How to spend your Thanksgiving in Oregon


How to spend your Thanksgiving in Oregon

4:38 p.m. PST November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks. It’s a day to spend time with your friends and family and to cherish life.

But with so much time in the day, who knows what adventures you and your loved ones may embark on?

Perhaps you’ll go for an easy hike to work off those mashed potatoes. Or maybe you’ll volunteer at a local shelter to help those in need. Maybe you just want to kick back with a movie or football game.

Whatever you’d like, let this list of things to do in Oregon help you plan your holiday.

Get out and about

Before you eat yourself silly, or perhaps after an already satisfying Thanksgiving breakfast, you might like to move a bit.

Here are some easy opportunities for movement:

  • Join the Just Walk Salem group that leaves from Judson Middle School, 4512 Jones Rd SE, at 9:30 a.m. The group walks about two to three miles on flat ground with an occasional short hill. Call ahead at (503) 364-7021.
  • Participate in an hourlong aerobic and muscle-toning workout in the 26th annual Thanksgiving benefit Jazzercise class at the Silverton Community Center, 421 S Water St., Silverton, at 9 a.m. Ticket Pricing: $5 or three food items, with all proceeds going to Silverton Area Community Aid’s food bank.
  • Find an easy hike. Outdoors writer Zach Urness has a list of five easy hikes close to Salem.

Chow down

You’ve burned the turkey, your niece doesn’t eat meat and Aunt Carol forgot the yams! Last year may not have been a success either.

Here are some restaurants that are open or hosting special meals for Thanksgiving:

  • Amadeus: 135 liberty St. NE, reservations suggested, (503) 362-8830
  • Chinn’s Restaurant: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 4835 Commercial St. SE, (503) 378-1997
  • Coffee in Motion: 135 Liberty St. SE, (503) 566-9085
  • Denny’s Restaurant: 2420 Mission St. SE, (503) 371-3370
  • Denny’s Restaurant, Mill Creek: 3680 Market St. NE, (503) 371-3370
  • Drunken Cook: 1555 12th St. SE, reservations suggested, (503) 581-7400
  • Duffy’s Hangar: 2275 McGilchrist St. SE, (503) 581-5721
  • Glockenspiel: 190 East Charles St., Mt. Angel, (503) 845-6222
  • Gustav’s Bargarten: Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, apple-hazelnut dressing, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy and fried cauliflower ($15.95), or prime rib with mashed potatoes, house-made au jus and seasoned vegetables ($22.45 queen’s cut, $25.95 king’s cut), as well as regular menu offerings, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., 6045 Keizer Station Blvd., Keizer, (503) 967-1819
  • Half Penny: 3743 Commercial St. SE, (503) 540-5899
  • Home Town Buffet: 636 Lancaster Drive NE, (503) 585-8163
  • Johnny’s Bar & Grill: 1729 Center St. NE, (503) 581-3200
  • Kitchen on Court: 466 Court St. NE, (971) 701-6902
  • McGrath’s Fish House: Offering regular menu and Thanksgiving dinner, including fresh garden salad and hot sourdough bread, roasted turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked yams, fresh vegetables and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie or pecan pie (dinners from regular menu also will come with complimentary slice of pie), open at 11 a.m., 3805 Center St. NE at Lancaster Mall, $14.95 for adults, $6.95 for children ages 6 to 12, $3.95 for children under 6. (503) 485-3086
  • McNary Restaurant and Lounge: Traditional Thanksgiving buffet includes turkey and prime rib, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, warm rolls, tossed green salad, fruit salad, pumpkin berry and pies, coffee, water and soft drinks, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., reservations recommended, 165 McNary Estates Drive N, Keizer, $25.75 for adults, $12.75 for ages 4 to 12, free for ages younger than 4. (503) 990-7550
  • Oregon Garden Resort: Thanksgiving buffet including breakfast station with quiches, croque-monsieur and cheese blintzes, carving station with roasted turkey breast, braised turkey legs and beef tenderloin, entrees including cedar plank salmon and vegetarian lasagna, plus an array of salads, fresh fruit and vegetables, casseroles and more. Desserts include an assortment of pies, cobblers and tortes (full menu at OregonGarden files/pdf/ thanksgiving2015.pdf), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 895 W Main St., Silverton, reservations required, $28.95 for adults, $24.95 for seniors, $12.95 for children. (503) 874-2500
  • Ram Restaurant & Brewery: 515 12th St. SE, (503) 363-1904
  • Roberts Crossing: 3635 River Road South, (503) 584-1035
  • Rudy’s at Salem Golf Club: 2025 Golf Course Road South, (503) 399-0449
  • Seven Brides: 990 North First St., Silverton, (503) 874-4677
  • Shari’s Keizer: 4998 River Road North, Keizer, (503) 463-5597
  • Shari’s Lancaster: 1270 Lancaster Drive SE, (503) 364-4413
  • Shari’s South Commercial: 5005 Commercial St. SE, (503) 581-9475
  • Silver Falls Lodge & Conference Center: 20022 Silver Falls Highway SE, Sublimity, (503) 873-8875
  • Spirit Mountain Casino, Cedar Plank Buffet, Legends, sports bar and deli:27100 Salmon River Highway, Grand Ronde (503) 879-2350
  • Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub: 141 SW Washington St., Dallas (503) 831-0688
  • Willamette Queen Sternwheeler: Dockside Thanksgiving dinner includes garden salad or spinach salad, oven-roasted turkey, honey-baked ham or salmon Wellington, green bean casserole, pearl onions, sweet carrots, corn medley, deep-fried Brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes casserole with pineapple and marshmallows, nine-grain rice with braised tofu and sauteed squash, assorted pies and cakes. Reservations required, $25 per person. Riverfront Park dock, (503) 371-1103
  • Willamette Valley Grill: Red Lion Hotel, 3301 Market St. NE, (503) 370-7997

