Thanksgiving COWmunity Guide

November 26, 2008

This has been a memorable year, filled with ups and downs for everyone. But with Thanksgiving here, it’s time to reflect on all the things we are grateful for. Among other things we are grateful to live in this wonderful COWmunity. There is always so much to see and do.

At this time of year, our thoughts turn to our COWmunity and to helping others. One opportunity that we noted is that Menlo Park’s Peninsula Volunteers needs help this Thanksgiving. Volunteers are need Thanksgiving Day from 8 am to 2 pm – you don’t have to stay the whole time. You can get in touch with them at 650-326-2025 x 241 or email them at There are many other volunteer activities. Check out The Volunteer Center of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

But it is also a time for fun and holiday festivities. Aside from the traditional entertainments of Thanksgiving – football and the Macy’s Parade – there’s a wide variety of fun events going on this time of year. We’ve listed a few for you:

Filoli Gardens always has something special. Check this out and see what they’re doing to mark special occasions. This time of year, the grand estate has finished its regular tour season, but will now be open for a series of special events called Holiday Traditions, this year with a theme of The Holly and the Ivy. The events continue from Friday, November 28th through Saturday, December 6th. The plans include a beautiful “Holiday Boutique”, featuring many special gifts with the added bonus of musicians singing and playing holiday songs while you shop. Wonderful lunch buffets and grand evening dinners are available as well. Of course, you also get to enjoy the beauty of Filoli’s grounds. Learn more about the schedules and events at the above links!

There are many arts, crafts, and gift fairs throughout our area, such as the San Jose Harvest Festival and the KPFA Crafts and Music Fair. Get a rundown on them and many others here.

The San Francisco Opera’s La Boheme, which you can watch on Thanksgiving Day itself or on other days in the next week or so. The Velveteen Rabbit is a dance performance based on the beloved children’s book being put on by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts starts on Friday. Or experience the joyous music of the holiday season, from Voices in Harmony, Northern California’s premier men’s chorus in San Jose or Handel’s Messiah at the beautiful San Jose Basilica Cathedral.

The annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair returns to the Cow Palace this Friday (and continues through the 14th) Explore Dickensian London and shop amidst performers in period costumes. More details here.

You can get your Nutcracker in early this year by going to see it at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center this Friday, performed by the Peninsula Youth Ballet.

Or you can celebrate the arrival of winter by skating at the beautiful Safeway Holiday Union Square Ice Rink, in downtown San Francisco or the Downtown San Jose Ice Rink in the Circle of Palms.

You could start Thanksgiving Day off on the right foot at the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. Before the big games, the big meal, the parades and the pies why not get in a little run and a lot of fun while benefiting local charities?

Downtown San Jose’s official holiday kickoff begins – Friday, Nov. 28. View your Holiday kickoff invitation . Followed by the Park Tree Lighting Ceremony and musical performances. Winter Wonderland will offer free rides from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and immediately following the Christmas tree lighting until 7 p.m. There will be plenty of time to stroll park exhibits, take in holiday music, experience glass blowing demonstrations and skate under the stars and palm trees. Downtown Ice will be open from noon to midnight. Even if you cannot make the party, kids love Christmas in the Park with Santa and elves.

And there is the once in a life time opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance Engineers- 09/27 – 01/04 is at the San Jose Tech Museum.

Many area retailers have sales on ‘Black Friday.’ Both and are focused specifically on Black Friday discounts and sales.

We wish you and your family a fun filled and happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey, but be sure to come back to get all the beef from COW

One Comment on “Thanksgiving COWmunity Guide

  1. Anonymous

    Dear Citizens of Woodside,

    Thank you so very much for including Filoli’s 9-day Holiday Traditions fundraiser in your publication. All of the 1100 volunteers and staff here greatly appreciate your support and your wonderful write-up. Everyone is working really hard to make this event truly magical, fun and full of festivity.

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