Thanksgiving hotel packages – with and without trimmings

For msnbc.com’s Overhead Bin this week, I poked around for some unusual and offbeat Thanksgiving hotel packages. Here’ what I found.

While many travelers will head over the river and through the woods to eat big meals and sleep them off at grandmother’s house this Thanksgiving, others will spend part of the holiday hanging out at an inn.

Many hotels will be offering special holiday rates and, in their restaurants, serving up traditional Thanksgiving meals. But we found a few hotels that have cooked up holiday packages that include some offbeat or unusual extras.

Room with a parade view

In New York City it can be difficult for out-of-towners to find a warm, comfortable spot to watch the marching bands, the performers, the celebrities and the giant helium balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

That’s why some hotels along the route put together special room-with-a-view packages. For example, in addition to an upgraded Central Park View room and a welcome amenity (pumpkin biscotti, a mug and a sachet of mulling spices), the Mandarin Oriental, New York’s “I Love a Parade” package includes parade-day access to the hotel’s ballroom, which offers a great viewing perch and activities such as cookie decorating, face painting and photos with (people dressed up as) turkeys. Rate: $1,155 per night, Nov. 22 – 25.

Sleep or shop?

For many people, Thanksgiving has become a day to map out a shopping strategy for Black Friday. For those intent on being first in line at the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets in Massachusetts, the Hampton Inn in nearby Franklin is offering a Midnight Madness Thanksgiving Shopping Special. Stores open at midnight and this Nov. 24-only package includes a $50 outlet center gift card, complimentary hourly shuttle rides beginning at 11 p.m., coffee-to-go, snacks and a bargain hunter’s early bird breakfast buffet. Rates start at $199.

In California, the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is offering a Bloomingdale’s Luxe Holiday Package that includes a $100 Bloomingdale’s gift card, spiked hot chocolate cocktails and a 25- minute head, neck and shoulder post-shopping massage. Rates start at $595 and are available through Jan. 31, 2012.

Sip and smile

For guests attending family get-togethers that may stray to the stressful, the Hotel Palomar San Francisco is offering a Pie + Family + Booze = Splendid Holiday package that includes a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon and a choice of pie or cranberry preserve to bring along as a contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. Rates start at $229 and are valid through Dec. 29.

For families that think they can make it through the holiday intact, The Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., has a package that includes a suite that can accommodate four people, a four-course Thanksgiving dinner with Virginia wine pairings for eight and a professionally photographed family portrait taken in the suite. Rates start at $799 a night. (Promotional code: Turkey Day).

No napkins needed

And then there’s the Thanksgiving without the Dressing dinner at the Terra Cotta Inn in Palm Springs, Calif. The popular nudist resort offers guests a free Thanksgiving dinner. “When you have Thanksgiving dinner dressed in your finest birthday suit,” said inn co-owner Tom Mulhall, “you don’t have to worry about your pants getting too tight and having to loosen your belt buckle. You won’t be wearing one.”