Open Thanksgiving: Plan your holiday escape

Thankful that you can't get home for Thanksgiving, but interested in getting out and doing something? Are you looking for a place to entertain the family that isn't the movie theater? Or are you seeking to escape the family and spend time with some friends? The following is a list of places that will be open on Thursday, whether you're looking to work off the big meal or just looking to get out of the house.


Thanksgiving After Party at First Avenue

For those of you who don't succumb to the small dose of tryptophan in your holiday helping of turkey (or for those of you who fill up on tofurky), First Avenue is throwing a Thanksgiving After Party. It should be the perfect opportunity to shimmy off the extra junk you might have put in your trunk during the day. The downtown danceteria has plenty of stuffing -- a full evening of dance music starting at 9 p.m. with an 18+ show in the 7th Street Entry featuring Plain Ole Bill, Mike 2600, and local hip-hop DJ Dan Speak of KMOJ (you may also know him as "Soul Technician #1"). At 10 p.m. the party switches to a 21+ shindig in the Record Room; DJ Verb X,DJ NEXX, and DJ DEFIANT will be spinning. At the same time in the Main Room will be RITMO CALIENTE!, the Latin dance night with DJ Christian Velasco. Visit First Avenue's website for more information.

Ice skating at the Depot

If things are too hot in the kitchen and you're looking to get out, the Depot Renaissance Hotel in Minneapolis has a fun way to cool down: ice skating. The rink, which is housed in a climate-controlled, historic train shed will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday. If you start feeling peckish, there is a food and refreshment bar in the facility. Skate rental is $7 and adult admission is $8, but be sure to check their website for discounts.

Mind-blowing art at the Burnet Gallery

If you belly is full and you're only looking for something to feast your eyes on, the Burnet Gallery in the ultra-sleek Chambers Hotel will be open. Leslie Holt is the current artist in the gallery with her exhibition titled "Hello Masterpiece," which features Hello Kitty on a series of well-known pieces of art. Picture Kitty's puffy bow on a Pollack piece, for instance. The gallery is always free and open for self-guided tours daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. However, if you find a piece is causing your mouth to water, someone at the front desk will be happy to assist with your purchase. Be sure to check out their permanent collection as well; it's pretty mind-blowing. Brochures for a self-guided tour are available at the front desk.

These events may be a little nontraditional, but nobody will stop you if you want to unfasten your belt and pass out on the couch once you get home. Now that's tradition.