Whether you prefer being around the table, serving up food, on skateboard or feet to the road, there are lots of ways to meet up with others and spend Thanksgiving alone, but together. Whether you want to justify a large meal by first getting in your steps for a good cause or shake it out later in the day, commune with people in groups indoors or outdoors, stand up or sit down, you can catch that sense of camaraderie and gratitude that often sums up the spirit of the day.
YMCA Pittsburgh Turkey Trot
Join others to make a run for greater food security. Sponsored by UPMC, the YMCA food pantry program and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the trot gives you three options: Run a mile, 3.1 or five. If you don’t want to pound the pavement, volunteer to make it a great experience for others.
Where: North Shore
When: 1 Mile Family Fun Run — 8:00 a.m.; 5K (3.1 miles) — 8:30 a.m.; 5 Mile — 9:15 a.m.
Cost: Prices range from free up to $109.99 depending on age and race chosen
Sewickley Turkey Trot
Running or walking, you can help the Sewickley YMCA’s Faith in Action program as you wind your way through the borough, a cultural landscape layered with history from Native Americans to the American Revolution, home to a number of famous modern day figures and a traditional nesting ground for Pittsburgh Penguins. Your 5K jaunt will begin and end at War Memorial Park.
Where: War Memorial Park, 811 Blackburn Rd., Sewickley
When: 8:15 a.m. registration ends; 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. start times
Cost: Prices vary depending on age, from free to $35
Highland Park Turkey Trot
If you join this trot, you can be among those who say they were part of the first cohort at this inaugural event hosted by the Highland Park Community Council. Run or walk around the reservoir — a 0.75 mile route.
Where: Highland Park, up the stairs at the top of the reservoir just off of Highland Park Avenue
When: 10 a.m. (9:30 a.m. if you want to decorate a turkey headband)
2023 Seubert Struttin’ Our Stuffin’ Turkey Trot
Loop around North Park Lake on this mostly flat, untimed, non-competitive 4.4 miler and help raise funds for Supportive Concepts, an organization helping people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and addiction in need of skills and resources for independent, healthy living. Registration opens on-site the day of the run. Remote runners can download the Strava app in advance.
Where: North Park Boathouse, 10301 Pearce Mill Rd., Allison Park
When: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.; race starts at 9 a.m.
Cost: $15 for children, $25 for adults
Graham Park Thanksgiving Day Classic
Every sports team needs community support. Show you care when you choose this morning run or walk event to boost the Seneca Valley Cross Country Boosters. Flat and fast is how they describe this USATF certified 5k course. This is a rain or shine event.
Where: 260 Graham Park Dr., Cranberry
When: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Thanksgiving Morning Skate
Swissvale’s inclusive 12,000-square-foot indoor skate park offers a different way to spend the day. Dust off your board or learn a new skill in the company of up to 11 others at this cozy holiday skate session. Skateboards, roller skates or blades are welcome. Enjoy the in-park cafe with Vienna sweets and coffee or peruse the skate shop. Rentals by the hour are available. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or walk-in, but spots may go quickly.
Where: Switch & Signal Skate Park, 7518 Dickson St., Swissvale
When: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The UPMC Rink at PPG Place
Who needs Rockefeller Center? Meet some new friends on this bigger and better downtown Pittsburgh ice. This holiday rink will be open and you can get tickets online or through in-person walkup for both one-hour and 45-minute sessions. Skate rental and sharpening available on site.
Where: PPG Place, Downtown
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost: $10 to $12, based on age and other factors; $5 to $6 for skate rental
Highland Park Zumba
Try a Turkey Burner class Thursday morning. Zumba is a Latin-inspired aerobic dance workout that is all about fun, and busting your moves at this public venue is a community experience. Dress for the weather.
Where: Highland Park Entry Garden and Fountain
When: 10 a.m.
Cost: Donation-based — pay what your heart desires
Gobble til you Wobble
Complete a virtual 5K, 10K or half marathon and 15% of your registration fee will support Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. Pick a trail, treadmill, track, race or road. Then get creative and run, jog or walk at your own pace and in your own time. Grab a friend or make one of a stranger on the way. And you get a medal. Shipped directly to you in the mail, no less.
When: You pick
Thanksgiving Day Virtual MS Run
The National MS Society is raising $30,000 and you can help by participating in this virtual morning 5k and 1-miler designed by you. Download their donor app and run along with those on real ground in Wilmington, Del., all while you gather support to help end multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease. Advanced registration is recommended to leave time to familiarize yourself with the app and make the most of this virtual community experience that spans the nation. Fun gift incentives are built into the experience.
When: Anytime starting 12 a.m. on Thanksgiving
Cost: The app is free to download
Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh
Take an animal out of a shelter for a few days to give it a break over your holiday and keep each other company! Registration is online and easy. The Rescue also has a handful of volunteer opportunities in their facilities that do not involve handling animals.
