Best Unique Thanksgiving Experiences For Kids In Los Angeles

Best Unique Thanksgiving Experiences For Kids In Los Angeles
(credit: Dana Point Turkey Trot)

(credit: Dana Point Turkey Trot)

It’s okay not to go with tradition on Thanksgiving in Tinseltown where, in many cases, rules are actually made to be broken. So this November on the third Thursday of the month, instead of dining on an all-day feast at home, why not take part in some of the activities around town that allow the younger members of your family to express themselves in new ways during the time when the turkey is the talk of our town? That said, following are five ideas about how to accomplish just that.

(credit: Burbank Community YMCA)

(credit: Burbank Community YMCA)

Kiddie 1K Fun Run Turkey Trot
Burbank Community YMCA
321 E. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 845-8551
Date: Nov. 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day is not only a day to dine on turkey, but it is also a day to trot like one, too. This is especially true in Burbank where tykes take advantage of the chance to show off their jogging skills in the Kiddies 1K Fun Run. Open to anyone age seven and under, this particular micro mini marathon benefits the Burbank Community YMCA membership assistance program which means that the programs at this Y are free for anyone who does not have the means to pay the usual fee. As for the Thanksgiving Day tradition of running for charity, after your kids take part in this mass exodus, they’ll all get medals and prizes all because each took the time and energy to participate. Start time for the children’s fun run through downtown Burbank is 9:15am and costumes are very much part of the hysterical scene.

thanksgiving restaurants Featured
Westside Thanksgiving Community Dinner & Celebration
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
1855 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 394-3153
Date: Nov. 27, 2014

While about 3,000 parents and teens are on hand to help the less fortunate by serving 3,500 meals and by giving out tons of blankets and clothing, little kids are able to enjoy a special Thanksgiving day carnival of their own. Held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, the younger set can expect to partake in all kinds of arts and crafts, from painting faces to painting on paper to everything in between. Doors open for dinner at 11am and close at 3pm.

Related: Best Holiday Events And Celebrations In Los Angeles

The Pantry
877 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 972-9279

Kids who want to eat early will get their parents to take them to the original Pantry Cafe for Thanksgiving. In this downtown nirvana for big eaters, a bountiful feast begins at 11 a.m. and ends at midnight. Expect turkey and all the trimmings, but expect the entire feast to be served in a casual manner (translation: you don’t need to dress up). Not in the mood for traditional fare? Let everyone in your clan choose whatever he or she wants any day at any time because this Los Angeles landmark never closes and is never without a customer. That’s the hype from this familiar diner that has been around since 1924 to feed the masses, with kids especially keen to enjoy the laid-back cuisine.

Related:  A Dad’s Guide To Fall Activities In LA

(credit: Julian L. Gothard)

(credit: Julian L. Gothard)

Aquarium Of The Pacific Thanksgiving Lunch
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-3100
Date: Nov. 27, 2014 from 11am to 5pm

Not only are all sectors of the massive Aquarium of the Pacific open on Thanksgiving Day, but a special buffet is planned at the on-site Cafe Scuba from 11am to 5pm. Kids and their parents will get to gobble up everything from turkey and dressing to cranberries and pumpkin pie, the latter of which will be heaped with mounds of fluffy whipped cream. In addition, the entire family will marvel at the permanent residents who include more than 11,000 creatures representing the world’s largest ocean that just happens to be located in our own backyard. Indeed, with all of this aquatic-related material on the roster, it is a win-win situation during a holiday that’s fit for all to enjoy without getting bored. So, get your clan ready to go on this fishing expedition in a place where nobody gets hooked except the guests. Menu highlights include a citrus marinated and herb butted roasted turkey, classic mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, farmers market garlic roasted seasonal vegetables and much more!

turkey trot
One Mile La Canada Flintridge Turkey Trot
Community Center of La Canada Flintridge
4469 Chevy Chase Drive
La Canada, CA 91011
(818) 790-4353
Date: Nov. 27, 2014

While the older members of your tribe are taking part in a 5K race on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the younger set is off and running a single mile as of 8:30am Not only is anyone 12 and under invited to take part in this fun-filled turkey trot put on by the Community Center of La Canada Flintridge, but their pets are also asked to be part of the action as long as these beloved beasts are secured on a leash. A bonus for all human children taking part is that each will earn a commemorative t-shirt for entering this event, which costs $15 and goes to a great cause.

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Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on