Where to celebrate Thanksgiving in Shanghai

Yao Minji
It's not as popular as Valentine's or Christmas, but malls, shops and other venues in Shanghai take advantage of the idea to launch themed events and discounts.
Yao Minji

Thanksgiving puzzles me, ever since I celebrated the festival in college for the first time.

My first knowledge of the holiday came from American schoolmates who basically told me it's a celebration of harvest – you eat turkey and express your gratitude.

Then I dug online and like everything else you put in that search box, a whole new strange world opened. Wait, there is Canadian Thanksgiving? Okay, it's a different date, but they also eat turkey.

Why does nobody eat turkey wings?

Where to celebrate Thanksgiving in Shanghai

Oh, the Munich Oktoberfest happens within the vicinity of Erntedankfest and that's the German harvest festival?

What? It's controversial now?

Oh, it's now called Friendsgiving by some people? Nice, there is a movie of the same title.

Enough. Internet, I don't need you anymore.

Friendsgiving isn't a bad idea, considering I've continued the tradition by celebrating with friends from abroad since returning to Shanghai.

Over the years, I have tried to sneak in all kinds of dishes just to see the stunning faces of friends and to see whether they go well with turkey, or even without. One year, we tried Peking duck for Thanksgiving.

It has become a reunion of friends from all over the world, the only day in the year I eat turkey, just like my annual mooncake-eating day on the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, and the day to say thank-you to many people.

It's not as popular and shopaholic as Valentine's or Christmas seasons, but malls, shops and other venues in Shanghai also take advantage of the Thanksgiving idea of expressing gratitude to launch themed events and discounts.

Bright Land Thanksgiving special

The indoor amusement park opened in June, and has become a hot new attraction for families with kids.

With a space of 5,000-plus square meters, it offers forest-themed activities and workshops to provide an urban oasis experience for kids aged 0-12.

The venue has launched a Thanksgiving special activity "turkey's great escape," following the new favorite character in Bright Land – baby turkey.

Chef Jason has been searching for baby turkeys day and night as it gets closer to Thanksgiving, and visitors who can put on costumes to become other animals on Bright Land, are invited to protect the baby turkey together.

Date: Through November 27, starting from 5pm every day

Venue: Bright Land

Address: 1/F, Ganso Dream World, 6200 Jiasong Rd M.


Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum

Bang Bang Long Tour offers a Thanksgiving family special for a tour in and around Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum on November 19. It is recommended for children aged 6-12.

There are many historical buildings in the Tilanqiao area that are deeply associated with the history of Jewish refugees in Shanghai. Many buildings are still well-preserved and in use today.

The tour will start with a lecture at the museum about the history of the city's Jewish refugees, followed by a guided mission where kids are given tasks and questions to search for answers in the museum.

After solving all the tasks, they will be guided out of the museum to tour the surroundings, going back in time and exploring the life of Jewish refugees living in Hongkou District back then.

The event will end with kids making their own thank-you postcards.

Date: November 19, 1-4:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum

Address: 62 Changyang Rd


Jiashan Lane Market

It is hosting an Anken Garden Holiday Market on November 19, as the holiday season kicks off. It will be held at Anken Air, a new location for the veteran market that made a triumphant return earlier in the autumn.

More than 40 artisan vendors will show their wares, a good start for holiday gift shopping. A selection of international street foods and beverages is sure to warm up the holiday appetite.

Date: November 19, 11am-5pm

Venue: Anken Air

Address: No. 181, Lane 465, Zhenning Rd


ScienceArt exhibition 'Cosmological Elements'

The exhibition starts on December 14, but sales of early-bird tickets have started.

It is presented by science journal "Chinese National Astronomy" and Nookland, a group of artists, scientists and astronomy fans who gathered out of love for exploring the universe.

The immersive multimedia show will include works from 30 cross-media artists from nearly 10 countries, including works from Venice Biennale, Triennale Milano and Ars Electronica, among others.

Co-curator Dr Claudia Schnugg is a researcher who has worked with research institutions and galleries around the world, including Human Insights Lab at Accenture, Science Gallery International, Ars Electronica, among others.

The exhibition has a romantically audacious Chinese name, Bu Tian Ge, or songs of pacing the heaven. It comes from an ancient book of the same title that dates back more than 1,000 years. The book, with a few different variations today, records ancient Chinese astronomy research and discoveries through poetry.

Date: December 14-February 11 (closed on Mondays), 10am-6pm

Venue: Fosun Foundation Shanghai

Address: 600 Zhongshan Rd E2


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