If you are spending Thanksgiving in the District this year, then you’re lucky. There are a lot of wonderful things to do in the nation’s capital as we kick off the holiday season. So, sit back and take a gander through the below list to get some ideas of some fun and cool things to do during the Thanksgiving weekend.
A Swingin’ Dance Party
Always remember to check out our own Things To Do list first if you’re wondering what’s going on around town. This week you’ll notice a Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party for free. This festive program at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts features dancing and music by the Tom Cunningham Orchestra with special guest Jean Veloz. Vintage and military dress encouraged—but not required. Free swing dance lessons begin at 6 p.m., followed by a free, evening-long dance party from 7 to 9 p.m. Basically, this is a great way to burn off all the calories from your turkey dinner. That is, if the tryptophan allows you to.
Give Thanks By Volunteering
Thanksgiving is a great time to volunteer and help those less fortunate. The DC area has a ton of charities that need volunteers to help get organized and cleanup holiday meals for the homeless. You can also make a donation or participate in fundraising events. Here are a few organizations to contact if interested.
- SOME (So Others Might Eat): On Thanksgiving Day, this organization holds its annual Trot for Hunger beginning at 8:30 a.m. at West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. Mayor Adrian Fenty is the Honorary Chair of the 5K fun run and family walk that benefits programs for homeless women, children and men.
- Capital Area Food Bank: Make a monetary donation or help the Brown Bag program deliver Thanksgiving food baskets to needy senior citizens. This is the largest, public nonprofit hunger and nutrition education resource in the region.
- Bread For The City: WHUR DAY (at the Old Post Office Pavilion) is a food drive, cash drive, and telethon to benefit Bread for the City’s Holiday Helpings Program, providing Thanksgiving meals to low-income families. Volunteers collect canned food and cash donations and load and unload trucks of food.
There’s also a variety of organizations that sponsor turkey trots, runs and walks to raise money for the needy. You can either participate in your own or organize a group and start off the holiday season on the right foot. Literally.
Reston Town Center Holiday Parade
An annual tradition on the Friday after Thanksgiving since 1990, the Reston Holiday Parade has grown in pretty much every way, every year. Their website states that the parade is complete “with Macy’s-style balloons, musicians, marching bands, dancers, antique cars, community groups, and more.” And of course, no holiday parade could be called a holiday parade without the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus for the season. In fact, we wouldn’t even include it on this list if the Clauses weren’t making an appearance.
This year’s theme is “Destination: Reston.” It invites adults and kids alike to join the fun via trains, planes, feets, and bikes! Don’t miss out!
National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting
The waterfront community will kick off the holiday season by lighting up the sky with fireworks and a 65ft Christmas tree decorated with 20,000 lights. Sip some hot chocolate and enjoy story-telling, an ornament-making workshop and holiday music. The event will be Friday, November 29, from 5-7 p.m. Waterfront Plaza, National Harbor, Maryland.
Of course all of this only gives you a small glimpse of what’s going on during the long holiday weekend. Be sure to look up what else might be happening over the next few days to get an idea of what you can do that would be of interest. But above all (and most importantly) just be safe, have fun, and enjoy your turkey day in the District, whichever way you decide to spend it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!