View Photo Gallery: Thanksgiving weekend is a busy one at local theaters. And with Oscar hopefuls, fan favorites and period pieces pouring out as the holiday season peaks, critic Stephanie Merry shares the buzz on some of the films to know this season.

There are two schools of thought on Thanksgiving satiation: Own it and burnish your couch groove, or rage against the tryptophan and venture out into a half-empty Washington in a flurry of movement that falls somewhere between leg-stretching and purposeful calorie burning.

Now, I aim to fill myself with enough stuffing to stock the nearest mall’s Build-A-Bear come Thanksgiving, so I’m happy on the couch — especially with RGIII taking on the Cowboys at 4:15. But if you’re the type to get antsy without a daily dose of exercise or culture, Thanksgiving Day requires a bit more effort.

So I’m thankful for Lavanya Ramanathan, who put together this list of ways to spend your pre- and-post-turkey time.

Swing Dance Party With Doc Scantlin’s Palmettos

Jump and jive (and, hopefully, get the metabolism going) at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, which hosts this dance-friendly bash with Doc Scantlin’s swing orchestra, a fixture in local dancehalls from Glen Echo to the Carlyle Club. Get there early for a dance lesson, then try out your new moves. At 5 p.m.

So Others Might Eat Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger

There may be no better reminder of the charitable spirit of the holidays than this annual 5K run, which raises money for SOME’s services for the area’s poor and homeless. Thousands of racers participate in this Thanksgiving morning event, some even clocking their three miles dressed in full turkey regalia. At 9 a.m. (Register by Nov. 21.)

Season’s Greenings at the Botanic Gardens

Get a jump start on the holidays at the Botanic Gardens’ lush annual display, which opens each year on Thanksgiving Day. The indoor, heated gardens feature small-scale versions of D.C. landmarks, poinsettias and tiny model trains that zip their way around the thick greenery, perfect for wowing guests without exposing them to the elements. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museums without the weekend crowd

It’s an open secret that you can fawn over the red pandas at the National Zoo, see the Greensboro Lunch Counter at the Museum of American History and catch the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective or go for a skate at the National Gallery of Art tomorrow. With many tourists and locals staying close to home, it’s a great time catch up on the exhibitions you’ve been wanting to see, without the usual crowds. Hours vary.

The Wizard of Oz

Going to the movies is, after football and watching the Macy’s parade, a grand Thanksgiving tradition. Save “Twilight” or “Lincoln” for another day; after grazing, bundle up the little ones for this classic, a rare chance to watch Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and the rest on the big screen. At 7 p.m.

More holiday activities from the 2012 Holiday Guide

House full of guests, city full of art

Unique shopping destinations

Staying fit on the ice rink