We men have issues. Real issues. Not the kind of issues regarding how our partners put forks in the dishwasher (always tines up, BTW), but issues pertaining to our health, such as depression, cancer, and addiction.
Every November, tens of thousands (if not more) dudes come together both across the country and worldwide to raise awareness about some of these issues by growing mustaches and not shaving them for a month. The movement is known colloquially as “Movember.” It’s a great cause and a real hoot (especially if your hair grows as rapidly as mine does).
It also does a lot of good. Since 2003, the Movember Foundation, which organizes the annual event, has raised more than $650 million and funded more than 1,000 programs that support the battle against prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity.
Why are we writing about Movember here on the Expedia Viewfinder blog? It turns out that Movember is a phenomenal time to travel, largely because so many cities put on such distinctive events. Here are our favorite Movember destinations for this year.
Viewfinder Tip: For the best results, start growing your Movember mustache on November 1.
Sunday Funday (Santa Monica)
Movember is a huge deal in Los Angeles, and perhaps nowhere is the event bigger than it is in Santa Monica. Here, on the last Sunday of every November, the local Movember movement takes over the Santa Monica Pier for a day of fun—seriously, they call it “Sunday Funday.”
This year’s event is scheduled to occur from 1:00–5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 29. During that time, a tax-deductible US$20 gets you access to the party zone, as well as free admission into Movember-specific events such as concerts, rallies, and a host of other forms of entertainment (think clowns and stilt walkers).
Visitors also have access to rides and games, as well as a bar sponsored by Jameson Black Barrel. There are a number of food stations, too.
(Oh, and in case you’ve never experienced it, simply being on the Santa Monica Pier is awesome, both for people-watching and for honest-to-goodness carnival-style fun.)
Mustache Dache™ (Chicago, Austin, and more)
Because I’m a runner, I’m always a sucker for events that celebrate a good cause with some fitness. That’s precisely why I love another aspect of Movember: the annual Mustache Dache events. On November 1, 2015, these nationally coordinated 5-kilometer races will kick off in cities across the country, including Chicago, Austin, and Salt Lake City (to name a few). Some even have said the races constitute the largest contingent of mustachioed individuals since World War II.
Though each race takes place in a different destination, the races are uncannily similar. Participants—not just men, mind you—suit up with their best (real or fake) mustaches and run. Spectators are encouraged to embrace the mustache theme, too. And the race medals, which all finishers receive, are in the shape of a mustache.
In terms of donations, unless otherwise specified, US$2 from each entry fee is donated directly to charities that support men’s health. Donations are also accepted at various points along the respective race courses.
Between parties, fundraisers, charity nights, and more, there are hundreds of other Movember-related events in cities across the country this month. Some are loosely organized—say, a night during which a percent of the bar tab goes to research in men’s mental health. Other events have been in the planning stages for months; in 2015, a handful of cities are hosting a variety of events designed to get men out and about.
The best place for up-to-the-minute information on Movember-related shindigs is the website for the foundation. Consider it a clearinghouse of information. It’s also a pretty neat place to get perspective on how far-reaching the campaign has been to date.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go to celebrate Movember?
Images courtesy of the Movember Foundation.