Golden Village Palms Thanksgiving Dinner

Trip Planning

2023 Thanksgiving Activities in Campgrounds

Check out these Thanksgiving campground recommendations from Jeff Crider!

Thanksgiving is normally an event families celebrate at home. But there are growing numbers of retirees, couples and families that spend Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends in their RVs. Consequently, campgrounds, RV parks and resorts increasingly offer Thanksgiving meals, potlucks and activities for their guests over Thanksgiving weekend, including turkey trots, particularly in parks across the Sunbelt.

Here’s a sampling of some of the meals and activities that are scheduled at campgrounds, RV parks and resorts over Thanksgiving weekend:

(Photo courtesy of Jellystone Park in Pelahatc)

Albuquerque KOA Journey in Albuquerque, New Mexico: This campground will host its second annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. All campers are invited to bring their favorite main or side dish or dessert. Traditional favorites, including turkey, ham, dressing and gravy, will be provided by KOA.

Bakersfield KOA Journey in Bakersfield, California: This park will be serving a delicious Thanksgiving feast at its onsite restaurant, the Crest Bar & Grill. The meal will include roast turkey, honey spiral ham, cranberry and sage stuffing, horseradish mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.

Boulevard / Cleveland National Forest KOA Holiday in Boulevard, California: Local chefs will be on site offering breakfast and lunch made-to-order on Wednesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. On Sunday, KOA camp hosts will be making pumpkin pancakes in the clubhouse.

Camp Cedar Outdoor Resort in Mason, Ohio: Thanksgiving weekend activities at this park are scheduled for Nov. 24 and 25 and include a turkey scavenger hunt, making turkey headbands and making a gratitude chain.

Cape Hatteras / Outer Banks KOA Resort in Rodanthe, North Carolina: This campground is planning activities and crafts for kids and adults over Thanksgiving weekend. The park will also host a potluck dinner on Thanksgiving. KOA will provide the turkey and desserts while guests are invited to bring side dishes to share.

Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, California: This Sunland RV Resorts park offers several activities over Thanksgiving weekend, including a Thanksgiving buffet on Nov. 23 and the park’s first annual Turkey Trot run on Nov. 24. A holiday lights event with caroling is scheduled for Nov. 25. Guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to a local food bank.

Encore Fiesta Grande RV Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona: This park will host its first 1-Mile Pie Walk around the neighborhood on Nov. 17. Each resident that participates will receive a pie. This resort will also host a mini pumpkin hunt from Nov. 20-27. Park guests can search the resort to locate the pumpkins, but must leave them in place, simply noting where they were located. They then share their findings with the activities department. The guest that finds the most hidden pumpkins wins a prize. The park will also provide turkeys for Thanksgiving Family Feast. However, each table host will be responsible for cooking the turkey for their table, while their tablemates bring the side dishes and desserts.

Fort Collins / Lakeside KOA Holiday in Fort Collins, Colorado: Thanksgiving weekend activities at this campground include a Thanksgiving potluck and a turkey trot fun run/walk.

Jellystone Park in Burleson, Texas: This park has activities throughout Thanksgiving week, including a “Thanksgiving Turkey Scavenger Hunt,” the park’s annual “Gobble Contest,” a game of “Tip the Thanksgiving Basket,” and a chance to support your favorite flightless bird in the park’s turkey trot races.

Jellystone Park in Pelahatchie, Mississippi: This park hosts an annual Campsgiving dinner, where expert chefs handle all the cooking. The park encourages guests to bring in non-perishable food items that can be donated to a local food bank. For each donation, guests will have have a chance to win a free weekend getaway in 2024 and receive a valuable store coupon.

Jellystone Park in Wichita Falls, Texas: Thanksgiving weekend activities at this park include a turkey trot race.

Okeechobee KOA Resort in Okeechobee, Florida: This park hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner. KOA provides the turkey and trimmings while guests and residents are invited to bring a side dish or dessert to share potluck style.

Port Lavaca / Matagorda Bay KOA Holiday in Port Lavaca, Texas: This park will provide the protein for a Thanksgiving potluck while park guests are invited to bring a side dish or dessert.

San Antonio / Alamo KOA Holiday in San Antonio, Texas: This campground hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner on with the park providing the turkey, dressing, gravy and drinks and the guests providing side dishes and desserts.

(Photo courtesy of Jellystone Park in Pelahatc)

San Diego KOA in Chula Vista, California: This park has several activities planned over Thanksgiving weekend, including an outdoor movie and autumn crafts. A Christmas tree lighting celebration will take place on Nov. 25 to kick off the Christmas season.

Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA Holiday in Watsonville, California: This campground will host a Thanksgiving potluck on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. The park provides the turkey and invites guests to bring a side dish or treat to share.

Voyager RV Resort in Tucson, Arizona: This park will host its annual “Share the Bounty Dance” on Friday, Nov. 17. On Thanksgiving Day, Voyager will provide turkeys for the park’s annual Thanksgiving dinner for more than 250 guests and residents.

Zachary Taylor Waterfront RV Resort in Okeechobee: This park has a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner with live music. Zachary Taylor RV Resort and Florida will host potlucks on both holidays, providing the protein for both holiday meals while inviting their guests to bring side dishes and desserts. 

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.