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Nov. 23-24: SF Botanical Garden, City Guide Tour, Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting, Macy’s Tree Lighting

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The beautiful San Francisco Botanical Garden is open, and entry is free, on Thanksgiving. (Courtesy Saxon Holt)
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Thursday, Nov. 23

S.F. Botanical Garden: Free admission is offered on Thanksgiving Day at the “living museum,” which has 55 acres of landscaped gardens and open spaces. [7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1199 Ninth Ave., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

S.F. Zoo: Open daily, the park and gardens are home to more than 1,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals (representing more than 250 species). [10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sloat Boulvard at Great Highway, S.F.]

Thanksgiving concert and vegetarian dinner: Badarikashrama, a spiritual and cultural center in the East Bay, hosts its annual Thanksgiving gathering, including a concert followed by a vegetarian meal with multicultural dishes. [3 p.m., 15602 Maubert Ave., San Leandro]
Turkey Trot: Registration is officially closed for the 15th annual Thanksgiving Day event, which includes a five-mile Turkey Trail Trot (run), three-mile Pilgrim Promenade (walk) and 100-meter Kid’s Gobbler Chase. [7 a.m., Polo Field, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Oakland Turkey Trot: The inaugural 5K run around Lake Merritt benefits the Alameda County Food Bank. [8:30 a.m., Lake Merritt Pergola, 599 El Embarcadero, near Grand and Lakeshore avenues, Oakland]

Japanese Tea Garden: One of The City’s favorite attractions, with a drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, koi ponds and a zen garden, is open on Thanksgiving. [9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Golden Gate Park, 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F.]

City Guide Tour: “Making Waves on the Waterfront” explores sites along San Francisco’s northern waterfront, where Gold Rush pioneers, labor organizers, entrepreneurs, inventors and architects helped created today’s modern city. [2 p.m., Ferry Building, Market Street and the Embarcadero, S.F.]

Bill Nye: Science Guy: The documentary is a behind-the-scenes portrait of the former TV host who’s on a mission to stop the spread of anti-scientific thinking and propaganda across the world. [2:15, 4:35 and 7:20 p.m., Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore St., S.F.]

Friday, Nov. 24

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting: The 53rd annual event showcases a 50-foot tree and hosts live music, Santa visits, snow and activities for kids. [4 to 8 p.m., 900 North Point St., S.F.]

Macy’s Tree Lighting: Us the Duo, the cast of San Francisco Playhouse’s “A Christmas Story” and Bay Area choirs perform at the 28th event. [5:30 p.m., Union Square, Powell and Geary streets, S.F.]

Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland: In its 38th year, the event includes a marketplace with arts and crafts, snow sledding, a tree-lighting ceremony and a 5 p.m. parade. [Noon to 8 p.m., Fourth Street, San Rafael]

Love Is a Dirty Word: Giovanni Adams, who was born gay and queer in Mississippi, wrote and performs in the one-man musical his intimate account of the cost of belonging in America. [8 p.m. Z Below, 470 Florida St., S.F.]
Jim Norton: The New York Times best-selling author and Sirius radio personality comes to town on his “Kneeling Room Only” standup tour. [8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. S.F.]

Pacific Ballet Academy: PBA dancers perform the school’s 27th annual “Nutcracker,” with special,
shorter version for the youngest children in the afternoon.
[Noon, 2 and 6 p.m., Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View]

This Charming Band: The Smiths’ tribute group appears in “Meat Is Murder,” with DJs Omar and Aaron Axelsen of Popscene at DJ Mario Muse. [9 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.]

Alameda South Shore Black Friday: Festivities include carolers, jazz, tree lighting, Santa and ice skating. [10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 523 S. Shore Center West, Alameda]

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