The Big 2016 Phoenix Thanksgiving Guide

Cooking, Eating, Travel and Fun on Thanksgiving

Whether you are eating out on Thanksgiving, or looking for a place to order a Thanksgiving dinner to go, or just trying to figure out what to do with those Thanksgiving weekend guests, here is a guide to Thanksgiving in the Phoenix, Arizona area. In 2016, the date for Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 24.

  • 01 of 18

    The relatives have arrived. You left work early for a well-deserved four-day weekend. Is there anything to do on the day before Thanksgiving? Yes! Here are ten parties, events or just suggestions for places to go on Thanksgiving Eve.

  • 02 of 18
    Eating out on Thanksgiving: Turkey and the Trimmings
    ••• Stockbyte / Getty

    Enjoying a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal doesn't mean that you have to slave in the kitchen for two days before the holiday, and then drop from exhaustion when your guests finally leave. There are many restaurants in the Phoenix, AZ area where you can go out on Thanksgiving Day. Buffets or multi-course prix fixe menus, these restaurants may be associated with local hotels and resorts, casinos, chains or they may be independently owned and operated restaurants. All price ranges are included here. This listing is updated often throughout the month of November.

  • 03 of 18
    Ordering a complete dinner to go from a local restaurant might be a good choice this year.
    ••• Bobby-Q Great Steaks & Real BBQ

    Maybe you'd rather stay at home for Thanksgiving, but you still don't want to or don't have the time to prepare the meal. Take out might be the answer. You can get the entire meal, or just the turkey or ham and pie and add your own sides. Or get your own turkey and just order the sides and dessert. Here are several restaurants in the Phoenix area that offer take out. Check to make sure how far in advance you have to reserve your meal, and when you can pick it up.

  • 04 of 18
    Take a moment out of the holiday rush to just feel grateful.
    ••• Hill Street Studios/Getty Images

    You can order your Phoenix Thanksgiving take-out from a local restaurant. Alternatively — and less gourmet and cheaper — you can also order your Thanksgiving-to-go from your local market or grocery store.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18
    Recipe Pumpkin Cheesecake
    ••• The Capital Grille

    We have many highly acclaimed restaurants in the Phoenix area, and several of them have joined me in helping you create some very special holiday meals.

  • 06 of 18
    Turkey Frying
    ••• jkbowers / Getty Images

    The Avondale Firefighters want everyone to be safe this Thanksgiving. If you are determined to deep fry a turkey this year, make sure you read these safety tips first!

  • 07 of 18
    Fountain Hills Turkey Trot
    ••• Courtesy Fountain Hills Office of Tourism

    How about a little exercise and family fun before sitting down to eat and drink and watch football all day? There are several competitive and non-competitive walks and runs in the Greater Phoenix area on Thanksgiving Day.

  • 08 of 18
    Inside the Mirror Maze. Is that me? Or a mirror image of me?
    ••• Judy Hedding
    As long as it might take to prepare your Thanksgiving meal, it doesn't usually take very long to eat it! What do you do with the rest of your day? While some people look forward to watching football on TV all day, some of you might want to get and and do something else with your day off. Here are some ideas.
    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • 09 of 18
    Walgreens is one of several stores that are open on Thanksgiving.
    ••• Joe Raedle / Getty Images News
    I hope you aren't sick today, and that maybe you just need to pick up one little thing that you forgot. Here is a listing of stores that are open on Thanksgiving in the Phoenix area.
  • 10 of 18

    Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, Entertaining Guests, Travel Tips and More ...

    The Mall Factor: Thousands of Forced Stores Openings Thanksgiving Day
    ••• Getty Images
    ...on the next page.
  • 11 of 18
    Volunteer for the Holidays
    ••• Courtesy Salvation Army, Phoenix
    We should think about it all year long, but if we can't volunteer during the rest of the year, here are some opportunities to do something for others in our community during the holidays.
  • 12 of 18
    The Salvation Army can always use volunteers during the holidays.
    ••• Ethan Miller / Getty Images News

    This free dinner is attended by so many people that only the Convention center can host it. Whether you find yourself alone on Thanksgiving Day, or you aren't able to serve Thanksgiving Dinner to your family this year for whatever reason, you are welcome here.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • 13 of 18
    Alternative Black Friday at CityScape Phoenix
    ••• Courtesy CityScape

    Of course, all the national chains and big box stores will be open on Black Friday, but if you'd rather search out some local deals where you are less likely to see the mall crowd, check these out.

  • 14 of 18
    I shop on Small Business Saturday!
    ••• Judy Hedding

    On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we are all encouraged to think twice about where we shop, and make a special effort to spend our holiday dollars at locally owned and operated businesses. You might even get a bonus!

  • 15 of 18
    Salvation Army
    ••• Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News
    The Salvation Army's Christmas Angel program is a tradition in Arizona. Each of the trees is decorated with Christmas Angel tags that represent a boy or girl under 12 years of age. These are children whose families have qualified for holiday assistance through The Salvation Army. Simply remove the tag from the tree, register the angel with a volunteer and then shop for your angel.
  • 16 of 18
    The Phoenix area is usually a great place to spend the holidays if you enjoy mild weather.
    ••• Judy Hedding
    Check out what the weather is likely to be like when the relatives come to visit.
    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18
    Enjoying family during the holidays in Arizona.
    ••• Photodisc / Getty
    As it starts to get cold all over the rest of the country, we start to get more visitors in Phoenix--what a surprise! When friends and relatives come to see you for a few days, you are going to need some ideas about where to go and things to see in the area. Here are some of the best places in the Phoenix area to take out-of-town visitors, with a focus on places that are uniquely Arizona.
  • 18 of 18
    Sky Harbor International Airport
    ••• Judy Hedding

    If you are flying wither in or out of Sky Harbor International Airport for the Thanksgiving holiday, here are some tips for parking and handling this busy travel period.