The holiday season is officially on. This Thanksgiving weekend, support your community by donating to nonprofits, preparing meals for the less fortunate and spreading holiday cheer. Below, you’ll find a sampling of the opportunities and events taking place in Seattle this year — but the list doesn’t stop here. Many other charitable organizations in the city are working to better our community and are equally deserving of your support, so search on!
Where to eat a free meal
Thursday, Nov. 28
Mario D. Bailey Foundation’s Eighth Annual Family Feast, Royal Esquire Club, 5016 Rainier Ave. S., noon – 3 p.m.
Everyone contributes at this family-focused all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving feast. Each year, over 100 volunteers come together to set up, greet guests, cook, serve dishes and clean. Expect to see a photobooth, a DJ and free prizes distributed throughout the day. Sign-ups for a ride to and from the venue can be found at nonprofit organizations around the city, including Mary’s Place and Angeline’s Day Center for Women.
Bread of Life Mission Thanksgiving Dinner, Bread of Life Mission, 97 S. Main St., Nov. 28 at 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Mission is extending typical turkey traditions by offering both breakfast and dinner on Thanksgiving. Breakfast consists of pancakes, bacon and eggs, while dinner keeps things classic with dishes like turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. The social service organization is no longer accepting volunteers this Thanksgiving, but opportunities to volunteer at their Christmas dinner are still available.
Wednesday, Nov. 27 - Thursday, Nov. 28
West Seattle Eagles Thanksgiving Dinner, West Seattle Eagles, 4426 California Ave SW, 2 – 5 p.m.
Since 1947, West Seattle Eagles has been working to improve their community and change lives for the better. This year, the social club is providing a little bit of everything at their annual Thanksgiving dinner: roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and dessert. Volunteers interested in preparing the meal Wednesday or helping at the event Thursday can contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle Public Thanksgiving Feast, Golden Gardens Bathhouse, 8498 Seaview Place NW, 3 – 6 p.m.: mirisseattle.com/miris-at-golden-gardens
Along the shores of Puget Sound, Miri’s renowned Golden Gardens concession stand is hosting its first family-style Thanksgiving feast. The Duwamish Tribe, the Aloha Inn and Refugee Artisan Initiative are all co-hosting the event, which features crafts, games, storytelling and live music. FoodCircle, a Seattle-based foundation aiming to create a better world through food, is sponsoring the event. Opportunities to participate in cooking the meal are available Wednesday, with activities including setting tables and decorating the space available all day Thursday.
Thursday, Nov. 28
Westgate Chapel Thanksgiving Dinner, Westgate Chapel, 22901 Edmonds Way, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Now in its 25th year, Westgate Chapel holds nothing back when it comes to Thanksgiving. The church serves around 1,400 people each year across its three seatings, with around 500 volunteers to help throughout the day. This year’s event features a professional photographer, bingo, crafts, prizes and entertainment by clown and preacher Eugenio “Chagy” Adorno. Following the pumpkin pie, each guest will receive a ticket to visit the clothing and food bank upstairs. The most shocking part? The church is expecting to roast 76 25-pound turkeys this year alone.
Phinney Neighborhood Association Thanksgiving Potluck, Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., 4 – 6 p.m.
For the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA), throwing a Thanksgiving potluck is an annual tradition. Originating some 20 years ago, the event offers a classic warm meal to everyone and anyone. PNA is cooking the turkey with the rest of the meal coming from volunteers in the community. To RSVP or volunteer, call 206-783-2244 or email PNA at email@example.com.
Where to donate and volunteer
Sunday, Nov. 24
Sock It to the Homeless, Operation Nightwatch, 302 14th Ave. S., 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Socks are one of the most useful donations that can be made to those who live in shelters or on the streets. In preparation for the winter ahead, Operation Nightwatch is hoping to collect 20,000 pairs of socks by 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, to distribute to Seattle’s homeless community. Members of the public are encouraged to stop by the organization’s headquarters to help count and unpackage donated socks as they come in. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-323-3459 for details.
