Check out my list of 8 must-do activities in and around town
A Santa Barbara Thanksgiving might look a lot different than the holiday appears in other parts of the country. Besides eating turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and pumpkin, Santa Barbarians love to take the celebration outside and have lots of choices when it comes to fantastic seasonal activities for people of all ages to enjoy.
Sure, the day centers around eating (did someone say pie?). In fact, Americans spend on average ten hours and 41 minutes eating that day. But, while the average America will spend that much time inside consuming more than 4500 calories on Thanksgiving, we who are fortunate enough to call Santa Barbara home can take advantage of our perfect year-round Mediterranean weather and bring the party outside.
America continues to use the Thanksgiving occasion to reflect on the things we cherish most, such as friends and family. But an average of 3.5 million spectators leave some family members and friends behind to attend Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and another 43 million people mindlessly watch it on TV. Meantime, Santa Barbarians can tape it for later and spend quality time with their loved ones.
But there’s more. Here’s a list of 8 must-do activities that will keep you busy having fun and being thankful during the Thanksgiving holiday season:
- The Santa Barbara Zoo
Looking for a way to get the kids and in-laws out of the house on Thanksgiving Day? Send them to the Santa Barbara Zoo for their Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash. At 10:00 AM on November 22nd, the Santa Barbara zookeepers give many of the animals, including the elephants and gorillas, pumpkins to play with. You’ve got to see what happens to believe it! This will undoubtedly add a new and fun twist to the visiting our beautiful local zoo.
- Local Wine Tour
After the Thanksgiving holiday is over, take a break and let someone else do the driving, thinking, and meal prep for a day by signing up for a Santa Ynez Valley wine country tour. The ‘Santa Barbara Wine Tour Company’ offers a variety of wine tours to fit your taste and personality. A great way to enjoy the crisp fall air is by exploring the wine country on a bicycle. The whole family can join in the fun burn off that third serving of stuffing. However, for those who don’t need to burn off the calories, I recommend you treat yourself to a unique wine tour: the Tasty Cupcake and Wine Tour. In this tour, participants get to enjoy great wine, world-class wineries, and the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi.
- Holiday Shopping at its Finest
I am so excited about Santa Barbara’s first-ever European-style Christmas night market where craftsmen, retailers, wineries, and artisans exhibit their goods in a traditional night market often known for its lively and unique shopping experience. This year, the Santa Barbara Night Market will make shopping fun on November 23rd from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. State Street will be filled with lots of holiday-themed décor, live music, carolers, food, beverages and all the best products the Central Coast has to offer.
- Scarfing on Turkey
An estimated 45 million turkeys will be eaten on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, 70% of Americans say it’s not a proper Thanksgiving meal without the turkey. If you are among the 9% of Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving at a local restaurant, there are several in the area to check out. After all, there’s no time quite like November to visit our dreamy, sun-soaked shores and taste the area’s culinary abundance. Check out GAYOT’s list of top Thanksgiving restaurants in Santa Barbara. The best news? No clean up necessary!
- Take a Kayak Adventure
For the adventurous at heart, you may opt for a holiday of excitement with turkey sandwiches and the ocean mist in your face. For an amazing day at sea, the Channel Islands National Park is just a few miles off the coast. Ferry boats and kayaking tours are available throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The island offers hiking, bird watching, snorkeling and much more.
- The Gardens are Blooming!
Head over to the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens for a lovely fall-time stroll. The garden’s 78 acres encompass a variety of displays as well as natural coast live oak and riparian woodlands. Check out their November events which include a morning bird walk, gray water 101, yoga in the garden and more. Or perhaps you’d rather spend the afternoon at Lotusland, one of the world’s 10 best gardens.
- Take in a Movie
While you won’t be dreaming of a white Christmas in Santa Barbara, you can still get in the winter spirit by attending a film at the Lobero Theater. On Tuesday, November 27th, 7:30 pm Face of Winter will air as the 69th installment from Warren Miller Entertainment presented by Volkswagen. This exciting ski and snowboard movie will bring new and veteran athletes alike to life on the big screen.
- Get Pampered
To welcome you into the bliss of paradise this time of year, the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is offering indulgent spa packages, a must-do before the rush of the holiday season, during the craziness and afterward to recover. Just picture it. With a glass of Prosecco in hand, you’ll be on your way to ultimate relaxation with a massage or facial at one of Santa Barbara’s most luxurious hotel spas. Restore your natural radiance and serenity, all the while, hearing the gentle sounds of the Pacific Ocean rising and falling across the picturesque Butterfly Beach. It doesn’t get better than this.
What are you thankful for this year? I am thankful for my clients and for being able to celebrate a Santa Barbara Thanksgiving with my family and friends. If you are interested in becoming a client and buying or selling your home in Montecito, Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch, Summerland or Carpinteria, I’m here to help. Please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. Happy Thanksgiving!