Fun Family Activities to do on Thanksgiving Day

Photos / Pixabay

Many families today experience a fast-paced lifestyle, but as Thanksgiving arrives this activity comes to a screeching halt for many people. Instead, they tend to focus on spending quality time with the ones they love on Thanksgiving.

Since Thanksgiving is traditionally welcomed as a precious time to spend with family, friends, and loved ones, coming up with some great ideas for everyone to share and experience together can make for an even more special day. Whether your holiday is a big family gathering or an intimate and quiet day for a few, there are lots of fun family activities to do on Thanksgiving Day.

Sure you can lay back and watch classic movies, after all this is a tradition too, but if you’re looking for something a little different, here are a few ideas of ways the family can spend some quality time together:

Watch a Thanksgiving Parade on T.V.

condi316 / Pixabay

Even if you can’t be there, a parade is fun to watch on TV condi316 / Pixabay

Typically, in the United States on Thanksgiving morning many networks broadcast different parades taking place across the U.S. How fun is a parade?

The family can get up and cuddle with one another in front of the T.V. and enjoy the colorful floats, balloons, marching, music and more. The Macy’s Day parade is often a parade of choice, but there are others typically broadcast on various stations as well (I am partial to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade myself…)

Better yet, why not set up a breakfast picnic for the family to watch the parade on a blanket in the room where the television is? The evening before whip up some special treats that can be eaten cold or reheated quickly in the microwave. The kids are likely to love this type of special treat.

Parades are often interesting for the kids to keep them busy, especially if they are being constantly shooed out of the kitchen by the adults busy preparing the main meal of the day. They’ll have a much better time hanging out with the rest of the family doing something fun.

board game collection amazon

Board game collection on (click image for more detail)

Games and Puzzles

Games are usually a big hit. There’s cards, board games, charades, the list is endless. If your family is artistically inclined, Pictionary is a fun game; Trivial Pursuit might strike the interest of the older kids. Other fun games are classic such as Clue, Monopoly, Life, Chutes and Ladders or Candyland.

Puzzles are another great family activity. The good thing about puzzles is there are many different kinds, styles and difficulty levels. You can have a few different puzzles and, if your group is a large one, try breaking up into smaller groups and have a contest to see which group can finish their puzzle first.


After dinner and/or dessert have been cleared up, why not have a family craft session? You can work on Thanksgiving Day, winter projects, or make creations for the upcoming holidays. Writing out and decorating Christmas cards is another family fun activity if you celebrate this holiday.

Make and Watch Home Movies

samsung video

Don’t have a video camera? has a number of options (click image to see more detail)

Thanksgiving is a fabulous time to make some great memories. Every year take some video and then in subsequent years you can revisit them. For instance, each year after dessert, or other designated time of Thanksgiving Day, everyone can relax and lie back watching a Thanksgiving video of years past.

Kids typically love to see themselves on television and they’ll be amazed at just how much they grow from year to year. The film doesn’t have to be long, but if you take a few moments to film various aspects of the day and save them, you can compile the clips into one movie that is bound to be loved year after year.


Most kids typically like to help others. Thanksgiving is the perfect day to spend family time together giving to other people. Check your local area to see if there are any soup kitchens, shelters, churches or nursing homes in need of volunteers.

Family traditions are what you make of them. If you’re looking for ideas of fun family activities or to create traditions  on Thanksgiving Day, the possibilities are endless.

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