11 Awesome Family Activities for Thanksgiving Day
Looking for a fun way to spend Thanksgiving Day, or want to start some meaningful Turkey Day traditions? This mix of kid-friendly indoor and outdoor activities will bring your family closer together in the true spirit of the holiday.
Watch the Parade
Families have enjoyed watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV since 1948 (and the parade was first held in 1924). Watching giant balloons, floats, and marching bands roll through the streets of New York City with your kids is a cozy and magical way to start the holiday. Make it even more fun by printing out our Thanksgiving parade bingo game!
Do a "Turkey Trot" Run or Walk
Everyone in your family can work up an appetite for your Turkey Day feast by participating in a community walk or run. There's probably a "turkey trot" or two in your area, and the registration funds raised typically benefit a good cause.
Play Touch Football
If you have a house full of sports fans, it might be tough to pry their eyes from all the televised football games on Thanksgiving Day. But striking up a family game of touch football (or any of these kid-friendly backyard games) is a much more memorable way to spend the day.
Have a Mini Pumpkin Hunt
Another fun group activity that's perfect for toddlers on up is a mini pumpkin hunt. It's one of our favorite pumpkin-themed activities. You can hide one or more mini pumpkins, indoors or outside, and let the family loose — like an Easter egg hunt with an autumn twist. One other idea is to play "Fill the Cornucopia," asking kids to find all sorts of hidden items — such as apples, Indian corn, and small gourds — to fill a cornucopia or basket on the Thanksgiving table.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
One admirable way to spend Thanksgiving Day is serving food to less-fortunate families at a soup kitchen, church, or community center. If you can't help on the holiday itself, look into ways your family can pitch in beforehand, such as collecting and sorting donated food or baking pies from the heart.
Have a Board Game Tournament
A little friendly competition helps families bond on Thanksgiving — as long as everyone is a good sport! Pick from these 10 classic board games and play multiple rounds — or even a few different games — before crowning this year's family board-game champion.
Video-Chat with Faraway Relatives
Online chatting on a tablet or computer allows families to connect from across the country, and even around the world. If you have a loved one or two who are too far away to visit on Thanksgiving, chatting over Skype or another video-chatting service will make their day. (A good ol' phone call is still nice, too!)
Make Crafts and Color
We know the possible scene at your house: Mom is busy cranking out a feast in the kitchen. Dad is watching football. The kids are bored or cranky or running wild with their cousins. Set the youngsters up with some simple craft materials so they can make these festive creations, or — even easier yet — break out the crayons and print out some holiday coloring pages to keep them entertained until turkey time.
Help the Hosts
Give Thanks in Your Own Way
This is really what it's all about: Giving thanks for family, friends, the holiday feast, and other good fortune. Relatives and guests can give thanks for something verbally at the dinner table, write and exchange Thanksgiving thank-you cards, or find another unique way to give thanks. Showing gratitude in some way will help children learn about the true spirit of Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays!