Earlier this week, I put the question to New London’s Facebook page: what are some good things to do in the city for Thanksgiving?
The responses suggested that people are either too full to head out on the town or that they simply like to spend the time with family enjoying the meal (and addressing the subsequent kitchen devastation). Here are a few suggestions for things to do if you’d like to get out of the house during the long weekend.
Watch the Whalers take on NFA
As long as New London High School and Norwich Free Academy keep playing each other, they’ll keep up a historic tradition. The showdown between the Whalers and Wildcats dates back to a game on May 12, 1875, making it the oldest high school football rivalry in the United States. New London is looking for a repeat performance following a 37-17 victory over NFA last year.
This is the last regular season game for both schools before CIAC puts together tournament brackets. NFA is currently undefeated at 9-0, although similar records in other schools means they’re currently only fifth in the Class LL division. New London is at 7-2 and ranked seventh in the Class M division.
The game begins at 10 a.m. today at New London High School.
Attend a community meal
The Calvary Chapel of Eastern Connecticut is sponsoring a Thanksgiving dinner today at the Second Congregational Church. No reservation or registration is required, and all are welcome to join in the meal. Food will be served from noon to 3 p.m.
If you want to help out at this event or otherwise get some more information on this event, call 860-848-7400.
See Mrs. Hempstead cook
The Hempsted Houses are closed for the season, but they’re opening this weekend for a special event. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the houses will be open for “Thanksgiving with the Hempsteads.” See how the family at this historic site would have prepared their holiday meal over an open hearth and learn more about 18th century New London.
Help out local businesses
If you’re tired of all the controversy over Black Friday openings moving up to tonight, or if you don’t want to compete with other shoppers for the holiday deals, or if you just want to help out some of the local entrepreneurs, Small Business Saturday is for you.
A number of downtown businesses have announced discounts, freebies for the first several purchases, and other promotions for the day. Learn more about them in this article.
Go for a walk
One suggestion that came up on Facebook was to take a walk around downtown New London to enjoy the architecture and the reduced hustle and bustle. There are plenty of beautiful buildings and murals to see, and sometimes it takes awhile to spot something.
Check out the parks listings for some more options. Connecticut College Arboretum extends far beyond the area enclosed by the main gate, and today might be a good chance to stroll out to Mamacoke Island to get a new look at the Thames River. And it’s not exactly a good time of year for swimming, but Ocean Beach Park still offers a gorgeous vista for a walk, run, or spotting a sunset.
The Rink at Parade Plaza is closed for Thanksgiving Day, but resumes its regular hours on Friday from noon to 8 p.m.
Go see a movie
OK, so New London doesn’t really have a movie theater until the Garde Arts Center starts up its winter film festival. But another suggestion that came up was taking in a movie with the family. Some movies getting rave reviews are Argo, Flight, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Rise of the Guardians, Skyfall, and Wreck-It Ralph. You can check the latest showtimes for these flicks at the cinemas in Waterford, Groton, Niantic, Mystic, and Pawcatuck.
Of course, you can also just look for a copy of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and have a good laugh with loved ones.