If you come off as anything like me, then every time you think of Thanksgiving, you think of that iconic scene from Addams Family Values. You know, when Wednesday overtakes the camp play and gives everyone nightmares to last them years? Ah, good old American values. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the holiday. I enjoy any day marked with food just fine. However, I do think that when life keeps you from meeting up with your family, then Thanksgiving starts to feel a little limiting. I mean, what do you do if you don’t get to carry out screaming matches over the kitchen counter on how to cook the turkey?
Well, I may offer some ideas here.
Want a fun and fancy eating experience, but can’t cook? Did you come to Los Angeles for a more unorthodox Thanksgiving this year? Well, Italian food maybe didn’t start at the top of your list, but after visiting Rossoblu, you’ll know to keep it there. This restaurant offers wonderful cuisine, including handmade pastas, gorgeous light ambience and just overall foodie vibes that will make you feel like a true Italian. Authentic Italian food seems strange for Thanksgiving, but I think the wonder of Thanksgiving comes in the fact that it combines cultures and people, not separates them. You could eat anything this year, turkey doesn’t need to dominate that list, and no one will count you as less of an American for it.
9. Study the Stars at the Griffith Observatory
Okay, this one deserved a section all to its own. I love stars. Who doesn’t? Well, this break, take the time to check out the Griffith Observatory and check out some constellations for yourself. Luckily for you, it exists right in Griffith Park. But if you ever get over the hiking part and want to sit somewhere with air conditioning and a sky of galaxies, the observatory gives you all you need.
“On a beautiful day you can see the Hollywood sign and inside is your history lesson on the observatory itself, they have an amazing twenty minute lesson on the planets,” University of California, Los Angeles alumnus Thomas Richmond said.
I sat in a Geography class in my last college semester. We discovered that scientists found a cluster of galaxies in space. Ultimately, that meant our galaxy counted as only one of one-hundred billion galaxies. Do you know what that means? Neither do I, because we only learned that one bit of astronomy in class. Geography, remember? Still, that means that I, like you, carry one reason at least to visit this observatory. And hopefully catch one glimpse of the Hollywood sign.
8. Hike the Trails of Griffith Park
Not everyone loves to hike, but for those of us that really do, Griffith Park seems like the perfect choice. A long way to walk, definitely, but also definitely worth it. This park offers a truly incomparable view of Los Angeles. You can’t visit this city without coming here. At night, LA looks like a city of stars from up there. In fact, why don’t they just nickname it the City of Stars? Doesn’t that just sound prettier? Whatever. My point comes down to this; this Thanksgiving, work off some of that turkey weight you already feel guilty about (you really shouldn’t feel guilty at all though) by walking along the beauty of Griffith Park.
“What I like best about Griffith Park is being around Nature. I like to bicycle and hike at Griffith Park. In addition, the Autry Museum, the LA Zoo, and Travel Town Museum. My favorite part about Griffith Park is the Griffith Observatory because I enjoy exploring & learning about Space and Astronomy. And picnics outside on the lawn enjoying the sunset. I had great memories with my family there. Most of all, I would say bicycling and hiking are my favorite activities at Griffith Park,” California State University, Northridge alumnus Lionel Mares said.
Griffith Park allows you to connect with mother earth, and the walks take a long time, so if you really want to enjoy them, you better plan your day accordingly. My sister once went on one of those hikes and came back saying she couldn’t feel her legs. Imagine! That could mean you! People hike for that reason, right? To smell the flowers, feel that sunshine on their cheeks and lose all feeling in their limbs? Either way, the park can provide.
7. Busy Your Night with Apotheke Los Angeles
I checked their menu, and it consists of various types of drinks. So, this place seems like a good idea for after that big Thanksgiving feast, yeah? Open late at night, Apotheke offers a wide range of cocktails suitable for anyone who enjoys that late-night drink with their buddies. Ended the meal, but you don’t want the night to end yet? It doesn’t need to. You can go ahead on a trip to this colorful bar in LA to end your night on a high note.
