In addition to enjoying a great meal, Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to have fun, laugh and engage in activities as a family. Here are a few ideas for activities to do as a family this Thanksgiving Day. Do not be surprised if a few of these ideas become new traditions for your family!
Prepare easy-to-eat brunch items and settle in around the television to watch the iconic Macy’s Day Parade as a family. Stipulate that everyone must join while still wearing their pajamas. Make it extra fun by giving each family member a notepad to record the name of each float and ask that they rate each float on a scale of 1-10. You can even create different categories of voting like the most creative, most outrageous, the most fun, and overall best. At the end of the parade, have everyone share their top three in each category. You may be surprised to discover that some people share the top picks.
Encourage everyone to find or create an ugly Thanksgiving-themed sweater to wear on Thanksgiving Day. Scour thrift stores or online outlets for candidates. You may consider making your own by painting Thanksgiving related things on a plain sweatshirt with fabric paint. You could glue on adornments from nature like acorns and twigs, or add colorful “jewels,” feathers or glitter. Be creative! Let everyone submit their vote for the ugliest sweater and come up with something (think simple like a cut out of a mini sweatshirt glued on a piece of painted board) to give as a first place award that can be handed down to future winners should you decide to make the contest a family tradition.
After enjoying a Thanksgiving Day meal, grab a football, gather your family and head outside to enjoy a family game of flag football. Depending on the size of your family and the ages of everyone, you will need to modify the game accordingly. You can use socks or bandanas hanging out of pockets or tucked in waistbands for the flags. Creatively mark off the “football” field in your yard with jump ropes, chairs or even children’s toys. You may have each team member wear a special color or pin a symbol or fabric letter on their back to identify the teams. Remember, this game is all about having fun, so make sure to keep a lighthearted attitude when playing and do not take any play too seriously, especially if young children are participating.
Enjoy some competitive fun with your family this Thanksgiving and play some backyard games together. Bring out corn hole and ladder ball and play a few rounds. Make a candy corn ring toss game by painting a yellow stripe and brown or white stripe on orange traffic cones, and use some plastic tubing connected with colorful duct tape for the rings. Set up badminton and play round robin games. Croquet is also a fun game to bring out that can be enjoyed by the young and young and heart.
In many families, it is tradition to decorate for the holidays after enjoying a Thanksgiving feast. Whether your family celebrates Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or another winter holiday, why not give this idea a try? As the holiday decorations are brought out, enjoy sharing stories and memories of each item, especially if it is a decoration someone made as a child or something handed down in the family. Spending time going down memory lane will be a great way to reconnect everyone to holidays past, bring all closer together and kick off an extra special holiday season.
Thanksgiving is the perfect day to do something kind and thoughtful for others. Set aside time this Thanksgiving to make homemade gifts called secret gobbler gifts to share with neighbors. Paint ceramic pots and plant a few pansies in each, make a tasty snack mix and pour some in colorful bags tied with fall colored ribbons, or make a basket or gift bag full of small gifts like notecards, tea towels, tissues, hot chocolate, mug, chocolates, hard candies, a paperback book or other things your recipient might enjoy. Write a special note of appreciation, signed from “Your Secret Gobbler," to attach to each homemade gift and deliver to neighbors, making sure to be out of sight when they open the door so the identity of their “secret gobbler” will remain a secret. Have an extra fun Thanksgiving with your family this year by incorporating some of these activities into your Thanksgiving Day itinerary. Not only will you have a good time, but you are sure to create special memories and even a few new traditions to continue on for years to come. Happy Thanksgiving!