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The Best Ways to Spend Thanksgiving in LA
by Los Angeles Bucket List
So many people who live in Los Angeles are from somewhere else, and it can be hard not going home for the holidays. Luckily, the City of Angels has plenty of unique activities to keep you busy — and maybe even become your new Thanksgiving tradition!
From world-class food to turkey trots, there’s no shortage of options on Turkey Day — especially since the weather is still beautiful! Get out and enjoy a wine hike in Malibu or go ice skating in the middle of downtown. No matter what activity you choose from our list, it’s sure to be one you’ll remember forever.
Watch The Hollywood Christmas Parade
It's not on Thanksgiving day, but the Hollywood Christmas Parade does take place over Thanksgiving weekend. A festive staple of Tinseltown for over 80 years, the parade is making its iconic return on November 27th at 6 PM. Come watch the floats, marching bands, celebrities, and downtown celebrations!
Where: The parade begins on Hollywood Blvd. at Orange Drive. The U-shaped parade route will travel east to Vine, south on Vine St to Sunset Blvd. and west on Sunset Blvd. back to Orange Drive.
For more information on the Hollywood Christmas Parade.
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Volunteer and Give Back
In the season of thanks and giving, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon than helping those in need. Organizations like Gobble Gobble Give help deliver meals to the homeless. You can participate by bringing a warm meal and simply dropping it off, helping organize clean clothes and blankets, and making deliveries.
Where: Various locations, check the website for details.
For more information on Gobble Gobble Give.
Lighten the Mood with some Stand-Up Comedy
Planning a major holiday meal and prepping for out-of-town guests can be a bit overwhelming. Take some time to loosen up and laugh along with world-class comedy acts. The series features comedians from CONAN, America's Got Talent, and HBO, and you can grab tickets to shows on Wednesday night (before the Thanksgiving chaos starts) or the following Sunday (before going back to reality after the holiday).
Where: Citizen Public Market: 9355 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
For more information on Live Comedy Shows.
Go to a Theme Park
There’s no shortage of theme parks open on Thanksgiving in Southern California. Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Six Flags Magic Mountain all welcome visitors for thrills, entertainment, and incredible food. It may sound like a unique idea, but you might be surprised by how busy they can get on Turkey Day!
Enjoy a Spa Day
Wi Spa in Koreatown is open 24/7/365, which means you can experience the gratitude of an incredible spa day on Thanksgiving. Indulge in hot tubs, a variety of unique saunas, or the gorgeous rooftop patio. They also offer lots of massages, treatments, and services to make sure you go home extra relaxed.
Where: 2700 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90057
For more information on Wi Spa.
Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner Without Having to Cook
Who likes doing dishes? Avoid the post-dinner cleanup by visiting one of Los Angeles’ incredible eateries for a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Post & Beam, Sugar Palm Ocean Avenue, and Hotel June West LA all offer incredible prix fixe festivities, while H&H Brazilian Steakhouse has an all-you-can-eat dinner offering, and The Cat & Fiddle has a takeout option, so you can have a delicious Thanksgiving at home, without all the work.
Peruse the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
The Academy Museum is open on Thanksgiving, so you can stroll through the exhibits without all of the crowds. The collections include some of the most iconic items, photos, and props from famous films, and it’s definitely worth checking out exhibitions like Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971.
Where: 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
For more information on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
Ice Skate in Pershing Square
For just $20, you can get a little winter magic right here in Los Angeles by visiting the Pershing Square Ice Rink! Nestled between the skyscrapers of downtown, you’ll love sliding around on the ice. If you need a little support, they even have cute helpers to keep you on your feet.
Where: 532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
For more information on Pershing Square ice skating.
Enjoy a Malibu Wine Hike
Take a pleasant 2.5-mile stroll around the gorgeous vineyards of Malibu Wines. You’ll see incredible views, and ancient cave paintings, plus get an exclusive look at their famous organic garden and grapevines. Nothing will make you feel more thankful than this magical tour!
Where: 32111 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
For more information on Malibu wine hikes.
Grab Thanksgiving Lunch at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Have a Thanksgiving experience only Los Angeles could offer by enjoying a day at the aquarium right on the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach. Historically, the aquarium has offered a gourmet boxed lunch that you can enjoy in the seating area or across the street at the scenic Pier Point Park.
Where: 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
For more information on the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Run in the LA Turkey Trot
Get your blood pumping before dinner and register for this LA tradition. The 5 or 10k (it’s up to you!) happens every year to raise money for The Midnight Mission. The course runs along Spring St. in downtown Los Angeles and passes by landmarks like the Continental Building and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Where: City Hall at 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
For more information on Turkey Trot LA.
Go on a Horseback Trail Ride
Have a Thanksgiving experience you’ll never forget by booking a horseback ride through the trails of Sunset Ranch on Mount Hollywood. Prices start at just $55 for a one-hour ride, and you can either go before dinner or at sunset!
Where: Sunset Ranch Hollywood: 3400 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
For more information on horseback trail rides.