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58 Best Things to Do on Thanksgiving

58 Best Things To Do On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is coming, join BestLifeTips to find out what to do on Thanksgiving with your beloved ones.

There is so much of discussion and planning around what to do on Thanksgiving, from Thanksgiving dinner to activities on Thanksgiving.

If you have no ideas what to do on Thanksgiving, take a look at the following ideas of BestLifeTips. In this article, we would like to share with you 58 best things to do during this holiday.

These ideas are suitable for kids and adults alike. Let’s get started!

In This Article

Participate in a Turkey Trot race

If you have no idea what to do on Thanksgiving, take part in a Turkey Trot race. This is a great way to start your holiday season.

Have a marathon of holiday movies

what to do on Thanksgiving

There are plenty of movie marathons on TV around Thanksgiving. Another thing of what to do on Thanksgiving is to relax on the couch and get in the holiday spirit with these movies.

Go for a hike

A great idea for what to do on Thanksgiving is to go for a hike with your family during the holidays.

Volunteer at a local soup chicken

Thanksgiving is all about appreciating what you have. So, volunteer in your community for a much more rewarding experience instead of entering the hectic shopping scene.

It’s a great way to express your grateful gratitude. This should be listed in what to do on Thanksgiving.

Cook for Thanksgiving dinner

Make a plan to cook dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. You can make the traditional recipes of your family or create a new one.

Bond with family

what to do on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is time to visit your family. If you don’t know what to do on Thanksgiving, just catch up with family members you haven’t seen in a while.

Catch up with friends

If you’re not spending the holiday with family, Thanksgiving is also a great time to catch up with friends and host your own celebration.

Take in the fall foliage

Take the time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and foliage before winter sets in. Get out and enjoy the nature is also a great idea for what to do on Thanksgiving.

Take a vacation

what to do on Thanksgiving

It’s possible to score some great flight deals around Thanksgiving. You can travel to your dream destinations during the holidays.

Just make a plan and go for it!

Look through old family photo albums

Looking through old photo albums will not only bring back childhood memories, but you might even learn something new about your family history.

Go to a Thanksgiving parade

There are many Thanksgiving parades on Thanksgiving Day. You can watch them from your couch or go to a local Thanksgiving event.

There’s no shortage of places to celebrate.

Go ice skating

No matter what type of climate you’re in, ice skating is a festive activity for what to do on Thanksgiving that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Check out a museum

Another good idea for what to do on Thanksgiving is to visit a museum.

You can hit up a nearby museum for a more peaceful and thought-provoking experience instead of battling crowds at your local mall.

Organize a pumpkin hunt

what to do on Thanksgiving

If your family likes to watch small children search for eggs during Easter, it’s a great idea to bring the activity back for Thanksgiving.

Gather a bunch of little pumpkins, hide them around the room and listen on as the small kids run around and squeal with delight.

Decorate for the holidays

You can use the Thanksgiving Day itself or the following Friday to set up holiday decorations for the soon-approaching December month.

This will help to give you one less thing to do in December.

Create a thankful photo album

Encourage the family to submit 10 photos from the past year to include in a “thankful” family album.

You can also bring out the photo albums every year, fill them up with the past year’s memories, and reflect on past memories as well.

Break out the arts and crafts

If you have a lot of younger children in your family, it’s also a good idea to set up a festive arts and crafts table somewhere in the house where the kids can keep themselves occupied all day long.

This should be on your list of what to do on Thanksgiving.

Host a white elephant gift exchange

what to do on Thanksgiving

White elephant is a gift-giving game which is often associated with December holidays, but you can incorporate it into your Thanksgiving Day schedule as well.

You could save it for the last activity of the day to perk everyone up and, if you’re an adults-only group, it would be great to pair with a few after-dinner drinks.

Create a Thanksgiving-inspired bucket list

If you don’t know what to do on Thanksgiving, consider creating a Thanksgiving-inspired bucket list.

You can sit down with your loved ones and create a bucket list for the upcoming year. List what you all want to accomplish, see, or do. You can have each family member contribute one item or brainstorm everything together.

Then, next Thanksgiving, everyone could reflect on everything they’ve accomplished.

Have a family video call

If you cannot come home this Thanksgiving, consider hosting a family video call to bring everyone together.

Everyone can give a personal update, then name something they’re thankful for, too.

Go outside

Take advantage of the long weekend and try to spend some time outside for a change of pace.

You might be surprised how peaceful your favorite trails or parks are on the holiday, as most people stay at home or travel to see their family.

Go to the movies

what to do on Thanksgiving

Most movie theater chains are open on Thanksgiving, and it’s a great option for what to do on Thanksgiving after a big Thanksgiving dinner.

Write a gratitude list

There are so many things to be thankful for, and Thanksgiving is the day to remember those things.

So what to do on Thanksgiving? You can kick off your holiday by quietly making a personal gratitude list.

Write thank-you notes

Thanksgiving is the best time to finally write those thank-you notes. You will feel so much better after they’re done.

Plus, it’s a good idea to tell the people you love that you’re thankful for their love and support.

Have a family photo shoot

If your family is already together for the holiday, it’s worth prioritizing having a little photoshoot. You will be thankful you did it in the future.

Take your personal time

what to do on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is your day off. If you think that doing nothing at all for the day is going to be the most rewarding, relaxing version of the holiday for you, then go for it.

Taking a day to be alone, practice a little self-care, and reflect on what you’re thankful for.

Play Thanksgiving game

A common family Thanksgiving tradition is to play Thanksgiving games. This is a fun thing of what to do on Thanksgiving, and a great way to pass the time with the family while waiting for a delicious Thanksgiving meal to cook.

Invite a friend or neighbor to dinner

You might know a neighbor, friend, or coworker who’s unable to spend Thanksgiving with family.

