For most of us, food is foremost on Thanksgiving, If your dinner plans for Thanksgiving 2013 are still uncertain and you don’t want to cook, let someone else do it--and clean up, too. The restaurants at the Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont, Westin St. Francis, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency 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 28, 2013, you can help serve meals to others. Go on a fun run/walk (check our guide to the area's several turkey trots). The day and weekend after, bypass the Black Friday shopping hordes and catch a tree-lighting ceremony or see a show.
Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Nov. 23-Dec. 22 weekends, & Nov. 29, 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.
At Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave, Daly City 94014. Ticket prices vary.
Salvation Army Thanksgiving Meal Delivery
Nov. 28, at 8 am-12 pm
Drivers and deliverers are needed to help take Thanksgiving meals to 4,000 home-bound individuals. Register in advance online, by e-mailing email@example.com, or by calling Jaime Smith at (415) 503-2720.
Thanksgiving Day Outreach
Nov. 28, 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 San Francisco City Impact, 230 Jones St., San Francisco 94102. Bring your printed registration ticket with you to speed up the process. Registration fee $25; free for those under age 10.
Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 29, at 5:30 pm
Carolers and music from 4 pm, followed by the lighting of the tree, a visit from Santa and a set by singer-songwriter Kevin Toqe.
At 900 North Point St., San Francisco. Free.
Macy’s Great Tree Lighting
Nov. 29, at 6 pm
Santa, musicians and dancers, and the turning on of 21,000 lights on an 80-foot fir.
At Union Square Park, Geary and Powell streets, San Francisco. Free.
Turkey Trot: Annual Americana Music Feast
Nov. 29, at 8:30 pm
Coffin Hunter, James Nash & The Nomads, The Highway Poets and Secret Town play country rock, hillbilly songs, indie-rock and twangy tunes.
At Café Du Nord, 2170 Market St., San Francisco. Tickets $13. Ages 21+.
San Rafael Parade of Lights & Winter Wonderland
Nov. 29, at 12-8 pm & Nov. 30, at 9 am-12 pm
More than 40 tons of snow dumped on A Street=a hill for sledding. On Friday, Santa leads a parade, the town's tree is lit, and arts and crafts are for sale. On Saturday, activities for kids and more sledding (snow permitting).
On Fourth Street from A Street to Lootens, downtown San Rafael. Free, but donations welcome.
The Velveteen Rabbit
Nov. 29-Dec. 15
ODC/Dance’s adaptation of the Margery Williams classic about a child’s stuffed 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., San Francisco. Tickets $20-75.
Gingerbread Open House
Nov. 30, at 11 am-2 pm
The Fairmont’s 22-foot-tall house--made with thousands of gingerbread bricks and literally a ton of royal icing and candy--officially opens. Live music and refreshments.
At The Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St., 94108. Free.