Things to do on Thanksgiving in Los Angeles


Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

If you’re doing it right, Thanksgiving in Los Angeles should involve indulging in the best pies and turkey and looking for service opportunities in your neighborhood. But what other activities might you engage in on Thanksgiving? Enjoy the long weekend with various activities with these Thanksgiving things to do in Los Angeles, including parades, illuminated garden walks, and turkey trots.

Things to do on Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

1. Turkey Trot Los Angeles

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

Celebrate Thanksgiving with an all-encompassing, family-friendly festival on Spring Street Downtown, which is packed with competitions, games, and activities. Burn off those calories by participating in the 5K or 10K run/walk (children under 10 can also participate in the 1K “Widdle Wobble”) events. There is never a wrong time to dress up. The Midnight Mission receives benefits each year from the event.

2. Los Angeles Auto Show

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

Enter the Convention Center to attend the 10-day L.A. Auto Show, which will include vehicles that would make Bond drool. Get behind the wheel to test drive one of the cherry rides (including an indoor EV track) if you’re a vehicle nerd, and meet and greet with celebs at the manufacturer booths. Get ready for the machines of the future with a number of firms making their global and North American debuts.

3. Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

Ordinarily, Los Angeles doesn’t seem like much of a winter wonderland—that is, until you build an ice skating rink right among the Downtown skyscrapers. The outdoor holiday skating rink at Pershing Square is back after a nearly three-year absence. Come skate around and pretend there is snow on the ground. Admission includes skate rentals, but there is an additional fee for lockers and skating equipment.

4. Enchanted: Forest of Light

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

In keeping with the annual holiday tradition at Descanso Gardens, discovery and astonishment will once again occupy the illuminated installations. The botanical garden’s nighttime experience expertly combines interactive artworks with eerie, glowing forests, all set against a backdrop of lit-up trees and shimmering sound effects.


5. Lightscape

The mile-long pathway was lined with illuminated trees at the Arboretum’s inaugural illumination festival last year, and there were approximately ten or so installations spaced out along the way. This year, anticipate an enhanced edition.

6. LA Zoo Lights

Throughout this light-up Christmas tradition, which features animal-inspired displays, shimmering tunnels, and enormous lanterns, the L.A. Zoo is open every evening after dark into January.

7. Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn

During the annual Festival of Lights, Riverside’s breathtakingly magnificent Mission Inn is illuminated by 4.5 million sparkling lights. The day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the free six-week holiday tradition, which generally includes more than 400 animated characters.

8. Hollywood Christmas Parade

The Hollywood Christmas Parade is a crucial component of L.A. kitsch, much like an Angelyne billboard on Sunset Boulevard. A U-shaped path running from Hollywood and Orange to Sunset and Orange will be followed by floats, balloons, musicians, equestrians, and sort-of celebrities in the nine-decade-old parade. Toys for Tots will benefit from the sale of reserved grandstand seats, but curbside seating is also available for no charge.

9. Craft Contemporary Holiday Marketplace

At the annual holiday market hosted by Craft Contemporary, get a head start on your holiday shopping. If you’re drafting a list and checking it again, take into account this shopping event for one-of-a-kind handcrafted presents and a chance to interact with the up-and-coming and established artisans who are responsible for them.

10. Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot

Get exercising this Thanksgiving to benefit a worthy cause. Get up early (yes, on a holiday) to participate in the Turkey Trot, a 5K/10K run/walk, at the Burbank YMCA (321 E Magnolia Blvd). Around 2,500 people choose to run, jog, walk, or push strollers during the event. Kids can participate in a 1K run. Adults who move the fastest are awarded awards and cash. A costume contest is also being held at the Y, though we’re not sure what kind of attire truly screams Thanksgiving—expect to see some turkeys racing, umm, trotting around. The YMCA’s membership aid program uses the money raised to give those in need access to its services at no or low cost.


11. The Great Los Angeles Walk

This one occurs annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. But it has such a strong sense of connection to the occasion that we had to include it. All of those myths about walking in Los Angeles are disproved by The Great Los Angeles Walk. Numerous kilometers and hours later, hundreds of walkers finish the free urban stroll on the opposite side of the city from where they started. The walk is open to anybody at any time. And while reservations are not necessary, it would be appreciated if you did.

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