Food Life + Arts

Tips for making the most of Thanksgiving break

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches and the school semester winds down, it’s time to treat yourself. If you’re looking for ideas about how to enjoy this newfound free time best, look no further. Here are seven things to do this Thanksgiving break.


Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to de-stress and enjoy time with your closest friends, especially if you are far from home. Whether it be potluck style and game night or something simple, getting together to celebrate one other and all you have accomplished this semester is a definite must. 

Try new recipes

Cook your heart out. You have a free pass to enjoy all your favorites and get creative in the kitchen. My personal favorite is a double-layer pumpkin cheesecake, but I am biased toward sweets.

Houston Turkey Trot 

Hoping to challenge yourself with a quick 5K? The BakerRipley’s Houston Turkey Trot takes place on Thanksgiving Day. Registration is still open, and the annual event works to support the mission of the non-profit Baker Ripley. There are three categories: 10K, 5K and even a 1K Kids Run. 

Houston Zoo Lights 

The Houston Zoo Lights display will be open from Nov. 18 to Jan. 8, meaning there is plenty of time to make the trip at least once this holiday season. It makes for an aesthetic photo opportunity and a night on the town. If you’re struggling to get into vacation mode, this could be the place to start the break. 

Black Friday shopping

 Keep in mind things are different in the post-COVID world, with most places closed on Thanksgiving Day, meaning less line-making! As college students on a budget, this one might be a no-brainer. It can be chaotic to shop on Black Friday itself, so be careful if so or avoid the crowds by checking out early deals starting now. 

Watch your Thanksgiving favorites

Several shows come to mind in which their Thanksgiving episodes alone are iconic, making for a lovely night in with your comfort characters. Hopefully, the cool weather doesn’t flee us before then. 

Prepare for the holidays

Last but not least, now is the perfect time to start your holiday season preparations. Whether it be Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or just freedom from school–enjoy the celebration for all it is worth. Reach out to a loved one who may be alone this time of year, or treat yourself to something you have been working hard towards. 

This year has been challenging, and there is no time like the present to decompress and rejuvenate. Whatever you decide to do this Thanksgiving break, I hope you enjoy being surrounded by those who make this a special time worth celebrating.

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