meal being served by RV

Why not cook Thanksgiving Dinner in the park this year?

Imagine turkey seasoned with fresh herbs, hot off the grill. Add a nice hot cup of coffee, maybe a s’more or two for dessert, and you’re ready for a relaxing Thanksgiving under the stars.

This year, why not head to your favourite park for a weekend away and hold your Thanksgiving dinner amid the fall colours?

Move over Martha Stewart, this is Thanksgiving…Canadian style!

Tips for whipping up your Thanksgiving Dinner in a park

Couple having a picnic

Do the prep at home

Save yourself time and trouble by doing all the cutting, grating and peeling in the comfort of your own kitchen. Wrap traditional faves like carrots, yams and potatoes in tinfoil (all ready to be thrown on the fire) before you pack them in the cooler.

Cook in the cooler

blue coolerA cooler’s use doesn’t end when the food’s unpacked.

Bring a high performance cooler, like the Coleman Xtreme, pour in boiling water, and add your corn-on-the-cob. Your corn will steam up nicely, and the cooler will retain the heat long enough for folks to head back for seconds!

Bonus: the leak-resistant drain makes it easy to empty when dinner’s done.

Pick a wind-resistant stove

Of course, you’ll need a reliable burner to boil the water and fry up the veggies.

Coleman camp stove and tent

Coleman Hyperflame stoves offer improved wind resistance and cut boiling time in half. They also provide an even heat distribution across the pan, which is a big help for the multi-tasking camp chef.

But how will I cook the turkey?

We’ve witnessed lots of creative culinary hacks over the years.

Turkey in a dutch oven
Dutch oven turkey

Trash Can Turkey is a favourite with camper families across North America. This recipe got its name from the aluminum trash can used for cooking. The can is turned upside down and the turkey is placed inside on a stick and cooked over hot coals. Cooking time varies according to the size of your turkey.

Campfire turkey is more of a slow cook method but just as satisfying. A Dutch oven or spit is used for this recipe.

Camping in October?

Many October overnighters pack up the RV, but if you’re tent camping, it’s important to factor in the cooler temperatures.

Couple Smiling beside RV

Be sure to check the temperature rating on your sleeping bag. Your lightweight summer bag might not be warm enough for crisp autumn nights.

man walking from truck carrying sleeping bag

The Coleman Lowland™ 15 Sleeping Bag will keep you warm in temperatures as cool as –18 °C. Its lightweight Coletherm® hollow polyester insulation helps keep you warm from top to bottom.

Looking for something even snugglier? This Coleman Big Game™ Big and Tall Sleeping Bag is perfect for extreme weather sleeping (-20° C). Plus, the cotton canvas cover and cozy cotton/flannel liner are super cozy!

Where to stay

Many of our parks stay open through the October long weekend. Click here for a list of operating dates.

We even see a few cabins and yurts still available. Book online or call 1-888-668-7275 to reserve your site.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Ontario Parks would like to thank corporate partners like Coleman for their support.