Invite them to your Thanksgiving dinner to spend the day surrounded by love too.

Host a Thanksgiving potluck

No need to spend hours in the kitchen solo. Get guests into the fun by inviting everybody to bring their best dish.

Dine al fresco

It’s something romantic and special about al fresco dining. If you’re living in a warm weather climate, move your feast outdoors.

Host a pie competition

what to do on Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving, put your friends and neighbors to the test with a little friendly pie competition.

Invite your guests to bring their favorite homemade pie, and after dinner, grade entries on things like presentation, smell, creativity, and, of course, best tasting.

Collect food donations

Collect canned goods and other non-perishable food items to donate to your local food bank.

This is a truly feel-good activity for what to do on Thanksgiving.

Go leaf peeping

Thanksgiving Day might be a great day to go see some beautiful foliage. Look for where you can see the best foliage this fall.

Write a letter to a soldier

Head to Operation Gratitude to learn more about how you can show your support to members of our nation’s military via letters, care packages, and other efforts to give back from your own home.

Gather round a fire pit

A family gathering around a roaring fire is pretty much a no-brainer on a crisp fall night.

Play ball

what to do on Thanksgiving

Tossing around the pigskin is a classic post-feast activity. If you’re not a football fanatic, consider other pursuits such as horseshoes, bocce, or corn hole.

Go pumpkin bowling

Arrange bowling pins in a classic 10-pin formation, then watch as players roll a giant pumpkin down the makeshift lane.

Line the path with hay bales for an extra country touch.

Set up a backyard tailgate

Thanksgiving is football season. Celebrate your family’s favorite team the old-fashioned way, with a pop-up tailgate in the driveway at home.

Craft a family heirloom

To create your family heirloom, have family members write their names with a disappearing ink pen, and then stitch over the hand-lettering.

Watch a holiday classic

Pick from the best Thanksgiving movies on Netflix or cue up a family-friendly classic like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to watch on your holidays.

Play Thanksgiving bingo

Grandma and Grandpa will love this one. Thanksgiving bingo is the perfect game for the whole family to play while waiting for the turkey to finish cooking.

Craft a family tree

what to do on Thanksgiving

When the whole family gathers around, put together a family tree to commemorate your connection.

Using everyone’s fingerprints as the leaves will make it even more personal.

Wear ugly Thanksgiving sweaters

Clothing that’s so ugly and cool is not just for Christmas anymore. When you give everyone the invitation details, ask them to make or buy their own Turkey Day-themed top, too.

Host or attend a Thanksgiving meal

The most classic tradition of what to do on Thanksgiving is hosting or attending a Thanksgiving meal with family, friends, and neighbors.

Traditionally, families choose to serve a Thanksgiving turkey on Thanksgiving. However, you can prepare a creative meal instead.

You can also reserve a table at your favorite local restaurant.

Make an embroidered Thanksgiving tablecloth

Make an embroidered Thanksgiving tablecloth that you reuse traditionally year after year.

All you need to do is find a white 100% cotton tablecloth and have everyone sign it.

Read children’s Thanksgiving books and books about the fall with kids

There is an impressive book list of children’s Thanksgiving gratitude books that inspire thankfulness and fall books for kids that you can read with your kids during the holidays.

Visit a local farm

what to do on Thanksgiving

A fun thing for what to do on Thanksgiving is to visit a local farm. Traditional ideas include a trip to your local pumpkin patch, corn maze, or apple orchard.

Make it a family tradition to gather fresh, locally raised, and grown foods for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Give thanks around the table during your Thanksgiving meal

Many family members like to share what they are grateful for as they sit around the Thanksgiving table enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal together.

Designate an item that gets passed around the table to signify the sharer, and take turns sharing at least one thing that you are grateful for.

You can also take turns writing words of gratitude on leaves and hanging them on a thankful tree.

Make a wish on the turkey wishbone

Allow two family members to pull apart the turkey wishbone as they make a wish. The person that breaks off the longest piece of the wishbone will have their wish granted.

If the wishbone cracks evenly, both people may have their wish come true.

Make a grateful jar

Throughout the year, keep a gratitude jar of gestures you appreciate from family and friends you know you’ll see in November.

Pull out the jar post-dinner and share the gestures that warmed hearts.

Take a nap

No other holiday promotes napping like Thanksgiving does. It has a lot of benefits, so make the most of it.

Watch a football game

Even if you don’t like football, you’ll still probably be forced to watch a game over Thanksgiving.

Gather your family and friends, make some popcorn, and settle down to watch one of these games.

Make a family recipe or make a new one

what to do on Thanksgiving

To prepare for your Thanksgiving dinner, you can make a family recipe ỏ make a new one.

Who says Thanksgiving demands stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Spice things up and replace one holiday staple with something a little bit out of the ordinary.

Start the day with a big breakfast

We are about to spend the afternoon feasting until we’re ready to burst. So why don’t we start the day off with a tasty breakfast?

Ask the kids to serve the dessert

Get your kids on the action by inviting them to serve dessert. Let them help make a pie, and serve their own tasty creations.

Start your own family tradition

Most of the activities are ideal as Thanksgiving traditions for small families. Young families can start small and pick traditions that are right for them.

Create a festive entryway

what to do on Thanksgiving

Welcome guests with loads of fall decor around your front door, including mounds of pumpkins, vintage lanterns, and a wreath made from a tobacco basket twirled up with magnolia leaves, bittersweet, and mini pumpkins.

Wrap up leftover for guests

Thanksgiving dinner is the meal that keeps on giving. Send each guest home with a few leftovers and a couple of recipes for turning them into something new.

See more: Things to do in Chicago alone

Above are all the ideas of what to do on Thanksgiving that BestLifeTips want to share with you. Leave a comment below if you have any other ideas.