Thanksgiving is a great time to enjoy you family and friends’ company, but sometimes college students can’t go home for Thanksgiving due to the distance and money. If you’re bummed about not being able to celebrate turkey day at home, here are some alternative Thanksgiving break plans to cheer you up!

No, I don’t mean run to the dinner table. Before you gorge yourself on mac and cheese, cornbread and cranberry sauce, check out these Thanksgiving races around Southern California!

Turkey Trot Los Angeles 2013
The Turkey Trot is coming to Downtown L.A. for the first time this year. Prepare to run through the streets of DTLA in Los Angeles’ only road race on Thanksgiving Day! Participate in either the 5K or 10K, and register your little siblings in the Widdle Wobble! If you don’t want to run, you can participate in the costume contest instead. The inaugural event will take out all the stops this Thanksgiving, with closed roads, stocked-aid stations, turkey finisher medals and a poppin’ post-race party at Grand Park for everyone! You even get to take home a Turkey Trot trucker hat to commemorate the race! Exercise, DTLA and Thanksgiving treats, what more could you ask for? Visit for more information or to register now.

Dana Point Turkey Trot 2013
Run The Race Before You Stuff Your Face! The Dana Point Turkey Trot celebrates its 36th anniversary this Thanksgiving. Come out, and get your heart pumping in one of the multiple marathon options. The Turkey Trot holds a 5k Masters, 5k, 10k and Kids Gobble Wobble. And if running isn’t your thing, you can cheer on the runners and check out the Health & Wellness Expo, where there will be tons of vendors to visit.
Call 949.496.1555 or visit for more information or to register now.

Tofurky Trot 2013
The Tofurky Company is hosting the 1st annual Tofurky Trot at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena this year. Come out on Thanksgiving Day, and join in on the fun! The Tofurky Trot supports the health and vitality of local communities and raises money for local groups supporting plant-based diets. This year, the Tofurky Trot is supporting the The National Museum of Animals & Society, and you can choose to walk, run or trot the 5k race. There will be a costume contest and random prize drawings as well as goody bags for all runners. Visit here for more information or to register now.

If you are 21 or older and still in Los Angeles, there are tons of clubs having special Thanksgiving events this holiday season. Check out our top picks for Thanksgiving nightlife this year.

The EC Twins Pre-Thanksgiving Event
Make your way over to Create Nightclub on Hollywood Boulevard to shake your tail feather to beats by the EC Twins. Buy your tickets here.

Sami Beigi Live in Concert at Exchange LA
Aspiring Persian artist Sami Beigi is performing at Exchange LA on Nov. 27, so if you want a serving of talented eye candy this Thanksgiving, this Iranian pop singer is perfect for you. Buy your tickets here.

Pre-Thanksgiving Bash Featuring Sounds By Inferno and Crystal Ellis
Infusion Bar is upping the stakes this holiday with their Pre-Thanksgiving Bash. With the purchase of your ticket, you have all access to the open bar for the first hour of the party…I repeat, OPEN BAR FOR THE FIRST HOUR IS INCLUDED WITH YOUR TICKET! DJs Inferno and Crystal Ellis will be spinning at Universal CityWalk’s No. 1 nightlife destination, and organizers promise nothing but “dancing, drinking and debauchery” all night long. Buy your tickets here.

Take a break from dining hall food this holiday, and check out some cool L.A. eats for Thanksgiving!

The Laugh Factory’s 34th Annual Free Thanksgiving Day Feast
It will be all smiles at the Laugh Factory on Thanksgiving. The world-famous comedy club is hosting its 34th Annual Free Thanksgiving Day Feast in Hollywood, and everyone’s invited! Laugh Factory invites “those away from home, those who might be lonely, homeless, or simply in need of a warm meal, a hug or a laugh” to enjoy a meal and a comedy show free of charge. Top comics and celebrities will be serving turkey dinners and performing live shows all day long, so if you attend this event, your sides will be splitting from being full and laughing so hard.


Gobble Gobble Give
This organization aims to spread holiday joy by serving meals and donating clothes and toiletries to the homeless this Thanksgiving Day. Volunteers are asked to bring donations and help assemble meals with other volunteers before going out and giving the meals and clothes to homeless people on the street. You should consider Gobble Gobble Give if you are looking for a way to give back this Thanksgiving. Visit their website here.

You should also use school resources to see if they have any events on Thanksgiving days for students who are stuck on campus. USC and LMU, for example, have hosted Thanksgiving dinners for students who are on-campus for the holiday.