Thanksgiving in Washington, DC

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The countdown has officially begun–we’re just 10 days out from America’s day of giving thanks, and my, are us Washingtonians getting pumped! Something about this particular (delicious) holiday has the jolly citizens of our nation’s capital brimming with turkey-tinged excitement over the abundance of Thanksgiving-themed food, activities, and volunteer opportunities we can take part in. To help focus your holiday-hyper brains, we’ve nailed down our list of favorite Thanksgiving events in the DC area.


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Presidential Turkey Pardon

Without thinking too far into the gory details, we still love us a good old fashioned Turkey Pardon! This famous event is said to date all the way back to 1947, but the first official “pardon” was doled out by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. Every year since, a lucky turkey is presidentially pardoned, and from 2005-2009, were flown to Disneyland to serve as Grand Marshal of their Thanksgiving parade. For the past three years, the birds have been sent to the beautiful Mount Vernon Estate to live out the remainder of their years in true presidential fashion. (Fun fact: our feathered friends have also been put up in the Presidential Suite at the W Hotel the night before their big day.)



Turkey Trots

There are a plethora of fun run/walk trots to take part in this year, so grab a family member/friend/co-worker/stranger to join you in a quest for some fun, charity-centric exercise! DC’s Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot for Hunger is sponsored by SOME (So Others Might Eat),Bethesda’s Turkey Chase supports the local YMCA and Rotary Club, and Arlington’s Turkey Trot raises money for the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Doorways for Women and Families and Arlington Food Assistance Center.



Small Business Saturday

This day is all about fueling the local economy, supporting small businesses nearby, and knocking some items off your holiday shopping list. Sure, everyone likes a good Black Friday deal, but there’s something to be said for supporting all of the wonderful small business shopping destinations the DC area offers (ya know, think Adams Morgan, Georgetown, Dupont Circle, H Street, Arlington, Old Town Alexandria, Union Market, etc.)



Thanksgiving Meals to Go

Another way to support local businesses and keep yourself from slaving away in the kitchen all day long is to order take-out! (No, seriously!) Here’s a great list of DC area restaurants who’ll be prepping Thanksgiving Day meals for the non-culinary inclined: Acadiana, BlackSalt,Blue Duck Tavern, Del Campo, and Hill Country to name just a few!



Volunteer Opportunities

Lest we forget one of our very favorite Thanksgiving activities! With so many wonderful opportunities to take part in (and give you a serious case of the warm fuzzies,) the tricky part is deciding not IF but HOW you’ll help out! Learn more about DC area charitable organizations and events you can participate in on our near Thanksgiving here.