Things to do before the tryptophan kicks in – a ‘Creative Loafing’ guide

The fourth Thursday in November: definitely the worst holiday to be a turkey but one of the best to spend time with family, try out new pie recipes, and catch some football in an overcrowded living room. Legend has it that the pilgrims and Native Americans put aside their differences to feast together for one night, so why not do the same thing with your permanently angry, politically outspoken uncle? Also, screw the calorie counting. This is the day to stuff yourself to the point of immobility and then retreat to the dusty recliner in your grandparents’ basement for a midday nap.

Glenn Phillips Web
Photo credit: CRAIG CHAMBERS
553 AMSTERDAM AVE: Glenn Phillips returns to the Red Light Cafe Friday, Nov. 29.


GFHR R&B-Reggae-Jazz-Neo-soul-Afrobeat Experience

This metropolitan experience promises jazzy grooves in multiple genres, including soul, R&B, Afrobeat, as well as live painting and drawing, and food and drinks. Come out for a lively night of art and culture! You’ll hear the talented Tamara Goldinella sing some of your favorite hits by India Arie, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Ciara, Jill Scott, Aretha Franklin, The Isley Brothers and more. EDITOR’S NOTE: Adults only and chic, trendy attire recommended. Free-$45. 8 p.m. Fri., Nov. 22. God’s Frequency Heaven’s Rhythm, 3400 W. Hospital Ave. Click here for more information


Thanksgiving at Children’s Museum of Atlanta 

Celebrate this special holiday with activities designed especially for the youngsters at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. They’ll enjoy Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George for storytime, the “Five Little Turkeys” for Music and Movement, and more. Kids can talk about what they’re grateful for in the Art Studio and be on the look out for some fun turkey-themed activities in the Build It Lab and at the Science Bar. $16.95-$18.95. Tues. Nov. 23– 27. 5 Centennial Olympic Park Drive N.W. 404-659-5437. Click here for more information

KIDFITSTRONG Fitness Challenge Fall Festival 2019

In the nation’s largest mobile fitness event, kids of all ages get the opportunity to demonstrate their physical fitness in a completion-based obstacle course that challenges speed, strength, agility and overall physical fitness. The event also features other activities for the whole family, including Xtreme gaming and rides. Dedicated to keeping kids active and healthy, KIDSTRONG Inc hopes it inspires kids and families to live a more active and healthy lifestyle! Free. 10 a.m. Sat., Nov. 23. Piedmont Park, 400 Park Dr NE, 30306. 404-875-7275. Click here for more information

Indie Craft Experience Holiday Shopping Spectacular 2019

The annual market features crafters, artists, and small businesses that produce handmade and indie goods. Everything from seasoned gourmet salts to silk-screened T-shirts, handmade jewelry, and original works of art will be for sale. Also catch music, a photo booth, food and drinks, and a swag bag designed by a local artist. EDITOR’S NOTE: Kids 12 and under get in free. $5. 11 a.m. Sat. Nov. 23-Sun. Nov. 24. Georgia World Congress Center, Building C, Hall C1, 235 Northside Drive N.W. Click here for more information

Oakland Cemetery Harvest Hunt

Gather a group of family and friends for a day of cemetery sleuthing on this self-guided scavenger hunt throughout historic Oakland Cemetery! Purchase your Harvest Hunt packet (one per team) from Saturday, November 23 through Sunday, December 1 at the Visitors Center & Museum Shop and follow all-new cryptic clues to solve riddles. No reservations are required to participate. Choose from three different packets, organized by degree of cemetery riddle difficulty and length of hunt, from kid-friendly to “deadly.” You get a self-guided tour map you can use on future visits. $20. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 23-Dec. 1. Historic Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Ave. S.E. Click here for more information

Travis Tritt’s Thanksgiving Homecoming Concert

It wasn’t that long ago when Georgia native and Grammy award-winning Travis Tritt was playing side-of-the-road honky-tonks in the Kennesaw area, before being discovered as the country music star he was meant to be. Bringing together people is what Tritt has always been about, so it’s no surprise he’s now inaugurating a new family holiday tradition. Also on the bill are Tritt’s daughter, Tyler Reese Tritt, and country and Southern rock classic, the Charlie Daniels Band, $39.74-$85. 7 p.m. Sat. Nov. 23. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100. Click here for more information

7th Annual Atlanta Turkey Classic

The 7th Annual Atlanta Turkey Classic is a community event that caters to disadvantaged families during the Thanksgiving holiday season. The event not only allows people to give back to the community, but it also displays the partnership between local citizens. Streetz 94.5 and Fly93.5 will be hosting a special live remote show, and there will be a basketball game featuring the Georgia Spartans vs. Splash Squad. Research shows that 1 in 7.5 people, of an estimated 755,400 people, in metro Atlanta and north Georgia turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. Turkeys and canned goods will be given away at this event. Free. 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Sat. Nov. 23. Tracy Wyatt Community Center, 2300 Godby Road, 404-669-9206. Click here for more information

