Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by Kimberlee Johnson
As the Thanksgiving aroma of roasted turkey and savory stuffing fills the air, it’s easy to think that the holiday revolves solely around indulging in a feast.
But Thanksgiving isn’t just about eating lots of good food. It’s also about doing special things with your family and friends.
So, if you’re thinking, besides eating, what do you do on Thanksgiving?
From lively family gatherings and heartfelt conversations to the annual football game in the backyard, let me share some of my experiences from this beloved holiday.
10 Things To Do On Thanksgiving Besides Eating
1. Extend A Helping Hand
In addition to eating a tasty Thanksgiving meal, it’s important to remember to help others.
Thanksgiving is a perfect time to think about what we’re grateful for and share our good fortune with less fortunate people.
You can help in many ways, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen, collecting food for those in need, or spending time with older or lonely people.
2. Enjoy Thanksgiving Movies & TV Specials
Besides enjoying delicious food and spending time with loved ones, one of the things you can do to make the most of this holiday is to watch Thanksgiving movies and TV specials.
“I love Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday that is centered around food and family, two things that are of utmost importance to me.”– Marcus Samuelsson, Ethiopian-Swedish Chef
The spirit of Thanksgiving has been captured in numerous iconic works of art, such as “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” They make you feel grateful and bring a smile to your face.
3. Embrace The Fall Season
Celebrate Thanksgiving by fully enjoying the beauty of the fall season. Instead of just focusing on eating, take the time to appreciate the stunning autumn colors.
Go for a walk and immerse yourself in the cozy, crisp air. The changing leaves create a picturesque backdrop with their vibrant reds and oranges.
You can also indulge in enjoyable activities such as gathering apples , going on hayrides, or visiting pumpkin patches during this time of year.
4. Have A Football Fun
Football fans look forward to Thanksgiving for more than just the delicious food. They enjoy a thrilling football game when they gather around the TV or head to the stadium.
“Thanksgiving is not just a feast for the stomach; it’s a feast for the heart, filled with the warmth of family and the joy of shared moments.”– Howkapow Gift Site
Cheering for their favorite teams, engaging in friendly banter with loved ones, and celebrating every touchdown add to the excitement.
Check out these things to do in NYC for Thanksgiving here.
5. Board Game Bonding
When family and friends gather, board games offer a chance to do something different and engaging.
Whether competing in Monopoly, strategizing in Settlers of Catan, or playing Pictionary and having lots of laughs, board games bring people closer.
They encourage conversations, create friendly competition, and make lasting memories.
6. Pie-Eating Contest
Adding an exciting twist to the Thanksgiving festivities, a pie-eating contest emerges as thrilling.
As loved ones gather together, contestants eagerly prepare to devour their chosen pie, whether it be pumpkin, apple, or pecan .
With whipped cream covering their faces and pie filling staining their hands, the competition becomes a hilarious showcase of determination and speedy eating.
Check out these tips to throw Thanksgiving in a small house here.
7. Start New Traditions
Apart from enjoying a delicious meal, one of the wonderful things to do on Thanksgiving is to initiate new traditions.
You can organize a fun football match in your backyard or go on a delightful hike to admire the beauty of nature.
Another idea is gathering everyone around a cozy bonfire to share stories or play board games near the fireplace.
8. Go To A Mini Adventure
Grab your friends or family and explore a nearby hiking trail or nature reserve. Take in the cool fall air as you walk through the beautiful autumn leaves.
Go off the main trail, discover hidden spots, and capture amazing photos.
Leave behind any worries and enjoy the peacefulness of nature while creating special memories with your loved ones on this Thanksgiving adventure.
9. Host A Gift Exchange With A Twist
Instead of the usual gift-giving where everyone has a specific person to give to, let’s try something different. Each person brings a wrapped gift without knowing who it’s for.
Then, we’ll make up some wild rules, like “swap with the person on your right,” or “trade gifts with someone who has the longest hair.”
This unique gift exchange will bring laughter and create special memories for everyone involved.
10. Family Photo Shoot
One of the fun things you can do on Thanksgiving is having a family photo shoot. It’s a great way to capture special moments with your loved ones.
Everyone can dress up nicely and come together in your cozy home.
It’s a chance to freeze these heartwarming moments in time with the click of a camera, creating precious keepsakes that capture the love and togetherness of Thanksgiving.
What are some popular Thanksgiving traditions?
Popular Thanksgiving traditions include watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which features giant balloons and performances; hosting a Friendsgiving, where friends gather for a Thanksgiving meal; and flipping through old family photos, reminiscing about cherished memories while spending quality time together.
What do you avoid doing as a Thanksgiving guest?
As a Thanksgiving guest, avoiding discussing how you’re ruining your diet is essential, as it can dampen the festive atmosphere.
Avoid inviting unwelcome visitors, sticking to the host’s schedule, and starting unpleasant debates so everyone may have a good time.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, remember that this cherished holiday offers more than just eating.
On this day, we can do lots of cool things. We can help others by volunteering and being kind.
We can go outside and have fun in the leaves or snow. We can also have a good time together by playing games, watching special movies, or playing football.
All of these things make Thanksgiving special. They remind us that it’s about eating and making our hearts and souls happy.
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