What to Do on Thanksgiving Day

What are you looking forward to MOST this Thanksgiving? Is it the Thanksgiving Day activities or the scrumptious food?

The Macy’s Day Parade? Or the giant, moist turkey and mashed potatoes? Or perhaps it’s the good-natured bantering with your crazy aunt?

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Thanksgiving Day Activities Pin

It’s hard to know what to expect this year, but there are ways that we can set up the day to be unique and special to us.

So, here are 4 crucial ideas to make your upcoming holiday your best yet, then read on for plenty of Thanksgiving day activities (for families) to go around.

First, Define Your Perfect Holiday

The holiday season often brings overzealous expectations and overwhelming stress to make things perfect.

Therefore, let’s take a moment to remember that people have flaws and this is real life. Your kids may WILL PROBABLY melt down. It’s possible you’ll burn something. And there are any number of things that will not be “just right.”- But in the grand scheme of things, those things don’t matter.

So, distinguish what the MOST important things are to you this Thanksgiving. Strive to make those happen, and let go of the rest (especially things outside of your control).

Your attitude towards the day makes a HUGE difference in how much you enjoy the holiday.

Second, Decrease the Work

You know what I hate?

Cooking for Thanksgiving while my family lays on the couch watching the parade. Darn it, I want to be with them!

So, I prefer to make breakfast ahead and make side dishes AROUND the parade and our other traditions.

Here are some flavorful make-ahead breakfast ideas:

  • egg casserole (my personal favorite)
  • fruit muffins
  • cinnamon rolls or french toast
  • baked oatmeal
  • breakfast cookies
  • yogurt protein bites

Wide Open Eats has 20 delicious make-ahead Christmas breakfast ideas that also make PERFECT Thanksgiving options!

Furthermore, spread out the work when it comes to preparing food! If you host the holiday, have others bring plenty of sides.

And as the kids get older, it’s a great opportunity to teach them how to make their favorite dishes. We’ll be pulling jobs out of a hat this year to get the kids more involved!

Check out these posts for other great ways to plan ahead:

Third, Establish Traditions

If you don’t have a few heartwarming traditions for Thanksgiving, you’re missing out. It’s the best time of year to emphasis family, giving, and thankfulness.

And if you need some stellar ideas, check out my ebook “The Ultimate Guide To Family Traditions (257+ ideas) .” There are 51 traditions for the next three holidays alone! – and lots of ways to use Thanksgiving to build gratitude and strong relationships.

Fourth, Fun Thanksgiving Day Activities

Make sweet memories with your family using these 11 incredible (and cheap or free) activities.

1. I SPY THANKSGIVING

I spy game with line icons to find and a pumpkin with text overlay-free printable I Spy Thanksgiving

Have kids color and find all the fun Thanksgiving-themed objects!

Check it out HERE from Paper Trail Design

2. A THANKSGIVING GRATITUDE GAME

Thanksgiving Day Activities, Gratitude game

This game uses M&Ms but you can use anything that’s colorful like craft sticks or straws.

Check it out HERE from Happy Go Lucky

3. THANKSGIVING COLORING PAGES

Thanksgiving Coloring Pages Free Printable. Grateful, Thankful, Gratitude, Give Thanks, and Thanksgiving for kids and adults. #papertraildesign #thanksgiving #thankful #grateful #gratitude #coloringpage #givethanks

Color a page with the kids in your family while you wait for dinner to be ready!

Check it out HERE at Paper Trail Design

4. FREE THANKSGIVING JOKES & FUN FACTS

Amp up the fun with some silly Thanksgiving jokes!

Check it out HERE at TeePee Girl

5. THANKSGIVING MINUTE TO WIN IT GAMES

There are so many simple and fun games to play on Thanksgiving. This site even has a scorecard to keep track of the winners.

Check it out HERE at Happiness Is Homemade

6. GRATITUDE SCAVENGER HUNT

Gratitude Scavenger Hunt

Get everyone moving with this easy scavenger hunt for kids!

Check it out HERE at Let’s Get Together

7. THANKSGIVING BOOKS

Read a few books to help teach those valuable Thanksgiving lessons!

Bear Says Thanks

Thanksgiving Day Activities, Bear Says Thanks Book

We love the way this book rhymes and mama loves how it emphasizes togetherness and gratitude.

Find it HERE

Thankful

Fun Thanksgiving Day Activities, Thankful book

This short little board book for kids discusses being thankful for all of the little things. Children and adults can always use a reminder of this!

Find it HERE

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Fun Thanksgiving Day Books for families

Another amazing book to guide you in a thankful discussion!

Find it HERE

The Magic Treehouse: Thanksgiving on Thursday

The Magic Treehouse as fun Thanksgiving Day activities for families

This is a great read for the older kiddos! My son LOVES the Magic Treehouse series, and this is the perfect segway to talk about Thanksgiving day activities, history, and traditions.

Find it HERE

8. THE BOWL GAME

This game looks like the PERFECT family Thanksgiving game!

First, every person writes down something others don’t know about them. Then, players try to guess who wrote it. Points are given to those that guess correctly. The trick is to write random and silly things not even your spouse would know!

Check it out HERE

9. THANKSGIVING DINNER CONVERSATION CARDS

Second Chance to Dream: Thanksgiving Dinner Conversation Cards, Thanksgiving Day Activities

Keep the conversation at dinner lively with these fun starters.

Check it out HERE at Second Chance To Dream

10. THANKSGIVING PICTIONARY

Use fall and Thanksgiving words to make this an easy game for all ages. Simply write themed words on a paper and have teams take turns drawing them to see who can guess the fastest.

11. TURKEY TAG

Turkey Tag from Let's Get Together, What to do on Thanksgiving Day

Now, this is possibly the cutest idea I’ve ever seen. Have kids make these simple clothespin turkeys, then attach them to their shirts. It becomes a game of tag to get the clothespins off. Don’t just let the kids do this one. It’s a playful game for everyone!

Check it out HERE at Let’s Get Together

Looking for more ways to be playful with your kids?

Check out: Easy Ways To Become A Playful Mom or Free Printables for Your Amazing Fall Bucket List

Something To Consider With Fun Thanksgiving Activities

Friends, wait a day for the madness of shopping and put the phones away. Instead, make this Thanksgiving about connecting with the people that mean the most to you.

Cheers to your perfect holiday, whatever that may be!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving Day activities for families?

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