It’s that time of year when the holidays are upon us and we tend to focus more on what’s truly important in our lives – spending quality time with our family and friends. Halloween is over and Christmas is right around the corner. However, in the meantime, there’s this little unsung holiday known as “Thanksgiving” that also deserves a shout out and little more than a passer-by.
Family Thanksgiving Events in Southern California
Since Thanksgiving is a few short weeks away, it means it’s time for our 7th Annual Southern California Thanksgiving Events Roundup. Throughout the month of November, there are many holiday inspired events that emphasize the importance of gratitude and thankfulness. Take a look through our list of upcoming events across the southland and enjoy the season with your family!
Family Thanksgiving Events in Los Angeles
71st Annual Pilgrim Place Festival, Claremont (11/8 & 11/9)
Pilgrim Place is a non-profit retirement community in Claremont and home to more than 350 people who have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others. The Annual Pilgrim Place Festival offers two days of shopping, fun, children’s games and food. You will find vintage clothing, precious and costume jewelry, baked goods, plants, crafting, household items and more. Handcrafted items include quilts, stained glass, knitted, sewn, woven and paper-made goods. Shoppers may meet artists and purchase paintings, sculpture and everyday items directly from the artists. Attractions include riding the Festival boat and train. Kids can learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle everyday items at their sustainability and “glue-in” booths.
Opening Day Ceremony at Pershing Square Ice Rink, Los Angeles (11/14)
The Pershing Square Holiday Ice Rink offers the quintessential winter activity in the heart of beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by art, lively activity and the impressive city skyline, their outdoor ice rink lets you enjoy entertainment and ice skating in Los Angeles under the sun and stars.
The beloved recreational landmark will kick-off its 22nd season with a festive series of free community and special events, starting with the annual Icebreaker Opening Celebration on Thursday, November 14 at 11:00am. This year’s opening event features a live performance of the Oscar®-winning hit “Let It Go” from the cast of the North American tour of Disney’s FROZEN the Broadway Musical, with an impressive skate performance choreographed to the song, special guests and more. After the “icebreaking” ceremony, where a large ice sculpture is shattered, The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square’s first skaters will be youth from south Los Angeles.
Big Sunday’s 8th Annual Thanksgiving Stuffing Event, Los Angeles (11/28)
At Big Sunday, they operate under the belief that “everyone has some way that they can help somebody else.” Each year they collect and pack big bags full of Thanksgiving dinner for thousands of people, including vets; homeless families; women in domestic violence shelters; group homes; low-income families with autistic children; food pantries; schools and more. They need people to donate food, as well as to pack everything up. And yes, everyone is invited to join together for a community breakfast, too!
Los Angeles Mission, Los Angeles (11/28)
Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Los Angeles Mission. Sign up to volunteer and serve Thanksgiving meals to those who would otherwise go without. An orientation is required to volunteer for any opportunity at the Los Angeles Mission, including their street events. If you are not able to attend in person, donations may be made online.
Thanksgiving Day Run & Food Drive, La Canada Flintridge (11/28)
The Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk has been a local tradition and a community favorite with families, athletes, and community supporters of all types for two decades. The race is professionally timed, and begins promptly at 8:30am at Memorial Park in La Cañada. The Kids’ Mile Run is a family fun event geared for children 12 and under. Parents are encouraged to run alongside registered children at no additional cost. Kids will receive a t-shirt before the race and an award as they cross the finish line! The 1 Mile Kids’ Run will begin promptly at 9:30am at Memorial Park in La Cañada.
The Community Centers Thanksgiving Day Food Drive is the largest Food Drive in the Foothill communities. Canned and non-perishable food is collected during the month of November at locations in La Cañada, La Crescenta and Montrose. Non-perishable donations are distributed by the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station to local families in need. In 2017, the food collected served over 160 families.
Turkey Trot Los Angeles, Downtown LA (11/28)
Join thousands of runners and walkers for the annual Turkey Trot Los Angeles on Thanksgiving morning. They have a Widdle Wobble, a half-mile kids and family run/walk. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this event benefits the Midnight Mission – an amazing organization that offers a path to self sufficiency to those experiencing homelessness.
This year, the Turkey Trot Los Angeles has stepped up its giving game. With the support of the UAE, BOMBAS, and our amazing community, they’re on a mission to help make L.A. a better place for everyone. You can help even further by purchasing a pair of BOMBAS socks during online registration. 100% of proceeds go to The Midnight Mission.
Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot, Burbank (11/18)
Run, walk, or push a stroller through Downtown Burbank and participate in the Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot. 100% of the proceeds support the YMCA Financial Assistance Program benefitting community residents. Enjoy pre-race expo as well as a Kids Fun Zone.
The Midnight Mission, Los Angeles (11/28)
Sign up to volunteer and serve Thanksgiving meals to those who will come by for a Thanksgiving meal at The Midnight Mission. The Midnight Mission offers a path to self-sufficiency to men, women and children who have lost everything. Their emergency services, 12-step philosophy, job training, education and work programs offer a compassionate bridge to productive lives. They help remove obstacles to self-sufficiency and provide the accountability and structure that people who are experiencing homelessness need to rejoin their communities.
Westside Thanksgiving Community Dinner & Celebration, Los Angeles (11/28)
This non-profit organization has over three decades of tradition serving the community a wonderful free sit-down Thanksgiving dinner. During the celebration, they also provide free haircuts, blankets, clothing, hygiene kits, medical, optical, and dental services, vaccination, a resource fair, and a children’s carnival. The Celebration relies entirely on donations from the local community. Families can get involved by volunteering, donating food and/or clothing or making a financial donation.