Thanksgiving is a great holiday. It means a four-day break from work for many of us, and gluttonous consumption of food is encouraged. And then there’s the Macy’s parade, which we should all be thankful to watch on TV, because it’s a kick to see the hosts (Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker) try to come up with clever commentary about high school marching bands, cartoon-character balloons, and spectacles like Ronald McDonald (he’s not creepy at all, right?) in the Big Red Shoe Car, which, if it were a real shoe, would be a men’s size 266.
Anyway, be glad you’re here instead of New York, not just because you’re avoiding the crowds but also because Turkey Day in and around Charlottesville offers so much to do, eat, drink, and see—none of which involves Savannah Guthrie, alas. In fact, we think the four-day weekend isn’t sufficient to partake of the local Thanksgiving goodness, so we’re starting today and won’t stop until December 1, at which time we’ll take a deep breath and brace for the arrival of the Solstice (December 21), Christmas, Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1), and Hanukkah (December 22-30).
Wednesday, November 20
Sign up today for the popular Boar’s Head Turkey Trot, a 5K run/walk benefiting the UVA Children’s Hospital. Registration is limited to 1,400 participants, and fewer than 100 spots remained 10 days before Thanksgiving. $60 (kids 5-12 $40), 9am. Thursday, November 28, 200 Ednam Dr., bit.ly/run-turkey-run
Thursday, November 21
Market Street Wine and Oakhart Social team up to showcase holiday wines in the restaurant’s private dining room. Snacks from Oakhart’s kitchen will be served, and wines will be available to order at 20 percent off. $50, 7-9pm, reservations required. 995-5449, bit.ly/oakhart-wine
Drop by the Spice Diva to get your kitchen knives sharpened and ready to prepare the holiday goodness! $7 per blade, 10am-1pm (store closes at 6pm). Main Street Market, 218-3482, thespicediva.com
Friday, November 22
Un dîner pour deux? Gordonsville’s cozy French fine-dining spot, Restaurant Rochambeau, celebrates the release of this year’s Beaujolais nouveau with a $75 prix fixe meal. 5:30-9pm. (540) 832-0130, reservations highly recommended, bit.ly/beaujolais-va
Saturday, November 23
Don’t cut class—go to this one to sharpen your knife skills. Chef Antwon Brinson’s Culinary Concepts AB teaches you how to slice, dice, and julienne without losing a finger. $55.25 (sign up by Nov. 21), 4-6pm. 2041 Barracks Rd., 218-2637, bit.ly/cut-veggies
Sunday, November 24
Grab a movie and a meal at Violet Crown. How about Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, followed by some Japanese-influenced food at Kama? You don’t even have to leave the building! Evening screenings at 5:10 and 7:50pm; Kama 5-10pm. 200 W. Main St., Downtown Mall, Kama 529-3015, Violet Crown 529-3000.
Monday, November 25
The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative’s Give & Take event turns “the gallery space into a swap shop meets free store meets surplus redistribution meets ‘curb alert.’” Drop off a gift, and if you see something you’d like for yourself or someone else, pick it up. Free, 5-7pm through November 27. 209 Monticello Rd., 218-2060, bit.ly/bridge-swap
Tuesday, November 26
Call in sick from work. Read a book. Stay in your pajamas. Binge-watch “The Crown” on Netflix.
Wednesday, November 27
Get in the true spirit of Thanksgiving by learning about the indigenous people whose land you now occupy. The interactive Native People map will enlighten and humble you. native-land.ca
Thursday, November 28
The 91st annual Blessing of the Hounds at Grace Episcopal Church provides a glimpse into another world right in your backyard. Mounted riders in blazing red coats stand by while the dogs are blessed, and then the hunt commences. Arrive early to beat the mob and enjoy doughnuts and coffee in the parish hall. Free, 10am. 5607 Gordonsville Rd., Keswick, 293-3549, bit.ly/grace-hounds
Let someone else do the cooking and cleaning up: Many restaurants that offer special Thanksgiving meals are booked weeks in advance (The Ivy Inn, 1799 at The Clifton, The Mill Room, Prospect Hill Plantation…), but at press time, these spots still had some room.
Blue Ridge Café & Catering, $12 kids 5-12, $24-37 adults and 65+ seniors, seatings at 11am and 1:30pm. 8315 Seminole Tr., Ruckersville, 985-3633, bit.ly/gobble-blue
Al Carbon, regular menu served 9am-6pm; $75 pre-order 10-12 pound roasted turkey (takeout only; call to reserve). 1875 Seminole Tr. 964-1052, alcarbonchicken.com
Restoration Restaurant, turkey and all the sides, plus pecan pie! $30, $15 kids 6-12, free for tykes 5 and under, noon-5pm. 5494 Golf Dr., Crozet, 823-8100, bit.ly/crozet-turkey
Michael’s Bistro owner Bo Stockton is offering a turkey-and-all-the-fixins feast at no charge. “I want to give back to the community,” he says. “Anyone who needs a solid meal and people to share it with is welcome.” Free, 1-3pm. 1427 University Ave., 977-3696, michaelsbistro.com
Friday, November 29
Get ready for Christmas by cutting your own tree at 12 Ridges Vineyard, in Vesuvius. Formerly Skylark Christmas Tree Farm, the new winery has 5,000 Fraser firs growing on the scenic mountain site. 10am-4pm, $40-80 for trees (wine and small plates priced accordingly). 996-4252, 12ridges.com
Saturday, November 30
Step back in time at the community tree lighting in Scottsville, with hot cocoa, caroling, and a visit by Santa (go ahead, pull on the beard). Free, 5:45-6:45pm. Canal Street Basin, 286-9267, bit.ly/scottsville-tree
Sunday, December 1
Free food distribution by anti-violence activist group Food Not Bombs takes place today and every Sunday in Fifeville’s Tonsler Park. Volunteers collect and store donations from area bakeries, supermarkets, and other sources to give to those in need. Drop by, pitch in, and learn more. 1pm. 500 Cherry Ave., bit.ly/food-not-bombs