Thanksgiving & Christmas in The Turks & Caicos Islands
Imagine your Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation without any obligation to host, cook, navigate complicated family dynamics or shovel snow.
Sounds good, right? Now imagine leaving all that behind and going to a tropical paradise to enjoy the holiday season. Welcome to your seasonal vacation, Turk & Caicos style.
With average temperatures of 80°F in November and December, you can ditch the layers of clothing, pack your swimwear and prepare for total rejuvenation. With all that fun and relaxation, you’ll be ready to welcome in the New Year with a Caribbean spring in your step.
Here are our top ways to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Turks & Caicos Islands
Thanksgiving in the Turks & Caicos Islands
If you’re looking for the perfect tropical destination for a long Thanksgiving weekend getaway, the Turks & Caicos Islands fit the bill. Providenciales is accessible in a short 1 hour 50-minute flight from Miami and there are numerous direct flights from many other US cities.
Islanders themselves usually celebrate a National Day of Thanksgiving on the fourth Friday in November. This has been an official public holiday since 2014 but is predominantly a religious holiday and not connected to the US holiday. However, with so many tourists visiting the islands, many hotels and restaurants in Providenciales offer a traditional American-style Thanksgiving meal.
In Grace Bay, Bay Bistro at Sibonne Beach Hotel is renowned for offering a delicious Thanksgiving menu to celebrate the US holiday with turkey and all the trimmings washed down with a Caribbean cocktail or two. Stylish Barbetta House at The Somerset also offers a four-course Thanksgiving meal with live entertainment.
Grace Bay Christmas Festivities
You’ll still get to enjoy all of the fun elements of the holidays that you cherish at home as Christmas is a big deal on the Turks & Caicos islands. Every resort around Grace Bay embraces the festive spirit with their own stunning Christmas light displays, many on a grand scale.
The Seven Stars Resort & Spa has an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, with a guest appearance from Santa, that has become a holiday tradition. The Kiwanis Club often run a Christmas tree lighting event aimed at children too. In Salt Cay, you’ll find the ‘Island Thyme Bistro Annual Christmas Tree Ornament Competition’ where local residents submit their handmade creations with prizes to be won. Occasionally visiting tourists have entered their decorations too!
Most restaurants offer special festive menus that combine gourmet Christmas dishes and local flavours.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful” – Norman Vincent Peale
Relax, relax… then relax some more
The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but many of us feel burnt out and exhausted from the preparations before the celebrations have even begun. Escaping the seasonal madness at home for a Caribbean vacation gives you the chance to truly unwind and enjoy quality time at island pace with the people you love.
Why not try some water sports, enjoy a visit to a luxury spa or hire a private chef for a Christmas like no other. If you want blissful seclusion – and you’d rather whip up a feast in your own kitchen – then look no further than one of the island’s many private villas.
You’ll also get to enjoy a totally unique shopping experience in the Turks & Caicos islands with seasonal bargains, local boutiques and one-of-a-kind gifts to bring home to loved ones. Regent Village and Saltmills Plaza are upscale shopping destinations in Grace Bay.
Visit The Maskanoo Parade on December 26th
To share in the island festivities don’t miss Maskanoo, an annual masquerade street festival that takes place the day after Christmas on Providenciales.
With delicious food, live music and a parade of bright costumes and glittering masks, it’s a celebration of the island’s vibrant culture, rich history and friendly locals. Maskanoo is one of the biggest parties on the islands and visitors will be entertained late into the night by the music acts and party atmosphere.
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
– Buddy the Elf
Top up your Vitamin D
The ‘sunshine vitamin’ can be lacking in our bodies in the winter but we need Vitamin D to boost our immune systems, energy levels and our mood.
Some safe sun exposure is a must in the winter and feeling those warm rays on your skin releases wonderful endorphins. Celebrating the joy and rituals of the holidays in the sunshine is definitely a feel-good combination!
Join in with the post-Christmas beach party
There’s no lull in between Christmas and New Year on the islands. The Grace Bay Beach Party takes place on December 28th where you can enjoy live music, local food, sailing, kayaking and an incredible sunset. It’s a brilliant way to unwind and have fun after the excitement of Christmas Day.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve island-style
Grace Bay comes into its own on New Year’s Eve with spectacular fireworks displays all along the beach after the midnight countdown. The colorful illuminations can be seen from one end of the island to another, from Northwest Point to Leeward.
The atmosphere is safe, fun and celebratory and many resorts and restaurants, like Flamingo’s Café, have beach bonfires, DJs and live music.
Listen out for a local tradition called Old Year’s Night where island dwellers attend church services and church bells ring out into the night to bring good luck into the New Year.
Welcoming in the New Year in a tropical paradise is an experience of a lifetime that you’ll never forget.