Thanksgiving in Anchorage

Anchorage does Thanksgiving a little different.  While there is plenty of turkey with all the trimmings, it is also the right place for top-flight college hoops and holiday events that sparkle.

Great Alaska Shootout

In Anchorage, Thanksgiving tradition involves watching top collegiate basketball. The annual Great Alaska Shootout hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage tips off annually on the week of Thanksgiving. The Shootout is one of the longest-running college basketball tournaments in the nation.

Holiday Lights and Dance Delights

Not all the action is on the court during Thanksgiving weekend. The annual tree lighting ceremony takes place the evening of Friday, Nov. 25, in Town Square Park. Santa will be there along with his real live reindeer team. For those looking for theatre, a holiday favorite will be on stage during the long weekend as well. The Anchorage Concert Association’s production of “The Nutcracker” runs Nov. 25-27.

Winter Fun

The Thankgiving weekend is also the first weekend of skiing at Alyeska Resort. Grab your skis and head for Girdwood. Or grab some skates and join the locals at an Anchorage pond.

Crafts Weekend & ReadAlaska Book Fair

If all the holiday cheer gets you revved up for Christmas shopping, you’ll find the perfect gift at the Anchorage Museum’s Crafts Weekend. The museum carefully selects every artist so shoppers will be guaranteed authentic, hand-crafted works. Bookworms will love the ReadAlaska fair, which features Alaska authors, illustrators and independent publishing houses.

Thanksgiving Dinners in Anchorage

Enjoy the holiday meal with all the trimmings. You might not even need to leave the hotel; the Anchorage Marriott Downtown, Embassy Suites, Lakefront Anchorage, Hotel Captain Cook and Sheraton Anchorage, and the Westmark Anchorage each have Thanksgiving meals planned. Reservations are recommended.

HumpysSea Galley, Simon & Seaforts, Sullivans, Williwaw, and Flattop Pizza + Pool, each are open on Thanksgiving. Varsity Sports Grill, on the site of the Great Alaska Shootout Tournament, also opens at 4:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving.