Thanksgiving in Michigan can be a complete adventure. From Wednesday drinking to Black Friday shopping, the whole experience can be had right here. For the very finest turkey options, some of the most legendary pie shops in the country, and a turkey trot to top things off, here’s a guide to our top 2023's 9 Best Thanksgiving Activities and Events in Michigan.
Whether you call it Black Wednesday or Blackout Wednesday, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest bar nights of the year. The Delux Lounge in Detroit prepares itself for that nicely, serving as one of the best bars for Black Wednesday, according to CBS Local Detroit. Wednesday night karaoke certainly doesn't hurt matters, so whether you're coming to visit old friends or just loosen up ahead of a family holiday party, you'll have all the opportunity you need at the Delux Lounge.
Head to Dewitt or Grand Rapids for what MLive calls the best pie in Michigan, found at the Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe. USA Today even called it one of the 20 “most legendary” pie shops in the United States. When you're there, and you can get past the weight of the honorifics this place carries, you'll be able to get your hands on pies ranging from Tom's Cheery Cherry Berry Berry to peanut butter chocolate cream. Since the pies change with the seasons, you can stop in most any time and get your hands on some kind of spectacular pie.
Thanksgiving without turkey isn't the same, sadly, so head out to Middleville and Tom Otto Turkey Farm to ensure you get yours the best way possible. Raised in open-air, free-range barns without hormones or antibiotics, a Tom Otto turkey is turkey as it was meant to be. Six generations of Ottos have worked the Tom Otto turkey farm, and that pride of ownership shines forth in every Tom Otto turkey that graces a holiday table.
It's back to Detroit for one of the leading Thanksgiving Day parades in the whole country: America's Thanksgiving Parade. Started the same year as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it's every bit as storied and venerable, even if it doesn't have the same level of media coverage. A two-hour festival of floats, marching bands, massive balloons, and sheer Americana, America's Thanksgiving Parade will match Macy's, and right in Michigan.
Michigan has a staggering Native American connection. So on Thanksgiving, a look at some of the culture of the Native Americans of Michigan via Mount Pleasant's Ziibiwing Center is an edifying experience for all. With a permanent exhibit that takes about an hour or so to partake fully and a changing exhibit that adds 15 to 30 minutes, you’ll receive a better connection to Michigan's first residents.
For over 20 years, Gateway Mission in Holland has been hosting an annual Thanksgiving dinner, bringing locals together at a single table in the spirit of gratitude and celebration. Be a part of the festivities this year; join in the fun of the Gateway Mission Thanksgiving dinner and thank the whole community.
A lot of Michigan malls have special events to lure in shoppers for Black Friday, and with good reason. But Novi's Twelve Oaks Mall may have the best such event with its Magical Night of Shopping event. It starts on Thanksgiving night—which may or may not be your cup of tea—going from 6 p.m. to midnight and offering exclusive sales and several other particular points. There will even be a special visit with Santa to add to the roster, making Twelve Oaks a real destination for Black Friday shopping.
If the idea of cooking for Thanksgiving, or even ordering out, sounds like too much, you can pack up and head to a Thanksgiving buffet dinner. There are a large quantity of these scattered around Michigan, but one of the clear winners is the Fire Rock Grille in Caledonia. With turkey and all the trimmings on hand—assuming by "trimmings” you mean prime rib, ham, and pumpkin soup—along with some unexpected fare, you'll have plenty of exciting options here. Throw in plenty of desserts to round it out and it's a Thanksgiving feast for the ages. There's even a separate kids' buffet for the little ones.