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Published November 1, 2023

The Best Ways to Spend Thanksgiving in LA

How to have a legendary Turkey Day 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.

11 Things to Do on Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

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
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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 26 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.
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Go to a Theme Park

There’s no shortage of theme parks open on Thanksgiving in Southern California. Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm are two of our favorite options, and both will welcome visitors for thrills, entertainment, and incredible food on Thanksgiving. It may sound like a unique idea, but you might be surprised by how busy they can get on Turkey Day!


Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, Los Angeles County, CA 91608, USA
Tickets for Universal Studios Hollywood
Starting at $114

Book now


Enjoy a Vineyard Hike with Wine

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
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32111 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Vineyard Hike with Wine
Starting at $49

Book now


Treat Yourself to 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
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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.


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.
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Ice Skate in Pershing Square

Experience some 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. Get a skate in before Thanksgiving dinner, and the food coma sets in!

Where: 532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
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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
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Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, CA 90802, USA
Tickets for Aquarium of the Pacific: Skip The Line
Starting at $42

Book now


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
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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
More information


Sunset Ranch Hollywood, North Beachwood Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Horse Trail Rides with Sunset Ranch Hollywood
Starting at $63

Book now



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