Best Thanksgiving Celebrations And Events For The Family In DC

November 16, 2012 8:00 AM

(credit: Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

thanksgivingparade Best Thanksgiving Celebrations And Events For The Family In DC

(credit: Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Whether you choose to stay fit while helping the less fortunate by participating in turkey trots or enjoy a wonderful holiday parade, make this Thanksgiving one to remember. These are the best Thanksgiving celebrations for everyone in the family.

Thanksgiving Parade
Ellsworth Drive and Veteran’s Place
Silver Spring, MD
(240) 777-5307

Price: free
Hours: Nov. 17 – 9:30 a.m. to noon

This Thanksgiving parade will include large balloons and plenty of floats, The Greater Overbrook String Band from Philadelphia, local high school marching bands, costumed characters, classic cars, clowns and mounted police. The parade will serve as the kick-off for the holiday season and the final float will be Santa’s sleigh along with his reindeer and elves throwing candy canes to the crowd. The Washington Redskins Marching Band will also take part in the activities. The parade is scheduled to take place rain or shine.

Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger
13th Street, NW and 12th St., NW, Freedom Plaza
Washington, DC
(202) 797-8806 ext. 1093

Price: $25 untimed participant/$30 timed participant
Hours: Nov. 22 Little Turkey One Mile Fun Run – 8:30 a.m.; official 5K run and walk – 9 a.m.

So Others May Eat is an interfaith, community-based organization that provides hot meals to homeless men, women and children who rely on them for food, clothing and health care. The 5K fun run and family walk will benefit those programs for the homeless, and help SOME continue to serve more than 800 meals to the hungry every day of the year. There is also a Little Turkey One Mile Fun Run that young children may participate in.

Related: Best Fall Sports Leagues For Kids In DC

Reston Town Center Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting
Reston Parkway and New Dominion Parkway
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 476-9377

Price: free
Hours: Nov. 23 – 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Reston Community is a full day of celebration and fun activities that all can enjoy. The parade will include Santa and Mrs. Claus. There will also balloons, musical groups, dancers and antique cars among the floats that will head down Market Street. Other festivities include horse-drawn carriage rides. The tree lighting will be done by Santa and Mrs. Claus followed by a sing-along with a chorus of traditional holiday music from the Reston Chorale and Brass Quintet. Right after the parade, children and their families may visit and have a 5 by 7 portrait taken with Santa.

Turkey Chase Bethesda–Chevy Chase YMCA
9401 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, Maryland
(301) 440-1854

Price: $45 10K/$20 50 meter/$15 two-mile Kid Run through Nov. 21/$48 10K/$25 50 meter/$18 two-mile Kid Run through Nov. 21/$50 10K/$25 50 meter/$18 two-mile Kid Run race day
Hours: Nov. 22 – 8:30 a.m.

The Turkey Chase is the largest 10K in Montgomery County and the largest fundraiser for the YMCA and the BCC Rotary. All proceeds benefit youth and their families in Montgomery County through YMCA and various Rotary programs. The event will include activities for children that promote community and personal wellness. Families may participate in the 10K race or 50-meter run. There is also a two-mile fun run perfect for kids.

Freeze Your Gizzard 5K Cross Country Race
Ida Lee Recreation Center
60 Ida Lee Drive
Leesburg, Virginia
(703) 777-1368

Price: $20 5K/$10 one mile plus two cans of food/$25 day-of-event registration 5K/$15 one mile plus two cans of food
Hours: Nov.17 – 9 a.m.

Runners of all skill levels may participate in this 10th annual event that includes prizes and giveaways. Runners take this race very seriously: It will be timed by Potomac River Running. All canned food donations will benefit Loudoun Interfaith Relief, which provides low-income housing for seniors, assistance to homeless shelters and after-school programming for at-risk children.

Related: Best Places to see Autumn Leaves

Sarah Hearn is a freelance writer covering all things DC. Her work can be found on

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