For some, essential Thanksgiving traditions are a great dinner with family, lots of bargain shopping, and a movie. This year, try adding one of these suggested outings to the mix. You may just start a new tradition!
Fun Runs on Thanksgiving Day to work off that dinner and give back to the community:
The Alexandria Turkey Trot, Nov 26, 10:00 am, Cora Kelly School, 3600 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria, Virginia. Sponsored by the DC Road Runners Club, the 34th annual 5-mile race benefits support ALIVE!, a nonprofit organization serving Alexandria’s needy. This competitive race offers prize money to top finishers.
The Arlington Turkey Trot, Nov 26, 8:00 am, Christ Church of Arlington, is a 5k fun run/walk to benefit the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless (AACH), Doorways for Women & Families and the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).
The Virginia Run Turkey Trot, Nov. 26, 8:00 am, Pleasant Valley Road, Centreville, benefits Life with Cancer. This competitive 5k race and 2k walk has been a neighborhood tradition for two decades.
See websites for details and registration information.
Alexandria Turkey Trot https://www.dcroadrunners.org/sign-up/turkey
Arlington Turkey Trot http://volunteer.united-e-way.org/acvo/org/10298127649.html
Virginia Run Turkey Trot http://www.runwashington.com/news/314/
Thanksgiving Parades if you like them live rather than televised:
On Friday, November 27th, enjoy the daylong kickoff of the holiday season at the Reston Town Center. Begin with a kid’s free 1-mile race with Olympian Alan Webb at 8:00 am, followed by a parade at 11:00 am featuring balloons, bands, dancers, antique cars, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Shop, dine, ice skate, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride until 6:00 pm, when the Clauses light the Christmas tree followed by traditional chorale music.
Christmas Light displays close to home:
The Bull Run Festival of Lights at Bull Run Park in Centreville opens Nov 26th at 5:30 pm. Drive your car through several miles of animated light displays; $15 per car Mon-Thurs, $20 Fri and Sat. Admission includes the Holiday Village, where you can enjoy amusement rides (weekends), an ice skating rink, entertainment, shopping, and food concessions. Call the Holiday Hotline at (703) 359-4633 for detailed information and directions.
Combine the City of Alexandria Tree Lighting with dining and browsing the shops in Old Town Alexandria for a fun evening. The tree lighting takes place at historic Market Square on King Street in Old Town, Friday, Nov 27, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, featuring music, group caroling, and visits by the mayor and Santa. To avoid parking issues, take the Metro to the King Street Station, and then take DASH (703.370.DASH or visit www.dashbus.com) or the free King Street Trolley to the event.
History Events to learn how colonials celebrated the holidays:
For an entertaining and educational program on the history of Thanksgiving, visit Frying Pan Park in Herndon on Friday, Nov. 27, 11:00 am. This is a nice outing for the whole family! Cost is $4.00 per person, reservations required. Call (703) 437-9101. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/press/psa193-_09.pdf
There are only a few weekends each year when Mt. Vernon is open for candlelit evening tours! See George Washington’s home as a holiday visitor might have seen it, with treats by the fireside, caroling, and period characters interacting with guests. Adults $18.00, children 11 and under $11.00, advance tickets via Mount Vernon.org. For more information, see http://visit.mountvernon.org/special_events.cfm.
A fun way to brush up on table manners before Thanksgiving dinner is the Mother and Daughter Tea Party. At historic Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Nov. 22nd, see a demonstration of the traditional rules of teatime etiquette and enjoy afternoon high tea. For ladies age six and older. The fee is $27 per adult and $18 per child under 12. Call (703) 941-7987 for reservations.
Also on Nov. 22, 2:00 pm at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center, learn about the eastern woodland Indian culture at the time when the Europeans arrived. Play games, learn how plants were used for food and medicines, and practice a craft. Ages 4 and up, $6 per person. Call (703) 941-1065 for reservations.
Nature experiences for kids of all ages to get some fresh air away from the mall:
On Nov 22, a naturalist will guide a walk at 9:00 am to look for wild turkeys and their signs and discover some of their habits. Located at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly; $5 per person. Call (703) 631-0013 to reserve a spot.
On Nov. 28, learn about snakes, turtles and flying squirrels at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale. The program on how snakes and turtles survive the winter is at 1:00 pm, is appropriate for all ages, and costs $4.00 per person. The presentation on flying squirrels and a nighttime search for flying squirrels at the nature center is at 6:00 pm. It is for ages 4 and up, $6 per person. Call (703) 941-1065 to make reservations for either program.