In case you’d like to put down the fork and TV remote for a while this Thanksgiving weekend, and get yourself (or your relatives) out of the house, here are a few fun things to do in Sonoma County:
Take a Hike
Walk off that extra helping of pumpkin pie (or the heated political discussion with your ultra-conservative uncle) while enjoying the natural beauty of Sonoma County. Popular local parks with panoramic views include Annadel State Park (also a mountain bike destination), Taylor Mountain Regional Park (which features disc golf), Hood Mountain Regional Park, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Sonoma Coast State Park. Or take a contemplative walk in real Japanese Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) style at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Just make sure you arrive here early — the un-silenced smartphone selfie and segway crowd tends to have a disruptive influence on zen.
Catch a Concert
What better way to get in the holiday spirit than with some festive music? The world renowned Vienna Boys Choir will perform classical Christmastime pieces, including Schubert’s Ave Maria and Wade’s O Come, All Ye Faithful, at Weill Hall on Sunday, November 27.
Also on November 27, the acclaimed San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will return to the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts for the third year with their popular show “Home For The Holidays,” featuring classic holiday favorites and a lot of humor.
See a Stage Performance
If you didn’t already get your dose of drama at the Thanksgiving table, you can enjoy a real “holiday circus spectacle” at Le Cirque de Bohème at Cornerstone Sonoma, November 25-27, watch a bitter hateful man transform into a kinder gentler version in “A Christmas Carol” at 6th Street Playhouse, November 25-27, or see a savage comedy about a family in feud following a funeral in Joshua Harmon’s critically acclaimed play “Bad Jews” at Left Edge Center, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, November 25-27.
Watch Trees and Tractors Being Lit
If you’re dreaming of a white California Christmas, you can watch bright lights being lit during a number of local tree lighting celebrations, including Winter Lights – Downtown Santa Rosa Tree Lighting on November 25, the Geyserville Tree Lighting and Tractor Parade on November 26 (5-8 p.m.), and the Forestville Holiday Tree Lighting on November 27 (4 p.m. to dusk). Or see the 100,000 sparkling lights at the Historic Sonoma Plaza.
Experience the Peanut Version of Family Fun
Get ready for a real whimsical weekend in the company of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Co as cartoonist and storyteller Joe Wos performs “Once Upon a Toon” skits and cartoon workshops for kids of all ages at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, November 25-26. And don’t forget to get your skates on, and pose for a selfie with Snoopy, at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena.