Mammoth Mountain already started loading skiers onto lifts, opening Nov. 7. On lean years, about half of the mountain opens by Turkey Day; on stormy years, all lifts can run. For the traditional meal, Mammoth lays out a gourmet family spread at the Mountainside Grill or you can go romantic at the Lakefront Restaurant at Tamarack Lodge. 

Off the snow, peruse the Thanksgiving Art Festival in the Minaret Village Mall, Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The free exhibition showcases local and visiting artists with a penchant for the outdoors. Kids can meet Santa at Woolly the annual Christmas tree lighting in the Village.