Run, brunch, dance or volunteer all through the week — Thanksgiving can mean food and family, or high-key parties and low-key gatherings. (Please transport yourself safely, especially on Wednesday night.) Stick around for dancing, shopping and art-making over the weekend, and have yourself a holiday filled with gratitude and merriment. 

Read on for our picks for the best events and things to do around Detroit this week. 

Thanksgiving eve parties 

Text: “Thank you for being a friend.” In the background, a gold bamboo frame with four tiki-style drinks in mugs carved to look like the four main “Golden Girls” characters.
If a “Golden Girls” marathon and tiki drinks don’t say Thanksgiving, what does? Image credit: Via Fourth Wall/Lost River

📺 Give thanks for your medal-worthy gal pals at a “Golden Girls” marathon with folks from the eastside’s new Fourth Wall bar and “microcinema”, where you can watch or dance along to the cozy ’80s sitcom. Lost River brings the specialty cocktails and eats from Gajiza Dumplins are just a bonus. Free.

🎸 Head to Outer Limits Lounge in Hamtramck for a “Stroh-furkey” party, featuring sets from Prude Boys, Deadbeat Beat and others alongside the ever-flowing cheap beers. $15. 

🎶 Tap into the “We are Family” vibe at MotorCity Wine’s family affair, with Kai Alcé and David A-P on the decks all night in Corktown. Free. 

💃 For a more bumping vibe, That Bounce takes over Big Pink, with Wrcklés, DJ Pressure, DJ Palmwine and Munch spinning hip-hop, R&B and dance music. Free entry until midnight.

🪩 Dance til the turkey drop at Tangent Gallery in Milwaukee Junction — the turkey might not be alive, but the party will be. No champagne, but you can toast with a slice of pumpkin pie at midnight. Free. 

💿 Go cruising for a bruising at Danny Brown’s unbeatable Bruiser Thanksgiving, an annual affair at Russell Industrial Center. This year, he’s joined by JPEGMAFIA for the final tour stop for their collaborative album “Scaring the Hoes.” $46.71. 

Turkey Day 

🦃 You can always watch Detroit’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV or a live stream, but if you want to join the action, here are the deets for the festivities and more info on the marchers. Watch from the sidewalk as revelers march down Woodward Avenue from Kirby to Congress Street starting at 8:45 a.m. — or snag a seat and eat at The Majestic’s breakfast buffet along the parade route. Attending the parade is free; buffet is $40 for adults and $18 for kids.

🏃 It might be too late to get on a float, but you can still run in the “Parade before the Parade.” Wear a costume to go all out for the 10K Turkey Trot, 5K Stuffing Strut or Mashed Potato Mile starting downtown. Register at Huntington Place on Wednesday, $30-$65 (cash or check only). 

🤝 Spend your holiday making someone else’s a little brighter when you volunteer with Gobble Gobble Give Detroit. Trek to Bert’s Entertainment Complex in Eastern Market (mind the Lions tailgaters) with a hot dish, and toiletries or warm clothes to donate, then stick around to pitch in prepping meals and care packages to deliver to people in need. Free.  

Want more opportunities to give and get this season? We’ve got you covered.

Illustration of a lion in a spacesuit with Detroit Lions logos and a turkey in an astronaut helmet reading “GGG” and a flag that says “Gobble Gobble Give 2023 and beyond…” Both float in the stars above the Detroit skyline.
Help distribute hot meals to some folks in need on Thanksgiving in Eastern Market. Image credit: Via Gobble Gobble Give Detroit

This weekend

🎉 Not done partying? Delano Smith, Eddie Fowlkes, Mike Clark and more bring the beats to Detroit Beatdown, Friday at Marble Bar. Get a Detroit techno history lesson on the dance floor. $21.70.

🎷 Have yourself a cultural bop at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) Friday Night Live! event, featuring Detroit’s own Odu Afrobeat Orchestra. Free museum admission for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

👨‍🎤 We’re celebrating in advance for the return of the “Michael (Jackson) vs. Princedance party at Northern Lights Lounge on Saturday in New Center, where you won’t be able to resist sliding out of the booth to show off those moves. $20. 

✂️ Join guest artist Rachel Elise Thomas for an all-ages mixed media collage workshop, Saturday or Sunday at the DIA. You’ll learn the technique of transferring images from photographs and magazines onto watercolor paper, then add your own flair. Take your holiday cards to the next level, or make something for yourself. Free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
🛍️ Eastern Market Sheds 3, 4 and 5 host a holiday market on Sunday with locally-made gifts from a multitude of Michigan vendors. If you miss it, the market will be back on Dec. 3 and 10. Christmas trees are for sale seven days a week. Free.

Kate (she/her) is passionate about journalism that involves Detroiters from the start and helps readers solve problems and find joy in their daily lives. Her favorite Detroit spot to watch the sunset, play soccer, watch the freighters go by and feel a little haunted is Historic Fort Wayne.