Nine things to do to with family and friends Thanksgiving week

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Merry Thanksgiving Week! Get out and do something with the out-of-towners you love but have to put up with all week. Take your pick:

(1) Second annual Panthers tree lighting celebration

The Carolina Panthers are decking the halls two days before Thanksgiving by lighting a giant tree at Bank of America Stadium.

When: Nov. 24., 6-7:30 p.m.

What you’ll do: Gawk at an illuminated, 58-foot Norway Spruce tree from Newland, N.C., strung with 48,600 lights. Listen to music, lean back in the lawn chair you brought, and enjoy food from vendors. Oh, and say hey to Sir Purr.

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(2) Butterball Bootcamp

This $30 yoga workshop is a holiday tradition at Y2 Yoga. Instructors Jen DeCurtins and Tanner Bazemore will lead a high-energy yoga detox class just in time for a day of face-stuffing.

When: Nov. 25., 8:30-10:30 a.m.

What you’ll do: Sweat a lot. Work up that appetite. Exude gratitude.

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(3) Create your own fall coffee crawl

You can do this on just two streets in NoDa.

When: You set the time.

What you’ll do: Start with the spiced brown sugar latte at Smelly Cat Coffehouse on East 36th Street, then make your way to North Davidson Street for the spiced butterbeer cappuccino at The Daily Press. End at Amelie’s farther down North Davidson Street with a cup of pumpkin clove café crème. Sip up.

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(4) Pick out a book to read by the fire

Because it’s time to get the fire roaring and throw your computer in it. Or just put your computer away.

When: Whenever you feel like it.

What you’ll do: Venture over to Park Road Books in Park Road Shopping Center. There is a whole wall lined with suggested covers on the right side right when you walk in. Gaze upon your options.

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(5) Take a self-guided tour of the city

The Liberty Walk awaits, and features some of Charlotte’s Revolution-era historic sites spanning 1775-1780.

When: Any day.

What you’ll do: Take a look at this map and don some comfortable walking shoes. You have about a mile to go. Or, if you prefer something a little more breezy, take a segway. Charlotte NC Tours offers a one-hour fun ride, a 90-minute uptown historic neighborhood tour and a two-hour markets, museums and parks tour.

(6) Attend C5 Underground

On Thanksgiving Eve Eve, we’re partying at the new uptown Amelie’s before it opens.

When: Nov. 24, 6-8 p.m.

What you’ll do: Eat sweet snacks, from brownie bites to petit fours, and gorge on coffees, wines or beers. (Yes, plural. You get two drink tickets when you register). Mingle with Corey and me.

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(7) Give up on cooking and go out to eat

Give your bird the bird [insert new emoij] and take the family out to eat on Thanksgiving Day.

When: Nov. 26, various times

What you’ll do: Make a reservation ASAP. Try these options: Palm Restaurant, Gallery Restaurant, BLT Steak and others. Dig in.

(8) Compete in a gingerbread-house-building competition

Nothing says “family fun” like sculpting a gumdrop fence.

When: Entry form is due Dec. 1, competition is Dec. 9

What you’ll do: Pick from professional, amateur and child categories and enter the Gingerbread Lane competition hosted by The Ballantyne Hotel by Dec. 1. Creations must be delivered to the hotel between Dec. 5-8. You are officially on deadline, so you’d better get your frosting on.

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(9) Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

If you’re going to opt out of the aforementioned Butterball Bootcamp, you might as well watch other people move.

When: Nov. 26, 9:30 a.m.

What you’ll do: Scream, clap and smile absurdly as the parade moves along Tryon Street through uptown Charlotte and with 18 marching bands, about 24 floats and more. Corey reported that there will be four large floats (barring a last-minute addition): the cornucopia, the bakery, the sleigh wash, where Mrs. Claus rides, and Santa’s Workshop, where Santa rides.

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You can also take a look at Sarah Crosland’s list of things you MUST do in November. But if you do nothing more, just give thanks.

Photos: Diedra Laird/Charlotte Observer, AP, Y2 Yoga newsletter, Jodi Mace, Katie Toussaint, Abbi O’Leary/Charlotte Observer, Bissell/Charlotte Observer, Corey Inscoe

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