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5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Thanksgiving on Campus

This semester has flown by and It’s finally that time of year again! Time for a much needed break from the academic stress and chaos to enjoy time with loved ones. If you’re able to go home for the November break, we hope you enjoy the time with your family and friends and stuff your face with as much homemade pumpkin pie as you can! However, if you find yourself enjoying the holiday from your dorm room or apartment and need some festive inspiration, CCI has got you covered. Here are a few things you could do to make this Thanksgiving a memorable one while on campus:


1. Enjoy a Traditional Turkey Dinner at the Student Union

Bountiful dinning is a staple during the holidays so if you find yourself craving a warm roasted turkey or some delicious fall dessert, be sure to stop by AF on November 25th from 2-4pm, where the Student Union will be hosting its annual Thanksgiving dinner. Students can enjoy a traditional menu that will include a roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and pumpkin pie with vegan and gluten free options available as well. The event is free and open to all Chapman students, all you need to do is RSVP here by Monday November 22nd. If you have any friends or family coming to visit from out of town, students are welcome to bring up to two guests who are non-chapman students to enjoy this delicious dinner together.


2. Sign Up for a Turkey Trot


Looking to burn some calories before eating your weight in mashed potatoes? Many towns in the Orange County area are hosting an early morning running event on Thanksgiving Day called the “Turkey Trot.” The turkey trot allows you to partake in either a 1 Mile Turkey Dash (7:30am), a Holiday 5k Race (8am), or a New Turkey Feast Combo: 1 Mile and 5k (7:30am). Grab a few friends and break a sweat, then give thanks over seasonal desserts and pumpkin spice lattes to kick off the rest of the holiday season. Bonus: a scrumptious SLICE OF PIE awaits you at the finish line. More information on the event can be found on the Orange County Turkey Trot website.


3. Visit the Fall Festival at The Promenade on Forest (Laguna Beach)


The Promenade on Forest located in downtown Laguna Beach is a pedestrian plaza in an open-air environment that features a number of shops, restaurants, live performances, and art displays open from 9 am to 10 pm daily. The Promenade, which began as a temporary space to help small businesses slowly recover from the pandemic, has now been extended to January 2024. For the month of November, the promenade has been re-designed with hay bales, pumpkins, flower decor, and wooden barrels to mimic the ambiance of a fall town. Throughout the whole month restaurants and shops will have Fall Festival menus and merchandise, including hot apple cider, cookies, music and much more for visitors to enjoy!


4. Get into the Holiday Spirit by visiting the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival


Despite its name, the Sawdust festival is more than just an arts and crafts event. According to their website, “The Sawdust Art Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public and promoting art created by local artisans in Laguna Beach, Calif. Since its inception, the festival has celebrated and supported the work of its hometown artists. The Sawdust Art Festival is non-juried, so it plays a vital role in supporting the careers of many local artists. With two main events annually – Sawdust Art Festival summer festival (June to August), and Winter Fantasy (November to December), the organization is designed to both educate and entertain.” Starting on November 20th, the SawDust Festival will transform into a Winter Wonderland for five weekends known as the ' ‘Winter Fantasy. '' The festival showcases work by 180 international artists including: ceramics, clothing and textiles, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, woodwork, and live music all day long.

For the duration of the festival, a number of pop-up classes will be available for visitors to sign-up and partake in. Including a pottery making class at the festival's Ceramic Center, a number of art classes in painting, mixed media and more in the Studio One area (most are complimentary!), and year-round art classes from Knife painting to Fraggle Rock Monster Doll making.


The event will take place during the following weekends from 10am to 7pm onn November 20, 21 & 26 (Black Friday), 27, 28 and December 4, 5 & 11, 12 & 18, 19.


Admission: $10 for Adults. $7 for Seniors, ages 65 and up. $5 for Children ages 6-12. Children ages 5 and under – free.


For more information and tickets visit their website.


5. Watch The North Pole Come to Life


Although this next event may not be Thanksgiving themed, many cities around the orange county area are kicking off the holiday season on Thanksgiving night with their annual drive-through holiday lights festival that features festive scenery, holiday music, and snacks that can be enjoyed in the safety of your own car. If you are anything like me and like to kick off the holiday season a little early, then go ahead and check out these drive-through light shows happening in the area that will surely get you in the holiday spirit.



  1. Magic of Lights, Angels Stadium, (Anaheim): https://magicoflights.com/

  2. Night of Lights OC (Costa Mesa): https://nightoflightsoc.com/

  3. Light of the World by Saddleback Church (Lake Forest): https://saddleback.com/events/Christmas/2021/lotw?fbclid=IwAR2XIKJ4BF3XA7HuB21xKifFs_bHyKTRi8agKnk189yKjzICg3lwfghJecs

  4. Christmas in Color (San Dimas): https://christmasincolor.net/#About_us

  5. Hikari Light Festival, Tanaka Farms, (Irvine): https://www.tanakafarms.com/hikari


No matter where you are or who you're with, we hope you enjoy your November break and take some much needed time off– because you deserve it! On behalf of the CCI department, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday break!

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