Thanksgiving Buddhist Ceremony: Guan Yin Blessing Service

Purify your mind and deepen your compassion and wisdom within at this bilingual event. Chanting is in Mandarin, with English transliteration and translation. Think of it as a mindful recitation meditation, or just come enjoy the fascinating experience and positive healing energy. Begin with a lamp offering, chant the sutra, listen to a dharma talk, join in the blessing and memorial service, and then share a free vegetarian lunch. Free. 9:15 a.m.-noon. Sun. Nov. 24. Dharma Jewel Monastery, 2550 Henderson Mill Rd NE, 770-939-5008. Click here for more information

Atlanta Pop of Culture Pop-up Holiday Shop

A two-day curated shopping experience that showcases and celebrates small fashion, beauty, art, and lifestyle brands, Pop of Culture has held events in Brooklyn, NY, Columbus, OH, and Oakland, CA, with a goal to bring together quality local brands that embody various fashion cultures, whether African, contemporary, pop, street, luxury, or others. Atlanta will be the group’s biggest and final popup of the year! Be sure to register to receive digital coupons that can be used with participating brands at the pop-up. Registration also enters you for some dope giveaways. Shop local brands and have some fun! Free. 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sat. Nov. 23 & Sun. Nov. 24. Bright Screen Studio, 554 North Ave. N.W. 614-822-1496. Click here for more information


10th Annual The Stuffing with Manchester Orchestra & Grouplove

Indie rock heavyweights Manchester Orchestra take over the Fox Theatre to present their annual hometown Thanksgiving extravaganza, “The Stuffing,” this year featuring Grouplove, Foxing, O’Brother, Kevin Devine, Oso Oso, and Brother Bird. The event also honors the 10th anniversary of the band’s album Everything Means to Nothing. Doors open at 4 p.m. $29.50-$65.00. 5 p.m. Wed. Nov. 27. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100. Click here for more information

Bluegrass Thanksgiving Jam

Register to save your place for this bluegrass jam, taking place at musician Jason Waller’s hybrid half-coffee-shop-half-music venue in Decatur, home to local musicians, spoken-word artists, poets, and other entertainers — and, of course, coffee lovers. Bring an instrument or an ear, and be ready to eat and pick some tunes, or just listen and enjoy a great cup of joe. Free. 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Wed. Nov. 27. Waller’s Coffee Shop, 240 DeKalb Industrial Way, Decatur. 404-975-3060. Click here for more information


2019 Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half-Marathon, 5K, Mile & Dash

Kick off your Thanksgiving with the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K, Mile & Dash. It’s an Atlanta tradition! Runners and walkers will earn their turkey as they start their race under Atlanta’s iconic Olympic rings. Stick around for a post-race celebration inside Georgia State Stadium. You’ll want to bring your medal and your bragging rights to Thanksgiving dinner. Rain or shine. Free-$95. 7:30 a.m. Thurs. Nov. 28. Georgia State Stadium, 755 Hank Aaron Drive S.E. 404-413-4020. Click here for more information

Southern Art Thanksgiving Brunch

Join Southern Art in giving thanks at a gourmet Thanksgiving brunch. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Southern Art will serve a Southern-tinged holiday feast featuring Thanksgiving classics, chef Art Smith’s Southern comfort favorites, and more. Served buffet-style, the afternoon’s ample family-friendly selection includes breakfast options, artisan carving stations, popular Thanksgiving sides, seafood selections, and decadent pies and cobblers. Kids station for the picky eaters; kids under four get in free. Cranberry chicken sausage cornbread dressing, anybody? $55-105. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 28. Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, 3315 Peachtree Road N.E. 404-946-9070. Click here for more information

MOTHER Bar + Kitchen Thanksgiving 5-Course Dinner

Looking for a place to practice your vegan and plant-based lifestyle during the holidays? Look no further! Celebrate your Thanksgiving night with nutritionist Chef Zu and DJ Jah Prince as they offer Atlanta a soulful, home-cooked, vegan five-course dinner with a vintage old-school ’70s vibe. Following a dinner of seasonal fall vegan dishes based on trusted family recipes, the final course will be a lab-tested, CBD-infused dessert. DJ Jah Prince will be spinning an arsenal of rare and well-known funk, disco, reggae, and R&B hits and deep cuts. Join together to eat well, party and enjoy each other’s company with amazing farm-to-table food and old school music. $60. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 28. MOTHER Bar & Kitchen, 447 Edgewood Ave. S.E. Click here for more information

