9 Thanksgiving Activities to Make Your Holiday at Home More Fun for Kids and Adults Alike
Add a few of these fun things to do on Thanksgiving to your celebration—you might just start a new tradition.
This year, your usual Thanksgiving plans may be shaken up a little bit—hosting Thanksgiving safely during coronavirus is bound to put a pause on some traditions. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make Thanksgiving fun: Just add a few of these easy Thanksgiving activities or games for kids and adults alike to your socially distanced Thanksgiving dinner party. Whether you’re hosting an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner or a virtual one, there are plenty of things you can do to make the celebration special. (And who knows? You might find a great new Thanksgiving tradition that sticks.)
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Activities and things to do on Thanksgiving Day
1 Guess the gratitude
Sharing what you’re grateful for is a time-honored tradition, but this year, turn it on its head. Have your friends or family members write down something a little uncommon that they’re grateful for (no “family” or “good health”). Then have everyone else try to guess who is thankful for takeout or Schitt’s Creek. For a more structured (and more time-consuming) Thanksgiving game, you could also try our Thanksgiving Mad Libs form.
2 Create a design challenge
While we have plenty of ideas for gorgeous Thanksgiving table decor, why not put your guests to work making your table beautiful? Gather some goodies from craft stores and farmers' markets and let them have at it. (This works great for virtual parties, too! You can even pick the same raw materials for each house and see who gets the most creative with it to make it a more competitive game.)
3 Test their knowledge
If your crew loves trivia, put together a customized set of questions about your loved ones—and see who remembers the name of your daughter’s favorite stuffed animal or which grandma’s middle name is Louise.
4 Send them off on a scavenger hunt
Create a list of offbeat or Thanksgiving-themed items your guests should go hunt down. (Just make sure you don’t have them snag a turkey baster or other tool you’re still using for cooking your Thanksgiving dinner.) You can make some of the must-dos videos or photos they need to make (i.e., make a video describing something you’re grateful for about 2020, take a mask selfie), and show those during dessert.
5 Serve a signature cocktail
Mix up a batch of a special cocktail especially for the day. Apple cider cocktails are a natural fit.
6 Have a Thanksgiving-themed cooking class
If you’re not going to be able to be home for the holiday, set up a Zoom call where you can have your mom, BFF, or another friend or family member show their tricks for a perfect pie crust, a fun Thanksgiving cocktail, or a killer leftover sandwich.
7 Make an all-natural craft
Take a walk on Thanksgiving to search out pretty fallen leaves, pine cones, acorns, and other cool finds and get creative with them. (Un-crunched fall leaves make pretty name cards when you write on them with metallic markers, or use them to make a feathery tail for a Thanksgiving turkey.)
8 Have a pie contest
Have everyone bring their version of a Thanksgiving pie, and let your guests taste test and declare a winner. (If you’re doing a virtual celebration, but all live nearby, you can gather quickly outdoors at one house to swap pies for the judging.)
9 Include a tasting
Thanksgiving dinner may be the main event, but you can have a little more culinary fun. While wine, beer, whiskey, and other spirits may be traditional tastings, you can try several different takes on a family favorite food, too—i.e., different chocolates, types of apples, or cheeses. Have everyone taste a nibble and talk about what they like or don’t. (No need to get fancy about mouth feel or notes, unless that’s your thing!)