The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by hosting a Thanksgiving party in your office? It’s the perfect time to express gratitude, enjoy delicious food, and enhance your company culture by bringing your team members closer together. While the office Christmas party usually gets the limelight, a good Thanksgiving celebration is a fun way to go the extra mile for employees and really show them you care.

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So, we have curated a list of the top Thanksgiving work party ideas that combine team-building activities, delicious potluck meals, and Thanksgiving-themed escapades to foster camaraderie and employee engagement.

1. Potluck Thanksgiving Feast

Invite your team members to bring their favorite Thanksgiving dishes to the office, creating a delicious and diverse spread. Whether it’s a juicy turkey, yummy cranberry sauce, creamy mashed potatoes, savory stuffing, or mouthwatering pumpkin pie, this potluck is sure to please everyone’s taste buds. 

A table of thanksgiving potluck diner foods.

“thanksgiving festivities – potluck feast” by EvelynGiggles is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Also, the office doesn’t have to limit the offerings to exclusively Thanksgiving-themed entrees, side dishes, or desserts. Instead, you can embrace the rich diversity within the organization by inviting coworkers to share their favorite dishes from their respective cultures. This not only provides a great opportunity for employees to better connect with each other, but it also allows you to experience cuisines you may have never tried before.

2. Thanksgiving-Themed Gift Card Exchange

Encourage the spirit of giving by organizing a Thanksgiving-themed gift card exchange. Team members can draw names and exchange gift cards to their favorite local restaurants or stores, spreading holiday cheer. 

A picture of a thanksgiving turkey on a card.

“Butterfly Punch Turkey Thanksgiving Card” by tengrrl is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Here’s a small list of popular gift cards that are often well-received:

  • Amazon
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Visa/Mastercard (prepaid gift card)
  • Walmart
  • iTunes/Apple
  • Best Buy
  • Sephora
  • Home Depot
  • Netflix

3. Scavenger Hunt

Host a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt that not only adds a fun and competitive element to the party but also promotes team bonding. Hide cornucopia or small Thanksgiving-related items around the office for teams to find. The winners should get a reward for their efforts like gift cards or small electronics with the company logo will do.

4. Food Drive

Thanksgiving is a time for giving, so consider organizing a food drive in your office. Encourage employees to donate non-perishable items to a local food bank, allowing your team to make a meaningful impact on the community.

A group of employees posing with donations for the food drive.

“NRC Participates in Summer Food Drive” by NRCgov is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

To find a local food drive around Thanksgiving, start by checking with your city’s or county’s official website or social media channels for announcements and event listings. You can also reach out to local churches, community centers, and food banks, as they often organize or participate in food drives during the holiday season. Additionally, consider asking friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations, as they may have information on nearby food drives or volunteer opportunities in your area.

5. Thanksgiving Games and Trivia

Engage your team in friendly competition with Thanksgiving-themed games and trivia. Whether it’s a flag football game or a Thanksgiving trivia quiz, these activities are sure to add a dose of fun to your office celebration.

6. Thanksgiving Decorations

Deck out your office space with Thanksgiving and holiday-themed decorations. You can DIY Thanksgiving centerpieces that set the mood, creating a festive atmosphere that will make the party all the more special. Just want to order one? Cardboard Cutouts can create a custom cardboard centerpiece for your office Thanksgiving party.

7. Turkey Trot or Workspace Walk

Promote wellness and team bonding by organizing a “turkey trot” or a simple office walk during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a great way for team members to get some fresh air and stretch their legs.

Two people posing after the Turkey Trot race.

“Turkey Trot” by ralph_bean is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

To find a local turkey trot walking event, start with an online search using keywords like “Thanksgiving turkey trot walk near [your location].” Check event listing websites, social media, local running stores, and community organizations for event details. Asking locals or keeping an eye on local news can also provide leads.

8. Native American and Pilgrim Dress-Up

Add a touch of historical fun by encouraging employees to dress up as Native Americans or Pilgrims. This light-hearted approach can make the celebration even more enjoyable. If no one wants to dress up, that’s totally ok. You can always order a cardboard head-in-hole photo stand with Native Americans and Pilgrims as the characters!

9. Lunch and Learn

A “lunch and learn” is an ideal Thanksgiving activity, combining holiday spirit with professional development and fostering gratitude and teamwork. It’s a flexible and inclusive format that strengthens team bonds, aligns with company values, and encourages reflection, making it a meaningful addition to the Thanksgiving celebration.

Here are some Thanksgiving-themed lunch and learn opportunities you can consider for your workplace:

  • Discuss cultural traditions. Host a session where employees share their family’s Thanksgiving traditions and the significance of various customs. This encourages cultural awareness and inclusivity.
  • Healthy holiday cooking. Bring in a nutritionist or chef to provide tips and recipes for healthier Thanksgiving cooking, helping employees make nutritious choices during the holiday season.
  • Holiday stress management. Explore strategies for managing holiday stress, such as time management, setting boundaries, and maintaining work-life balance.
  • Thanksgiving gives back. Discuss ways your organization can give back to the community during the Thanksgiving season, whether through food drives (as mentioned above), volunteering, or charity initiatives.

10. Employee Appreciation

Above all else, use the Thanksgiving work party as an opportunity to express gratitude to your team members. Acknowledge their hard work and dedication, fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation in the workplace.

By incorporating these Thanksgiving work party ideas into your in-person office celebration, you can enhance company culture, boost employee engagement, and create lasting memories with your team members. So, this Thanksgiving Day, make it more than just a meal – make it a time of fun, camaraderie, and togetherness.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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