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

The Atlanta Falcons will have a chance to get revenge on Thanksgiving night as they host their hated rivals, the New Orleans Saints, in the annual prime-time Thanksgiving game. The Falcons have only played in two Thanksgiving games in their history — the Detroit Lions in 2005 (27-7, Falcons, and Mariah Carey at halftime!), and the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 (31-13 Colts). The bad blood with the Saints goes back for decades, culminating in 2018’s 43-37 Saints’ win in overtime. Falcons and fans, rise up! $107-$420+. 8:20 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 28. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 1414 Andrew Young International Blvd N.W. 470-341-4500. Click here for more information

Stanksgiving 2019: Land of a Million Drumsticks

It’s the fifth annual celebration of Atlanta’s greatest sons, the Dungeon Family (Outkast, Goodie Mob, Organized Noize, etc.) That’s right, It’s time for STANKSGIVING! Hurry over to MOTHER for the ultimate post-tryptophan pick-me-up: DJ Dookie Platters and DJ Infrared playing an all-vinyl, all-Dungeon Family set full of Atlanta funk! Free. 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Thurs. Nov. 28. MOTHER Bar & Kitchen, 447 Edgewood Ave. S.E. Click here for more information

2019 Gobble Till You Wobble: 1M, 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2 Atlanta Virtual Race

This is the 21st century! Participating in a virtual race, one may run, jog, or walk, on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym, or on the track (or even at another race). At the third annual Gobble Till You Wobble, you get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself. And your medal will be shipped directly to you. Complete a virtual 5K, 10K, half marathon and more! You can run the race on Thanksgiving Day or any day till the end of November. And feel good about contributing to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, working to connect people with food and end hunger. $20. 7 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 28. Click here for more information

Making A Way Housing Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

Making A Way Housing has been addressing the growing epidemic of homelessness in the city of Atlanta since 2002, and provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing to needy Atlantans around the clock. Each year, MAWH serves dinner to over 400 individuals a year, and invite you to join them for this annual family dinner. Families are fed until all of the food runs out. Free. Noon-10 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 28. Making A Way Housing, 377 Westchester Blvd. N.W. Click here for more information

Hard Rock Café’s A Rockin’ Thanksgiving

A rockin’ Thanksgiving where the Hard Rock Cafe chef and staff handle the cooking and cleaning! Enjoy slow-roasted turkey and gravy, roasted veggies, sweet potato mash, and cranberry sauce. Add a slice of pumpkin pie topped with caramel sauce and toasted walnuts with an espresso martini for the perfect encore! $$. 11 a.m.-11:55 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 28. Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta, 215 Peachtree Street N.E. 404-688-7625. Click here for more information


The 20th Annual Glenn Phillips Day-After-Thanksgiving Show

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Glenn Phillips’ Day-After Thanksgiving Shows at the Red Light Cafe, Phillips will be playing songs from his new album, The Dark Parade and from his many other classic releases. Phillips’ band will also include bassist Bill Rea, guitarist/vocalist Jeff Calder, and drummer John Boissiere. $15 adv.-$20. 7 p.m. (doors)-11:30 p.m. Fri. Nov. 29. Red Light Cafe 553-1, Amsterdam Ave. N.E. 404874-7828. Click here for more information


The REMakes Thanksgiving Show

Atlanta R.E.M. tribute band the REMakes knows that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That’s the reason their covers of songs from R.E.M.’s early catalog (ranging from Chronic Town to Monster) are authentic and true to the original recordings. Playing the band’s biggest hits as well as deep album tracks, the REMakes — lead singer and guitar player Geoff Melkonian, bass player and backing vocalist Jeff Rosenberg, and drummer Webb Vandiver — take their audience on a musical ride back to 1980s Athens, Georgia. $20-$40. 9:30 p.m. Sat., Nov. 30. Venkman’s, 740 Ralph McGill Blvd. N.E. 470-225-6162. Click here for more information


Tour the Holiday Lights of Metro Atlanta

Thanksgiving night is one of the most popular evenings for such viewing. Make sure you have tickets and reservations, if necessary, along with a good dose of patience that only a large serving of tryptophan can provide.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens “Garden Nights, Holiday Lights.” $18.95-$34.95. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E.

The Drive-Thru Christmas Lights at The Rock Ranch. Drive through more than a mile of magical Christmas lights on the farm founded by the late S. Truett Cathy, of Chick-fil-A fame.  $10/vehicle. 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 28-Fri., Nov. 29. The Rock Ranch, 5020 Barnesville Highway, The Rock. 706-647-6374. Click here for more information.

The 72nd Annual Macy’s Great Tree Lighting at Lenox Square. You may remember it as The Lighting of the Great Tree, an Atlanta tradition. It’s moved uptown now, but the caroling and revelry are still a part of the magical moment. Free. 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Wed. Nov. 24. Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Click here for more information.

Stone Mountain Christmas Lights at Stone Mountain Park. Holiday music, dazzling lights, The Polar Express 4-D Experience, the Enchanted Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the and more await visitors to this classic Atlanta attraction. $31.95. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 16-Jan. 5. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 800-401-2407. Click here for more information