Feasting, Shopping and Partying: It's Thanksgiving Week on the Outer Banks

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest off-season weeks on the Outer Banks, and to welcome everyone to town, the calendar is packed with events, oyster roasts, Thanksgiving feasts, artisan markets and Black Friday sales.

Are you coming to the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving? Keep reading for some of the great things to look forward to while you’re here. There’s quite a bit packed into the two weekends bookending Thanksgiving, so for a more comprehensive list of options, from wine tastings to knitting with kittens to trivia nights and live music, be sure to check our Daytime and Nightlife pages.

Photo: Local artist Meg Rubino will be selling her ornaments and paintings at arts markets all around town this holiday season, including the Misfits & Rejects Market at Outer Banks Brewing Station on November 19.

Markets and Bazaars

Merry Market

Friday, November 18

The Town of Manteo’s first ever holiday market will be held on Friday, November 18 from 4 to 7 pm at George Washington Creef Park. Shop under the twinkling lights for handmade and handcrafted goods from local vendors and get your gifts wrapped to support the local schools. Stag’s Sauce Co. food truck will be there serving dinner.

Holly Days Bazaar & Arts Festival

Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19

All Saints Episcopal Church will host its 18th annual event on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a festive event with more than 30 vendors that you don’t see everywhere else. The church is at 40 Pintail Trail in Southern Shores.

Misfits & Rejects Holiday Market

Saturday, November 19

This is a much-anticipated annual market at Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills. Enjoy some backyard time and sip a locally brewed craft beer while shopping among some of the favorite local artisans. It’s held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holiday Markets

Sundays November 20 & 27

Roanoke Island Artisans in Kitty Hawk is hosting two markets with a variety of local makers and artisans from 12 to 4 p.m. each Sunday. Sip warm beverages, do a little shopping and hop on the #252 Art Bus to see all the great art stocked on the moveable store. Roanoke Island Artisans will also be offering resin workshops, but you must sign up ahead of time. These will be held in the parking lot of the MP 4.5 Shoppes in Kitty Hawk.

Sip, Savor & Shop

Tuesday, November 22

Get a jump on the holiday shopping with select artists and vendors at Goombay’s in Kill Devil Hills. They’ll be there from 4 to 8 p.m., and you can enjoy a drink and dinner too.

Christmas Craft Village

Friday, November 25

Whalehead in Corolla hosts this arts and crafts market with local artists and vendors outdoors in Historic Corolla Park. There will also be carriage rides and food vendors. The market is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dowdy Park Holiday Market

Saturday, November 26

Support local artists and artisans while shopping among more than 60 local vendors. It’s the place to see and be seen on a Saturday morning in Nags Head. The show runs from 9 a.m. to noon.

Outer Banks Entrepreneurs Holiday Bazaar

Saturday, November 26

More than 50 vendors will be on hand showcasing their handmade and ready-made items and goods. With door prizes, holiday music and food, the fun takes place at the Ramada Plaza Nags Head Oceanfront in Kill Devil Hills from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Runs and Races

The Purple Prance

Saturday, November 19

Come to Manteo High School at 8 a.m. to run a 5K or Fun Run to support pancreatic cancer research. Cost is $15, cash only. Runsignup.com

Tipsy Turkey Beer Mile

Wednesday, November 23

Kick off your Thanksgiving celebrations with a beer mile at Outer Banks Brewing Station. Run ¼ mile, drink a 10 oz. beer and repeat that three more times. T-shirt, chip timing and after party included. Online and walk-up registration is available. Cost is $40 and runners must be age 21 or older. Obbrewing.com

Thanksgiving Morning 5Ks

Thursday, November 24

These are popular so don’t hesitate on getting your crew signed up. Then get out the door early and get your exercise before your Thanksgiving feast.

