Thanksgiving 2014 activities and events for Los Angeles

Stuff your holiday weekend with these Thanksgiving activities in Los Angeles, from comedy shows and holiday shopping to charity events and ice skating

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Illustration: Courtesy Turkey Trot Los Angeles

If you're doing it right, Thanksgiving in Los Angeles means feasting on turkey and the best pies—and finding volunteer opportunities in your community. But what to do the rest of the time, especially if you have relatives to entertain? Enjoy the long holiday weekend with a variety of events and things to do in LA—from ice skating and participating in a charity 5K to feeding the homeless and even dancing the night away.


RECOMMENDED: See more Thanksgiving in Los Angeles



The Great Los Angeles Walk

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Great Los Angeles Walk debunks all of those cliches about walking in LA. Hundreds of walkers start the free urban hike on one side of the city and, nine hours and 17 miles later, end up at the other. You can hop on or off the walk whenever you'd like, and though no reservations are required, RSVPs are appreciated.

Thanksgiving Mosaic

  • Free

Figat7th hosts a holiday edition of its Kids Club with a centerpiece creating workshop. Kids can dig into an assortment of ceramic bisque tiles, beads, jewels and stones to create a bountiful design for the Thanksgiving table.

  1. Fig at 7th 735 S Figueroa St
  2. Until Sat Nov 22
More info

Thanksgiving Cupcake Decorating

  • Price band: 2/4

Come Thanksgiving, don’t just show up with an empty stomach—arrive carrying four impeccably decorated cupcakes in the form of a pilgrim turkey, oven-baked pie, Thanksgiving dinner table, and a cooked turkey (pictured above). The sweet aficionados over at Duff’s Cakemix are lending their creativity and expertise to help guests design professional-looking cupcakes that are sure to impress. With these cupcakes in hand, your family and friends will be quite thankful for you (and happily devour all your hard work).

  1. Cakemix 8302 Melrose Ave
  2. Wed Nov 26
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Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot

  • Price band: 2/4

Get moving for a good cause this Thanksgiving. Wake up early (yes, on a holiday) for Burbank YMCA's (321 E Magnolia Blvd) Turkey Trot, a 5K/10K run/walk. The event draws around 2,500 participants who choose to run, jog, walk, or push strollers. Kids can enter a kiddie 1K run. Fastest adults receive cash prizes and medals. The Y is also hosting a costume contest (although we're not sure what kind of costumes really scream Thanksgiving—expect to find some turkeys running, er, trotting around). Proceeds go to the organization's membership assistance program, which offers free and affordable access to the YMCA's services for those in need.

Thanksgiving Lunch at the Aquarium of the Pacific

  • Price band: 2/4

Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal amongst fish and sea otters this year at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Feast on a traditional Thanksgiving buffet in the Aquarium’s Café Scuba and then explore the more than 11,000 animals from the Pacific on view. Definitely not your typical Thanksgiving setting!

  1. Aquarium of the Pacific 100 Aquarium Way, at Shoreline Dr
  2. Thu Nov 27
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Beelman's Family Style Thanksgiving

  • Price band: 2/4

Bring your turkey cravings, elastic waistbands and hungry friends down to Beelman’s snug Downtown gastropub, where you can grab a cold one and gobble down Louisiana style turkey wings, cornbread stuffing, braised Brussels sprouts, roasted turkey and pumpkin pie. Feast your eyes on the family style spread and don’t be shy about going in for seconds—the set price gives you unlimited helpings of this savory and sweet Thanksgiving buffet. Visit their website for the full menu and RSVP online. 

  1. Beelman's Pub 600 S Spring St
  2. Thu Nov 27
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Turkey Trot Los Angeles

  • Price band: 2/4

Keep celebrating Thanksgiving into the weekend with this catchall family-friendly event along Downtown's Spring Street, chock-full of races, games and activities. Work off those calories in the 5K run/walk (there's also a 1K "Widdle Wobble" for kids 10 and under). Or you can dress up like a turkey and join the costume contest or compete in the potato-sack race and turkey-calling contest. (Winners get a pumpkin spice cheesecake.) A kid zone will have face painting and arts and crafts to keep young ones happy.

  1. Grand Park 210 W Temple St
  2. Thu Nov 27
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Thanksgiving at Craft

  • Price band: 3/4

It's official: doing dishes is the worst. Save yourself the hassle of cleaning up by taking your Thankgsiving dinner elsewhere this year. At Craft, diners can enjoy a three-course, family-style dinner in the restaurant's elegant dining room, where you'll eat Brussels sprouts, country ham, and smoked King salmon before choosing a main course: turkey, sea scallops, Barramundi, roast beef, lamb or chestnut agnolotti. Share roasted sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, stuffing and gold potato puree before moving onto the sweetest part of the meal: pecan semifreddo, butternut tart and an apple and huckleberry brown betty.

