Thanksgiving Dessert (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Each year on Thanksgiving, Americans everywhere take the time to reflect upon and express gratitude for their blessings. Events all over the Bay Area provide the means to both give back and enjoy the holiday. With everything from a charity run to free hot holiday dinners, there is a way for everyone to enjoy Thanksgiving. Here are five of the best Thanksgiving Day events around the Bay.

Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot
Santa Clara St. and Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(888) 810-2063

An annual tradition since 2005, Applied Materials will once again be sponsoring the Thanksgiving Day Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. Last year’s race drew more than 25,000 participants and raised close to $1 million for local charities. Benefitted charities include the Silicon Valley Housing Trust, Second Harvest Food Bank and Healthier Kids Foundation of Santa Clara County. The race includes a number of events including a kids fun run, 5K and 10K, and a wheelchair 10K.

Free Thanksgiving Dinner
Ristorante Don Giovanni
235 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 961-9749

With a firm commitment to giving back to the local community, on Thanksgiving day downtown Mountain View’s Ristorante Don Giovanni will be dishing up a completely free-of-charge Thanksgiving dinner. This long-standing event typically serves about 1,500 people, and is open to anyone and everyone. The dinner includes traditional American turkey and gravy, as well as all manner of Thanksgiving sides, like stuffing and mashed potatoes. Dinner service starts at 11 a.m., and plan to arrive on the early side to avoid a long wait.

Thanksgiving Day Outreach
San Francisco City Impact
230 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 292-1770

San Francisco City Impact is a non-profit organization devoted to the wellbeing and service of inner city San Franciscans. For over 30 years, the organization has been holding a Thanksgiving Day outreach. Starting at 8:30 a.m., participants will deliver hot meals, serve Thanksgiving dinners and delivery groceries to folks in need in the Tenderloin. Volunteers are asked to pay a $25 registration fee to help offset food and organizational costs. The event will end at 2 p.m, providing the perfect way to give back to the community in the morning, while still making Thanksgiving dinner with the family.

Thanksgiving Dinner
The Oak Room
Westin St. Francis
335 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 774-0264

For those looking to avoid the hassle of making a holiday dinner from scratch, the Westin St. Francis’ Oak Room restaurant will be offering a complete turkey dinner. From 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant will have a lavish buffet featuring traditional fare. Diners will select one of five entrees ,such as roast turkey or prime rib, and then enjoy appetizers, salads, seafood and desserts from the buffet. Adult dinners are $97, plus tax and tip, and children 12 and under are $47.

Livermore Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Bothwell Center
2466 8th St.
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 455-9782

For 33 years, the city of Livermore has been hosting a free hot Thanksgiving dinner. This event is open to anyone in the community and often provides a warm holiday meal to area veterans, families and seniors. Dinner will be served at the Bothwell Center from 1 to 5 p.m. Volunteers are desperately needed, as future events are in danger of cancellation due to lack of help.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on