South Bay’s Thanksgiving-Themed Family Events

November 16, 2012 5:00 AM

It is the perfect time of year to celebrate everything we have to be grateful for. In the South Bay, we have numerous options to celebrate this Thanksgiving season with our families. From hiking and racing to volunteering and shopping, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season. Check out the following list for some surefire ways to have some Thanksgiving family fun.

Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot
Santa Clara and Market Sts.
San Jose, CA 95113
(909) 874-5480

Date: November 22
Click here to register.

Bring the whole family to downtown San Jose the morning of Thanksgiving to support local charities and do a pre-Thanksgiving meal workout. This Turkey Day tradition will be sponsored by Applied Materials for the eighth straight year and has raised over $2.2 million for three local charities: Second Harvest Food Bank, The Santa Clara County Children’s Health Initiative and The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County. In addition to 5K and 10K runs, there will also be a wheelchair and kids’ race. This year’s registration is limited to 25,000 participants, and if your family isn’t interested in racing, there is always a need for volunteers.

harvest festival South Bays Thanksgiving Themed Family Events

Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show
San Jose Convention Center
150 W. San Carlos St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(415) 447-3205

Date: November 23-25
Click here to buy tickets.

For 40 years, the Harvest Festival Art & Craft Show has been showcasing the works of local independent artists. Originally starting in San Francisco, this holiday shopping event has spread throughout California. In addition to arts and crafts booths, there is live entertainment and an eco-friendly art zone for the kids, complete with the opportunity to make hands-on crafts. Bring a non-perishable food item for a $2 discount on admission and the food will be donated to the Second Harvest food bank.

Hike Your Pie Off
Santa Clara County Open Space Authority
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
6980 Santa Teresa Blvd., Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95119
(408) 224-7476

Date: November 23
Click here to register.

Offered by the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, Hike Your Pie Off is a great opportunity to work off all the Thanksgiving overindulgence. Come take part in this rare opportunity to hike to the top of the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve on the day after Thanksgiving. The OSA will be offering two hikes, a faster-paced, longer and more challenging hike and another more leisurely one of two to three miles. Both hikes are free, but pre-registration is requested.

Related: Best Hikes with Your Dog In the South Bay

San Jose Thanksgiving Gathering
Rock Bottom Brewery
1875 South Bascom Ave., Unit 700
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 377-0707

Date: November 22
Click here to make a donation.

Since 2008, the Rock Bottom Brewery has had an annual tradition with the Bill Wilson Center and InnVision to provide a fine-dining Thanksgiving meal to local homeless individuals. Last year, over 275 displaced families and children were served festive Thanksgiving fare, complete with fine table linens. Sponsors and donations are welcome and could be a great opportunity to involve the whole family in giving to those less fortunate in this season of abundance.

Related: Best Neighborhoods For Holiday Home Decorations

San Jose Downtown Ice
120 S. Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 279-1775

Price: $15 adults/$10 children
Dates: November 16, 2012 to January 10, 2012

Located between the San Jose Museum of Art and the Fairmont Hotel, this seasonal ice skating rink is a holiday tradition. Open from a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving through the New Year, this rink offers a rare California opportunity to ice skate outdoors amidst the palm trees. Make sure to use the restroom beforehand and leave valuables at home as there are no in/out privileges and no lockers or bathrooms at the rink.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on

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