Thanksgiving is traditionally a holiday spent with family, friends and loved ones. But for many students, that’s not the case.
If you live out of state and can’t afford the plane ride home or you have a job or internship commitment you can’t break, then Thanksgiving means spending that time alone with a Hungry Man TV dinner. Or, you spend it with other unlucky students that have to make due with dining hall food instead of Mom’s delicious turkey dinner.
That may not be your ideal Thanksgiving Break, but don’t let it get you down: There are plenty of things going on in Los Angeles that will lift your spirits—just take a look!
Thursday, Nov. 27 at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Open to everyone, including students, Westside Thanksgiving offers a free sit-down dinner. You can either go as a guest or volunteer. If you’re interested in giving back this year, you can bring a roasted turkey or a pie (follow the directions on the website), help set up the event the day before or work a two-hour shift the day of. Many missions and charities are already booked on volunteers, so this may be your best bet to do some charity work in L.A. this Thanksgiving.
Tofurky Trot 2014
Thursday, Nov. 27 at the Rose Bowl
Help raise money for the National Museum of Animals & Society by participating in the Pasadena-located Tofurky Trot, where you will be running for turkeys. Prizes and coupons will be awarded to the top male, female and children finishers as well as for best costumes. There will also be random prize drawings along with vegan snacks and drinks at the finish line.
Big Bear Turkey Trot
Thursday, Nov. 27 at Meadow Park, Big Bear Lake
If you feel like getting out of the city and going on a mini-road trip, check out the Big Bear Turkey Trot. Run 3 miles, 6 miles or 9 miles, and win a well-deserved turkey by coming in first place. There will also be a costume contest with great prizes for best costumes, including best turkey and best bear costumes, along with a post-race, pie-eating contest with more great prizes.
35th Annual Free Thanksgiving Feast at Laugh Factory
Thursday, Nov. 27 @ Laugh Factory in Hollywood
Part of the L.A. experience is going to the Laugh Factory at least once, and this Thanksgiving, you can get free laughs AND a free dinner! Dinner times are 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Top comics will join other celebrities (Dane Cook, Kevin Nealon, Shawn Wayans, Tim Allen and Tom Arnold!) and perform live shows following each meal served throughout the day.
OTHER GREAT STUFF!
Besides volunteering and donating, take this time off from your classes to enjoy other great events happening during break.
L.A. Auto Show
Until Sunday, Nov. 30 @ L.A. Convention Center
You might be a broke college student now, but who says you can’t start planning for the future? That future probably includes a sweet new car, so dream a little at this year’s L.A. Auto Show. See the latest cars and everything else car-related, including world and North American debuts, concept cars, alternative fuel vehicles, design challenges, trivia contests and more.
Catch a Classic Movie on the Big Screen
We’re not sure if you know this, but besides the new movies that come out every week, some L.A. theaters play your favorite classics: Jurassic Park, Singin’ in the Rain and Gone with the Wind are a few films that will playing at theaters such as the Nuart and Aero during Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Record Store Day: Back to Black Friday
Friday, Nov. 28
Black Friday—you either love it or you hate it. If you love it (or at least don’t mind it), then brave the crowds and head to Record Store Day: Back to Black Friday. Dozens of indie music stores in SoCal will be offering special deals, promos, appearances and music that you can’t find online. Visit the website for a list of venues.
Hollywood Christmas Parade
Sunday, Nov. 30 at Hollywood & Highland Center
Everyone knows that Thanksgiving basically means Christmas is almost here, so get into the holiday spirit at the Hollywood Christmas Parade! This annual tradition for over 80 years will include celebrities from film, television and stage; award-winning bands; colorful equestrians; ornate floats and specialty characters. The parade will start on Hollywood Boulevard at Orange, and the U-shaped parade route will travel east to Vine, south on Vine to Sunset Boulevard and west on Sunset, back to Orange.