Best Unique Thanksgiving Experiences For Kids In Los Angeles

November 15, 2015 4:00 AM

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: Dana Point Turkey Trot)

(credit: Dana Point Turkey Trot)

It’s okay not to go with tradition on Thanksgiving in Tinseltown where, in many cases, rules are actually made to be broken. So this November on the third Thursday of the month, instead of dining on an all-day feast at home, why not take part in some of the activities around town that allow the younger members of your family to express themselves in new ways during the time when the turkey is the talk of our town? That said, following are five ideas about how to accomplish just that.
(credit: Burbank Community YMCA)

(credit: Burbank Community YMCA)

Kiddie 1K Fun Run Turkey Trot
Burbank Community YMCA
321 E. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 845-8551
Date: Nov. 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day is not only a day to dine on turkey, but it is also a day to trot like one, too. This is especially true in Burbank where tykes take advantage of the chance to show off their jogging skills in the Kiddies 1K Fun Run. Open to anyone age 9 and under, this particular micro mini marathon benefits the Burbank Community YMCA membership assistance program which means that the programs at this Y are free for anyone who does not have the means to pay the usual fee. As for the Thanksgiving Day tradition of running for charity, after your kids take part in this mass exodus, they’ll all get medals and prizes all because each took the time and energy to participate. Start time for the children’s fun run through downtown Burbank is around 8:30am, and costumes are very much part of the hysterical scene. Visit for all official start times and more details.

thanksgiving restaurants Featured
Westside Thanksgiving Community Dinner & Celebration
11301 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA90025
(310) 394-3153
Date: Nov. 26, 2016

While about 3,000 parents and teens are on hand to help the less fortunate by serving 3,500 meals and by giving out tons of blankets and clothing, little kids are able to enjoy a special Thanksgiving day carnival of their own. But, children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult to partake in the volunteering at all times. There are so many kids that attend that they put on a carnival in the morning to entertain kids under 12! It’s a great event to not only show your children how lucky they are, but a great opportunity to let them help out those in need.

The Pantry
877 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 972-9279
Date: Nov. 26, 2016 from 11am to midnight

Kids who want to eat early will get their parents to take them to the original Pantry Cafe for Thanksgiving. In this downtown nirvana for big eaters, a bountiful feast begins at 11am and ends at midnight. Expect turkey and all the trimmings, but expect the entire feast to be served in a casual manner (translation: you don’t need to dress up). Not in the mood for traditional fare? Let everyone in your clan choose whatever he or she wants any day at any time because this Los Angeles landmark never closes and is never without a customer. That’s the hype from this familiar diner that has been around since 1924 to feed the masses, with kids especially keen to enjoy the laid-back cuisine.

Related:  A Dad’s Guide To Fall Activities In LA

(credit: Julian L. Gothard)

(credit: Julian L. Gothard)

Aquarium Of The Pacific Thanksgiving Lunch
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-3100
Date: Nov. 26, 2015 from 11am to 5pm

Not only are all sectors of the massive Aquarium of the Pacific open on Thanksgiving Day, but a special buffet is planned from 11am to 5pm. Kids and their parents will get to gobble up everything from turkey and dressing to cranberries and pumpkin pie, the latter of which will be heaped with mounds of fluffy whipped cream. In addition, the entire family will marvel at the permanent residents who include more than 11,000 creatures representing the world’s largest ocean that just happens to be located in our own backyard. Indeed, with all of this aquatic-related material on the roster, it is a win-win situation during a holiday that’s fit for all to enjoy without getting bored. So, get your clan ready to go on this fishing expedition in a place where nobody gets hooked except the guests. Menu highlights include a citrus marinated and herb butted roasted turkey, classic mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, farmers market garlic roasted seasonal vegetables and much more!

turkey trot
One Mile La Canada Flintridge Turkey Trot
Community Center of La Canada Flintridge
1301 Foothill Blvd
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 790-8880
Date: Nov. 26, 2015

While the older members of your tribe are taking part in a 5K race on Thanksgiving Day starting at 8:30am, the younger race is schedule to be up and running for just a single mile around 9:30am. Not only is anyone 12 and under invited to take part in this fun-filled turkey trot put on by the Community Center of La Canada Flintridge, but their pets are also asked to be part of the action as long as these beloved kids are secured on a leash. A bonus for all human children taking part is that each will earn a commemorative t-shirt for entering this event, which costs $20 and goes to a great cause.

Related: Best Beaches for Kids in Los Angeles

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on

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