Local Thanksgiving Events Near You!

by Courtney Wehmeier

Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season with lots of fun, exciting events based around races and delicious food. When it comes to the Ruhl communities, they sure do know how to make the most of the Thanksgiving season!

Quad Cities

Friday, November 11th at 6: 00 PM Paint Party at Rock Island Hy-Vee 

Channel your inner Van Gogh for Hyvee child-friendly Thanksgiving Turkey Paint Party at Rock Island Hy-Vee Friday, November 11th at 6:00 PM!

A beloved part of the QC holiday season, the Festival of Trees Parade is celebrating its 37th year. Feast your eyes on the largest helium balloon parade in the midwest Saturday, November 19th at 10:00 AM in downtown Davenport

Looking for something a little less predictable? Consider It’s a Scavenger Hunt Thursday, November 24th at 10:00 AM. Gather your team and get ready for a virtual scavenger hunt where you’ll fill your virtual scavenger sack with items to help choose through riddle-like clues. Teams are timed and the items you find will be appraised. Click here to learn more about this scavenger hunt with a twist.

Don’t just stare at those amazing viral cookie design videos, make your own! Thursday, November 17th at 6:00 PM Thanksgiving Cookies at Crafted QC, you’ll learn trade cookie decorating skills and recipes. This class is for everyone- no matter the skill level.

Cedar Rapids

Support a good cause with the Thanksgiving Day Buffet for the Boys & Girls Clubs Thursday, November 24th at 10:00 AM. With an entire buffet of classic thanksgiving comfort food, giving back to the community has never been easier.

Dubuque & Galena 

Make room for Friends(giving) Trivia night at Barrel House at 2:00 PM Thursday, November 24th … and don’t forget your ‘Thanksgiving Pants!’


If you’re looking for something fun to keep the kids entertained, then the APK Fall Festival Saturday, November 12th is a great option for you. With crafts, prizes, cookie decorating, hayrides, food trucks, and more, it’s hard to go wrong with this kid-centric event.

Back in person, this year is the Thanksgiving Senior Dinner Thursday, November 17th starting at 10:45. All seniors are welcome to join in on the festivities at the Emmaus Road Church.

Iowa City 

Rock this year’s gift-giving all while supporting local farmers and artisans at the Iowa City  Holiday Market. Starting as early as November 12th, this is an easy pitstop to make during your Thanksgiving festivities.

Sunday, November 20th is this year’s Cranksgiving event! What exactly is Cranksgiving? It’s a food drive that’s also a bike ride that’s also a scavenger hunt! If you’re looking to get in the last bit of good weather, have a good time, and give to those in need, we encourage you to check out this event!

Turkey Trots & Thanksgiving Races 

Looking to make room for or work off that thanksgiving feast? We’ve got a cornucopia of Turkey Trots for you to pick from. Be sure to check out what your local community has to offer!

Quad Cities

Thursday, November 24th Mccarthy- Bush YMCA Turkey Trot Davenport YMCA

Cedar Rapids

Thursday, November 24th Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot 5K

Dubuque & Galena (anything in Galena?)

Thursday, November 24th Dubuque Turkey Trot 

Saturday, November 26th Turkey River Trot 5k Run/Walk


Saturday, November 19th Muscatine Turkey Trot


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