The holidays are a magical time on the island. The "Grey Lady" transforms into a haven of lights, beautiful decorations, and delectable bites. Nantucket is the perfect holiday getaway for those looking to be immersed in holiday festivities and traditions.
Turkey Trot & Turkey Plunge
Thanksgiving Day kicks off the festive season with the annual 5K Turkey Trot. It begins at 9:00 AM in front of the White Elephant. Hundreds of runners of all ages join in on the fun both running and cheering on the sidelines. If the race doesn't interest you, head over to Children's Beach to participate in the annual Turkey Plunge. Each year, hundreds of locals and visitors alike plunge into the icy cold harbor in support of the local library, the Nantucket Athenaeum.
Thanksgiving Day Buffet
Following these active events, head back inside to the White Elephant to enjoy an expertly prepared Thanksgiving Day buffet at the highly acclaimed, Brant Point Grill, located directly on the picturesque harbor. To enjoy this feast, reservations are required and booking early is strongly suggested.
Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nantucket Noel begins the day after Thanksgiving and is commenced with the annual tree lighting ceremony. Main Street is closed as the streets are filled with locals and visitors, excitedly waiting for the traditional tree-lighting countdown led by the Town Crier. The countdown begins at 5:00 PM. At the count's end, 150 decorated trees beautifully illuminate the night sky. In addition, holiday carols fill the air led by a local Nantucket a cappella group, the Accidentals & Naturals.
The weekend following Thanksgiving is Christmas Stroll, a concentrated few days of festive activities, events, and proper holiday spirit. This year's stroll is themed "A Beautiful Stroll in the Neighborhood" to commemorate the 50th Anniversary debut of Mister Rogers Neighborhood on PBS.
Christmas Stroll starts early at the White Elephant with a three-course prix fixe dinner menu at the Brant Point Grill beginning 11/29 daily through 12/2, from 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM. It's strongly recommended to make reservations ahead of time, as seats fill up fast! Easily make a reservation using OpenTable.
Throughout the weekend (11/30-12/1) there will be craft shows, performances, special dinners at island restaurants, tours, and exhibitions. For a full list of activities and events taking place during Stroll weekend, visit Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday marks the arrival of Santa Clause to Nantucket. Head down to the wharf mid-day on Saturday to watch Santa arrive at the Nantucket Basin via a Coast Guard boat. Upon his arrival, the town welcomes him with a chauffeured ride on Nantucket Hotel's antique fire truck to Jared Coffin House. Follow Santa to Jared Coffin House where he greets his hundreds of eager and adoring fans in the library. Children get a chance to tell Santa what they want for Christmas, while holiday elves deliver hot cocoa to those waiting in line. All "Believers" leave with a goody bag filled with a Barnaby Bear Nantucket passport, candy cane and treats.