HUFFINGTON POST
10/28/2011 10:56 am ET | Updated Dec 27, 2011

Thanksgiving In New Jersey: A MapQuest Guide

Thanksgiving in New Jersey is a time for gathering with family and loved ones, expressing gratitude and, of course, eating. As part of TurkeyQuest -- a MapQuest guide to Thanksgiving events, featuring everything from parades to holiday sales to activities for families -- here are two of the best ways to experience Thanksgiving in New Jersey and one opportunity to give back to others.


New Jersey Thanksgiving Events Map

1863 Thanksgiving At Allaire Village


One of the first "company towns," Allaire Village was home to Howell Works, an early iron manufacturer, and several related businesses in the 1800s. Visitors can step back in time for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving celebration on the Sunday before the holiday at Monmouth County's 1863 Thanksgiving at Allaire Village. This free event in the historic village, complete with costumed interpreters, includes a Thanksgiving sermon at the chapel, demonstrations of 19th century pie making, games and hands-on cider pressing. Kids will be fascinated by the primitive technology of the era, such as the tin-reflector oven used to roast turkeys.

4265 Atlantic Ave., Farmingdale, NJ 07727

Annual 5K Turkey Trot Run


Runners looking to burn off a few calories before the feasting season begins can spend the Saturday before Thanksgiving outside in the crisp autumn air for the annual 5K Turkey Trot Run in Somerset's Colonial Park. The park includes scenic areas along the Millstone River, beautiful gardens and beech and oak forests. Casual joggers and walkers may opt for the 1-mile Fun Run/Walk, suitable for all ages. Spectators are welcome to come out to enjoy the day and support the runners. Registration for each race is $20. The top three finishers in each of the nine age categories, from 14 and under to 80 and up, will receive medals. The top male and female finishers in each age group also get turkeys.

550 Elizabeth Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873

Volunteer: Hackettstown Rotary Club Thanksgiving Food Drive


New Jerseyans can help ensure that their state-wide neighbors have enough to eat this Thanksgiving by volunteering at the Hackettstown Rotary Club Thanksgiving Food Drive. Since the mid-'90s, the club has collected frozen turkeys, canned goods and dry food for the Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program Food Bank. Volunteers assist with unloading and sorting donations at drive-up drop-off points such as Panera Bread. Prospective volunteers can get more details about how to sign up for a shift at the Hackettstown Rotary Club's website. In previous food drives, the club has received more than 4,000 pounds of food, so they need lots of hard-working helpers each holiday season.

2045 State Route 57, Suite 3, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 | Go to Huffington Post Impact to see how else you can volunteer.

Thanksgiving In New Jersey: Video

A video slideshow offers glimpses of the historic buildings in Allaire Village, which hosts an annual 1863 Thanksgiving demonstration on the Sunday before the holiday.


Did we miss a New Jersey Thanksgiving event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great Thanksgiving events and volunteering opportunities? Check out TurkeyQuest and our coverage in New York, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.

Interested in more stories about New Jersey? Go to Patch and scroll the list of states to get great local coverage of your neighborhood.