Thanksgiving. A time of fellowship, food, family, and football. As students, we all crawl our way through the semester until we reach this beloved week off from school, and head home to our families. It’s a much-needed break and a chance to stuff our faces before we face the sleep deprived weeks of finals. But for those of you who are waiting until Christmas for that return back home, here are some things you can do if you’re staying here on campus for Thanksgiving break.

Friendsgiving

If you aren’t going to be home with your family, why not spend this holiday with people who (hopefully) don’t talk about politics: Friends! Find a friend who has an apartment, and cook the day away. Cook whatever you want and whatever your mom never let you have. Feel like only eating mashed potatoes for the whole day? You go for it. And if you’re friends really are true friends, they will cheer you on with their own helping of turkey or pie.

Turkey Trot

Before you dig into the stuffing and pumpkin pie, get active! There are a few Turkey Trot races around the Phoenix area. Races are typically 5k or 10k in length so they are a quick way to get your workout in and still be back in time for dinner. So grab a few friends and get running. Plus, you’ll feel less guilty about that second piece of pie.

Volunteer

Organizations such as Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance are always busy around the holidays. They could always use a few extra helping hands and smiling faces. If you are able to offer your time, you can make all the difference in someone else’s holiday season. Just a few hours can go a long way, and it is the season of thankfulness, after all.

Support Your Lopes

Just because students leave campus doesn’t mean that your faithful basketball team takes a break! Support your team during their three home games during the break, each at 7pm. The dates and teams are as follows:

  • November 18 vs. Little Rock
  • November 20 vs. Norfolk State
  • November 25 vs. San Diego

Take A Road Trip

Missing those fall colors and cool air that you usually have at home this time of year? Head up north and take a quick day trip with your friends. Prescott, Flagstaff, Sedona, and even the Grand Canyon are all just a few hours away. Pack those sweaters and scarves, and enjoy some time away from the big city.

Black Friday Shopping

A little discount shopping can always be a blast with best friends. Put on some sweats and head to your favorite stores to get a head start on those Christmas gifts. Some nearby shopping centers include:

  • Tanger Outlets Westgate
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square
  • Tempe Marketplace
  • Arrowhead Towne Center

Just be careful – don’t get trampled and don’t forget about those student loans to pay off before you swipe that card too many times.

Sure, Phoenix may not be home for the holidays and the stuffing may not be just like mom makes, but there are still plenty of fun things to do in the Valley of The Sun for Thanksgiving break!