Student guide to Fort Worth during Thanksgiving break


    TCU students who plan on staying in Fort Worth for the Thanksgiving weekend will encounter closures of many popular area restaurants and venues. There are however various budget-friendly options to keep busy during the five-day break.

    Lara Branaman, a senior resident assistant for Sherley Hall, said staying in Fort Worth for Thanksgiving is an opportunity for her to relax. The Illinois native said she will spend the day cooking, FaceTiming with her family and watching football.

    But some students, like senior philosophy major Erwin Mierisch, who are staying in Fort Worth have yet to solidify plans.

    As the break approaches, students can utilize this complete guide to food, volunteering, outdoor activities, concerts and shopping to keep busy on Thanksgiving Day through the weekend.


    Kroger is one of the best options for TCU students looking to enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving from their dorm room or off-campus housing. Utilizing this guide, students can buy Thanksgiving Day essentials for under $5 an item.

    For non-traditional Thanksgiving foods, affordable restaurants on South University Drive that will remain open during their regular business hours include IHOP, Panera Bread and Ol’ South Pancake House.

    Various eateries around TCU only have half-day closures on Thanksgiving including McDonald’s and Kroger next to TCU’s campus.

    For specific business hours, see the graphic above:

    Restaurants that will be closed all day include McAlister’s, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Sol de Luna, and Dutch’s Burgers. Restaurants that typically deliver to campus including Topper’s Pizza, Perrotti’s Pizza and Domino’s Pizza will also be closed.

    All on-campus dining will be closed through Thanksgiving break. Market Square will close after dinner at 9 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 26, and resume services on Sunday Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.


    Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, but some Fort Worth stores are opening as early as Thanksgiving Day.

    All Fort Worth area Walmarts will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and will continue to stay open 24 hours through Black Friday. Area Targets will open at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night and stay open until 11 p.m. on Black Friday

    More than 100 stores at Hulen Mall will have extended hours Black Friday. Store hours will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    Crafting is also an option on Thanksgiving. Students can make DIY Thanksgiving-inspired decorations for their dorm room, apartment or house. Use this Pinterest page for inspiration.


    Serve the Fort Worth homeless Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army of Tarrant County on Thanksgiving Day.

    Volunteers can help serve meals from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their Salvation Army Mabee Center.

    The center takes anyone who needs a meal on Thanksgiving. There is no pre-registration or application process.

    Don’t have a car? The Fort Worth HOPE Center takes donations online. For $25, students can feed an entire family on Thanksgiving. The center donates groceries to more than 1,000 families a year on Thanksgiving each year. Click here to donate.

    Outdoor Activities

    On Thanksgiving morning, students who enjoy running can participate in the annual Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot. The event offers 1K, 5K and half-marathon races. Proceeds from the Turkey Trot benefit the scholarship/youth program of the Westside YMCA. Sign up the day of the race for $30 if participating in the 5K, and $55 if running the half-marathon.

    Thanksgiving is also a good day to meet the Fort Worth Zoo’s newest baby elephants Belle and Bowie. The zoo will be open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  Admission is $12 per person.

    The Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway has a new attraction this year. For $18 online, students can pile into a car with friends and see more than 600 LED light displays. For an extra $10, students can enjoy a “snow town” that features snow and an outdoor tubing hill.

    Students staying on campus will be able to watch the TCU Horned Frogs play the Baylor Bears at Amon G. Carter Stadium Saturday Nov. 30. For those who would like family to attend, last minute tickets are still available on for $40.


    Various artists will come to Billy Bob’s Texas Thanksgiving weekend. Florida Georgia Line will take the stage Friday Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. following a performance by Colt Ford. The following night, the Turnpike Troubadours will perform at 10:30 p.m. Tickets for Florida Georgia Line, though sold out on the Billy Bob’s Texas website, are still being sold on for $47. Turnpike Troubadours tickets are going for $15 on Billy Bob’s website.

    For Beth Harding, a senior psychology and child development double major, staying in Fort Worth for Thanksgiving means finding people within her community to spend the day with. 

    “It wasn’t worth it to go home just to be there two weeks after finals,” she said. “For Thanksgiving Day I will be going to a family’s house that I know from church.”