10/26/2011 03:11 pm ET | Updated Dec 25, 2011

Thanksgiving In Seattle: A MapQuest Guide

Thanksgiving in Seattle is a time for gathering with family and loved ones, expressing gratitude and, of course, eating. As part of TurkeyQuest -- a MapQuest guide to Thanksgiving events, featuring everything from parades to holiday sales to activities for families -- here are two of the best ways to experience Thanksgiving in Seattle and one opportunity to give back to others.

Seattle Thanksgiving Events Map

Green Lake Gobble And Mashed Potato Munch Off

The Green Lake Gobble and Mashed Potato Munch Off are Thanksgiving events that benefit the Union Gospel Mission, which provides emergency and long-term care to Seattle's homeless. The Gobble is a collection of races, including a 5K run and walk for adults and a shorter Kids Dash. The "Burn the Turkeys" component of the race is a category in which prizes are given to one male and one female dressed in a turkey costume with the fastest time. The Munch Off is a competitive mashed-potato-eating contest, featuring eight contestants drawn at random. Those interested in competing can buy a $1 raffle ticket for a chance to win a place at the table. The preregistration fee for the race is $30 for adults and free for kids (with an additional $10 for a youth-size shirt). Spectators and participants can bring canned goods to donate to the mission.

7201 E. Greenlake Drive N., Seattle, WA 98115

Thanksgiving Dinner Cruises

If you want to combine a bounteous turkey dinner with a Mayflower-like (but more luxurious) experience, have your holiday meal on a boat on the beautiful waterways of Seattle. Thanksgiving Dinner on The Royal Argosy is a three-hour cruise, just west of the city (Puget Sound and Elliott Bay) that features a four-course dinner, live music and an arts-and-crafts area for children. Menu offerings include roast turkey with herb-bread stuffing, fresh brandied cranberry sauce and pumpkin cheesecake with rum-caramel sauce. The price is $69 for adults, $39 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children younger than 5. Similarly, the Waterways Lake Washington Cruise Thanksgiving Day Dinner (just east of the city), offers a 2.5-hour cruise, with salmon, lamb and turkey entrees, a champagne toast and live jazz. The price is $61 for adults, $55 for seniors and military personnel, $35 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children younger than 5.

1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 55/56, Seattle, WA 98101

Volunteer: YWCA Thanksgiving Basket Sponsors & Helpers

The East Cherry Branch of The YWCA of Seattle helps assist families in economic crisis. Each year, the center recruits volunteers to assemble baskets to create a traditional Thanksgiving meal for families in need. Volunteers are asked to drop the baskets off at the center the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving. There are also other opportunities to volunteer at the Seattle Food Bank throughout the holidays. Volunteers are needed to unload deliveries, receive donations and organize the food bank.

2820 E. Cherry St., Seattle, WA 98122 | Go to Huffington Post Impact to see how else you can volunteer.

Video: Thanksgiving In Seattle

Participants enjoy a previous Green Lake Gobble and Mashed Potato Munch Off.

Did we miss a Seattle Thanksgiving event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great Thanksgiving events and volunteering opportunities? Check out TurkeyQuest and our coverage in Portland, Washington and Oregon.