5 Creative Thanksgiving Family Fun Ideas

Inspiration for Thanksgiving family activities and traditions.

Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach and weekly contributor to Patch.com. She created ChocolateCakeClub.com

and ChocolateCakeMoments.com both sites dedicated to helping busy families have more fun together. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. 

Looking for some fun activities to do with the family around Thanksgiving? Whether you need a craft to keep the kids amused after Thanksgiving dinner, you want a fun way to teach your kids to be grateful, or you want some inspiration for a new family tradition, here are several ideas to keep the family laughing and creating memories around Thanksgiving.

1. Get Active!

Many towns and park districts host a Turkey Trot 1 Mile and 5K race every Thanksgiving morning. While we usually travel out of town to visit family on Thanksgiving, several of our neighbors run as a family every year. It's a great way to spend time together and burn the calories before you pack in the carbs!


2. Bake Up Memories.

We have a great Thanksgiving Day tradition. After we gorge ourselves on turkey dinner, those who don't want to watch football go back in the kitchen and make our favorite Holiday cookies. Each person brings their favorite recipe and we bake, bake, bake. (It keeps us awake and standing, so we're burning the Turkey dinner calories, right?)

When we started this tradition it was fun to see what Grandma's favorite cookie recipe was when she was a kid. Now that she is gone, we still make those cookies to remember her by. Everyone goes home with a plate of assorted cookies armed for the Holiday festivities. Freeze them and pull them out for your Holiday parties or to give as gifts. If that's not a Holiday stress-bustin' tip, I don't know what is.

3. Create a New Tradition!

Families have some wonderfully creative ideas for Thanksgiving Family Traditions. Here's a post I wish I had written! Check out the great A to Z Thanksgiving Family Fun Ideas from Cindy Bultema at the SheSparkles Blog. You're sure to find a new family tradition in this list.

I love this tradition of encouraging your kids to be grateful for everything they have by creating Thanks and Giving Trees. Starting Nov. 1, use these templates and cut out a leaf and write something you are thankful for. Paste it to your Thanks tree. Then cut another leaf and write something you did to help someone that day and paste it to the Giving Tree. By Thanksgiving the whole family will have an attitude of gratitude and you'll have some pretty artwork for decorating.


4. Play a Game

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get out those favorite party games and let the competition and laughter begin. A family I know plays the same game every Thanksgiving and whoever wins, adult or child, they get to take home the "Thanksgiving Trophy" and have bragging rights for the following year. Other families like to try a new game every year. (It's a great way to test a game you are thinking of giving as a Holiday gift.)

 Conversation games are also perfect to play at the Thanksgiving dinner table. You'll be surprised that you learn something new about your family members and you'll definitely build stronger connections. Here are some Conversation Game Questions to get you started. 


5. Craft it up!

If you want the kids to help make some fun decorations for the Thanksgiving dinner table or need an activity to keep the nieces and nephews amused on Thanksgiving Day, check out these simple but fun kids craft ideas. MakeandTakes.com offers some fun ideas for Thanksgiving crafts and decorations. I really like the Turkey Bowling, Turkey Napkin Holders, and Turkey Bingo. Kaboose.com had a cute idea for some Paper Cup Turkeys

What fun activities does your family do on or around Thanksgiving?

Traveling for Thanksgiving this year? Read these Holiday Family Travel Tips to make your trip more fun and less stressful.

Jessica Anderson November 20, 2012 at 06:47 PM
These are all great suggestions! Just add another one to mix, my family is trying a scavenger hunt this year. Two teams, the Pilgrims vs the Native Americans, winner gets to take home the "trophy" (a fake treasure map). We are giving this service a try, xplor.io/thanksgiving-scavenger-hunt as they had an existing hunt, apps we could use and a slideshow of all of the photos taken.
Sue Kirchner November 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Jessica, I love that idea!!! I hope you all have a blast on the scavenger hunt. Sue Kirchner


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