Holiday Guide: The Quintessential Thanksgiving in Kansas

Thanksgiving is the time of year that everyone loves to get together to give thanks with a day full of eating delicious food and visiting friends and family. The day is also known for great sporting events and the mark of the beginning of shopping for the holiday season. We’ve put together the best ways to celebrate this Thanksgiving with our quintessential Thanksgiving guide for Kansas.

1. JJ’s Cool Change Bar, Overland Park, KS

Everyone knows Thanksgiving really starts one night before when many people get together and head out for a drink to kick off the holiday celebrations. JJ’s Cool Change Bar is your classic dive bar that serves up great pub food. The laid back fun atmosphere is the perfect place to gather and catch up with old friends. 

2. Upper Crust Pie Bakery, Overland Park, KS

No Thanksgiving gathering is complete without one or maybe half a dozen pies to go around. Nothing says classic like a sweet pumpkin pie or a delicious apple pie to served up after a big Thanksgiving meal. Look no further than Upper Crust Pie Bakery for the best made-from-scratch pies in town. 

Where do you get your pie in #KC?! I get mine from @carolynmarolyn at @theuppercrust! #cutestlittlecousin #fambam #pielover

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3. Sun Fresh, Kansas City, KS

Don’t forget the most important food centerpiece of the holiday and stop by your local Sun Fresh grocery to pick up a delicious mouthwatering turkey. Stocking a variety of sizes you are sure to find a turkey that will suit your needs and become the highlight of your Thanksgiving meal. 

4. Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade, Topeka, KS

The Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade is a fun and entertaining way to ring in the holiday season. Watch as hundreds of people march through the streets performing music, dances, and see the collection of parade floats and specialty cars. The parade runs through the heart of downtown Topeka and is sure to draw a crowd of festivities and fun for the whole family. 

#downtown #parade #miracleonkansasavenue #trex #fire

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5. Oak Park Mall, Overland Park, KS

The Oak Park Mall is the best place around to kick off the holiday shopping season. They will be throwing a Black Friday Bash that begins at 6 a.m. with door buster bags given to the first 200 shoppers. There will be a live DJ giving out prizes all day so make sure to get here and start grabbing all the gifts you can before they are gone. 


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6. University of Kansas vs. Oakland University basketball game

The night before the big day, head Lawrence to catch the Kansas Jayhawks and Oakland Golden Grizzlies game. Kansas has one of the oldest and most successful programs in basketball history, so you are always guaranteed an exciting time. 

7. Pawnee Indian Museum, Republic, KS

While not open on Thanksgiving Day, around the holidays it is important to learn about the story of the Native American people. Specifically illustrating the story of a Pawnee village that existed in Kansas in the late 1700s, this museum features incredible sacred bundles, a star chart painting on buckskin, European metal trade items, a bull bison robe, and so much more. 

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8. Thanksgiving Day 5K Run & Family Stroll, Overland Park, KS

Get up early Thanksgiving morning, throw on a jacket, and then head out to the annual Thanksgiving Day 5K Run & Family Stroll for a fun and healthy way to kick off Thanksgiving Day. Participants will get a hooded sweatshirt as part of the event and there will be hot chocolate and doughnuts available as well. 

9. McPherson Community Thanksgiving Dinner, McPherson, KS

The spirit of Thanksgiving and the holidays stem from helping others in need and giving back. Make a difference by volunteering and helping your community at the McPherson Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The free Thanksgiving dinner is open to all and fully supported by unpaid volunteers who want to help spread the goodwill this holiday season. 

10. 9th Street Lights, Wichita, KS

If you want to really get into the holiday spirit, then you need to stop by 9th Street Lights in Wichita to see their one-of-a-kind light show. Tune your radio to ELF 101.7FM and watch as thousands of lights dance to synchronized holiday music. An unbelievable experience the whole family will enjoy. 

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