Celebrate Thanksgiving 2011 – San Francisco Bay Area and North of the Bay Style

Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday consists of parades, football and turkey. For those considering a trip to San Francisco & the California North Bay, check out some of the events below for other things to do.

Pre-Thanksgiving Events in the North Bay:

Enjoy a Thanksgiving Soup Supper on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 with friends at the Unity Church of Santa Rosa, 4857 Old Redwood Hwy, Sonoma CA (707) 542-7729. The event is free and runs from 6pm-8pm. Please bring some of that favorite soup, salad or a pie to share with all. Rev. Kathy will share words of inspiration. NOTE: The kitchen does not have a stove, so bring the soup in a crockpot and already warm. Don’t forget serving utensils and soup ladles! P.S. They needs pies to sell!

Give thanks this holiday weekend and join the community at Faith Lutheran Church for a Thanksgiving Eve Service and Pie Social. The event is free and starts at 7pm on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. Faith Lutheran Church is located at 4930 Newanga Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA (707) 539-2521. Pies will be on sale for $10 each. Help support the Church and save time on pie baking the following day!

Turkey Trots, Run/Walks and other Athletic Events on Thanksgiving Day:

SAN JOSE, CA: Enter the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank, Housing Trust of Santa Clara County and the Santa Clara County Children’s Health Initiative. Registration will begin at 6:30am in downtown San Jose at Guadalupe Park. There will be a 10K Wheelchair, 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk and even a Kid’s Fun Run. Don’t forget the Costume Contest at 7am! Visit the event website for more information.

WALNUT CREEK, CA: Join neighbors, friends and family for a Thanksgiving Day tradition. The 19th Annual Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness Club Turkey Trot 5K/10K. The event hosts a 5k, and a 10K run. Kids can partake in their own Fun Run that starts at 8am and the entire event benefits the Walnut Creek Schools. The earlier the registration the better. Great event for walkers and runners and the kids will have a play area too! Support your local schools and have a great time doing it!

HAYWARD, CA: It’s the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Swim at the Hayward Plunge. Start the holiday off with a morning lap swim special event that includes door prizes and so much more. This is a fundraising event benefiting the Karen M. Gordon Scholarship Fund. Each year, two or more college scholarships are given out to qualified college student lifeguards in Northern California. Please come and support this worthwhile cause! Call (510) 881-6703 for more information.

ARCATA, CA: Don’t want to run, trot or swim, then head on over to the Arcata Marsh for a leisurely stroll. Put the turkey in the oven and then meet at 10am on the porch of the Interpretive Center at 569 South G Street in Arcata, (707) 826-2359. (Note: The building will be closed for the holiday). This is a great family event that will focus on history, ecology and birds.

Don’t want to make the turkey this year? Then try one of these venues:

Sonoma Community Center, 276 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA (707) 938-4626 ext. 1. Stop by for their annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner, complete with hosted bar, music, festive holiday decor and traditional foods. The event starts at 3pm with free admission. Everyone is welcome…including tourists visiting Sonoma!

Thanksgiving Dinner at Sea Ranch Lodge, 60 Sea Walk Dr., Sea Ranch, CA (707) 785-2371. Join the gang at the lodge for a traditional 4-course Thanksgiving dinner from 4:30pm-7:30pm inside their dining room with a gorgeous panoramic ocean view. Call for reservations. Cost is $59 per person, plus tax and gratuity. The menu looks yummy!

Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner at the coast with the staff at Inn at the Tides, 800 Hwy One, Bodega Bay CA (707) 875-2751. Dine on a 3-course Thanksgiving Day menu from 1pm-8pm while taking in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Try the roasted turkey with all the trimmings or something else off the extensive menu. Cost: A la carte lunch & dinner menu.

Dine with the giraffes, lemurs and cheetahs at Safari West’s Thanksgiving on the Sonoma Serengeti. Located at 3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA. There will be two seatings, one at 12 Noon and the other at 4pm. Cost is $60 for adults and $20 for children 4-12. Price includes tax and 18% gratuity. Reservations are essential, so please call (707) 579-2551. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the whole family.

After Thanksgiving Day Events, November 25-26, 2011:

Start the holiday shopping season from 10am-5pm at the Mendocino Art Center’s Annual Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Fair, located at 45200 Little Lake Street, Mendocino, CA, (707) 937-5818. Browse 40 artists’ booths and enjoy a variety of food items plus a nice selection of Northern California beers and wines.This is a fun family event!

Celebrate “Christmas on the Coast” at Gualala’s Festival of the Trees. Enjoy two days of fun, food, live entertainment and activities for the entire family while shopping for that perfect gift for family and friends. Participate in this fundraising event for Gualala Arts. Admission is free, and the event opens Friday at 10am-5pm and Saturday at 10am-4pm. Go to the Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Gualala Road, Gualala, CA, (707) 884-1138.

It’s Craftsman’s Days in Eureka, CA! Located at the Blue Ox Millworks Historic Park, 1 X Street in Eureka, CA, 1-800-248-4259 or 707-444-3437. Show the family something other than electronic fun! Experience the arts of blacksmithing, woodworking, and ceramics. Look for demonstrations on woodworking and spinning.

Experience the Great Dickens Christmas Fair which has been a Bay Area tradition since 1970. The event is being held at the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls and starts on Friday, 11/25 and runs thru Sunday, 12/18 (weekends only), from 11am-7pm. Enjoy entertainment, fine food and a variety of beverages while exploring over 120,000 square feet of Old Victorian London. Order tickets online to get a discount off the gate price of $25 per Adult and $12 per Child. Season passes available.

Sources: http://events.sfgate.com, www.kzst.com, http://www.visitmendocino.com, http://sonoma.com/special_interest/current_events/nov.html, www.dickensfair.com, http://redwoods.info/capsule.asp

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