Thanksgiving in Los Angeles: Events and things to do

The best events and things to do this Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, from comedy shows and holiday shopping to charity events and ice skating.

Thanksgiving Activities 2013: Events and things to do in Los Angeles

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If you're doing it right, spending 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? Enjoy the long holiday week 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. Let the giving season begin!  

Culver City's Pre-Gobbler Third Wednesday

Start the indulging early at Downtown Culver City's Third Wednesday holiday celebration. The family-friendly event will feature live music, happy hour specials, free samples and shopping discounts. Ford's Filling Station will have pumpkin beer and dessert, and Rush Street is offering a pre–Turkey day prix fixe dinner. Adding to the festivities, Culver City's outdoor ice skating rink will be offering a 2-for-1 skate special for the occasion.

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Culver City

UCB Thanksgiving Feast Show

Rekindle that family-together-happy thing on Thanksgiving with the help of laughter from Upright Citizens Brigade's Thanksgiving Feast comedy show. The purely improvised Thanksgiving family dinner—complete with creepy uncles and disturbingly quiet teens sitting around the table—will make you even more thankful for your own crazy family. Audience members will be served food during the show. Tickets sell out fast, but if you miss this one, UCB's shows all day will be Thanksgiving themed.

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Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB)

Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Tailgate

A Thanksgiving tailgate party? Relive your college years at the new, three-story Pink Taco on Sunset the night before the big day. Play beer pong while listening to a live performance by the Black Crystal Wolf Kids at the restaurant's rowdy top floor. Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

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Pink Taco Sunset

Howl at the Moon's Thanksgiving Eve Bash

Expect the usual rowdy crowd (think: bachelorette parties and 21st birthday celebrations) dancing to live performances of dueling pianos all night long during this T-Day eve bash. Start the festivities early with drink specials (including a ginormous 86-oz. Adios Mofo bucket of booze for $20), apple pie–flavored jelly shots and a free Thanksgiving-themed appetizer buffet.

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Howl at the Moon

Laugh Factory's 33rd Annual Free Thanksgiving Feast

This uniquely LA event marries comedy and cranberry sauce at four free dinners and comedy shows. Laugh Factory stars Dane Cook, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Nealon, Tim Allen and such as Tom Arnold are scheduled to serve food to guests and treat them to live performances after each of the four meals served that day. The free dinner and show is open to the underprivileged, homeless and lonely—as well as people who just don't have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving.

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Laugh Factory Free

Pink Taco Volunteer Thanksgiving Dinner

Give back to others on Thanksgiving day at Pink Taco's 4th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. The restaurant is teaming up with People Assisting the Homeless and the California Department of Veterans Affairs and will be open solely to serve more than 1,000 homeless people and families a free, traditional Thanksgiving feast. Anyone can come and volunteer; just show up at 8:45am ready to help serve the buffet as well as greet guests.

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Pink Taco - Los Angeles Free

Thanksgiving Day Run & Food Drive

'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 Cañada 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.

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La Cañada Flintridge

Westside Thanksgiving

This heartwarming event truly gives back to the community on Thanksgiving. Volunteers serve up a free traditional turkey dinner (starting at 11am) not only to the homeless but also to many students, singles, seniors and low-income families. Participants can volunteer by donating food, money or time, helping to serve food or hand out clothing and blankets. The event also offers free children's immunizations, haircuts and medical consultations. And a kid-friendly carnival with games and crafts starts at 8am.

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Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Free

Thanksgiving Lunch at the Aquarium of the Pacific

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 views of more than 11,000 animals from the Pacific. Definitely not your typical Thanksgiving setting.

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Aquarium of the Pacific

Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot

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 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.

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Burbank

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