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Post-Turkey Traditions in Door County


Once the Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie has been served and dishes are finally done, it’s time to enjoy a long weekend in Door County! Here are some activity ideas for the holiday weekend that could easily become a new family tradition.

Friday: The Morning After

After the big Thanksgiving feast has been had, my family tends to enjoy a little bit of extra shut eye, but not too much, because breakfast is sure to be a savored event. 

Racks of fresh-baked bread at Scaturo's.

With our leftover cardamom buns from the night before, we make a french toast or use the buns to make our own egg sandwiches. Omelettes also make good use of the leftover vegetables, and a side of bacon and stuffing is present on every plate. Multiple carafes of Door County Coffee are emptied and refilled as we slowly begin to liven up as we enjoy our food by the fire.

Of course, if you don’t have access to a full kitchen, there are many wonderful places to grab a hearty breakfast. Inn at Cedar Crossing is a favorite place to gather with family and friends for a brunch or try the breakfast at Scaturo’s Cafe for coffee and a cozy meal. Before you leave pick out a fresh bread loaf or two to have for the rest of the weekend.

Day Hike at the Dunes

Now that our bellies are full (again) and our energy is revived, we take our annual Whitefish Dunes beach hike. Beginning at the far end of the beach near Glidden Lodge, we make our way the several miles down the sandy beachfront to finally end up at the reservable lodge which is a part of Whitefish Dunes State Park. 

A snow-covered sign at Whitefish Dunes State Park.

No matter the weather, we band together for the trek; sometime it’s snowy and sometimes it’s warm and sunny, but we savor the time together and the views of the beautiful shoreline.

Once we reach the shelter, we again make use of the leftovers from the holiday. Any leftover turkey, potatoes, gravy and desserts are brought in by family to warm by the fire in the lodge while the trekkers make their way down the beach. The late lunch makes the long walk worth it and is a cherished tradition that we photograph each year. Whitefish Dunes State Park, Peninsula State Park, Newport State Park and Potawatomi State Park all offer reservable shelters that would offer a great way to spend time with family even during the chillier days of fall and winter — just don’t forget the firewood or space heater!

Saturday: Holiday Shopping Begins

The gift-giving season officially kicks off after Thanksgiving has passed, making it a perfect opportunity to travel out to some of the specialty shops of Door County. The spirit of the season is present as you take in the decorations and twinkling lights that have begun to adorn each community. While you’re out and about, check out the Holiday Art Fair in Sister Bay and the Door 44 Winery’s Holiday Open House.

Or, head to Egg Harbor to celebrate the holiday season with a weekend of events and activities for Holly Days. Take your picture with Santa at the Kress Pavilion, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, write a letter to santa, decorate cookies and more! Find the full schedule on the Egg Harbor website.

Sunday: Time to Slow Down

A woman and child play with a dog at a snowy dog park.

On the last day of the weekend, we tend to take things slow and savor the quiet moments, which either means another long hike in the park or a visit to an area dog park with our two energetic dogs.

The afternoon brings a nap or a good book by the fire before turning on the football game to cheer on the green and gold. It’s truly a weekend of memories made special by all that Door County has to offer!

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