Thanksgiving at Safari West

Enjoy a classic dinner at the 400-acre animal park.

Safari West

THE DINNER DISCUSSIONS... surrounding any still-to-come special occasion can go on and on (and on) for weeks while various family members and assorted relatives try to make everyone involved totally and completely happy. If one relative insists on a particular type of gravy, another wants to eat Thanksgiving dinner by noon, while one of your cousins thinks that a restaurant near his house is the only place to go. Oftentimes the answer to the Heated Thanksgiving-Themed Topic That Won't Satisfactorily Conclude is to change up the dining traditions for all involved and embark, as a unit, on a day trip that'll be one for the books. The day trip we're only moments away from referencing isn't to the restaurant that your cousin suggested but rather to Safari West, the sizable animal preserve that's nicknamed the "Sonoma Serengeti." This does mean you and your kin'll be making for a spot close to Santa Rosa, and it will be on...

THANKSGIVING DAY, which is Thursday, Nov. 24 in 2016. The started-in-1993 park, which serves as a home to "over 900 exotic mammals and birds and approximately 90 species," offers a unique setting for the holiday of gratitude. It's a place that reminds we humans of our connection to the whole planet, and those beautiful furry and feathery critters who also call it home. Tempted to try out "A Wild Sonomalicious Day!," all while enjoying the savory staples of Thanksgiving? Book one of the two seatings on Nov. 24 — an adult admission is $65 — and nosh upon winter squash soup, classic green bean casserole, and a house-smoked turkey, among other dishes. To view the whole menu, and to introduce this unusual and wonderful approach to the holiday to your relatives (especially if they, too, are longing to change it up this year), begin here, animal-adoring adventurers. Perhaps those heated holiday dinner discussions don't have to be quite so heated if everyone tries something a little new, all together, with memory-making in mind.

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