By Sydney Lauer, Staff Writer
// Fall break came a day early, and now Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Many students have flocked to tropical islands and foreign countries, determined to spend their week off from school as far away from Lafayette as possible. However, treating fall break as a stay-cation can still include holiday outings and local adventures. Here are some ideas on how to spend Thanksgiving in the Bay Area.
1. Participate in a Turkey Trot
Whether running the 5k or the 10k, Turkey Trots offer a fun and active way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Plus, runners in the Turkey Trot get to give back to the community by participating in this charitable event. There are several Turkey Trots to take part in, including runs in San Francisco, Oakland, and Walnut Creek. (https://formaturkeytrot.com)
2. Attend a Tree Lighting
Going to a tree lighting is the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. Not only will you get to a see a gorgeous array of lights surrounding massive Christmas trees, but live entertainment, sweet treats, and even Santa himself accompany most lightings. In San Francisco, there are lightings in Union Square, Pier 39, and The Ritz-Carlton. Closer options are heading over to Lafayette’s Plaza Park or Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek.
3. Watch a Movie
A perfect way to escape the cold weather is to cozy up at home and rent your favorite movie, or head out to the theaters and see that new film you had been dying to see. If you’re looking for something to put you in the holiday spirit, you can go see “The Grinch” or “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” At home, once you pick a movie, grab a blanket, a bag of popcorn, and you’re good to go.
4. Go to a Museum
Just because there isn’t school doesn’t mean you can’t learn new things over break. Grabbing a few friends or family members and heading to the Exploratorium or SFMOMA is not only an enjoyable excursion but will you leave everyone feeling scholarly. If you’re looking to spice up your Instagram, you could also stop by the Color Factory or the Museum of Ice Cream for some post-worthy photos.
5. Go on a Hike or a Bike Ride
Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, and there is no better way to appreciate the beauty of nature than spending some time outdoors. Briones and the Lafayette Reservoir are only two of the many beautiful hiking locations Lafayette offers. If hiking isn’t fast enough, hop on a bike and ride through the streets of Lafayette (but wear a mask!).
6. Watch Football
Watching football on Thanksgiving is an American tradition, especially for the fans of the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. In the first game, the Chicago Bears will face the Lions, and the Washington Redskins will play against the Cowboys in the second game. The Atlanta Falcons are up against the New Orleans Saints in the third game, so grab some food and settle in front of the TV.
7. Go Ice Skating
Ice rinks are just starting to open, and skating is an excellent way to embrace the cold weather. It’s fun, something to do with family or friends, and is a great workout. Lace up your skates, and drive over to Walnut Creek on Ice or the Holiday Ice Rink by Union Square.
Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to volunteer at a local organization. Since Thanksgiving celebrates what we are thankful for, it makes sense to give other people something to be grateful for. Helping at the Food Bank in Concord or the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek are two examples of volunteer opportunities.
9. Go Black Friday shopping
Just as Thanksgiving ends on Thursday night, Black Friday begins. Head over to your favorite stores and take advantage of the significant sales that occur right after Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to buy upcoming holiday gifts for friends or family, but don’t forget to treat yourself to a little something extra.
10. Be thankful
It sounds cheesy, but it’s important to take some time during Thanksgiving to reflect on everything you are grateful for. These could be your family, your friends, your education, or anything else that you feel lucky to have. Gratitude is contagious; if you show how grateful you are for others, they will show you how grateful they are for you.