Staying on campus for Thanksgiving? Here’s some fun things to do!

Kat Gallaugher

It’s officially turkey time! Though there may be “no place like home for the holidays,” there are still a few ways for students and faculty to celebrate Thanksgiving if they can’t return home. In this season of gratitude, make sure to dive into the festive spirit and tell your loved ones why you are thankful for them. Holidays can be a hard time for people especially if they can’t spend it with family, so hopefully these festivities will help you feel the joy of Thanksgiving no matter how far you are from home. 

The Ohio State University’s Thanksgiving Dinner

The Ohio State University’s Office of International Affairs is hosting a huge, free banquet dinner for students, faculty and staff who can’t return home for the holiday. It is set to take place on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at Noon in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union. It will have traditional Thanksgiving foods and lots of fun for all ages. 

Friendsgiving

One way to celebrate holiday joy is by spending time with friends. Credited to the hit TV show, “Friends” there’s no better way to spread holiday cheer and make lasting memories with your college friends than Friendsgiving. Though it is hard to cook a whole thanksgiving meal in a dorm, there are still a few easy dishes that aren’t as tedious as cooking a whole turkey but still capture the nostalgia of Thanksgiving. A few of these simple but seasonal treats include: cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie. One perfect thing about pumpkin pie is that it requires no oven time! All you need is a bit of pre-made crust and the rest of it will be easy. You could even make a trip to the dining hall and grab some of their dishes to add to your meal. 

The Wildlights

Another way to spread festive cheer is by taking a trip to the Columbus Zoo’s Wildlights. The Wildlights will take place from November 17th-January 7th on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For anyone unfamiliar, the Zoolights are a Columbus favorite and are a spectacular show of lights and music which pair perfectly with the holiday season. All you have to do is jump on the correct COTA Bus, and you’ll be there in no time! The Ohio Union offers discounted ticket prices to the Zoo which makes this the perfect student activity. 

Conservatory Aglow

Speaking of discounted tickets, The Ohio Union also offers cheaper tickets to the Franklin Park Conservatory. This is another perfect way to celebrate the season with the annual Conservatory Aglow event. The Conservatory Aglow is when the outdoor and indoor biomes are decorated with glittering lights and the conservatory also has interactive games and festive igloos to provide a lovely holiday experience. You can join in on the winter wonderland fun from November 18, 2023 through January 7, 2023 5-9 PM nightly and 5-10 PM Fridays and Saturdays in December. These discounted tickets will make this magical event perfect for every student looking for some festive fun. 

Though it may be lonely not returning home for Thanksgiving weekend, there are still many ways to join in on the festivities. The Ohio State University helps to make these events very accessible for students who are looking for some holiday cheer.

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