5 Places That Will Still Be Open On Thanksgiving and Christmas
A holiday event guide for the rest of us.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are times to make an annual pilgrimage to see family and friends… for most people.
It may be sad to think of sad people spending sad time alone during what has come to be known simply as "the holidays." But there's more to the holiday refugee population than sad sacks with nowhere to go. In fact, there are all kinds of contented non-celebrants!
It's all just another day for the recent immigrant unfamiliar with this "Thanksgiving" thing, or for the non-Christian (or non-religious) in this very Christmas-crazy country.
And lest we forget those who: (a) don't schlep back home for each holiday in this crowded time of year, (b) people who simply can't afford a big trip, and (c) those with some time to kill between seeing family.
What are all these non-revelers to do with themselves?
Well, as it turns out, there's a number of activities that don't take a break for the holidays! There are more choices if you live in or near a large city—where many of the folks mentioned tend to live. You should Google around to see what's open in your area. But generally speaking, here are your best bets for non-holiday holidays…
1. Zoos and Aquariums
Animals have no idea what's going on. Whether it's a weekend, weekday, holiday, or birthday, the animals don't know and don't care.
And for those animal residents of zoos and aquariums, they will still need all the care, food, and attention they would require on any day. These facilities are generally open 365 days a year to the public (though they may be lacking on some customer services like the gift shop, but whatevs).
2. Movie Theaters
Chinese food plus a movie has long been a Christmas tradition for Jewish-Americans. And movie theaters know this. In most cities, the chain theaters (and local operations who know their community) will be open for at least part of the day.
For moviegoers of all religious denominations, it's a good way to avoid the usual rush to all the hits that Hollywood jams into the holiday season. Check ahead with your local spot. I guarantee at least one theater in driving distance will be open on Christmas or Thanksgiving night.
3. Public Parks
Trees don't know what holidays are. They don't even care about Arbor Day, the holiday for trees. National, state, and local parks are open all year round. It may be a wee bit colder than usual, but that's what coats were invented for. Our top 15 choices for physical fitness in your area.
It's a perfect time to commune with the great outdoors and avoid all the regular hullaballoo of the crowds. A great way to kick off the new year.
As mentioned above, part of the Jewish-American experience on Christmas is to go out for Chinese food. The reason is that Chinese restaurants (those typically run by non-Christian Chinese immigrants) tend to be open for business. The same can be said for all restaurants run by recent immigrants hailing from typically non-Christian parts of the world: Indian, Middle Eastern, Japanese, etc.
You may want to check with each restaurant to confirm they will be open beforehand, but generally speaking these are your best choices for Thanksgiving or Christmas dining.
Vice doesn't take a break either. Casinos remain open to take your money on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Certainly Atlantic City and Las Vegas will make their many alters of vice available for all your betting needs. Of course, the past decade has seen casinos have spread to nearly every region in one form or another. You may want to check ahead if your local casino is open or closed. But if you're looking for a way to kill some time and don't care that much about your money, these are a good way to go and will very likely accommodate your non-traditional holiday choice.
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