Twiddy's Thanksgiving Day 5K – 8 a.m., Whalehead, Corolla, theobxrunningcompany.com

Go Far Turkey Trot – 9 a.m., Southern Shores, obxgofar.org

OBX Gobbler 5K & Fun Run – 8 a.m., The Village at Nags Head, 5200 S. Croatan Highway, runsignup.com

Surfin’ Turkey 5K and Puppy Drum Run - 8 a.m., Hatteras, hatterasyouth.com/surfin-turkey-5K

Ocracoke 5K Turkey Trot – 8 a.m. Ocracoke Island, visitocracoke.com

Photo: The Big Currishuck at Sanctuary Vineyards on November 26 features oysters, crabs and wine.

Events

TW’s Oyster Roast

Saturday, November 19

For the past 42 years, TW’s Bait & Tackle in Nags Head has hosted this event with oysters, beer, BBQ, games, music and more. It’s held from 1 to 5 p.m.

Corolla Christmas Village

Starting Friday, November 24 and running Friday and Saturday nights through December 24

Corolla Christmas Village brings lights, lighted displays and a wonderland atmosphere to Historic Corolla Park. Food trucks, and shopping opportunities in Corolla Village are available as well. This is held from 5 to 9 p.m.

Parade of Boats

Friday, November 25

Ocracoke Village hosts its parade of lighted boats in Silver Lake starting at 5:30 p.m. This is a celebration of life on the water, and it’s sure to get you in the coastal Christmas spirit.

The Big Currishuck

Saturday, November 26

One of the biggest events of the year at Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, Currishuck features all-you-can-eat steamed oysters, steamed crabs and barbecue plus live music and delicious local beer and, of course, wines from Sanctuary Vineyards. The fun starts at 12 p.m. Tickets cost $75 and sell out fast so get them now!

Kites with Lights

Saturday, November 26

Hike up the dunes in Jockey’s Ridge State Park to see a lighted kites display. You’ll see kites up to 30 feet decked out for the season and see kites move to the music. Start over at Kitty Hawk Kites around 4 p.m. for pictures with Santa then make your way to Jockey’s Ridge at dark.

Dowdy Park Christmas Tree Lighting

The Town of Nags Head will hold a tree-lighting ceremony with cocoa, Santa and fun things to do from 5 to 7 p.m.

WinterLights

Starting Saturday, November 26 then nightly except Mondays and holidays

WinterLights in The Elizabethan Gardens kicks off the Saturday after Thanksgiving and runs through December 30. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Enjoy millions of twinkling lights and lighted displays, holiday décor, music, open-air fires and more while strolling the paths of the 10-acre garden. Timed entry tickets are sold in advance at elizabethangardens.com/winterlights/

Photo: Kitty Hawk Kites' Kites with Lights on Jockey's Ridge is annual tradition in Nags Head.

Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday Sales

The independent, locally owned shops of the Outer Banks are the absolute best places to find original gifts that everyone will love. And best of all, just about every store has a great big sale right after Thanksgiving. If you want to avoid the crowds, go ahead and go early. Almost every store is having an off-season sale right now anyway. This is the best time of year to stock up on swimwear, outdoor gear, watersports gear and clothes for winter vacations. Click here to see a rundown of shops that are offering great deals and sales right now. Outerbanksthisweek.com/shopping-sales

Thanksgiving Meals and Buffets

When you’re at the beach, you do not have to cook. Go out! Here are some of the restaurants offering up Thanksgiving feasts. Find more details here and make your reservations early!

Red Sky Café, Duck

NC Coast Grill and Bar, Duck

The Paper Canoe, Duck

Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet, Kitty Hawk

Captain George’s, Kill Devil Hills

Jolly Roger Restaurant, Kill Devil Hills

Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café, Nags Head

Dirty Dick’s Crab House, Nags Head

Owens’ Restaurant, Nags Head

Diamond Shoals Restaurant, Buxton

Photo: NouVines is a popular place for nightlife in Manteo.

Nightlife

Don't forget the nighttime fun! This brings lots of live music to the local bars and restaurants, from local favorite acoustic musicians and bands to touring bands at Outer Banks Brewing Station. Visit our full run of Nightlife listings here.

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.