Things to Do Outdoors Thanksgiving Weekend in Metro Phoenix

People do the trotting, not the turkeys.
People do the trotting, not the turkeys. Phoenix Turkey Trot
Thanksgiving is a day full of traditions — and a great opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Although, if you're looking to experience get outside, here are some fun things to do outdoors this Thanksgiving weekend.

Run, Walk, or Trot

There is a lot of organized running, walking, and trotting taking place today, with the opportunity to work up that appetite while giving back to the community. Here are a few to get you started.

Turkey Day Run

This race begins at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza located in front of the Arizona State Capitol Complex in downtown Phoenix. This turkey run offers four race options: a 10K starting at 8 a.m.; a 5K at 8:30 a.m.; a one-mile gobbler dash which will begin at 7:30 a.m.; and for the kids, a tot trot starting at 9:30 a.m. 

Thanksgiving Day Classic

This race is being held at 16101 North 83rd Avenue in Peoria. The featured races are a 10-miler beginning at 8 a.m., a 5K starting at 8:10 a.m., and a 1-miler at 8:18 a.m. Proceeds from this race go to the Peoria Diamond Club, a nonprofit organization helping local youth programs.  

Take a Hike

The Phoenix area is filled with trails, and there is no better time to hit the trails than during the cool fall months. Here are a couple of easy trails that the whole family can enjoy.

Piestewa Peak – Nature Trail # 304
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Distance: 1.4 miles 

This hike is a nice way to get out into nature. Consider this an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

Superstition Wilderness: Hieroglyphics Trail #101
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 3 miles

Not only is this hike a great introduction to the Superstition Wilderness Area, but it is also a great hike for out-of-town guests as well as something fun for the whole family. Be sure to bring your camera, as there are some beautiful desert views along with some great opportunities to capture some new Thanksgiving memories.

Go Ice Skating

City Skate in downtown Phoenix is having its grand opening and tree lighting ceremony on Friday, November 29. So grab your skates and go experience some winter fun right here in the desert.

Experience the Desert’s Fall Colors

Boyce Thompson Arboretum
is holding its Fall Foliage Finale Saturday, November 30, and Sunday, December 1. There will be live music and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while catching some of the desert’s most amazing fall colors. Be sure to bring your camera with you on this trip, as the Arboretum promises memories in the making with beautiful examples Sonoran Desert landscapes and vegetation.

Editor's note: This piece originally ran in November 2015 and has been updated.
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Sara Palmer is a local improviser, writer, teacher, and storyteller. You can commonly find her exploring the surrounding wilderness areas of Phoenix.
Contact: Sara Palmer