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Hot Tips: Reality Thanksgiving

Don't settle for warmed-over myths this Turkey Day. Instead, travel to places around the country where the celebration is true to history. Here are three ways to live it up, pilgrim. 1. Forget football, at Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, Mass.; 800/733-1830; www.osv.org) you can egg on the men aiming their smoking muskets at wooden targets, the original Thanksgiving Day sport. 2. Think pig. Pork was the dish of the day in the Virginia colony of Jamestown; after all, wild turkeys are too scrawny to feed a crowd. At Jamestown Settlement (Williamsburg, Va.; 888/593-4682; www.historyisfun.org) you'll help stir the stew pot and crush the peppercorns for the sausage. 3. Eat with your fingers. They did it back in Plimouth colony—and they still do, Thanksgiving week, during the 1627 Harvest Dinners at Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, Mass.; 508/746-1622; www.plimouth.org). If you can't get a seat at the table, pick up 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving ($7.95), an account, with photos from Plimouth Plantation, of what really happened between the colonists and the Wampanoags on the day that forever changed our holiday travel schedule.
—Emily Shetler

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