The Daily Gamecock

Different ways to spend your Thanksgiving break


It’s that time of year again — you know, the time where you can stuff your face with a ton of food and not feel bad about it at all. It’s also the time of giving thanks to friends, family and those in the community for all that they do. Thanksgiving is a pretty special time of year, and whether you spend it in your hometown or here in Columbia, there’s always something to do. Below are some festive activities you can do to celebrate this holiday season. 

The Turkey Trot 4k and 8k

The Turkey Trot 4k and 8k run/walk is taking place Nov. 19 at Hand Middle School in Columbia. The official start time is 7:45 a.m. Proceeds from the Turkey Trot benefit the Shandon Neighborhood Council. There will be awards given out for the overall male and female finishers in the 8k event, 8k relay race and the 4k event. Not only does running give you a great mood boost, but what better way to prepare for your Thanksgiving feast than to start out feeling fit and refreshed? 

Holiday Lights on the River

For many Thanksgiving kicks off the start of the holiday season, and the Holiday Lights on the river is a great way to get friends and family in the holiday spirit. Located at Saluda Shoals Park, the lights on the river begins on Nov. 23 and lasts through Dec. 31. Each night, the lights begin at 6 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. The holiday lights on the river is a drive-through lights show, with over 400 displays covered in colorful Christmas lights. 

Host a “Friendsgiving”

Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving break in Columbia or in your own state, you can be the proud host of a “Friendsgiving.” What is a “Friendsgiving?” It’s just like a Thanksgiving dinner but filled with all of your friends to celebrate friendship and show thanks for one another. You can host and cook a feast for your guests, or you can do it potluck-style and get each friend to bring in their own favorite dish. Either way, it will make for a time full of great food, good laughs and friendship.

Ice skating

Main Street Ice, an ice skating rink in Columbia, will be opening this Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 in front of the Columbia Museum of Art. The rink will cost $8 on Thanksgiving as well as on Mondays through Wednesdays. On Thursdays through Sundays, admission will cost $10. The hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and the rink is open until 10 p.m. on the weekends. Ice skating is a fun way to get bundled up and show off your skills on the ice to impress your friends and family. 

Serve food at a homeless shelter

Thanksgiving is the season of giving, and there is not better way to do that than to help the less fortunate. Homeless shelters stay open throughout the holiday season, and they are always in need of volunteers to help serve meals and help out around the shelter. Helping others will make you feel great and it will make the other person’s day, so it truly is a win-win. What better way to spend a day out of your holiday season than helping someone who would not be able to celebrate Thanksgiving otherwise?

If you find yourself looking for a way to spend a day of your Thanksgiving break, try switching it up and check out one of these unique ideas. Not only are they festive, but they will make for a fun time with whomever you spend your holidays with.