These Thanksgiving ideas are fun for all ages, and none require Pinterest levels of crafting or decorating.
Whether you're celebrating turkey season with friends or family, in person or online, pull up a pumpkin spice latte and let's dive in.
Being Irish, I've never properly celebrated Thanksgiving. But we've lived in the US for 3 years now, and half my audience is based here, so I thought it would be fun to share some simple Thanksgiving activities.
I've also included a free download of the Thanksgiving bucket list for email subscribers if you'd like to tick things off on your tablet or phone, or simply save it as a reminder. Just enter your details below and it'll be sent straight to your inbox.
Ok, let's dive right in. Here are 18 fun things to do for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Activity #1: Write a gratitude list
Starting with an obvious one, but sometimes those are the things that are the easiest to overlook. Regardless of whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, practising gratitude is always a good idea.
I know 2020 has been tough and it probably seems short on blessings. But it's the times they're harder to see that make them all the more meaningful.
Take some time this November to list some things you're truly thankful for.
Thanksgiving Activity #2: Play 'pin the snood on the turkey'
A festive take on the classic 'Pin The Tail On The Donkey', this is one of those Thanksgiving ideas that's sure to get the whole family giggling.
(And yes, I had to Google the name for a snood. You learn something new every day!)
Depending on how old they are, this could even keep the kids quiet for a while if they're first tasked with drawing and colouring the turkey.
Thanksgiving Activity #3: Make your space cosy & warm
If you live in the northern hemisphere, you'll have noticed the drastic change in daylight hours. Combat the dark, chilly evenings by making your home as "hygge" as possible.
Think throw cushions and blankets, a collection of candles, and a crackling fire (or, if you lack an open fireplace, the simulation of one on a screensaver).
And just like that, you're snug as a bug in a rug. 🙂
Thanksgiving Activity #4: Enjoy a hot beverage
Candles and fire not enough to warm your bones? Indulge in your drink of choice to keep the cold out.
Bonus points if you stick a little snack on the side. 😉
Speaking of delicious treats...
Thanksgiving Activity #5: Bake a pie
I'll admit I'm not one for baking but if you are, go for it! This is a great one to get the kids involved in if you can.
Even though the skill seemingly skipped me, some of my fondest memories are of baking apple pies and scones with my mother.
Still, you have my full permission to go store-bought on this one and then just bung it in the oven for a few minutes to heat it back up.
If you do a good enough job of disposing of the evidence, no-one will ever have to know. 😉
Thanksgiving Activity #6: Watch the Thanksgiving parade
I've never actually watched the Thanksgiving Day parade but I hear it's quite a sight to behold.
Music, marching, giant balloons...
Grab yourself a slice of that pie you just made and put your feet up.
Thanksgiving Activity #7: Learn the history of Thanksgiving
I feel most holidays have lost their original meaning but this is particularly true for Thanksgiving. Take some time this month to brush up on its history, and then share something you learned with your children, family members, or friends.
Thanksgiving Activity #8: Get out in nature
It's the perfect time for a walk, not just temperature-wise but because of the volume of crunchy leaves!
Don your hat and mittens, pull on your favourite boots, and away you go.
Be sure to snap some fun photos too because honestly, if it's not on the 'gram did it even happen? 😉
Thanksgiving Activity #9: Watch a movie
What better way to spend an autumn evening than to curl up with a festive film.
I'll admit that because I don't celebrate Thanksgiving I'm at a loss for specific examples, so drop all your favourite Thanksgiving ideas for perfect fall movies in the comments!
Thanksgiving Activity #10: Say thank you
Remember that gratitude list you wrote? You probably mentioned one or two people on it. Now's the perfect time to show your appreciation with a thoughtful card or note.
Bonus points for supporting the postal service too. 🙂
Thanksgiving Activity #11: Share your bounty
While we may not all be rich or famous, each of us has an abundance of something.
Think of some ways you could give back this Thanksgiving.
Maybe you could donate food to a local community pantry, some toiletries to a shelter, old blankets to an animal rescue, or give of your time by volunteering at a thrift store or soup kitchen.
Share your blessings with others and watch them multiply.
Thanksgiving Activity #12: Make an autumn wreath
Sure, you could hit up your local craft store for supplies, but you could also scavenge in your own back garden.
This is such a fun fall activity for kids, and will keep them occupied for ages.
Have them gather leaves, twigs, and pine cones... and then get crafty!
And while we're on the subject...
Thanksgiving Activity #13: Do a festive craft
This can be as simple as some autumn colouring pages, drawing around your hand to make a turkey outline, doing some leaf imprints, painting pine cones...
The ideas are endless and none have to be overly involved or messy.
Thanksgiving Activity #14: Decorate for fall
Again, this isn't something you have to splurge on or compete for a magazine cover, but a few festive touches can make a big difference.
Hang some bunting (making one could be part of a crafting session), incorporate some autumn colours into your decor, display some of your kids' fall creations...
Maybe even move some furniture around to try a different layout.
A simple "refresh" of the space can make it feel brand new.
Thanksgiving Activity #15: Perform a random act of kindness
2020 has taken a toll on most of us, so even the simplest gesture can mean a great deal to someone who may be struggling.
If you need some good ideas for random acts of kindness, I have a post with 17 different suggestions. You're sure to find something in there to brighten someone's day.
It’s more important than ever to perform a random act of kindness. Here are 17 suggestions to make it easy:
And hey, remember to show yourself some kindness too.
Thanksgiving Activity #16: Enjoy a meal
It doesn't require all the trimmings, but breaking bread is a blessing. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, and give all your attention to the food in front of you and the people around you.
(Screen exceptions can be made if you're video calling loved ones so you can share mealtime with them.)
Thanksgiving Activity #17: Play a game
Fun isn't often a word we associate with adulthood (more's the pity), so it's time to bring back a little sparkle. Pull out a board game, a video game, or a deck of cards and away you go.
Nothing on hand? Charades to the rescue!
This Thanksgiving, challenge yourself to laugh and get lost in the moment. Too often we switch off by sitting in front of the TV.
It's time to tune in to some fun!
Thanksgiving Activity #18: Call a loved one
While most holidays have become hideously commercialised, they're still a great reminder to spend time with and appreciate those you love.
If they're not around you (and that's more likely this year than any other), take time to call them this Thanksgiving and let them know you're thinking of them.
And there you have it, enough Thanksgiving activities to keep you going for a while. 🙂
Remember that email subscribers get the free Thanksgiving bucket list download, so enter your details and I'll get it sent straight to your inbox.
And since I'm so new to this holiday season, I bet you can come up with loads more Thanksgiving ideas. Tell me...
What's your favourite thing to do for Thanksgiving?