Thanksgiving goings on

“If you’re looking to do something over Thanksgiving weekend other than study for finals and write papers, I’ve got a few holiday-oriented options for you. Akron’s fourth Holidayfest begins Friday. At Lock 3 Park, it’s well within walking distance of campus Holidayfest features a huge Christkindl Market, a German Christmas market.”

If you’re looking to do something over Thanksgiving weekend other than study for finals and write papers, I’ve got a few holiday-oriented options for you.

Akron’s fourth Holidayfest begins Friday. At Lock 3 Park, it’s well within walking distance of campus

Holidayfest features a huge Christkindl Market, a German Christmas market. It also has the biggest seasonal outdoor ice skating rink. The ice rink is free; skates can be rented for $2.

This year, the city is installing a full-size carousel. Rides are $1.

Holidayfest officially kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, with the lighting of the city Christmas tree at Lock 3 Park and a free show in front of the Civic Theatre with music, dancing and Santa. There will also be a pyrotechnics and fireworks show.

I recommend either heading downtown Saturday or steering clear. It will probably be pretty crowded for the Welcome Santa Parade, which begins at noon.

If nothing else, stop by for a brat, potato pancakes and some Gluehwein, also known as German mulled wine.

If you want to do something out of the ordinary, trek on up to Cleveland for a convention.

A Christmas Story convention, that is.

The house from A Christmas Story – considered by some to be the best Christmas movie of all time – was restored to its movie prime. It opened in 2006 and has welcomed some 40,000 visitors so far.

For $7, you can get into the house and the museum that is located across the street.

The house, located at 3159 W. 11th Street in Cleveland’s Tremont district, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

You’ll get to witness the unveiling of the family car, a 1937 Oldsmobile and the teacher’s chalkboard. You will also have an opportunity to meet some of the actors – no Ralphie, but Scut Farkus and Randy will be two of the actors on hand – and enjoy a Chinese turkey dinner. A Ralphie look-alike contest will also be held.

For more information, check out achristmasstoryhouse.com.

If you want to stay a little closer to home, Blossom might have the cure for what ails you.

It kicked off its second Holiday Lighting Festival Thursday.

The folks have strung up two million lights to wow you. Two million.

The lights don’t give a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation effect, as they are spread across two miles of landscape. But they’re still pretty cool.

The lighting festival appeals mainly to kids and Christmas fanatics, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Visitors to Blossom at this time of year remain in their vehicles – who can enter the grounds after paying $15 – but the amount of time they spend there depends on their interest level.

You could probably make it through in as little as 15 minutes, if you drive at a steady clip and only glimpse at the lighted displays. However, if you want to stop and really take in the decorations, your visit could stretch to 30 to 45 minutes.

However long you stay, be sure to tune your stereo dial to 89.5 for the holiday music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It only works while at Blossom.

Happy Thanksgiving, eat a lot of turkey and stuffing.

And get some work done.