Posted Nov 07, 2023 | By Alejandra Cerball

9 Family Fun Things to do in Oxnard During Thanksgiving Break

Here's how to keep the kids entertained during Thanksgiving Break.

things to do on thanksgiving

Schools out, the kids are home, and it's time to give thanks. Keep the kids entertained this Thanksgiving break with plenty of fun-filled family activities in Oxnard. Whether you prefer to spend time outdoors to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season or want to dive right in and start decorating, here's a list of activities the whole family will enjoy.

1. Plan an adventure at Channel Islands National Park.

Escape the annual Black Friday shopping routine and take the kids on a journey to Channel Islands National Park. Thanksgiving break is a great time to visit. Activities include hiking, kayaking, or a guided wildlife tour. Bring your own snacks, and don't forget to pack out what you packed in.

How to Plan Your Trip: Reach any of the five islands by hopping aboard a boat with Island Packers from the Channel Islands Harbor.

2. Get in the Holiday Spirit IN OXNARD.

If you love the holidays, start decorating during Thanksgiving break. The kids can write their letters to Santa while you decide your shopping game plan. Check out our Oxnard Shopping Guide for the best places to shop this holiday season.

Don't miss these top holiday events in Oxnard:

  • Shop holiday goods at Channel Islands Harbor Holiday Farmers Markets in December.
  • See the city's most cheerful neighborhood at Christmas Tree Lane along F & G Streets in Henry T. Oxnard Historic District.
  • Enjoy beautifully decorated Victorian-era architecture up-close on a Heritage Square Holiday Tour.
  • Grab a sampler pack of tamales made by Oxnard's incredible Mexican restaurants from Oxnard Tamale Festival To-Go.
  • Holiday Tree Lighting Extravaganza at The Collection at RiverPark. Kick off the season with an awe-inspiring Tree Lighting Celebration on November 15th from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Collection Park. This festive evening will showcase holiday entertainment provided by Music Freqs including special performances, an extravagant tree lighting and a spectacular firework show.
  • Annual Downtown Oxnard Tree Lighting Ceremony. Mark your calendars for the oldest tree lighting ceremony in town on November 30. Every year, families flock to Plaza Park to watch the 110-ft Christmas Tree light up. Enjoy holiday music, a holiday market, refreshments, and a visit from Santa.
  • Hop on board the Holly Trolley Tours. Get ready to hop on December 12, 13 & 14 to experience historic Oxnard on a tour that starts at Heritage Square to view Gingerbread houses followed by a visit to Christmas Tree Lane in the Henry T. Oxnard Historic District.
  • Check out the 14th Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit and Tours at Heritage Square Hall to see creative displays of gingerbread creations Dec. 9 through January 6th. 11am-2pm (Dec. 9, Dec. 16, Dec. 23, Jan. 6 or by appointment) (evening and weekday group tours/ viewing by appointment are available). While visiting, take the guided tour experience of the former houses' exteriors w/select interiors. Check here for details.

3. Enjoy a Day at the Beach IN OXNARD.

While California's temperatures cool down during this time of year, it's never too cold to enjoy a day at the beach. Rent a surrey for an afternoon cruise with the family, followed by a picnic with your kid's favorite treats.

Best Beaches in Oxnard to Visit:

4. Visit Channel Islands Harbor.

Bring the family to Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard to enjoy a fun-filled day on the water. The good news, it won't cost you a fortune to rent a kayak, stand up paddleboard, or an electric boat. Take a Venetian-style gondola cruise launching from Seabridge Marina with Gondola Paradiso. Or, set out on a natural history tour with Channel Islands Kayak Center.

Related: Kayaking in Oxnard: Best Places to Paddle

5. Take a trip to the Farmer's Market.

Stock up on fresh, local ingredients every Sunday at the Channel Islands Farmers Market. The market is open from 10 am to 2 pm, and features live music, entertainment, and dozens of local vendors. When you get home, teach the kids how to make your favorite meal or snack with the ingredients you just bought.

6. Visit the Oxnard Performing Arts Center.

Enjoy local cultural and community events with your family at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. Click here to check out the latest events, including various dance classes, music, and exercise classes the entire family will enjoy.

7. Plan a self-guided art tour.

Explore local art, murals, sculptures, and installations by local artists in Oxnard. Bring your camera and snap a selfie in front of the murals and artwork. Don't miss the new 3-story tall "Growth" mural at Oxnard City Hall by Mauricio Ramirez, featuring Oxnard-born rapper Anderson .Paak.

8. take a cookie making class IN OXNARD.

Local business Mermaid Cottage Cookies creates DIY cookie kits which include baked cookies, icing and sprinkles all packaged together that are great for kids, families and friends. In-person classes are typically held at Strey Cellars and with a “Fall” themed cookies perfect for your thanksgiving holiday.

9. Enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast IN OXNARD.

Dine out, or order a Thanksgiving feast to-go from these incredible restaurants in 2023:

  • Ox & Ocean at Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach is seating guests on Thanksgiving Day from 2 pm-7 pm for $90 per person. ⁠⁠The Thanksgiving buffet will include butternut squash soup, roasted turkey with giblet gravy, cure smoked pork lion and other tasty options.
  • The Raven Tavern has brought back their popular Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Pie. Taste the flavor of the holiday now through Thanksgiving Day. Their Turkey Pie packs are also available for pick up.
  • Tierra Sur at Herzog is offering a Thanksgiving Day feast for $115 per person. The menu includes tasty options to choose from but not limited to Pan Seared Salmon, Red Wine Demi Veal, Herb Crusted Prime Rib, Blueberry Crumble and more! Reservations are available between 12 pm and 7 pm.
  • The Waterside Restaurant is serving a Thanksgiving meal with a lot of options to choose from. Enjoy their Honey Pineapple ham with roasted yams or blackened baked salmon with mashed potatoes and house gravy as well as other delicious main entrée options. Don't forget the dessert choices such as pumpkin tiramisu and more! Hours of operations on Thanksgiving are 12 pm to 7 pm.
  • The 1901 is taking reservations for their Thanksgiving dinner. Order a dinner spread that will leave you more than satisfied. Have a grilled corn salad, spiral cut ham, sweet potato with cinnamon butter, pecan bars and a whole lot more.

Conclusion: Family Activities During the Thanksgiving Break

Whether you decide to spend the holiday break enjoying outdoor or indoor activities, use these ideas to keep the kids entertained while they're out of school. Download our Oxnard Visitors Guide for top tips on the best things to do, places to eat, and fun local events.

There is so much to be thankful for in Oxnard. Here are the top 10 things we are grateful for:

1. Beautiful weather year round to enjoy a day on the water in Yachtsnard.

2. Always good vibes when enjoying a fun, safe night out.

3. A delicious culinary experience; from taco trails to fresh seafood.

4. World class boxing; Oxnard has the true "Boxnard" experience.

5. Amazing surf & multiple beaches to choose from.

6. A boat ride away to the Channel Islands National Park.

7. Picturesque places to get married.

8. Home to top festivals in the nation, like the California Strawberry Festival.

9. Fun activities to participate in, such as Sea Dog Yoga.

10. Beautiful, local artists art scattered around town.

About the Author:

Alejandra Cerball (Journalist | Travel Writer)

Alejandra Cerball is an award-winning journalist, writer, and editor of, a Travel + Lifestyle online destination filled with compelling and honest travel tips + resources. On her blog, Alex shares inspiration for your bucket list, family travel + adventure itineraries, and style guides to help you pack for your next trip.

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