The holiday season brings families together, but if you’re looking for a way for your family to connect to the rest of the world, it might be time to venture out. For this Thanksgiving make a new tradition that goes beyond dinner at home. Try a new activity like volunteering at a community Thanksgiving dinner, go on a cruise for a change of scenery, or support a cause by entering a race and raising funds for charity. The following activities will make your Thanksgiving a day the whole family will remember.
Westside Thanksgiving Community Dinner & Celebration
1855 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Hours: Nov. 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Everyone is invited to this free community event that takes place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Enjoy free services such as eye exams, haircuts, clothing distribution, blanket giveaways, basic medical and dental check-ups, and entertainment. Some clothing items that will be given away include dresses, pants, sweaters, jackets and shoes. Children can play at the Kid’s Carnival where they’ll create paintings, and make arts and crafts.
Hot to (Turkey) Trot in Long Beach
4000 E. Olympic Plaza
Long Beach, CA 90803
Price: $38 adults 5K/10K received by/on Nov. 18/$40 adults 5K/10K received after Nov. 18/$20 Kids’ Wingding received by/on Oct. 31/$25 Kids’ Wingding received by/on Nov. 18
Hours: races start Nov. 22, 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Make this Thanksgiving full of lots of family fun, and join thousands of other people as they walk or jog to the finish line of this year’s 5K/10K Turkey Trot in Long Beach. This is a unique way to work some exercise into the holiday season. Proceeds will benefit Community Activity Team, which sponsors local community organizations and events including beach cleanups, spelling bees, Miss Long Beach and parades. There will be refreshments, photos taken and a Ms. Drumstick contest.
Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise
13755 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Price: $81.95 adults/discounts available for children, seniors and military
Hours: Nov. 22, 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Make this Thanksgiving exciting, and take the family on a cruise. Imagine the thrill the family will have traveling on a yacht listening to satellite radio on a holiday-themed ship that serves perfectly as a backdrop for festive pictures. Enjoy sightseeing, being accompanied by family, inhaling the fresh air and a beautiful view of the ocean. End the night with a Thanksgiving meal fit for a king with vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, refreshments and, of course, dessert.
Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot
321 E. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
Price: $30 adults/$15 for children younger than 7
Hours: Nov. 22 registration – 6:30 a.m.; expo – 7 a.m.; warm up – 7:30 a.m.; 5K/10K walk/run – 8 a.m.; fun run for young children – 9:15 a.m.
Valley residents get fit and have fun at the same time this Thanksgiving. YMCA has partnered with Fleet Feet to help get the community in better physical fitness. All ages are welcome to attend this Turkey Trot. Even babies in strollers can join in this race to raise funds for the YMCA. Participants are welcome to be festive and wear holiday outfits. There will be local vendors and activities to keep the whole family in high spirits. There are even cash prizes for top winners.
2012 Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Food Drive Community Center of La Canada Flintridge
1201 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
Price: $35/online registration, $40/on-site registration
Hours: Nov. 22 registration – 6:30 a.m.; live music, pick up T-shirt and games – 7 a.m.; warm ups – 8 a.m.; 5K race – 8:30 a.m.; warm up for kids mile – 9:15 a.m.; kids mile race – 9:30 a.m.
Here is an activity for the family that likes to stay in motion and interact with other community members. This race has become a favorite pastime for many families on Thanksgiving in La Canada Flintridge. Being a part of this event and donating canned food to The Community Center of La Canada Flintridge is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving, the holiday that is recognized for giving to others. The entire family, including dogs on a leash, can join in the fun.
Cassandra Bautista is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.