Fun over Thanksgiving weekend

Looking for Thanksgiving Day and holiday weekend activities? You might already have your time scheduled, yet there’s always last minute company to entertain and you just might want to escape Great Aunt Mary’s turkey bone soup! We’ve put together a few ideas of what you can do over the long weekend in the Albany area.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Have you decided that tangling with the turkey isn’t much fun? How about chucking the pots and pans and letting someone else do the work, including the clean-up! Here’s a short list of local restaurants that will be open and serving traditional Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings.

Elmers Restaurant, 2802 Santiam Hwy, Albany, 541-928-4227, open on the holiday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Cascade Grill, 110 Opal St NE, Albany, 541-928-3388, open on the holiday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Cellar Cat, 211 1st Ave W, Albany, 541-704-0304. Fantastic Thanksgiving feast: telephone for holiday meal hours.

Sybaris Bistro, benefit dinner for ABC House, please contact for reservations: 541-928-8157.

SweetWaters, 2390 Santiam Hwy, Albany, 541-812-9222, open on the holiday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Wine Tasting

Since Albany’s very own Springhill Cellars Winery is located in picturesque North Albany, it’s the perfect weekend to take a short drive and experience their annual Federweisser Festival. The festival begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through the entire weekend. This harvest fest is German in origin and pairs new, still fermenting Riesling (the Federweisser) with specially made bratwürst and Zwiebelkuchen, a sweet onion tart. The oom-pah-pah music drifts through the air during the day for a German flavor, and at night, a floor-stomping barn dance with a live rock-n-roll band sets it up for the fun crowd. For more information, contact Springhill Cellars at 541-928-1009. They are located at 2920 NW Scenic Drive.

Cider Pressing

Nothing says autumn like fresh apple cider! Pro-tip: It tastes best when you make it yourself. Bring the family to Thompson’s Mills on Friday after Thanksgiving (11/24) and help press a half gallon to bring home. The circa 1860 Mill is open from 9 to 4 for free tours and exploration. Cider pressing will begin at 1:00 p.m. Take home a half-gallon or more for a contribution to help create a fire suppression system that will preserve the last remaining water powered gristmill in Oregon. Thompson’s Mills is located at 32655 Boston Mill Drive east of Shedd. For more information: 541- 491-3611.

Shopping

Along with the usual Thanksgiving “midnight madness” at big box stores, why not schedule some “you-time” at the annual Shop Small Saturday in Downtown Albany? This nationally recognized day is set aside to encourage customers to shop local for the holidays and support small businesses. Many of our downtown and city-wide stores will offer special sales and events. So bring your shopping bags and join your neighbors in some major Thanksgiving week fun. It all happens on Saturday, November 25th. For more information, contact the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469.

Holiday Crafts and Workshops

Thanksgiving officially marks the time of year that non-profit and local businesses run holiday themed workshops and craft shows. It’s a great opportunity to pick up unique and locally made gifts. Although our list is not complete, we’ve found a couple of activities centered around Thanksgiving weekend that you might be interested in.

Christmas in the Barn is located in Shedd, a short drive from Albany. The show runs Friday, November 24th through Saturday, November 25th. Featured items include antiques, French/vintage inspired home and garden decor, fresh greens and wreaths, baked goodies, and much more. Located at 29722 Roberts Rd. in Shedd, the show is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Albany Art Studio is opening their doors for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday on November 24 and 25. Preview their space and be the first to sign up for classes. You’ll be able to purchase merchandise, buy art and other goodies at a (drastically!) reduced rate available on these two days only. This will only be a peek, not all items will be displayed. Items will go fast! The studio is located at 131 NW Montgomery St in Albany. Telephone 541-231-7922 for hours.

Make Your Own Wreath is a workshop held at Garland Nursery, on Saturday and Sunday, November 25th and 26th. Learn how to make your very own holiday wreath from just a wire wreath ring and cut greens. This workshop is fun and messy! Class is held in a lightly heated house so wear layers for warmth and bring gloves. Garland will provide the materials, tools and hot cider. Pre-registration is required, so telephone 541-753-6601. Garland Nursery is located at 5470 US Hwy 20, between Albany and Corvallis.

Oil Painting Demonstration Daniel Bourdet will demonstrate his safe, solvent free oil painting technique at Gallery Calapooia on Saturday, November 25th at 11:00 a.m. Learn to use walnut oil to thin paints and clean brushes. Eliminate hazardous waste material by using this fun and easy technique. Telephone 541-971-5701 for more information. Gallery Calapooia is located at 222 1st Ave SW in Albany’s downtown district.