On Thanksgiving, many of us need to get to distant places, cook stuff we only eat once a year, and soak up traditional entertainments. These smartphone applications may help out.

The AAA Mobile app has some services you can use without joining the auto club. You can map a route and let the "Co-Pilot" give verbal directions. Check for locations and prices at gas stations, find electric-car charging stations, and check out attractions on the road ahead.

If you're a AAA member, the app is another way to call for roadside assistance and access other club travel services.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, an app from the retailer that's free for Android and Apple, extends your parade-watching experience with the @Macys Twitter feed, videos, giant-balloon descriptions, and handy forms for tweeting messages that include #MacysParade.

The company with the turkey hotline also offers Butterball Cookbook Plus, a smartphone app by Publications International Ltd., free for iPhone. It has 250 recipes to help change your game in the kitchen. Don't like what you see at first in the recipe list? Shake the phone for a fresh selection. Tap the "Store" tab for additional features, including free monthly menus, or to sign up for the "Turkey Lovers Newsletter."

After eating, settle into a comfy chair with the ESPN College Football app to take in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision play. The app provides scoring alerts, GameDay analysis videos, news, Twitter feeds for all teams, and big-play videos "moments after they happen."

Check your flight home, or track the path of Granddad's flight, with FlightAware, from FlightAware L.L.C., or FlightTracker, from Smart Mobile Software, for most devices. Both have airport terminal, gate, and baggage information. FlightAware, which I learned of from a pilot seated next to me on a flight, can track private planes, if Granddad happens to be winging his way on a Learjet.


215-854-5114 @ReidKan