10 Fun Things to Do on Thanksgiving

If you’re not in charge of cooking this year for Thanksgiving, why not provide the entertainment for your guests while you wait for the main meal to begin? This will keep the “Is the food ready yet?” questions to a minimum, and it will keep boredom at bay. Check out the following festive activities the whole family can enjoy.


1 — Flag Football

Is there a more classic Thanksgiving family activity than flag football? Take in the fresh air, work up an appetite, and enjoy tossing the pigskin around with your loved ones. And if your team claims victory, you’ll have bragging rights throughout the year for winning the big game!

Young boy running with the ball during a youth flag football game

2 — Cornhole

You and your family can always look forward to a competitive game of cornhole on Thanksgiving. Whether you decide to purchase a cornhole set or build one yourself, it’s a worthwhile investment because you can use it not just at Thanksgiving, but during other holidays or any family get-together. All you need is decent weather and willing participants to get a good game of cornhole going.

3 — Thanksgiving Bingo

If you’re looking for activities that small children or grandparents can get participate in, this festive version of bingo will do the trick. The whole family will have a great time playing Thanksgiving bingo while everyone waits for the turkey to cook. Just print out bingo cards and use candy corn as your markers. If the weather is pleasant, take advantage of the sunny skies and set up the bingo game out on your patio or deck.

Thanksgiving bingo cards set. Fun family lotto board game with cute turkey, pumpkin, pilgrim for kids. Autumn Fall holiday lottery activity. Simple educational printable worksheet.

4 — Fireside Chats

You just had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and now you want to kick back and enjoy a piping hot beverage under a starry night sky. The only thing missing is the warmth of a roaring fire to cap off your special evening. Don’t have a fire pit? Consider adding a POLYWOOD fire pit table to your outdoor setup. They’re easier to maintain than traditional fire pits. Plus, you never have to add firewood or worry about soot as these fire pit tables are powered by propane. You’ll also have plenty of table space to lay out your s’mores ingredients for the kids, and mulled wine for the adults!

5 — Watch the Game Outdoors

Football is a huge part of the Thanksgiving tradition. So set up your outdoor home theater, arrange your deep seating furniture, gather those comfy Adirondack chairs, and watch all the games. Not a big sports fan? Fire up some classic Thanksgiving flicks such as “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” or “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Don’t forget to provide blankets and light snacks to ward off the chill and the hunger while you wait for your dinner.

6 — Candy Corn Ring Toss

Keep the kids entertained with a festive version of horseshoes — candy corn ring toss. Grab orange, white, and yellow spray paint and create your “candy corns” out of mini emergency cones. Then, use glow sticks as your rings. Whether you set it up in the backyard or driveway, your kids will have a great time playing this game.

7 — Mini Pumpkin Hunt

The kiddos love Easter egg hunts, so why limit this fun, family-friendly activity to just one holiday? Instead of eggs, hide mini pumpkins throughout your backyard, and whoever collects the most pumpkins wins. This creative Thanksgiving idea is a great way for the kids to run around the yard and exert some energy before dinner.

Crop female in casual checkered shirt holding orange mini pumpkin in hands

8 — Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe

After you and the kids get done with the pumpkin hunt, use those same pumpkins to play a fall version of tic-tac-toe. All you need to do is grab some chalk and draw a tic-tac-toe board on your driveway. Make sure your mini pumpkins are in two different colors.

9 — Go for a Run

Thanksgiving runs are hosted all over the country every year. Start a healthy tradition with your family and get them to run or walk a 5k with you on Thanksgiving morning. Runsignup.com has a huge list of Thanksgiving Day runs that you can check out. 

Runners wave to the camera at the start of the Run Your Turkey Off 4K race, the day after thanksgiving.

10 — Turkey Piñata

Piñatas are a staple for kids’ birthday parties. So why not bring out a turkey pinata for Thanksgiving? It’s a fun activity your little ones will enjoy. Just hang the pinata over a tree branch in your backyard and let them whack their way to some tasty goodies.

Colorful Thanksgiving Turkey Pinata Hanging from a Tree Outside on a Sunny Day


Whatever fun Thanksgiving activities you and your family decide to do, don’t forget to express your gratitude to the ones you love. Make some beautiful memories and enjoy the holidays!  

What fun things are you going to do on Thanksgiving?

We want to hear from you in the comments below. For more inspiration, check out our guide on fun fall activities to enjoy at home.

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