THANKSGIVING DAY FEASTING: We all value the chance to sit with our relatives at a holiday table and feast for a few hours, despite the fact that we may not all see eye-to-eye on every issue and despite the fact that your cousin tells the same joke every single year and despite the fact that no one volunteers to help with the dishes. And while we may later hide in the kitchen, with our mom, to gossip about how loud an uncle or sister chews, there's another Thanksgiving feast set to go down where the chewing and gnashing and gnawing will be much more lavish and messy and wonderful. We're not sure if the Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash at the Santa Barbara Zoo means that, like we humans, the animals get into debates and forget to do the dishes, but, like many of us, they get down to the business of chowing down in impressive fashion. And the foodstuff? It's in the name of the event, of course: pumpkins. The gorillas and the meerkats and a host of furry residents'll spend the holiday eating and, on occasion, exploring the gourds (especially those animals that are small enough to wriggle in and out of a pumpkin's tempting crevices).
IT'S A FINE WAY... to get some fresh air in, after being in the house all Thanksgiving morning at the stove, and it's a fine way to enjoy both some antics and one more blast of fall cuteness. Just note that the zoo closes at 3:30 that day, so plan your visit accordingly.
POST-HALLOWEEN YUM: Many zoos and animal parks present pumpkins to the beasties closer to Halloween, but Santa Barbara's choice of Thanksgiving keeps the autumnal awwws strong. Want to eye last year's gnawable good times? There's video.