6. Fuel Your Fancy at The Grove
Let’s keep it going with the shopping centers extravaganza. I would say The Grove comes close to Westwood except it feels… bigger. After all, you’ll find a fountain there. Pretty fancy, I think. In all seriousness, walking along the pathways of The Grove will give you the gist of the LA life. Bustling, busy and filled with stuff to catch your eye. From shopping malls to restaurants to a pretty waterworks show, The Grove carries everything and anything you might crave for a fun-filled Thanksgiving.
5. Walk Along Westwood
Westwood near UCLA usually offers a wide range of candy stores, diners, movie tickets and fairy lights enough for anyone to enjoy for hours. This one feels kind of like cheating because it doesn’t just give you one specific place. I don’t want to narrow Westwood to one particular store or brand because it really does offer so much to enjoy. In the mood for pizza? Cajun shrimp? Licorice? Want to watch a movie, have a drink with your buddies or just take some Instagram-worthy pictures beside the decorated trees? Go ahead. Anything you could want, you will most likely find right here in this little corner of LA.
4. Check Out Marina Del Rey’s Night Cruise
I personally refuse the entirety of ships (I know far too much about the Titanic to muster the courage), but I know not everyone carries the same fascination with shipwrecks. For that reason, I offer the Marina Del Rey Night Cruise. Watch the lights of Los Angeles as they pass you by this Thanksgiving and enjoy the buffet! Eat while swaying from side to side because your stomachs apparently can handle a lot more than mine can. Listen to the waves at your side, and marvel at the light show of the City of Angels.
3. Catch a Movie Night at AMC Sunset 5
I never did follow Thanksgiving as most American families did. I assume you cooked, ate and then watched some football game or another that usually played after dinner. I don’t know. All I do know for sure comes down to this; it doesn’t matter the time of year, you can always go with a movie. Luckily, AMC Sunset 5 offers a great menu. Everything from popcorn, candy and soda to pizza, pretzels and churros. Plus awesome movie listings! Go watch Wakanda Forever this Thanksgiving and immerse yourself in a transportive experience to another world.
2. Picnic at Franklin Canyon Park
I just found out about this place. Let’s talk about it. Franklin Canyon Park, simply put, looks gorgeous. You can take walks among nature, sit by the lake and, most importantly, picnic to your heart’s content. Anything more Thanksgiving than food? Aside from the entire actual history of course. Anyways. Take my word for it. This park offers a truly magnificent view of high trees, waterfronts with plenty of tables to sit with your friends this Thanksgiving and eat to your heart’s content.
1. Visit Universal Studios Hollywood
I don’t care how obvious this one looks. Listen. You can’t come to Los Angeles and not go to Universal Studios. No matter the reason for your visit. Personally, I think Thanksgiving counts as one of the best times to visit. Why? Like Disneyland, theme parks excel at putting anybody in the festive mood. Visit the Wizarding World, have a pint of butterbeer with your friends as you watch Hogwarts light up at night. Get some delicious food, cozy up in your knitted sweaters and enjoy a magical Thanksgiving among other sorcerers.
“While there are studio theme parks all over the world, nothing tops Universal Studios Hollywood because it’s a real studio! Nowhere else has the Back To The Future Clocktower, Wisteria Lane or The Good Place. Hogsmeade is still an amazingly rich and detailed land that changed the entire industry of single-IP lands. Only Universal could turn a flight of escalators into a memorable attraction, and Jurassic World: The Ride is even better than it’s predecessor with the recent upgrades,” University of Hertfordshire alumnus Rob Yeo said.
This one needed to come in at number one. Kind of like if I mentioned Disneyland; you know it would count as a priority. Who doesn’t know Universal Studios? Who didn’t at least hear about it on TV or in that live-action Cat in the Hat movie? Trust me, if you planned on doing anything in LA, you need to at least consider Universal. You’ll thank me later.
I think the marvelousness of Thanksgiving comes down to this; we all call ourselves American, no matter what food we place on the table.
I might just end up eating salmon this Thanksgiving for a main course. Maybe I’ll make steak and eat that with mashed potatoes. Maybe I’ll just get a fancy ramen course. My point remains. No matter our differences, however we like to eat, whatever we like to experience, Thanksgiving comes down to togetherness. Feeling thankful for certain people in our lives, for blessings, however small. This Thanksgiving, whether you spend it picnicking under the stars or around a diner booth with friends, don’t forget to give thanks.