What to do this Thanksgiving

Bored during the holidays? Here is a list of holiday happenings taking place during the Thanksgiving season.

What to do this Thanksgiving

Sophie Bolen and Susannah Bennett

Like many other states, Michigan has a wide variety of celebrations throughout. Everyone loves a good Thanksgiving celebration, but not everyone likes the same kinds of celebrations. Some people prefer to stay at home, while others enjoy exploring their city in celebration of the beloved Turkey Day. Despite the differing views on how a great Thanksgiving should be spent, there is always something for everyone in the superb state of Michigan.

For the Sporty Type

As many people know, Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that certainly makes one pack on a couple pounds. A solution has emerged for this issue concerning weight gain from the food holiday. Many companies have made athletic events for Thanksgiving, creating an opportunity to beat the stereotypical annual weight gain. Whether it’s doing a charity fun run or doing relaxing yoga, there are possibilities for how to stay fit over this season.  

What: Gazelle Sport’s Gobble Wobble 5K Run

Where: East Grand Rapids Middle School (2425 Lake Dr Se Grand Rapids, MI)

When: Thursday, November 24 @8AM

Cost: $15 for age 12 and under, $30 for age 13 and older

About: This silly 5K fun run is a great opportunity to get out with friends and family on Thanksgiving Day. The Gobble Wobble is an exciting and cheery event, even for those who don’t enjoy long distance running. If the thrilling experience isn’t enough, then know that all of the proceeds go directly to Kids Food Basket, a charity and volunteer program of West Michigan. Everyone is welcome to run the fun run, but registration will be ending the day before the race. (http://gazellesports.com/wp/gobblewobble/)


What: Family Fun Power Flow Yoga

Where: Easttown Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse (1331 Lake Drive SE Grand Rapids, MI)

When: Friday, November 25 @2PM

Cost: $10

About: For people who aren’t into running, yoga is the ideal exercise for fitness and calm recreation. After a stressful Thanksgiving celebration and Black Friday shopping craze, a soothing and relaxing yoga session with the Funky Buddha Hothouse is the perfect activity. (https://yogahothouse.com/event/family-fun-power-flow-eastown-2pm/)

For the Homebodies

While some may enjoy venturing out of the house on Thanksgiving, being cozied up at home with family and hot food can be way more enjoyable. Nothing is better than watching the favorite Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gleefully watching the enormous, inflatable turkey bob up and down the New York streets. Another favorite tradition is curling up and watching a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Honestly, who doesn’t love a good, old classic cartoon? A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is an open invitation to laugh as Charlie Brown suffers through many struggles on Thanksgiving day. Per usual, he gets duped by the infamous Lucy, and he goes through multiple mishaps with the familiar Peanuts crew.

To be Entertained

Many people enjoy getting all dolled up, going out to eat and seeing a live performance. Whether the artform is theater or a concert, Grand Rapids is full of live entertainment centered around a holiday theme. Most of the shows that are held in Grand Rapids are also filled with home grown talent.

What: Straight No Chaser  “I’ll Have Another…World Tour”

Where: Devos Performance Hall

When: Friday, November 25, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $34.50 – $64.50

About: A highly acclaimed male a cappella group formed in 1996.



What: Beauty and the Beast

Where: Grand Rapids Civic Theater

When: Wednesday- Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m

Cost: $18.00-$37.00

About: The classic tale of Princess Belle and the Beast is retold in a musical theater adaptation.



What: Hark Up Christmas 2016

Where: Devos Center for Arts and Worship

When: December 2 at 7:30 p.m., December 4 at 5:00 p.m.

Cost: $18.00

About: West Michigan artists have come together for a concert experience that is a unique interpretation of the Christmas Story.


For the Generous Hearts

Perhaps centering all your energy on yourself isn’t what Thanksgiving is about. Sure, there’s a certain pleasure from eating a tasty dinner with many loved ones, but picture the people who have nothing and are destitute. For them, Thanksgiving might be a sorrowful day because they have so little to be thankful for. Though their lifestyle may be minimal, there are many ways to create a happier Thanksgiving for both you and those underprivileged people of Michigan.

