Get a running start on the holidays at Thanksgiving turkey trots in and near L.A.

Santa promises to make an appearance at the 88th Hollywood Christmas Parade on Dec. 1.
(Hollywood Christmas Parade)

Holiday-themed events on Hollywood Boulevard and at the Santa Monica Pier and the Queen Mary make your Thanksgiving weekend jolly in and near L.A.

Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties

Some Thanksgiving turkey trots have costume contests, some have pumpkin pie. All are a chance to exercise at your own pace before the big feast. Trots include:

Turkey Trot Los Angeles ( in downtown

Claremont Sunrise Rotary Turkey Trot (


Thanksgiving Day 5K (, Simi Valley

Turkey Trot O.C. (, Tustin

Dana Point Turkey Trot (

Plymouth Rock ’n’ Run (, Anaheim

When: Nov. 28

Cost, info: Check event websites for pricing, policies on children and pets and other information.

Long Beach

The 1930s atmosphere at Queen Mary Christmas is inspired by the ship’s early days at sea. Holiday crafts, a carousel, roaming performers, train rides and an ice-skating rink circling a 26-foot Christmas tree entertain on land. Aboard the ship, you’ll find vintage holiday decor, story time with Mrs. Claus, and a 4D screening of “The Polar Express” with snow flurries and the smell of hot cocoa.

When: Check website for opening days and times from Nov. 29 through Jan. 1

Cost, info: From $29 for adults and $22 for children (includes ship admission). Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (877) 600-4313,

Santa Monica

Have a snowball fight with an ocean view at Snow Day on the Santa Monica Pier. Real snow covers 4,000 square feet of the pier, and Candyland-inspired window art by Australian artists Pip & Pop bedecks the carousel building.

When: 11 a.m. Nov. 30

Cost, info: $5, or free for kids 12 and younger. Family friendly. No dogs. (310) 458-8900,


Shop to the sound of live caroling as 100 small-business vendors gather for the first Shop Small Holiday Festival at 2nd Avenue and 9th Street. Kids can ride electric zoo creatures, play in snow, try out a sledding area and chat with Santa. Stick around for a light show in the evening.

When: 11 a.m. Nov. 30

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (626) 221-6188,

Los Angeles

Mario Lopez and family serve as grand marshals of the 88th Hollywood Christmas Parade, when oversize balloons, festive floats and Santa Claus progress along a red-carpeted Hollywood Boulevard. Pre-parade performers include Dionne Warwick, Jesse & Joy, and the Band of Merrymakers. Arrive early to find a good viewing spot.

When: 5 p.m. Dec. 1

Cost, info: Free to watch along the street; seats require tickets. Family friendly. Not recommended for dogs. (833) 727-2331,