Where: Homewood West and Chateau in Pittsburgh; also Verona
When: TBD and coordinated with HARP
Cost: Varies based on food and other supplies needed for the animal’s care, which the fostering individual is expected to cover
Join a dinner or serve one
Mt. Lebanon eat in and takeout Thanksgiving Dinner
If you’d like to eat dinner with others or help to feed them, you will be welcomed at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, serving via delivery, takeout or sit-down dinner.
Where: Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. 3319 W. Liberty Ave.
When: Providing deliveries from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Eat-in and takeout from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
More info. Volunteers call: 412-531-7131
Trans YOUniting’s sixth annual TransGiving is offering a meal to anyone who wants one, no questions asked, no judgment. Bring yourself to this newly opened, inclusive space for a sit-down dinner or take one away, and/or volunteer to make it a positive experience for all who pass through their doors. Forms for volunteers and diners should be filled out in advance via the link below.
Where: QMNTY Center, 525 East Ohio St., Pittsburgh
When: Pick up and delivery meals 1 to 8 p.m.; sit down and eat 2 to 6 p.m.; volunteers needed 12 to 8 p.m.
Jubilee serves the Pittsburgh community through a soup kitchen 365 days a year. Volunteers can help nourish others on Thanksgiving Day through meal preparation, serving guests, cleaning up and washing dishes. Find out what is needed.
Where: 2005 Wyandotte St., Pittsburgh
When: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Get Stuffed with Love Thanksgiving Project
This is meal packaging headquarters for the distribution of over 3,500 meals to those in need in Pittsburgh. Join Rotary Club members and the parishioners of Holy Assumption of St. Mary Orthodox Church to cook and assemble food for delivery by Pittsburgh Police officers on this holiday.
Where: Holy Assumption of St. Mary Orthodox Church, 105 South 19th St., Pittsburgh
When: 5 a.m. to completion
More info. Phone: 412-431-6428
Ma & Pop’s Country Kitchen
There are no gimmicks here, just a desire to make family of community. These restaurant owners are welcoming anyone who might be alone on Thanksgiving or might not be able to provide a warm meal for their children. You can also volunteer to help provide the meal to others. If you plan to commune around the table, make a reservation.
Where: 2840 South Park Rd., Bethel Park
When: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; serving in the diner 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; pickup and delivery 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free, but you can donate a dessert
More info. To reserve a place at the table: 412-595-8451, press 2, leave a message with your number and they will call you back. For volunteering or questions, call 412-670-1212.
Light of Life Ministries
Light of Life Ministries serves those impacted by poverty, addiction and homelessness and works to distribute meals on the holidays. If you’d like to help package and deliver as a volunteer, sign up online.
Where: 234 Voeghtly St., Pittsburgh
When: 3:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Be Healthy and Smart Initiative Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Eat or volunteer at this non-traditional, home-cooked brunch event promising warmth, kindness and togetherness, hosted by the Statewide Regional Black Equity Coalition Ambassadors. There’s no carry-out option, but meals can be delivered to seniors and disabled individuals within a two-mile radius.
Where: Sixth Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 6556 Shetland St., Pittsburgh
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
412 Food Rescue
By some estimates, 305 million pounds of food are wasted on Thanksgiving Day. Download the 412 App and help retrieve and deliver food in your community so those in need can put it to use. Spend your day doing good and meet proprietors and neighbors along the way.
When: Allegheny County and anywhere in their six-county network
Surround yourself with live music
Thanksgiving Jazz from the Alex Peck Trio — Jazz at Eddie V’s
Grab a drink at the bar or get a table nearby. Talk to a stranger between sets. Alex Peck leads his trio in live jazz at this food and drink venue.
Where: 501 Grant St., Pittsburgh
When: 5 to 8 p.m.
Cost: Your drinks and/or food at your table
Christine Graziano is a writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was fact-checked by Tanya Babbar.
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Through Dec. 31, the Wyncote Foundation, Loud Hound Foundation and our generous local match pool supporters will match your new monthly donation 12 times or double your one-time gift, all up to $1,000. Now that's good news!
Readers tell us they can't find the information they get from our reporting anywhere else, and we're proud to provide this important service for our community. We work hard to produce accurate, timely, impactful journalism without paywalls that keeps our region informed and moving forward.
However, only about .1% of the people who read our stories contribute to our work financially. Our newsroom depends on the generosity of readers like yourself to make our high-quality local journalism possible, and the costs of the resources it takes to produce it have been rising, so each member means a lot to us.
Your MATCHED donation to our nonprofit newsroom helps ensure everyone in Allegheny County can stay up-to-date about decisions and events that affect them. Please make your gift of support now.