Ah, Thanksgiving. The one holiday a year when we all have an excuse to eat leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast the next day—excluding Christmas, Easter, and my birthday, of course. (Just a Sullivan family thing? Oh well.) Carbs aside, there’s still plenty to love about the fourth Thursday in November.
And what better place to celebrate than Franklin, Tennessee?
Whether you’ve traveled into town to sop up the seasonal spirit or you’re a local looking to fill your out-of-town guests’ plates and schedules, you’re holding the long end of the wishbone.
We’re serving a selection of Thanksgiving activities that everyone can agree on. (Yes, even your cousins who’ve been arguing over fresh vs. canned cranberry sauce since ’02. Just bring both, guys!)
First thing on the menu: Place an order with Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant by Saturday, November 20. No, you can’t borrow a live musician from one of these Franklin staples to set up and strum next to the kids’ table. But you can bring this local favorite’s Southern menu into your kitchen. Puckett’s sells chilled versions of their dishes, perfect to pop in the oven before your guests arrive. Choose from a small or large turkey, depending on your guest list. Then decide if you want it roasted, smoked, or fried. (We’ve all seen “Gilmore Girls.” This may be your chance to try it fried safely.) And don’t forget the Green Bean Casserole, Homemade Yeast Rolls, Cornbread Dressing, and a Pumpkin Pie.
Now you know your morning will be free, so hang up your apron and sign up for the Turkey Trot benefiting GraceWorks. With races ranging in distances from 10k down to a kids 1k Turkey Chase, you’ll be ready to gobble up a Thanksgiving feast when this annual event ends. The gravy on top? The Turkey Trot gives runners, or as GraceWorks calls them, Trotters, the chance to donate $10 when they register. Their donations provide turkeys to families in need.
If you can’t wait to indulge in something sweet, Five Daughters Bakery in The Factory at Franklin has you covered (in molasses glaze and bits of roasted pecans). Their 100 Layer Monthly Flavors menu features a Molasses Pecan Pie donut. Other timely treats include a Ginger Molasses Cookie and a Yeast Raised Apple Fritter.
While there will be Black Friday deals happening around town, go ahead and buy a copy of The Franklin Coloring Book from the Visit Franklin Store. This beautiful activity, hand-illustrated by Caleb Faires, will keep the little ones—and let’s face it, some of the grown ones—out of the kitchen as you tidy up. (I’m just now realizing why my great aunt had crafts on hand every year.)
Once the crumbs are off the table, and the leaves above the Harpeth River have been colored red, orange, and gold, pull out your purchase from Made in TN: True South Puzzle Company’s Tennessee Map Puzzle. Assemble it as you assemble biscuits from the leftovers you just finished putting away. We see your Tupperware-Tetris abilities, and we respect them.
If you’re anything like my boyfriend and my mom, as soon as you’re full, you’re going to want to start celebrating Christmas. Actually, if you’re anything like them, you’ve had Christmas music on from the second you flicked off the front porch lights on October 31, but that’s neither here nor there.
Those who are bobbing their heads in agreement—not because a Dolly Parton Christmas album is playing—should hop in the car and head to FrankTown Festival of Lights. This drive-through light show kicks off…err, plugs in, at 5 p.m., November 25. Located at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center, it features more than 200 scenes that sparkle to classic Christmas songs. Once you’ve made your way through the displays, grab a hot chocolate and roast a s’more, then snap a photo with its 30-foot tree.
Socializing around the dinner table is fun, but we’ve got something even better: socializing around a picnic table at Arrington Vineyards. If you’re a visitor who’s still in the area when the weekend rolls around or a local with relatives who don’t fly out until Sunday, you’ve got to carve out some time for Jazz on the Hillside. The Art Four Sale Band will be playing Saturday, November 27. Save yourself a kitchen cleanup and purchase a Brie Plate from Simply Living Life to snack on. Pair it with Arrington’s Fall Frosé, and toast to family, friends, and Franklin.
P.S. Here at Visit Franklin, we’re thankful for you! What are you grateful for this year?