Staying at USF for Thanksgiving

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haveuheard thanksgiving usf

Make it a Friendsgiving

Although USF is officially closed from November 28-29, 2019, not all students will be going home for the holiday.  Flights can be very expensive around this time. Some students may have to work and others may go home with a local friend to share the holiday.  Perhaps, instead, you’ve decided to switch things around a bit and this year go to Tampa for Thanksgiving. Whichever way it works out, there is plenty to do if you are going to be at USF for Thanksgiving this year.

Let Someone Else Do the Cooking-

Many restaurants put together a great traditional meal for Thanksgiving.  Some are less traditional but sound delicious. Check out some of these:

Cafe Gabbiano– Italian food (Siesta Key)

Castile Restaurant– Mediterranean four-course turkey dinner (St. Pete Beach)

Columbia Restaurant – Located in historic Ybor City, a Thanksgiving meal can be had with a Spanish flair. Reservations recommended. You can have a complete holiday meal for 10 people fully cooked to serve at home for $149.95. This could be good for Friendsgiving and students can split the price.

Cracker Barrel – Located just down the road from campus, they are offering their traditional holiday menus, and also offer pick-up, to go Thanksgiving meals. They will be open with a regular menu as well. Starts at 11 am

Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant – $39.95 for adults. Family-style dining

Mitchell’s Fish Market – In the Westshore Mall area; offering their regular menu as well as traditional Thanksgiving items. Reservations recommended.

Roy’s Tampa– 3-course meal from 12:00 pm to 9 pm

Rusty Pelican – Located on the water, they are offering a Thanksgiving Buffet that will be delicious. Reservations a must.

Seasons 52– In the Westshore Mall area, they are offering a traditional menu and are accepting reservations. Pricing at $27.95 per adult

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – They are taking reservations for their restaurant, Counsel Oak, and are offering a 4-course menu or a la carte items.

Timpano Italian Chophouse – Reservations recommended (Hyde Park) for a traditional Thanksgiving menu. 

Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill – Thanksgiving on the beach! This casual, popular restaurant is open for Thanksgiving.

Many hotels offer Thanksgiving Day menus, so check the hotel’s site for more information.

*Important: Make reservations early!

For Students Who Are Staying

It’s possible that your Bull will plan a Friendsgiving with some of their friends or roommates who decide to stay at school.  Dorms will remain open for Thanksgiving. Cooking a turkey can be daunting to a college student with limited experience, so don’t be surprised if you get a call for some help.  (The 1-800-Butterball hotline can help too.) Each person can make a dish, decorate a table, and get some disposable tableware for the theme. Or order your turkey and sides from Publix.  Pinterest has some great suggestions for decorating, and check out Party City, Target, and Walmart.  All have cute items for those on a budget.

There’s Always Football…

So, if you haven’t heard by now, USF plays its biggest rival, UCF in Orlando.  Many students stay close to Tampa during Thanksgiving just so they won’t miss this “War on I4”.  Forget the Black Friday shopping, as the game will be taking up your day after Thanksgiving fully.  Get your tickets now, as they are selling fast.

Other Events

If you are staying in Tampa, there are several trots and events going on.

Goody Goody Turkey Gobble 5K – On Thanksgiving morning, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA invites community members to participate in the 5th Annual Goody Goody™ Turkey Gobble 5K, 8K and 1 Mile Run/Walk sponsored by Goody Goody™ restaurant. As title sponsor, the award-winning Goody Goody™ restaurant is graciously providing free breakfast to all participants after the race. Also included in the registration price are a chip-timed numbered bib for 8K and 5K participants, a dri-fit t-shirt and finisher medal for all participants. On-site results will be available following the race and in an emailed link. All proceeds raised from the Goody Goody™ Turkey Gobble 5K, 8K, and 1-Mile Run/Walk will support LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA for cancer survivors and their families. All packets must be picked up prior to race day.  Sign-up: 

Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot -Thursday, November 28, 2019, 7 am. at Jack White Stadium at Clearwater High school, 540 S. Hercules Avenue, Clearwater, FL

Ice Skating at Tampa’s Winter Village – It is open on Thursday, November 22, 2019, and runs through January 5, 2020,  at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.  It is in Downtown Tampa along the Tampa Riverwalk. It will be a beautiful display of holiday spirit.

Gobble ‘Til You Wobble Virtual 5K & 10K – This will be on Thursday, November 28, 2019, and is a virtual race (1 Mile, 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2).

ThanksVegan Feast – Thursday, November 28, 2019. Potluck dinner until 5:30 pm. $7.50 admission if you bring a dish and $21 if you don’t bring a dish

Giving Back…

Perhaps you and your family prefer to spend your Thanksgiving giving back to the community.  There are many organizations, churches, synagogues, and homeless shelters that would be happy to have your help.  If you are affiliated with a religious organization in Tampa, you may want to start by asking them if they have any plans or need for volunteers.  Read our blog about local Places of Worship.

Campus Recreation’s “Bulls Fitsgiving” on November 25th  through December 1stfrom 5:30 to 7:30 pm. They will have a challenging fitness course as well as a donation drive leading up to the event. They are accepting gently worn clothing, personal hygiene products, and non-perishable food items in collaboration with Metropolitan Ministries. Donations of food items will also go to Feed-a-Bull Food Pantry which helps to provide food and education to USF students.

Meals on Wheels – You can volunteer to deliver food on Thanksgiving morning with Meals on Wheels.  It is from 9-11 am. Volunteers are to arrive at the MOW office at 550 W. Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33603 and will be given a route sheet with recipients’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and directions.  One route will take about 90 minutes to complete.

Along with Meals on Wheels, the Metropolitan Ministries welcomes volunteers to help with meals and services to families in need. Check out their site for specific needs.

Another important, and sometimes forgotten need is for those living in nursing homes or in Hospice care.  Helping out residents and their families on Thanksgiving Day can be very rewarding. Look up local centers and check their needs.

Housing is Open…

School is officially closed, but the housing communities will not be closing for Thanksgiving.  If your student will be staying on campus and has a meal plan, contact Dining Services for more information about what will be open during the holidays.

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2019-10-22T17:03:48-05:000 Comments

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