Sure, you can go shopping, watch a game, or go ham on some leftover turkey. But ask any local: Los Angeles — world class city that it is — offers much, much more.
This week, we offer some thoughts on what many Angelenos do with the days and weekend after Thanksgiving. A few suggestions:
1. Go see some fancy cars
Set in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Auto Show is a perennial post and pre-Thanksgiving activity for Angelenos of all stripes. Centrally located at the L.A. Convention Center, it's an affordable, fun way to spend time out and about while avoiding mall parking lots.
KPCC's Steve Proffitt produces our transportation podcast The Wheel Thing and has been a regular at the Los Angeles Auto Show for decades now. "It's not a bad ticket, you know. It's probably as cheap as going to the movies," says Proffitt.
Visitors can see new Toyotas and Fords before they show up at the dealerships, they can nerd out on classic models on display, or they can revel in the strangeness of ultra high end vehicles they might never see again: Aston Martins, hybrid race cars, Lamborghinis and more.
2. Get married
Google "Weekend after Thanksgiving" and one of the first suggestions you'll get is "weddings." Yes, apparently people do this. Mostly you'll find soon-to-be newlyweds hemming and hawing at the pros and cons of a post-Thanksgiving wedding. Pro: It's a great opportunity to host an event during a time family comes together anyway! Con: It's rude! People won't come!
A user named "Sportybee" said in one message board thread on the topic that she was a Maid of Honor at a wedding on Thanksgiving Day — and that she left early to go see her family. The drama!
Burbank resident Kaitlin Funaro attended a post-Thanksgiving wedding in the Bahamas, of all places. A small destination wedding, few people declined, and nobody grumbled at the location.
"Personally, I thought it was great. Because you get a built-in vacation," says Funaro. "I mean, frankly — Thanksgiving happens every year. And it's not like the most thrilling of holidays. So I was perfectly happy to take a year off to drink in a pool."
3. Yes, you can still volunteer
There are more people handing out meals on Thanksgiving than any other day in Los Angeles. Did you miss it this week? It's fine, really. There are plenty of organizations that can still use your help — financial or otherwise.
Take the House of Ruth — an agency for women who've been subject to domestic abuse. The days after Thanksgiving bring in more people seeking their services than the holiday itself.
"We usually don't see a spike of clients coming in on Thanksgiving Day," says Pat Bell, House of Ruth's development director. "All of the relatives are there, friends might be there around the dinner table. An abuser's gonna be on their best behavior."
But after visitors are gone, violent episodes can return.
House of Ruth has both donation and volunteering opportunities, you can find out more here.
4. Get creative with leftovers
"I don't think fresh turkey is my very favorite thing," says Piero Selvaggio, chef and owner of Valentino Restaurant in Santa Monica. "But I like cold, leftover turkey to play with."
Selvaggio attacks leftovers with gusto. Try a turkey ribollita — a hearty tuscan soup — served in turkey broth with shredded dark meat, bread and kale.
Tired of turkey sandwiches? Bruschetta might be your answer: toast some bread, chop tomatoes, basil and garlic — slice thinly some dark and white turkey meat on top and, voila! Bruschetta.
There's more, of course — ground turkey ragu over a pasta, turkey cutlets, turkey meatballs.
5. ...Or get rid of them quick with a party
KPCC receptionist Rebecca Murray sent us this note:
My dad always threw a big party on the weekend after Thanksgiving. He’d make turkey stew with all the leftovers and I could not STAND the smell of it. It would cook for at least a day, so the entire house would smell and it would boil down so much that he could suck the marrow out of the bones. Everybody else loved it but I never ate it – I don’t think anyone was surprised when I turned vegetarian at 14.
We got on the line with Rebecca and her dad, Mac Murray, to talk about The Big Smell. Turns out, she was right about the smell. Mac was making turkey stock for his famous turkey stew that was consumed by scores of people every year during their open house in the days after Thanksgiving.
But Mac is also an Episcopal priest, and he says feeding the needy is one of his parish’s specialties.
What are your favorite post-Thanksgiving traditions or outings? Let us know on our Facebook page, or in the comments below!