Nov. 28–Dec. 1
Thanksgiving Volunteers with ROOTS, ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, 1415 NE 43rd Street, 6:45 a.m.–11 p.m.: tinyurl.com/yzd8gbe5
This Thanksgiving weekend, roots Young Adult Shelter in the University District is seeking help to support its nightly guests: evening volunteers who engage with guests while setting up the shelter space, dinner meal teams who help prepare and serve meals, morning floor volunteers who distribute hygiene supplies and clean up the shelter space and Friday Feast volunteers who prepare and serve food to about 150 patrons at their weekly community meals. Those interested in volunteering for the evening, dinner meal and morning roles must sign up in advance, while those looking to volunteer at the Friday Feast may drop in to help any time. Contact email@example.com or call 206-632-1635 for details.
Thursday, Nov. 28
Magnuson Turkey Trot, Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, 10 a.m.–12 p.m., $3–$46
Balance holiday meals with Thanksgiving outdoors in a 5K, 10K, 15K or kids dash in benefit of Teen Feed. Hosted by Magnuson Series, the Turkey Trot will follow a 5K loop around the park. Participants are encouraged to extend their giving on the day of the race by bringing food products to donate to the University Food Bank. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Friday, Nov. 29
Seattle’s Tribute to The Last Waltz, The Neptune, 1303 NE 45th St., 8 – 11 p.m., $18.50
Seattle artists and musicians are banding together this Black Friday for a tribute to The Band’s legendary farewell concert “The Last Waltz.” Featuring a full band, a horn section and a rotating cast of performers, all proceeds from the concert will go to Northwest Harvest. Collection bins will be provided for attendees to donate boxed or canned foods to replenish pantries this winter. Contact email@example.com for details.
Where to get in the holiday spirit
Friday, Nov. 29
Macy’s Day Parade, Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., 9 – 10:30 a.m., free
With Macy’s landmark Seattle store closing in February, 2019 may very well be the national department store’s last year leading the city’s annual post-Thanksgiving parade. Expect the usual marching bands, floats, dance performances, sheep dogs and, of course, Santa. The route begins at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Pine Street and winds through downtown before ending at Westlake Center.
Friday, Nov. 29
Free Admission Black Friday, Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way NE, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Forget smartphones, laptops and oversized televisions. This Thanksgiving, Bellevue Arts Museum offers quality time with art. The museum is forgoing its typical admission charges to give the public free access to all its exhibitions. Currently on view is Emerge/Evolve 2018: Rising Talents in Kiln-Glass, Robert Williams: The Father of Exponential Imagination and Maria Phillips: Hidden in Plain Sight.
Nov. 29 – Jan. 5
WildLights at the Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. NE, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., $10.95–$14.95
Nightly this holiday season, as the animals sleep (or rouse around), the Woodland Park Zoo will come to life with 800,000 energy-efficient LED lights recreating wild animals and settings along almost every path. Kids (and adults) can take a ride on the Historic Carousel, browse the ZooStore for holiday gifts, throw faux snowballs in the indoor Snowmazium and finish the night off with a cup of hot chocolate.
Nov. 29 – Dec. 1
Duwamish Native Gift Fair & Art Market, Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, 4705 W. Marginal Way SW, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., free
Native makers and artists will occupy the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center for the weekend with their creations to showcase and sell. Complimentary frybread and coffee will be available to munch on while perusing the displays of wood carvings, beadwork, drums, prints and paintings.
Saturday, Nov. 30
Magic in the Market, Pike Place Market, 86 Pike St., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., free
Seattle’s historic market will transform into a holiday oasis with live reindeer, a Santa photo station, live music, eggnog and the official market lighting at 5 p.m. on the cobblestones. This year, the market is honoring 20-year button artist Graig Anderson by enlarging three of his favorite holiday characters and placing them throughout the 9-acre market. Kids and adults can create and decorate their own wrapping paper and snowflake ornaments or purchase a freshly blown glass ornament by market artist Gina Karaba.
Read the full Nov. 20 - 26 issue.
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