior. Guests are invited to stroll under four million holiday lights. In the park skating rink, holiday music plays as skaters glide across the ice. Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, will pose for photo shoots with children and adults. Mrs. Santa Claus will be there to give warm greetings. What about Santa? He'll be busy with his sleigh, loading and unloading gifts.

Photo Credit Thinkstock
Thanksgiving Dining In Minnesota

Touring, running Thanksgiving road races and attending charity events on Thanksgiving Day works up an appetite. But there are some of us who won't be making dinner at home. Nor will we be trotting off to grandmother's house. Open Table Minneapolis is the best resource for a list of restaurants that will be serving Thanksgiving dinner. If you want to know which restaurants have been open on Thanksgiving Day, check out some of our previous coverage.

Related: 5 New Thanksgiving Traditions To Start With Your Family 

Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.
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