  1. Craft Los Angeles 10100 Constellation Boulevard, 90067
  2. Thu Nov 27
More info

Thanksgiving Day Run & Food Drive

  • Price band: 2/4

'Tis the season for indulging. So get your metabolism revved before the feast—and give back to the community—at this 5K run/walk and 1 mile kids run. The Community Center of La Canada Flintridge hosts this annual benefit at Memorial Park (1301 Foothill Blvd), open to runners, walkers, kids and even pets (on a leash), with live music and games to boot. All participants must register and bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to families in need. Not much of a runner? Volunteer slots are open as well.

Mr. C Beverly Hills Thanksgiving

  • Price band: 3/4

Having nightmares about a Thanksgiving kitchen disaster? No need to stress about burnt turkey or overly sweetened yams this season. Leave it up to the culinary connoisseurs over at the elegant Mr. C Beverly Hills restaurant to take the reigns and serve up a decadent Thanksgiving meal for you, your family and friends. Gobble your way through homemade butternut squash ravioli, lobster bisque soup with chives, oven-roasted turkey with Napa Valley Chardonnay gravy, roasted chestnut stuffing and—most importantly—homemade pumpkin pie. But if you still want that homey feel, take this tantalizing meal to-go. Kick back, relax, and wear stretchy pants.

  1. Mr. C Hotel 1224 Beverwil Dr
  2. Thu Nov 27
More info

Dana Point Turkey Trot

  • Price band: 2/4

Many charities host 5k runs for Thanksgiving, but the Dana Point Turkey Trot at Dana Point Harbor (24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive) is one of the most massive and competitive. Case in point: more than 1,600 participants have showed up in past years and the 10k first place prize is $1,000! Yet, regardless of experience level, everyone is welcome to participate in the run. And the setting couldn't be more perfect—run by sweeping views of the beach, cliffs and coves of Dana Point. Choose from the 10k, 5k, or a Mission Hospital-sponsored Gobble Wobble 1k kids race. Check the Trot's website for the different race start times. If running isn't your thing, give back to the community by volunteering to help out with the race or have fun by dressing up for the morning's Thanksgiving costume contest. Proceeds from the day will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association and Family Assistance Ministries.

Feed the Souls at the House of Blues

  • Free

Bring a little soul and compassion to the Sunset Strip with this Thanksgiving Day volunteer opportunity. From 10am to 2pm, the House of Blues (and its sister clubs around the country) will be serving Thanksgiving meals to over 1,000 less fortunate Angelenos, while R&B group Firm Soundation will be performing in the Music Hall. To volunteer, or for more information, please contact Maria Solorio at mariasolorio@livenation.com before November 21st.

  1. House of Blues 8430 W Sunset Blvd, at N Olive Dr
  2. Thu Nov 27
More info

Thanksgiving at the Culver Hotel

  • Price band: 2/4

Create your own holiday memories at the historical Culver Hotel this Thanksgiving, with a full holiday feast held in the hotel's Crystal Dining Room. Tables full of glazed ham, turkey, swordfish, stuffing, cranberry relish and more are spread out in an epic buffet. Want to hang out post-gorge session? Enjoy prohibition-era cocktails in the lobby starting at 7:30 while listening to live music.

  1. Culver Hotel 9400 Culver Blvd
  2. Thu Nov 27
More info

Holiday Global Bazaar

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Have a crafty Christmas at CAFAM's annual Holiday Global Bazaar along Miracle Mile. If you're making a list and checking it twice, consider this shopping event for unique handmade gifts and an opportunity to meet the international artists behind them. Kick off the holiday season right with festive cocktails and live music to rock the night away.

  1. Craft & Folk Art Museum 5814 Wilshire Blvd, at S Curson Avenue
  2. Sat Nov 29
More info

Hollywood Christmas Parade

  • Free

Like an Angelyne billboard on Sunset Blvd, the Hollywood Christmas Parade is an essential part of LA kitsch. Now in its 82nd year, the annual parade will be hosted by Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie and will feature floats, balloons, bands, equestrians and celebrities as they ride in a U-shaped route that begins at Hollywood and Orange and ends up at Sunset and Orange. Reserved grandstand seats—including a pre-parade concert headlined by Stevie Wonder—can be purchased, with proceeds going to Toys for Tots, but free curbside seating is also available.

LA Auto Show

  • Price band: 1/4

Tokyo drift into the Convention Center for the ten-day LA Auto Show with cars that would even make Bond drool. If you're a car nerd, get behind the wheel to test drive one of the cherry rides, while celebrities meet and greet at the manufacturer exhibits. For families, check out the Kids' Fun Zone for 12 and under, featuring bounce houses, face-painting, video games and more. With world and North American debuts from BMW, Chevrolet, Jaguar and more, rev up for the machines of the future.

  1. Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 S Figeroa St
  2. Until Sun Nov 30
Buy tickets

Laugh Factory's Annual Free Thanksgiving Feast

  • Free

This uniquely LA event marries comedy and cranberry sauce at four free dinners and comedy shows. Laugh Factory stars like Dane Cook, Arsenio Hall, Kevin Nealon, Tom Arnold and Brad Garrett have all served food to guests and treated them to live performances after each of the four meals being served that day. The free dinner and show is open to the underprivileged, homeless, lonely and people who don't have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving.

  1. Laugh Factory 8001 W Sunset Boulevard
  2. Thu Nov 27
More info


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