Scrumptious Seven: Top Thanksgiving Activities


Photo courtesy of Ron Cogswell via Flickr

Light displays at the 2013 Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights in Vienna, Virginia.

Shruthi Nyshadham, Staff Writer

As one of just three breaks over which teachers aren’t allowed to assign homework, Thanksgiving is a perfect time for us to relax, spend time with family, and forget about the daily stresses of schoolwork. With that in mind, here’s my list of top seven things, in no particular order, to try this Thanksgiving break:

1) Shopping Spree: I really admire those opportunistic shoppers willing to brave raging snowstorms or bone-chilling frost as they wait for ages in the wee hours of morning to get a chance at the deal of the year. If you’re one of these people, hats off to you. If not, join the line at your favorite stores this Black Friday to try it out and see how much you could save.

2) Light Extravaganza: Take a moment to peel your eyes away from SIS and feast them on some holiday sparkle. For $15 – $20, enjoy light shows such as the Bull Run Festival of Lights or the Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights. The Bull Run Festival of Lights boasts an over two mile road adorned with lights and holiday displays, as well as Holiday Village where the whole family can eat, shop, and participate in activities such as camel rides. The Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights features the whole Meadowlark Botanical Gardens as an animated light show, and includes toasty marshmallows and hot chocolate.

3) Spread the Spirit: Thanksgiving at its core is about being grateful for our blessings, and how better than by helping those who may not have as many? Check out this list of possible volunteering opportunities in the Washington, D.C. area and see how you can pitch in. From food drives and meal packaging to raising money through turkey trots, find your preferred way to spread the Pilgrim’s spirit this Turkey Day.

4) Turkey Tales: For a more educational take on Thanksgiving, join the Fairfax County Park Authority on an hour-long walk through Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly to see wild turkeys and learn more about their signs, habits, and mannerisms.

5) Parade Palooza: While Washington, D.C. doesn’t have a grand annual Thanksgiving parade like New York City, we still have smaller local parades such as the Reston Town Center holiday parade. This now 26-year tradition involves a half-mile march down Market Street, complete with balloons, actors in elaborate costumes, and a special appearance by Santa Claus. After the parade, ride horse-drawn carriages, snag some photos, or even take a twirl around the Ice Skating Pavilion.

6) Fall Foliage: Choose a viewing spot described here, or pick one of your own, and settle down for an up-close look at the incredible fall colors displayed right in our backyard.

7) Chow and Chill: Needless to say, as Jefferson students we seize every opportunity to grab a few extra z’s, and when better than a five-day weekend with no homework? So amidst all the other possible activities, make sure to take a mental break. While relaxing, don’t forget to wolf down some sizzling turkey (or perhaps Tofurkey), creamy mashed potatoes, or anything else your family will serve. Don’t have a Thanksgiving tradition? Try your hand at cooking something new.