Of course, the food is the main event on Thanksgiving, but when your extended crew gets together for the holiday you’re going to want to find some fun things to together to pass the hours until it’s time to carve the turkey and pass the pumpkin pie. When the shops aren’t open and there’s nowhere to go, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC or hosting a friendly game of touch football are classic Thanksgiving Day activities. But if you’re looking to start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year, we’ve compiled a list of special things to do on Turkey Day that the whole family will love. Adults, preschoolers, and high school students alike will love these Thanksgiving games and activities that can be enjoyed before or after Thanksgiving dinner. Because on occasions when there is built-in entertainment, the laughs seem louder and the memories more plentiful. But even if your family isn’t into elaborate themes, there’s something fun to do on this list that will make Thanksgiving 2020 the most fun one yet.
There’s nothing more classic than a round of Bingo. Give the game a Thanksgiving twist by downloading free printable Turkey Day-themed cards online. Celebrating virtually this year? Check out versions you can play on Zoom.
Sure kids will love these, but the whole family can get in on the coloring fun with this gratitude activity.
What better time to put together a comprehensive family tree than when the whole family is together? Using everyone’s fingerprints will make it even more meaningful. Use red and orange ink to give this craft a seasonal spin.
Inspire some friendly competition by putting your family’s knowledge of Thanksgiving trivia to to the test. Come up with your own questions and answers, or download pre-made trivia cards from Etsy.
Think of this cute DIY turkey clip as the hot potato: It gets passed around all day long by family members sneaking it onto the clothing of their unwitting relatives.
This free printable makes saying what you are thankful for even sweeter — and inspires people to get more detailed than “my family.”
Head to the local hardware or gardening store for enough hay bales to create your own personal driveway or backyard bowling lane. Don’t forget to buy some bowling pins, too!
A twist on giving thanks that you can use to keep the conversation at dinner going: The first person must say something they are grateful for that begins with the letter A, the next gets B, and so on.
Go digging in your family photo albums or ask guests to email you a photo of themselves as babies beforehand. Attach them to a board with numbers and then have everyone write down their guesses for each.
Hilariously-awful clothing is not just for Christmas anymore. Just give everyone enough notice to make their own turkey-themed top or to buy one.
This game of chance mashes up Bingo with Poker. If you’re a gambling family, you can up the stakes by playing for change.
Have the kids go around and film family members performing the talents on this one-dollar printable — from wiggling their ears to singing and acting out one verse of the Hokey Pokey — then play the video talent show during dessert.
A little spray paint on some mini emergency cones and you have the fall version of horseshoes.
Believe me, Turkey Day socks are a thing — and there are tons of adorable ones on Amazon alone.
If the whole crew won’t be together for Christmas, why not get a little gift giving — and stealing — in early? This version of Dirty Santa has the same basic rules: Everyone puts a $20 gift that’s been wrapped but has no tag into a pile. Pull numbers from a hat to determine what order everyone will choose a present. If anybody who has chosen before you gets a gift that you want — steal it! The present that always gets stolen when my family plays Dirty Santa? A batch of scratch lottery tickets.
Putting together a jigsaw puzzle as a family is always a nice way to pass the time. If that’s something you already do, take it up a notch this year by buying a few of the same puzzle (choose one that seems like it will be quick but not super easy). Separate everyone into teams and whoever finishes first gets bragging rights.
Just because it’s too chilly for backyard barbecues doesn’t mean you should have to give up everyone’s new favorite backyard barbecue game.
Update the charades-like game by adding these downloadable Thanksgiving-themed cards to your stack of subject cards. And if you have never played Taboo (where have you been?!) you can buy the game here.
On Easter, coming up with genius places to hide the eggs before the hunt is as fun for adults as finding the eggs is for kids. Same deal here, just using mini pumpkins instead of plastic eggs.
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