For most of us, food is foremost on Thanksgiving, If your dinner plans for Thanksgiving 2012 are still uncertain and you don’t want to cook, let someone else do it--and clean up, too. The restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton, Westin St. Francis, the newly renovated Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, St. Regis, and other major hotels are serving holiday feasts. Stand-alone restaurants from Buca di Beppo to One Market to RN74 have special Thanksgiving menus, and there’s still time to reserve a table. Find a list of restaurants open on Thursday and make reservations through Open Table.
Of course there’s more to Thanksgiving than gluttony and the launch of the holiday frenzy. On November 22, 2012, you can help serve meals to others. The day and weekend after, bypass the Black Friday shopping hordes and catch a tree-lighting ceremony, go for a run or see a show.
Salvation Army Thanksgiving Meal Delivery
Nov. 22, at 8-11 am
Drivers and deliverers are needed to help take Thanksgiving meals to 5,000 home-bound individuals. Register in advance online, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling Jaime Smith at (415) 503-2720.
Turkey Trail Trot
Nov. 22, at 8 am
Registration is closed for this popular costumed run, but you can come and root for the turkeys, side dishes, pilgrims and other zany characters trotting by. After the youngest do a 100-meter chase at 8 am, a 5-mile “Turkey Trot” run and a 3-mile “Pilgrim Promenade” walk begin at 8:30 am.
At the north side of the Polo Field, Golden Gate Park.
Thanksgiving Day Block Party
Nov. 22, at 8:30 am-2 pm
Help prepare, serve and deliver hot meals and groceries during this service party in the Tenderloin organized by San Francisco City Impact. Runners, cooks, ushers, servers, greeters and baggers are all needed.
Check in Thursday morning at Kroc Center/Salvation Army, 240 Turk St. If you register online beforehand, bring your printed ticket with you to speed up the process. Registration fee $25; free for those under age 10.
Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 23, at 5:30 pm
Choral and opera singers perform from 2 pm, followed by the lighting of the tree, caroling, small gifts for kids, and chocolate samples.
At 900 North Point St.
Macy’s Great Tree Lighting
Nov. 23, at 6 pm
Santa, performances by Chris Mann, musicians and dancers, and the turning on of 21,000 lights on a stately fir.
At Union Square Park, Geary and Powell streets.
Turkey Trot: Annual Americana Music Feast
Nov. 23, at 8 pm
Colonel Jimmy & the Blackfish, Misisipi Mike & the Midnight Gamblers, The Blank Tapes and Hang Jones play country rock, hillbilly songs, indie-rock and twangy tunes.
At Café Du Nord, 2170 Market St. Tickets $13, 15. Ages 21+.
The Swiss pantomime troupe creates fantastical, comic creatures and presents whimsical stories using boxes, tubes, wires and other everyday objects.
At Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft Way & Dana St., Berkeley. Tickets $22 and up; half-price for ages 16 and under.
The Velveteen Rabbit
Nov. 23-Dec. 9
ODC/Dance’s adaptation of the Margery Williams classic about a child’s toy rabbit that becomes real. The tale of love, hope and loyalty moves even cynical adults.
At Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St. Tickets $15 and up.
It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Nov. 23-Dec. 16
Everyman George Bailey learns about life in this live-radio play adaptation of Frank Capra’s movie.
At Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley 94941. General admission tickets $36-57.
Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Nov. 23 & weekends from Nov. 24-Dec. 23, at 10 am-7 pm
Victorian London is re-created in the Bay Area with decorated lanes, shops full of Christmas finds, roving carolers, pubs, high tea, dance and stage performances for all ages, and characters such as Father Christmas, Tiny Tim, Scrooge, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and even Charles Dickens, who turned 200 in 2012.
At Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave, Daly City 94014. Admission: Free-$25.
Gingerbread Open House
Nov. 24, at 11 am-1 pm
The Fairmont’s 22-foot-tall house--made with thousands of gingerbread bricks and 2,000 pounds of royal icing and candy--officially opens. Take photos with Santa, or if you're shy, just write him a letter. Other treats: A Christmas tree reaching to the lobby ceiling, a collection of colorful nutcrackers, live music and refreshments.
At The Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St.
Run Wild San Francisco
Nov. 25, at 9 am
A flat, 5K loop along the waterfront and around Crissy Field. Besides the usual T-shirt, registrants get Santa hats. Awards will be presented around 10:15 am. The San Francisco Firefighter’s Toy Program will be present to accept donations of money and new, unwrapped toys.
Starts and ends at the Sports Basement Presidio store, 610 Old Mason St. Dogs, skates, scooters and bikes are not allowed on the course. Registration: $20-$45.