Get the most out of your Thanksgiving weekend in Owensboro

Getting the entire family together for a holiday that’s framed by a huge, home cooked meal with a healthy side of chaos is tough. It’s wonderful, yes, but it can be exhausting.

If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving, there’s usually a lot of down time that comes with the holiday weekend. Before and after the big meal, it’s either watch a football game on TV, lay in bed for hours with a turkey coma, or play on your phone until it’s time to go home.

We’re not saying those options are bad, per se, but…there’s got to be more to Thanksgiving than falling asleep for the night at 5 p.m. on your cousin’s couch. We support naps around here, but after the nap, it’s time to share memories with the family you’re so thankful for.

Here in Owensboro, there’s a lot of fun stuff you can do before and after that Thanksgiving meal. Hey, and if you follow our advice, it might just result in a holiday weekend without that awkward political argument that always ensues between grandpa and Aunt Mary after dinner. And that’s a definite win in our book.

Go outdoors

Before the cooking begins, or maybe even after the turkey is in the oven, grab your coat and head to a nearby park to take a walk, let the kids play, or check out the fall foliage. Take a football to toss around with your family before the game-watching starts at the house.

Bourbon tasting

When you live in Owensboro, you’ve got to introduce your out-of-state family members to the greatness of bourbon. If you’ve never learned how to properly taste bourbon yourself, take your family on a tour at Green River Distilling Co. for a very cool experience. They’ll get to tour the facility and taste at least three different bourbons while there. Even better, Green River is open for tours the Wednesday before Thanksgiving! You can register for spots at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

Family Photos

For those who have to travel long distances, Thanksgiving is sometimes the only holiday where the entire family gets to be together. Use the opportunity to hire a photographer to grab some shots the day before (if they are available), or use your own camera or phone to take some at a pretty location.

Decorate for Christmas

Once the Thanksgiving dishes are washed and stacked, it’s pretty much game over when it comes to avoiding the Christmas decorating. While you’ve got your whole family over, ask them to help decorate your tree, your banister, even the outside of the home. They’ll likely be happy to help, and it can be a really fun bonding experience. While your family is in town, check out the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art’s Holiday Forest Festival of Trees, which features over a dozen trees decorated by floral designers, local schools and businesses. 

Play a Game

You can pick from a ton of board games (though we would not recommend choosing Monopoly if you want to avoid the potential of family drama) to play together either before or after the Thanksgiving meal.

See A Movie

Whether you go to the Malco Owensboro Cinema Grill & MXT theatre or have a family movie night at home, this will give everyone the chance to spend some low-key time together. Pick a holiday movie ahead of the winter season and watch everyone get excited!


Black Friday is a big deal for those who love shopping, so why not spend that time shopping together? Here in Owensboro, take your family to experience all the shopping opportunities our city has to offer by participating in Shop Owensboro on Small Business Saturday!