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Top 5 Thanksgiving Activities in Los Angeles

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, where we celebrate the survival of the first colonists who braved the harsh climate of New England in the 1600s. Many of our foreign readers should be forgiven for thinking that the holiday was created by retailers giving thanks for the mobs of shoppers that kick off the holiday buying season. Now THAT’S American.

Being an Autumn holiday, Thanksgiving is often associated with leaves, pumpkins, and cooler climates. But not here in LA. We have some different ways to celebrate the holiday, some traditional, some not so traditional. Here are our Top 5:

1. Aquarium of the Pacific Thanksgiving Lunch

$36 per adult (12+) and $27 per child
Aquarium Members: $26 per adult (12+) and $17 per child
100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA
RSVP (562) 590-3100, ext. 0

Aquarium of the Pacific

Sea lions at the Aquarium of the Pacific

A traditional Thanksgiving buffet in Long Beach with 11,000 of your best aquatic friends! Roasted turkey, sweet mashed potatoes, and of course pumpkin pie and more. Over 500 species including penguins, sharks you can touch, sea turtles, and sea lions. A great way to make the Thanksgiving day easy, fun, and educational.

2. Laugh Factory

8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Thurs., Nov. 28 @ 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Laugh Factory Thanksgiving Feast

Laugh Factory HollywoodThe iconic Sunset Strip comedy club again hosts its annual free Thanksgiving dinner for “those away from home, those who might be lonely, homeless, or simply in need of a warm meal, a hug or a laugh.” It’s the 34th time they’ve held this event and this year “top comedians including Dane Cook, Arsenio Hall, Kevin Nealon, Tom Arnold and Brad Garrett will join other celebrities in helping to serve each guest a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.”

There will also be comedy performances after each meal service.

3. Volunteer at Pink Taco

8225 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip
10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and what better way than to give back to those less fortunate. Volunteer at this meal for the homeless that benefits PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). The hip and swanky Pink Taco has been doing this for 5 years and it’s a great way to feel good while looking good.

4. Dana Point Turkey Trot

Dana Point Harbor Dana Point, CA
7:00AM 10K Start; 8:30AM 5K Masters Start (age 40 and over); 9:10AM Costume Contest; 9:30AM 5K Open Start; 10:15AM Kids’ Gobble Wobble Start (1 Mile)
5K: $50 10K: $55 5/10K combo: $65 Kids’ Gobble Wobble: $15

Dana Point Turkey

A turkey in the wild at Dana Point.

The website says it all: “Run the race before you stuff your face.” Dana Point just south of Los Angeles in Orange County is one of the most beautiful coastlines in Southern California, and you’ll see it all in this race along the breakers. There is a 5K, 10K, a costume contest (bring your best gobble gear) and even a 1-mile “Gobble Wobble” for the kids. Burn some calories in the morning before doing the real damage in the afternoon.

5. Thanksgiving Dinner in a Swanky Hotel

Various around Los Angeles and Beverly Hills

Los Angeles is of course full of hotels loaded with celebrity and film history. Dine at the Millennium Biltmore (506 S Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles) where the Oscars have been held 8 times in the 30s and 40s. Or try the Bonaventure (404 S Figueroa St, downtown Los Angeles) where they filmed scenes for True Lies, Forget Paris, and Escape from LA. Or go for a celebrity sighting at the iconic Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills) or the Montage Beverly Hills (225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills). There are so many more here in the City of Angels. Enjoy!