Thanksgiving Weekend Activities in the Quad Cities 

by Nikki Lindholm

This Thanksgiving, add a little more to your plate and explore the many activities happening around the Quad Cities this holiday weekend. 

Turkey Trot

Start Thanksgiving Day with some fresh air by participating in the 35th annual YMCA McCarthy Bush Turkey Trot. If running isn’t your thing, you can attend the pre-race Zumba Party or just cheer on your favorite trotter!

Festival of Trees

Last weekend the Festival of Trees holiday parade kicked off the 29th year of the Festival of Trees event. Although the River Center is closed on Thanksgiving day, head down later in the weekend to see the beautifully decorated trees, meet Santa, and create holiday crafts at the Children’s Activity Center.

Winter Wonderland

Get tickets for Winter Wonderland at Circa ‘21 and catch dinner and a show! Performances run on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings now through December 29th. This heartwarming musical is sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

Julmarknad (Christmas Market)

Only a 30-minute drive from the Quad Cities is Julmarknad, a Swedish holiday celebration in Bishop Hill, IL. You’ll find traditional Swedish holiday activities and decorations, including a cookie walk, and a take and make dala horse kit! Check out Julmarknad this weekend on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and Sunday from 11 a.m to 5 p.m.

Craft Fairs

Small Business Craft & Vendor Show

Stop by the LeClaire Civic Center for its 5th annual Small Business Craft & Vendor Show. Not only can you shop the crafts, but you can also sip hot chocolate and enjoy the Christmas lights and music as you support local vendors. 

Quad City Christmas Arts & Craft Fair

Don’t forget to check out the Quad City Christmas Arts & Craft Fair this weekend, November 26-28, 2021. The fair will be held at the QCCA Expo in Rock Island. Admission is $5 to attend “the largest indoor handcraft fair in the area.” 


Many places in the Quad Cities could use an extra hand during the holiday season, Thanksgiving included. Kings Harvest is a great resource to know where you can sign up, donate and volunteer your time. 

Small Business Saturday

Some people wait all year to make large purchases on Thanksgiving weekend. With events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many stores offer their best deals on electronics, appliances, and home furnishings. But did you know that the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend is known as Small Business Saturday? If there is one thing we know and love about the Quad Cities, it’s that there is no shortage of amazing small businesses throughout our community we can support.

Whether you are looking for quick stocking stuffers or just a place to meet up with friends, you can’t go wrong with choosing to dine or shop at a favorite local business. How can you show your support?

  • Gift cards to delicious restaurants and breweries are great items to buy for your friends and family
  • Grab a bottle of your favorite wine or liquor from a local distillery or alcohol distributor 
  • Instead of baking your own desserts, place an order at a local bakery
  • Stop by a local coffee shop and purchase a bag or two of ground coffee or whole beans for an extra caffeine boost
  • Give the gift of self-care! A massage, salon certificate, or gift card to a specialty apparel store are also great ways to support local businesses.
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