Tag Archives: Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner To-Go

Contributed by Michelle Shea of Adventure Dining Guide

Thanksgiving Dinner in a bowl in front of water

Image Credit: Michelle Shea

Have you ever eaten your Thanksgiving dinner while enjoying uninhibited views of snowcapped peaks, crashing oceans, pristine valleys, or crystal clear lakes? No? How about starting a new tradition this year: Get outside, and ditch the crowds! Indulge in your favorite outdoor adventure, and enjoy one of the most underrated exploration days of the year.

For many Americans, a traditional Thanksgiving consists of eating, cooking, watching football, and staying indoors. While everyone else is at home, why not take your Thanksgiving Dinner “to go” with a holiday-inspired, backcountry-friendly recipe. Invite family and friends to join you outside for a Thanksgiving meal they will never forget!

Here is everything you will need for your adventure-inspired holiday dinner:

  • Turkey Jerky
  • Rachel Ray’s “Apple and Onion Stuffin’ Muffins”
  • Cream cheese and dried cranberries
  • Adventure Dining Guide’s “Pumpkin Backcountry Bites”

This meal is pack-friendly and filled with nutrition to fuel your journey. The best part is that you can prep everything at home, so when you’re in the wilderness you can just relax and enjoy a fantastic meal.

Before you hit the trail, this is what you need to prep at home:

For an ultralight alternative, try dehydrating the muffins and the pumpkin filling.

This backcountry Thanksgiving meal is best served with a view, so get adventurous this Thursday! Happy holidays, and happy trails!

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Your Favorite State Park!

Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to spend in mother nature’s warm embrace: The weather is crisp yet not too cold to make you want to bundle up inside, and the changing foliage presents a gorgeous backdrop to any outdoor activity. It probably goes without saying, but we’re big proponents of not spending the day after Thanksgiving stuck on long lines buying discounted electronics and would much rather be outside at our favorite state parks. Luckily, many state parks feel the same way as us.

After Thanksgiving Hike, Tennessee State Parks

Tennessee's After Thanksgiving Hikes.

Work off all the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing on any of Tennessee’s state parks. [Image: http://tnstateparks.com/]

Eat as much as you want on Thanksgiving, then work it off while also avoiding the Black Friday craze at any of Tennessee’s lovely state parks through their After Thanksgiving Hikes series. Hikes range from easy to more challenging and are of varying distances. Get totally immersed in any of the parks and reconnect with your roots a bit along the way.

Thanksgiving Day Buffet, Ohio State Parks

Thanksgiving dinner.

Celebrating Thanksgiving the way it was meant to be—alongside family and friends. [Image: http://www.decoist.com/]

Don’t feel like cooking this Thanksgiving? You’re not alone on that front. Head on over to any of Ohio’s state park lodge and conference centers or dining lodges where they’ll do the cooking for you—your biggest responsibility will be relaxing, eating delicious food, and chatting with friends and family. And really, is Thanksgiving meant to be spent any other way?

Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot, Choke Canyon State Park

Wild turkey.

A little inspiration for the event perhaps? [Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/]

If you’re looking for a unique way to spend your Thanksgiving weekend, then you’ll definitely want to check out Choke Canyon State Park’s Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot. Learn the history and basics of archery with trained instructors, and maybe even learn a bit about turkey hunting as well. It’s a great event for the entire family! If you’re looking to exert yourself on an exciting hike, want to play around with arts and crafts, or just want a tasty Thanksgiving dinner, many other Texas state parks have events going on for the long weekend as well. Don’t let the opportunity to spend the weekend outside and with other outdoor enthusiasts pass you by!

Thanksgiving Dinner, Kentucky State Parks

Turkey dinner for Thanksgiving.

Cue mouth watering and stomach rumbling. [Image: http://www.lexingtondowntownhotel.com/]

All of Kentucky’s resort state parks are offering delectable buffet-style meals on Thanksgiving so you don’t have to slouch over your stove for a whole week to prepare it yourself. So kick your feet up, stuff yourself full of tasty food, and join other state park lovers to start off the holiday season on a positive note. Use the weekend to camp out in one of these gorgeous parks rather than on a long line at your local Best Buy.

Are you totally convinced yet that you need to spend Thanksgiving and the following long weekend outside? We knew you would be. Make sure you download our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps to enhance your outdoor experience throughout the fall, too.

10 Thanksgiving Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

thanksgiving facts

Image: www.gospelherald.com

Thanksgiving is next week, which means unlimited turkey, cranberry sauce and gravy (and don’t forget the desserts!). While you’re sitting around shooting the breeze with your family between meals, you can shell out these interesting Thanksgiving facts:

  • Although the “First Thanksgiving” was in 1621 (it lasted three days!), it didn’t become a national holiday until 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Unlike on your family’s table, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, apples, pears, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberry sauce were not present at the first Thanksgiving dinner in Plymouth.
  • The first Thanksgiving wasn’t really Thanksgiving as we now know it. Thanksgiving was a religious festival affair where Pilgrims would spend all day praying. Thanksgiving was also observed at different times of the year, not just on Thanksgiving. Also, if it were a true Thanksgiving, the Natives wouldn’t have been invited. The “First Thanksgiving” was actually a feast to celebrate a great harvest! A party, in a sense.
  • Contrary to how they’re depicted, Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving didn’t wear black and white with buckled shoes and hats. In fact, they wore very colorful dresses and suits.
  • The Pilgrims’ plan was to settle in the New York area via the Hudson River, but a series of storms caused the boat to sail off course and that’s how they ended up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
thanksgiving facts

Image: www.thanksgivinggallery2014.net

  • Sarah Josepha Hale is credited with the push to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She devoted her entire life to campaigning for it. (Sarah Josepha Hale also wrote the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb.)
  • Roto-Rooter says the busiest day out of the year for plumbers is Black Friday. We’ll let you guess why.
  • Turkeys got their name from the country… sort of. There’s a bird indigenous to Africa called guineafowl that was introduced to Europe via Turkish merchants. Guineafowl were popular in Europe. When the Spaniards came to America, they saw a bird that tasted like and resembled those guineafowl, so they called the bird a turkey.
  • A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster.

Wish you could have someone else do all the Thanksgiving cooking and cleaning this year? Some state parks are hosting delicious turkey dinners, so bring the whole family!