Thanksgiving Day is well on its way — and you know what that means. Tons of preparation for the fun to come! You will want to keep everyone busy and having a great time while the food cooks to keep them from getting restless and storming the kitchen. How to do that? Plan a full spread of activities to keep all the adults and kids well entertained! If that sounds like a tall order, never fear, we’re here to help with some fun ideas.
Common Thanksgiving Day Traditions for Adults to Enjoy
When dreaming up what to do on Thanksgiving Day, you cannot go wrong with following tradition. If that’s right up your alley, give these ideas a try.
Host a “Friendsgiving” and Have Everyone Contribute Something
If you’re away from family or just want to add a little extra to the holiday season, think about hosting a “Friendsgiving” with all your closest buddies. You could even widen the circle a bit and invite your neighbors, coworkers, or have each person bring a plus one. No matter what you choose, ask everyone to contribute something to eat or drink. Award bonus points for bringing an interesting cultural dish and a backstory to share.
If all the holiday dishes have you feeling a little bogged down, work off all those extra calories by signing up for a turkey trot. This Thanksgiving footrace gives you a chance to see your beautiful area in a whole new light while working up a sweat. You can walk, run, or jog as long as you keep your eye on the finish line and spread holiday cheer. Take it to the next level by wearing Thanksgiving-inspired gear and singing holiday tunes every step of the way.
10 Best Thanksgiving Games for Adults
Whether you’re inviting all your family over, having a “Friendsgiving,” or both, you’ll want to dream up tons of fun Thanksgiving activities for adults and kids. Fortunately, you don’t have to go at it alone. Just use this list to bring on the fun and excitement.
Festive Cornhole gets everyone moving, chatting, and cheering each other on, making it an excellent icebreaker. To keep things interesting, you can create a custom cornhole board using your favorite images or artwork. The cardboard will fit over an existing cornhole stand or you can use heavy-duty smooth plastic that’ll stand up to the test of time. Either way, be ready for the competition to get rather fierce as everyone sends their beanbags flying.
It definitely wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pausing for a moment and sharing what you’re thankful for that year. And it’s even more awesome when you do so during the Gratitude Game. You’ll just need a big bag of M&Ms, a bowl, and a chart matching the candy colors to things to be grateful for. Go around the circle and have each person grab a candy out of the bag, and then use the chart to say what person, place, thing, or opportunity they are thankful to have.
Pin the Tail Feathers on the Turkey
Pin the Tail Feathers on the Turkey takes a childhood favorite to the next level, letting adults get into the fray. You’ll just need a foam-core turkey cutout and enough tailfeathers for everyone to have a turn. Remember to use tape instead of pins for the feathers, so the turkey can make an appearance at every Thanksgiving from here on out.
Turkey Tag starts with the creation of tailfeathers using painted clothespins and a whole lot of features. With those made, all that’s left to do is pin two on each player and shout, “Run, turkey, run,” to start the game. All the turkeys can then chase each other and try to pull off their opponents’ tailfeathers. The last turkey standing with their feathers intact is the winner.
Hay Bale Bowling
If you like bumper bowling, you’re going to absolutely adore Hay Bale Bowling. This game starts with two long rows of straw bales to create the lane. At the end is a set of bowling pins, all standing up in their traditional configuration. The players have two tries to knock all the pins down before getting their scores and sitting down.
Presents and dastardly scheming come together for the Dirty Turkey game. Everyone will need to bring a generic gift to play this game. Give them a theme to make it even more interesting. Before everyone arrives, put slips of paper numbered one to however many people are coming to the party and place them in a hat. Once you’re ready to start the game, have the person with #1 open a gift. The next person in line can either steal that gift as their own or pick a new one from the pile. Continue on in that manner until everyone has a present.
Ugly Sweater Contest
Christmas can’t have all the awesome games, so steal the Ugly Sweater Contest for Thanksgiving. You’ll have to tell all your guests well ahead of time that you’re playing, of course. Just let them know to pick or create the most outrageous sweater possible, centered around the Turkey Day theme. Then, create gaudy awards for tons of different areas, like “Most Offensive,” “Most Colorful,” and “Least Appetizing.”
If you have more sweet potatoes than you know what to do with, give Traffic Yam a try. This game requires spoons and yams for each player. You’ll also want to create starting and finish lines using painter’s tape. Once you say, “Go,” each player will need to use their spoon, and their spoon alone, to push, carry, or yeet the yam to victory.
It’s virtually impossible to play Pumpkin Artist with a straight face. To play this game, give everyone a hardback book, a piece of paper, and an orange crayon. Then, have them put the book on top of their head and the paper on top of that. Once you say, “Go,” give them 45 seconds to draw their best rendition of a pumpkin. Just be prepared for everyone to roar in laughter once they catch a glimpse of their drawings.
Rip It Up
With the rest of your paper, you can play Rip It Up as many times as you wish. Everyone gets one sheet of paper to work with and nothing else. Once you start the timer, they will need to rip up the paper into the shape of a turkey with tailfeathers and all. You can repeat this game with any shape imaginable, including pumpkins, acorns, and cornucopias.
All these things to do on Thanksgiving Day are sure to be a hit. Take note of the most popular ones to roll them back out next year as well. Before you know it, enjoying these awesome activities will undoubtedly become an honored tradition.
Other Fun Things for Adults to Do on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving activities for adults don’t end there, however. There are still plenty of fun things for everyone to enjoy, like:
Thanksgiving Movie Marathon
A movie marathon is an excellent way to kill some time and honor everything there is to love about the holiday. Films you might want to break out include:
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- Alice’s Restaurant
- Addams Family Values
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
- National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop
As an added benefit, when you roll out the popcorn to munch on, everyone can keep from feeling too peckish as dinner slowly cooks to perfection.
Watch Football or Host a Watch Party
For many, watching football is a non-negotiable part of all the fall holidays, Thanksgiving included. You can either tune your TV to your local game or use a sports streaming app to bring up other competitions across the nation. If you’re far from your loved ones, or even want to invite your closest bubble over, consider hosting a watch party to bring everyone together.
Thanksgiving Crafting Party
After Thanksgiving, the wheels of time start roaring toward Christmas. So, to get a little bit ahead, consider hosting a crafting party to get started on decorations. You’ll need plenty of craft supplies plus a glue gun for every guest. Have tons of craft plans on hand or just use your phones to brainstorm ideas before the glue starts flowing. You’ll love to see what everyone creates as they use their imaginations to harness the spirit of the season.
If you’re out of fantastic Thanksgiving Day activities to enjoy, there’s nothing wrong with taking a nap. Between all that excitement and a filling turkey dinner, you’re likely feeling quite tired anyway. Just remember to set an alarm or risk sleeping like a baby through the evening and all night long.
Celebrate Thanksgiving with Cardboard Cutout Standees
All these fun things to do on Thanksgiving will keep you and your guests having an amazing time all day and evening long. As you dream up all your favorite activities, don’t let décor go by the wayside. Your party can only hit the height of perfection if you dress up the place and ready it for a great time.
Thankfully, you don’t have to put a lot of time or effort into the decorating process. Just order some holiday-inspired wall murals and decals to put up around your house. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also get hilarious BigHeads or Standees to give your guests a big surprise as they walk through the doors. Ready to get started? Let Cardboard Cutout Standees help you out.