Some items on this list were supplied by Travel Salem. Go to for more information.

Help those in need

Hundreds of people go without food every day, let alone on Thanksgiving. Local shelters, organizations and food banks are teaming up to help those in need this Holiday season.

Here are few ways you can get involved or places someone can go if seeking aid:

  • Feed the Need: Local food trucks will serve 150 people in need downtown Thursday morning at 9 a.m. under the Marion Street Bridge. The line will form at 8:30 a.m. For information, text or call Sarah Carpenter at (503) 510-8485 or email
  • Enjoy a free meal at the Salem Elks annual Thanksgiving Day Meal. The meal is for all in the community and will be held at the Salem Elks Lodge, 2336 Turner Road SE, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Salvation Army Lighthouse Shelter is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Lighthouse Shelter, 1901 Front St. Family and children are welcome. For information, contact the shelter at (503) 798-4860.
  • The Union Gospel Mission will hold a community dinner for all at the Men’s Mission, 345 Commercial St NE, Salem, at 1 p.m. Contact Sharalyn Bechtel at (503) 967-6388 for more information.

Catch a flick or TV special

Once the family has settled in from all the holiday excitement, perhaps a movie or television special would be nice.Here are some things you won’t want to miss while glued to your couch, or headed to a theater:

  • Popular November movie theater releases: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Creed,” “The Peanuts Movie” and “The Night Before.” To find a complete list of movies showing in your area, as well as locations and showtimes, go to:
  • The 89th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, or tune into the 52nd annual holiday telecast from New York City of the Thanksgiving day parade on CBS at 9 a.m.
  • Aside from being able to watch any of the “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes via Netflix, you can also check out “Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow” for ages 8+, airing on Lifetime at 10 p.m. or get a jump start on Christmas films by watching “The 12 Gifts of Christmas” on the Hallmark Channel at 8 p.m.

Cheer on your team

Ask sports fans what they will be doing on Thanksgiving and the response will most likely be something like, “FOOTBALL!”

Join your football-fanatic friends, jersey-up, paint your face, and make sure not to miss these games:

  • The Philadelphia Eagles play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field at 9:30 a.m. Catch it on FOX.
  • The Carolina Panthers take on the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium at 1:30 p.m. on CBS.
  • The Chicago Bears battle the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field at 5:30 p.m. on NBC.

More of a college football fan?

  • The Texas Tech Red Raiders play the Texas Longhorns in Austin at 4:30 p.m. on FS1.
  • The South Florida Bulls challenge the UFC Knights in Orlando at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Get your shopping on

The winter holidays are upon us and you might want to get a head start on shopping with early Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals.

