Our national holidays are precious – there are only a few that are truly American holidays with no religious over tones and true national pride. Of course there’s July 4th, our nation’s birthday. Then there’s Memorial Day and Labor Day and even some may say Halloween. But maybe the best holiday of them all is Thanksgiving – since we get to embrace two of America’s most cherished things: gluttony and football.

But if you are bored on Thanksgiving after that turkey has been devoured, and you don’t want to just sit on your couch and watch football, then you might be wondering: what on Earth stays open in Los Angeles on a holiday that almost everything is closed for? Well, we’ll tell you.

The Aquarium of the Pacific

If you’ve never been to this amazing aquarium you might as well just skip the turkey – not really, but this is an amazing aquatic experience with revolutionary tanks that really allow you to feel like you’re in there with the sharks (but don’t worry, you’re not). The Aquarium is open on Turkey day, and if you’re really feeling like foregoing the home cooking, they are actually offering a Thanksgiving lunch from 11 to 5. Get a little taste of the good stuff while looking at all sorts of amazing fish and sea life!

The Los Angeles Zoo


You know what they say – the animals don’t know what day it is! Maybe they don’t say that. But if they did, it would certainly apply to Thanksgiving. The animals want the chance to be cute for you and your family even on the day of Turkey, so head to Griffith Park and enjoy this oft-overlooked attraction. The zoo is 133 acres of natural habitats and lairs for bears and elephants and giraffes. You’ll never tire of the many animals you’ll see and get to know. It’s a great place for strolling around with a belly full of foul.


If you’re feeling like being surrounded by just legions of zombie-like Disney fans on a day most people would rather stay inside and be with the ones they love, then Disneyland is a great Thanksgiving destination. Of course it’s open – it’s open year round. You know what they say at Disney: no time like the present to take the suckers’ money! And if they don’t say that, then they definitely think that. But visiting Mickey and Minnie on this special Thursday will be fun, and make for some great Instagram posts.

Descanso Gardens

Sometimes you just want to get out among the flowers. This horticultural museum is home to over 600 types of camellias and lilacs and orchids and ferns. Not to mention that it has over 5 acres of roses. That’s a lot of roses. Since you won’t be able to hit up the Huntington since it closes for Thanksgiving, you can get all the allergies and pollen you want easily at the Descanso Gardens. And heck, you might even learn something.