Alternatives to Your Thanksgiving Dinner

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you fly or drive long distances to be with family and enjoy mom's turkey and pumpkin pie? Or do you stay home and host a potluck dinner, where guests bring the wine and green-bean casserole?

Let's face it, some of us want none of the usual Thanksgiving Day revelry, and some of us don't really have a choice but to be nontraditional. After all, the day after Thanksgiving is not officially a holiday (The New York Stock Exchange is open until 1 p.m. EST), so if you have to work that Friday, traveling is out of the question.

So what can you do and where can you go in and around the city? We've lined up a few ideas for a nontraditional Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving dinner cruise

Thanksgiving is a great American holiday, and what could be more American than having Thanksgiving dinner with the Statue of Liberty in the background?

In Manhattan, there are several Thanksgiving dinner cruise options.

World Yacht 81 is offering a Thanksgiving dinner buffet cruise for $75 per person. You will sail down the Hudson, around the tip of Manhattan, up the East River, under the Brooklyn Bridge and far enough north to catch a glimpse of the United Nations building. The ship turns around and sets sail for the Statue of Liberty before heading up the Hudson to its Pier 81 dock.

For $150 per person, you can get live jazz with dinner aboard Bateaux New York's all-glass vessel. This cruise departs from Chelsea Piers on 23rd Street.

For $99 per person, you can get a buffet dinner, a cocktail upon boarding and live DJ entertainment on a three-hour cruise with Hornblower New York.

If you don't want to miss the Turkey Day football extravaganza, you'll be glad to know that Hornblower's yachts, which include the elegant Infinity Yacht and the Hybrid Yacht, will be showing the games on flat-screen TVs.

Unique and worry-free Thanksgiving dinners

Do you want to have a unique Thanksgiving dinner without having to prepare it yourself? In New York City, many restaurants are open on Thanksgiving, and most will be serving prix fixe dinners. For $85 per person, here's what you can get:

Triomphe Restaurant in the Theater District is offering a four-course dinner that's all about the turkey.

The meal starts with a turkey-liver mousse, followed by a turkey confit over salad. The main course is a five-spice, free-range stuffed turkey breast and leg. For dessert: turkey-shaped cookies and pumpkin creme brulee.

At Bar Americain in midtown Manhattan, Chef Bobby Flay has designed a Thanksgiving menu that offers nonturkey entree options. You can choose to have grilled swordfish, prime rib, duck confit or rack of pork instead of his traditional maple-glazed roasted turkey.

David Bouley's Brushstroke in Tribeca has a vegetarian menu that will be available for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey dinner, you can have noodles with mushrooms and sweet grilled bamboo shoots.

Thanksgiving night on and off Broadway

On Thanksgiving night, most of the city's Broadway shows go dark to give employees time to spend the holiday with their loved ones and watch football. But for the sake of New York visitors and nontraditionalists, a few shows will be playing.

If you don't mind sitting next to tourists, this is your chance to catch some of the popular shows you may have missed. You could skip the huge Thanksgiving dinner altogether and just grab a quick bite before or after the show.

Some of the more popular on-Broadway and off-Broadway plays that are open on Thanksgiving night are The Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, Chicago, Avenue Q and Stomp.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular will also be playing at the Radio City Music Hall on Thanksgiving night.

-- Written by Marilen Cawad in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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