What: Kids Food Basket

Where: 2055 Oak Industrial Dr. NE #C Grand Rapids, MI

When: Year Round

Cost: $1-5

About: Accordingly to recent studies, 49,560 kids in Kent County, MI are greatly in need of food. It is Kids Food Basket’s mission to serve as many people and children in West Michigan as possible to hopefully change people’s lives one meal at a time. All year round, there are opportunities to serve people who are food insecure through Kids Food Basket. Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and even serving other, and this coming season presents the chance to help their cause.   

(http://kidsfoodbasket.volunteerhub.com/SignIn.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f events%2findex)


What: Meals on Wheels

Where: 2900 Wilson Ave SW Grandville, MI

When: whenever you can sign up (link below)

About: There is plenty of missional work beyond the poverty charity work. Many elderly people are homebound and lack the nutritional value that they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while still remaining independent. Over 75,000 meals are served a year to senior citizens over the 1-4 hour shifts. This volunteer work is a great opportunity to tune into the community and serve others this holiday break. There are always people who are in need, and this program gives people a chance to serve their neighbors. Perhaps Meals on Wheels will be a one-time experience or maybe it will lead to more charity work, but one will never know until they try it out. (http://mealsonwheelswesternmichigan.org/get-involved/volunteer/)

For the Adventurer

Thanksgiving and holiday seasons are generally more adventurous than others because they include the hectic shopping cram. The annual Black Friday always falls upon the day after Thanksgiving Day, which can only mean that highly excitable shoppers will be racing to the mall to beat the numerous other shoppers. It can be considered an adventure because stereotype that clearly shows the tension between people as they snatch clothes and products from each other’s grasp.

Activity: Black Friday Shopping

About: If you have the guts to trudge your way through overflowing department stores, drive with panicked people plowing through the roads, and score a good deal, Black Friday is definitely for you.


Activity: The Downtown Market

About: The Downtown Market is famous for the cute restaurants and Michigan made shops. The market is already adorned with holiday decorations, and the shops are transitioning their products to be more festive. Whether you are looking for the perfect present, or you just want to spoil yourself, the downtown market is the perfect place to shop.

For the Cinema Enthusiast

Theatrical events are a delightful pastime that can be enjoyed with both family and friends, and there is food involved. Movie theaters offer an extensive selection of concession snacks to munch on during the movie, which makes the movie all the more thrilling. Many movies of differing genres are being released for this holiday break, and this brief hiatus gives people the great chance to encounter the various new movies.

Movie: Moana

Release Date: November 23

About: Disney’s newest animated film starring Dwayne Johnson. Moana is about a girl who goes on an oceanic quest to save her people. Along the way she meets a demi-god, Maui, who helps her on her journey. Once sailing, the pair encounter monsters and face impossible odds. Through the voyage, Moana not only fulfills the request of her ancestors, but finds herself in the process.

Movie: Hacksaw Ridge

Release Date: November 2

About: While this movie based on true events is nearing a month in theaters, it has been praised with success. Hacksaw Ridge is a WWII movie about the Congressional Medal of Honor winner Pfc. Desmond T. Doss. Doss refused to bear arms on religious grounds. This movie has heavy themes that are not suitable for the whole family, but it is worth it considering its commercial success and Facebook timeline praises.

Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release Date: November 18

About: A companion film to the Harry Potter series; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first film released of a trilogy. The film is set in 1926 and follows Newt (Eddie Redmayne) after he found and documented magical creatures. Newt planned to stop in New York for a short amount of time, but thanks to a muggle, a misplaced magical case, and some escaped fantastic beasts, Newt has to stay in New York for quite some more time. This is a perfect movie for Harry Potter fans or people who simply enjoy being entertained by magical adventures.

Whether you are a homebody or an adventurer, Thanksgiving break holds many events full of excitement and thrills. Despite what events this season offers, Thanksgiving is truly about being thankful for we have.