7 things to do if you can’t go home for Thanksgiving break

Acacia Coronado

For many Americans, Thanksgiving break is a designated time to be around loved ones. But for college students, the holiday means expensive plane tickets and added stress in the weeks before finals. For those who will stick around during break, here are some options of things to do in addition to watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:

1. Free Thanksgiving Dance at the Austin Swing Syndicate

For those looking to put some pep in their step this holiday season, the Austin Swing Syndicate will host a free swing dance on Thanksgiving. The event will take place instead of their usual Thursday dancing and lessons so that all resources may go to dancing the night away. Beginning at 9 p.m., anyone who is interested is welcome to join and jitterbug. Donations for the swing non-profit will be accepted at the door.

2. 2017 Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot

If you are looking for a healthy activity before eating to your heart’s content on Thanksgiving day, make sure to check out the annual Turkey Trot. The event will feature both a 5-mile run and a  1-mile walk or run. In addition, there will be live music throughout the event, with all proceeds benefiting Caritas of Austin.

3. Hill Country Galleria Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival

Following Thanksgiving festivities, the holiday spirit will be in full swing at the Galleria Mall in Austin as they host their annual tree lighting ceremony starting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 24. Santa will be taking a break from the North Pole to make a guest appearance, followed by rock band All Time Low. To end in true Texas style, the concert will close with a firework display.

4. City-wide Garage Sale

For those who wish to go shopping but want to avoid the Black Friday madness, The City-Wide Garage Sale will take place Nov. 25-26. Whether you are looking for a vintage present or unique ornaments for any upcoming festivities, make sure to take part in this Austin tradition. The event will be held at the Palmer Events Center starting at 8:30 a.m. and is said to include everything from clothing to furniture.

5. Vegetarian Thanksgiving Potluck and Meditation

Hosted by the Yoga Meditation Group, this event will cater to all of those who wish to have a peaceful and healthy Thanksgiving. The annual, free event will feature a variety of cruelty-free dishes, such as mock turkey, garlic mashed potatoes and vegan pumpkin cheesecake. Anyone is welcome to RSVP for the event, which will also include Live Music Mediation and a relaxing Deep Peace Mediation session to finish the evening.

6. 23rd annual thanksgiving feast at Hyde Park Bar and Grill

This annual Austin event will once again take place on Thanksgiving day for all of those who wish to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal without the hassle of cooking. With a large variety of options, including traditional, vegetarian and vegan plates with differing costs, the event will have Thanksgiving favorites for everyone. The event welcomes parties large and small and no reservation is necessary to attend.

7. Volunteer Opportunities

For those who wish to give thanks by giving back, the city of Austin will have multiple options to choose from this week. H-E-B’s Feast of Sharing on Nov. 21 welcomes more than 1,000 volunteers to help serve 10,000 meals annually. On Nov. 23 and 24, Operation Turkey will aim to give the homeless in Central Texas a warm meal. On Thanksgiving morning, Meals on Wheels will welcome all who wish to help  deliver food to their list of clients (and we hear Matthew McConaughey sometimes pays a visit).