By: Ashley Hietpas
Do your culinary skills begin and end with frozen pizzas? Too busy to prepare the traditional Thanksgiving spread? Are you stressing out about the thought of all those dirty dishes? Perhaps it’s all three? Well, some of Downtown Jacksonville’s most popular restaurants have your back!
1501 Riverplace Boulevard
Nov. 24 | 11 a.m.-9 p.m.| Cost: Call (904) 398-3353 for pricing details
Gather up your family and friends, and enjoy waterfront dining in one of Jacksonville’s most iconic buildings. They will be offering up both a traditional meal with all the trimmings, as well as their menu steaks and seafood. Don’t forget their original hot chocolate lava cake! You can make reservations online or call (904) 398-3353.
River City Brewing Company
835 Museum Circle
Nov. 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.| Cost: Adults $29.95, Seniors $28.95, Children $14.95
Head over to Southbank to enjoy riverfront and Downtown views, while enjoying a Thanksgiving brunch.They will serve a combination of breakfast items, seafood, traditional meat and side items, as well as a dessert station.Call (904) 398-2299 for reservations.
1201 Riverplace Blvd, Hilton Doubletree
Nov. 24 | 12-8 p.m.| Cost: Adults $39.95, Children$12.95
Here you’ll sit down to a three course Turkey Dinner (starter, traditional Thanksgiving entree plus side, and dessert). They will even send you home with some Thanksgiving extras for you to enjoy the next day. Call (904) 396-6200 to reserve your spot. Another option is pre-ordering a sweet potato casserole or creamed spinach side to bring home to your Thanksgiving guests. Each one serves up to 12 people.Call (904) 396-6200 48 hours in advance to pre-order.
Special Holiday Offer:
220 Riverside Avenue, Suite 110
November 1-30 | Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday till 9 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday till 10 p.m. | Cost: Varies
To celebrate this month of giving thanks, they are giving a bottle of select house wine for any dinner reservation of four or more people (while supplies last). Just make sure to mention this special Facebook invite on your reservation or mention it to your server. Make reservations here.
Yappy Hour at The Jacksonville Landing
2 Independent Dr.
Nov. 20 | 2-5 p.m.| Cost: Free
Join Friends of Jacksonville Animals (FOJA) and give thanks this season! Don’t miss out on the dog trot, eating contest, pet expo, prizes, drink specials and live music on the Coca-Cola Riverfront Stage. Donate $5 for a puppy paw print canvas with all proceeds benefitting FOJA.
Extreme Food Fights
Element Bistro | 333 E. Bay St.
Nov. 21| Hours: 5-8 p.m.| Cost: $20
The chefs that will be competing to dethrone our champion Nedal Mardini of Hobnob will be Chef Lee Weeks of Ocean 60, John Rodriguez of Element Bistro, Matty Gilligan former chef of 904 Restaurant, Jose Salome of 29 South, and Darin Ball of Seachasers. Extreme Food Fights is a battle to help support the Sulzbacher Center, so don’t forget to bring items for the food drive! The person that brings the most wins tickets to January’s event and a $25 bar tab.
Kids Free November at MOCA
333 N. Laura Street
Nov. 1-30| Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday – Saturday: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.,Thursday: 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sunday: Noon–5 p.m. | Cost: Varies
Until the end of November, up to five children ages 3-12 receive free admission with a general admission paying adult. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, but is open the day before and after. Please see website for additional information.
30th Annual Christmas on the River Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Dr.
Nov. 25| Hours: 7 p.m.| Cost: Free
Kickoff the holiday season with your friends and family the day after Thanksgiving! The 56-foot-tall energy-efficient tree, decked out with 240 ornaments and 78,000 L.E.D. bulbs, will light up The Jacksonville Landing during this annual ceremony. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display on the St. Johns River!
2nd Annual Downtown Dazzle
First United Methodist Church
Nov. 25 | Hours: 6 – 9:30 p.m.| Cost: Free
The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC) kicks-off its Downtown holiday celebration by illuminating the outside of its Downtown office with festive lights synchronized to recorded songs of the season performed by JCC. Holiday, Christmas and Hanukkah songs will be broadcast on 94.5 FM radio for onlookers to enjoy.
Christmas in the South
Prime Osborn Convention Center
Nov. 25-27 | Hours: Nov 25: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Nov. 26: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Nov.27, 11:00 a. m.- 5:00 p.m. | Cost: Adults $7, Children 12 and under free.
You’ll find pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, woodworking, glass, Christmas ornaments, photography, fine art, delicious gourmet delights and much more. Admission is good for all three days with a hand stamp.
First Coast Magazine’s Toast of the Coast
Jessie Ball DuPont Center, 40 E. Adams St.
Dec. 1| Hours: 6-9 p.m.| Cost: Designated Drivers $15, General Admission $45
First Coast Magazine and ABSOLUT ELYX invite you to experience some of the best craft cocktails on the First Coast at their second annual Toast of the Coast, a craft cocktail competition. Enjoy the setting of the sample one-of-a-kind craft cocktails, vote for your favorite, enjoy delicious fare from the best local restaurants, listen to live music from The Chris Thomas Band, participate in a silent and more. A portion of the event proceeds and all of the silent auction proceeds will benefit the Cathedral Arts Project, Inc. and the CAPtivators.
If you’re looking for more things to do this weekend, check out the #DTJax events calendar and sign up for our “Things to Do Downtown” e-newsletter to see all the ways Downtown is celebrating the season.
Is your Downtown restaurant or business hosting a Fall celebration? Email Haleigh Hutchison by 4 p.m. on Monday, November 21, to get it added to our list.