Here are some stores and centers open on Thanksgiving:

  • Salem Center, in downtown Salem, will be closed for Thanksgiving Day. However, a handful of stores will be open for select hours, including, but not limited to Ross Dress for Less, Kohl’s, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Foot Locker, Cinebarre Salem 7 and more. For a complete list of stores open on Thanksgiving, go
  • Lancaster Mall will also be closed for Thanksgiving Day, though its website says “some major store hours may vary.” To find out more, go to

Want to stay inside? Here are some of the best online deals, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

  • Sale prices in Target’s 2015 Black Friday ad are valid Nov. 26 to 28. Additionally, Target will have more Black Friday sales available online from categories such as apparel and accessories, kitchen appliances, furniture, Christmas decor and more.
  • Black Friday begins a day early at Walmart, where in-store deals kick off at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. The retailer’s online sale begins even earlier; shoppers can load up their virtual shopping bags beginning at 12:01 a.m. PST on Thursday.
  • Customers can shop all day Thanksgiving at Macy’s has reminded shoppers that most doorbuster prices increase after 1 p.m. on Black Friday, so “the earlier you shop, the better.”
  • Staples won’t open its stores until 6 a.m. on Black Friday, but online shoppers can get a jump-start. The Black Friday office supply blowout begins online on Thanksgiving Day. Plus, virtual shoppers can buy online and pick up in-store as early as 6 a.m. on Black Friday.
  • J.C. Penney’s 2015 Black Friday ad promises shoppers “it’s on” with a host of multiday sales. Doors open at 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, but bargain hunters can shop online all day on Thanksgiving. Plus, the retailer is offering free shipping on orders over $49 (some exclusions apply).
  • Best Buy will open its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, but online customers can shop all day long on Thanksgiving.
  • Shoppers can visit to take a look at the discounts Amazon has to offer, many of which are available for limited time periods. Amazon is promising members early access to more than 30,000 Black Friday deals.

U.S. News & World Report reminds shoppers: “No matter where you shop this Black Friday, keep in mind that not all deals will be available online. And always check the fine print for details about product availability.”

Finally, have you got a pet-lover on your hands? You can find the perfect gift for him or her while also helping out some furry friends by going to the Willamette Humane Society Thrift Store for their After-Thanksgiving Sale on Nov. 27-28. The humane society is located at 4246 Turner Rd SE.

Celebrate winter holidays

For some, the moment Thanksgiving ends, the next holiday begins.

If you observe Christmas and would like to start celebrating, go ahead and put up your tree, turn on the tunes or head to these events:

  • Shore Acres State Park, 89526 Cape Arago Highway, Coos Bay, will host its 29th annual holiday lights event from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Ticket Pricing:Free with a paid $5 parking pass; $10 raffle tickets (200 to be sold). For more information, call Shore Acres State Park at (541) 888-3732.
  • Celebrate the holidays with your furry friends by getting cat and kitten photos with Santa Paws at Bridgeport Village, 7455 SW Bridgeport Rd, Tigard, anytime between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Dive into culture

Get a taste of culture with Live Jazz at Christo’s Pizzeria Restaurant and Lounge, 1108 Broadway NE, Salem, from 7-9 p.m. Ticket Pricing: Prices vary. Advance tickets available by phone or can be purchased night of performance at door. For more information, call (503) 371-2892., (503) 399-6745, or follow on Twitter @Nataliempate

Thanksgiving weather, traffic and closures

Salem is forecast to have a low of 25 degrees, with a high of 46 degrees on Thanksgiving Day. It is supposed to be sunny, with 72 percent humidity and little to no precipitation or wind.

Traffic usually increases on the Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving, and the Sunday following.

The following services and agencies are closed for the holiday:

  • Banks: Closed
  • Cherriots: No service
  • Garbage pick-up: No service
  • Federal government offices: Closed
  • State government offices: Closed, some offices closed Friday as well
  • Library: Closed
  • Post office: Closed, no home delivery
  • Municipal parking meters: Not enforced

Published by Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She wrote about education for more than seven years at the Statesman Journal and now covers education and other topics throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is originally from Colorado and earned her B.A. in Politics and French from Willamette University.

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