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How To Celebrate Thanksgiving In Los Angeles

Picture of Courtney Holcomb
Updated: 21 November 2016
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and no doubt everyone you know from friends to family will be looking to get together to celebrate everything they’re thankful for. Whether it’s food, entertainment, or just a chance to get out and about, check out our favorite ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Los Angeles.

Turkey Trot Los Angeles

On the day of Thanksgiving, head downtown to Spring Street for a morning full of family-friendly games, activities, and races at the Los Angeles Turkey Trot. The races will include both a 5K and a 10K run/walk, in addition to a 1K for kids up to ten years old. Registration for the race will benefit the Midnight Mission, helping the homeless on Skid Row. In addition to the races, you can compete in a turkey costume contest, a potato-sack race, and a turkey-calling contest. Alongside all the competition, you can enjoy plenty of arts and crafts and face painting in the kids zone.

Go Apple Picking

Bring the whole family on an apple picking outing for a fruit-filled day full of bonding. Just outside the city, you can find plenty of places full of apples for your picking pleasure – especially in the Oak Glen and Yucaipa areas. This a great chance to get out of the traffic-filled streets for a day and enjoy the calming atmosphere of the countryside. Plus, you’ll come out of it with plenty of apples for healthy snacking, or you can make them into cider or pie for your big Thanksgiving meal!

Apple picking © Pexels
Apple picking | © Pexels

Visit a pumpkin patch

If you prefer pumpkins to apples, a pumpkin patch is a better bet for you and your family. Some are more local than apple orchard’s, too – check out some of the most popular options at The best pumpkin patches even have fun activities onsite, like haunted hay mazes, mini trains, or petting zoos for kids. Whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to come out of the patch with a gorgeous pumpkin for carving or pie-making.

Pumpkin patch © Pexels
Pumpkin patch | © Pexels

Enjoy fall foliage

Sure, Los Angeles has a reputation for having year-round summer weather – which means you can hit the beach even in these fall and winter months. Still, if you want to enjoy the colors of autumn without leaving the city, there are some great options of places to find colorful foliage. Some of the best spots include local gardens, parks, and mountains, like Malibu Creek State Park and Solstice Canyon. Check out a full list of the best foliage-filled spots here.

Fall foliage © Pexels
Fall foliage | © Pexels


Another classic way to celebrate all the things you’re thankful for is to give back by volunteering your time for a cause that needs it. This can include serving food at a soup kitchen, cleaning up local parks and beaches, sorting cans at the food bank, taking care of animals, and more. If you have a specific organization you would like to contribute your time or money to, reach out to see what sort of volunteer opportunities they have available. Otherwise, check out this list of some major volunteer opportunities around the city.