5 Days of Fun: Celebrate Thanksgiving in Arlington

Whether you’re visiting family or friends or here on a fall getaway, you’ll be thankful that we’ve taken the guesswork out of planning your Thanksgiving weekend in Arlington!


Pre-Holiday Celebration

Relax after your travels by plane, train or car by enjoying pre-holiday cheer at a restaurant or pub in one of Arlington’s cozy neighborhoods. Whether it’s a craft cocktail and small plates at Baba in Clarendon, or a pint and Irish fare at Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, there are plenty of great spots where you can wind down for the long weekend.

turkey for Thanksgiving among holiday dining options in Arlington


5K Turkey Trot

Get a head start burning off Thanksgiving dinner by doing the Arlington Turkey Trot 5K charity run/walk bright and early in the morning. The event starts at 8 a.m., winding through the charming residential neighborhoods of Lyon Park and Ashton Heights.

Restaurant Options

For your holiday meal, Arlington has an abundance of dining options ranging from family-style to fabulous. Here’s just a taste of what some Arlington restaurants have cooking for Thanksgiving:

  • Rated the No. 1 Best Thanksgiving dinner in Arlington on Yelp.com, The Liberty Tavern in Clarendon features a Thanksgiving buffet with all the traditional favorites, including turkey and the trimmings, special side recipes, and pies for dessert.
  • Copperwood Tavern in the Village at Shirlington, known for its farm-to-table fare and ambience of a woodsy retreat, will offer its regular dinner menu as well as a special plate featuring turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce.
  • Grand Cru Wine Bar and Bistro in Ballston offers a special Thanksgiving menu with choices including turkey, prime rib, sea bass and pumpkin ravioli. And save room for desserts like pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate and pecan pie, and blueberry-white-chocolate bread pudding.
  • For an at-home feeling, order a take-out Thanksgiving meal from La Côte d'Or Café, and your fellow travelers will say “Merci!” The menu includes pumpkin soup, roasted turkey, shitake mushroom rosemary gravy, sweet potato yams, cheese and cream potato gratin, green beans in butter and shallots, and more, with pumpkin or apple cranberry pie for dessert.
  • For an extra-fabulous celebration, try the Thanksgiving buffet at Freddie's Beach Bar & Restaurant in Crystal City. An Arlington LGBT institution, Freddie’s is known for its quality food and festive atmosphere that welcomes all. And if you'd like to let out your inner song-stylist, dinner is followed by Karaoke Night!


Holiday Shopping Specials

How about some Black Friday shopping? For some, it’s tradition. For others, it’s sheer sport. And it’s definitely a great way to walk off that Thanksgiving feast.

  • Fashion Centre at Pentagon City opens early for everyone seeking Black Friday deals at a fraction of the price. With stores ranging from Apple and Sony to Kate Spade and Coach, those bargains can make a difference!
  • Next door at Pentagon Row, you can stroll outside and enjoy specialty retail stores and restaurants serving cuisines including Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Irish and more.
ice skating during the holiday season on Pentagon Row
  • If shopping’s not your bag, then lace up some rented skates and enjoy Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating. Or, take the short Metro ride to the National Mall in D.C., where you can explore memorials, monuments and several Smithsonian museums – minus the usual crowds!


Arlington Small Business Day

Saturday’s another great day for shoppers, when Arlington Small Business Day means dozens of stores will offer special deals and incentives for those who shop locally.


Brunch Before You Go

  • Although Sunday might be your day to travel home, you’ll hopefully have time to dine before hitting the road. Check out one of these 10 brunch spots that are favorites among Arlingtonians, and be sure to come back for Thanksgiving fun in Arlington next year.
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