What To Do On Thanksgiving Without Family

What to Do on Thanksgiving Without Family? Solo Guide

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

It is a tradition to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones, making it difficult when you are without family.

I vividly recall my first solo Thanksgiving, feeling a mix of solitude and uncertainty. However, I soon discovered that it can be a unique opportunity for self-care and reflection.

So, what to do on Thanksgiving without family? 

Well, I’ll show you how to make the most of this holiday, from indulging in your favorite comfort foods to volunteering in your community while embracing the spirit of gratitude.

10 Simple Things You Can Do On Thanksgiving Alone

1. Connect With Friends

Eating Dinner with Friends on Thanksgiving

Celebrating with friends is a wonderful alternative if you won’t see any relatives this Thanksgiving. Friends can be like a second family and make the holiday feel special. 

You can have a Friendsgiving dinner or do something fun together. It’s a chance to make new memories and strengthen your friendships. 

Being with friends gives you a sense of belonging and support, especially if you feel lonely without your family. 

But what could be the worst topic to talk about at the Thanksgiving table?

2. Try To Explore

If you are alone on Thanksgiving without family, consider going out and exploring. 

It could be something as simple as trying a new hiking trail, visiting a nearby town, or checking out an art gallery. Exploring new places can bring excitement and a sense of adventure. 

“Thanksgiving Day is a good day to recommit our energies to giving thanks and just giving.”

Amy Grant, American Singer-Songwriter

And it’s a chance to discover something different and create memorable experiences.  But where can you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade?

3. Plan To Travel 

Thanksgiving can be a great time to visit new places and experience different cultures. 

You could start by looking up destinations that interest you and considering weather and activities. 

Many options exist, whether you want to go solo or bring along some friends. You could attend local events or take a relaxing getaway on your own. 

Read: What Are Three Other Countries Where Thanksgiving Is Celebrated?

4. Pamper Yourself

When you’re spending Thanksgiving without family, taking care of yourself is important. Pampering yourself is a great way to make the day special. 

Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and self-care. Sleep in, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and savor your favorite meal. 

Create a spa-like atmosphere at home with a bubble bath [1], face mask, and calming music. But what can you do on Thanksgiving aside from eating?

5. Stay In Touch

Staying in touch is important on Thanksgiving if you can’t spend it with your family. Even if you’re physically far away, technology can help close the distance. 

You can use video calls, phone calls, or even send heartfelt messages to stay connected with your loved ones. 

Sharing stories, memories, and laughter with your family, even over a screen, keeps the Thanksgiving spirit alive and reminds us that we’re not alone. 

Read: 10 Beautiful Reasons To Be Thankful For On Thanksgiving

6. Hotel Retreat

interior of a hotel room

If you’re spending Thanksgiving without family this year, consider treating yourself to a wonderful getaway at a hotel. This can be a lovely way to relax and enjoy the holiday season. 

Indulge in a cozy room with comfy beds, and take advantage of the hotel facilities like a spa or a pool to pamper yourself. 

“Solo Thanksgiving? It’s your runway for self-indulgence, a day to pamper your soul with the luxury of solitude.”

Howkapow Gift Site

Forget about cooking and cleaning by savoring a delicious Thanksgiving meal prepared by talented chefs at the hotel’s restaurant.

Check out these activities to do on Thanksgiving in NYC here.

7. Throw A Pajama Day For Yourself

One great idea for spending Thanksgiving without family is to treat yourself to a cozy pajama day. 

You can wake up whenever you feel like it, stay snuggled up in your comfiest pajamas all day, and enjoy simple pleasures at your own pace. 

Whether watching your favorite shows, diving into a good book, or savoring a cup of hot cocoa, a pajama day lets you relax without guilt. 

8. Relax & Recharge

Thanksgiving is a great time to relax and recharge on your own. It’s a chance to care for yourself and do things that bring you peace and happiness. 

You can cozy up with a good book, enjoy a long bath [2], or go for a quiet walk in nature. 

Take a break from screens and focus on yourself. Use this time to consider everything you’re grateful for and take care of your mental and emotional well-being. 

9. Cook Your Favorites

A wonderful way to enjoy Thanksgiving alone is to cook your favorite dishes. This is your chance to relish the flavors that truly make you happy. 

Whether it’s a beloved family recipe or a guilty pleasure, cooking your favorites lets you savor the comfort and create a special celebration for yourself.

Find out what breed of turkey is eaten every Thanksgiving here.

10. Help Your Neighbor

Woman Cooking

Thanksgiving is a special time to show gratitude and kindness, and what better way to do that than by supporting those around us? 

You can offer to cook a delicious meal for an older neighbor, help a friend with their groceries if they can’t go out, or be there for someone feeling lonely.

Also Read: Best Valentine’s Day Activities For Families


Is it okay to not spend Thanksgiving with your family?

It’s perfectly okay to skip spending Thanksgiving with your family. Thanksgiving is a day for reflection and gratitude, not a mandatory family gathering. 

It’s a time to relax, savor delicious food, and catch a nap. But how can you host Thanksgiving in a small house?

What should you eat for Thanksgiving alone?

Consider delightful options like pumpkin pie overnight oats, stuffed turkey breast, and mini apple pies for a solo Thanksgiving feast. 

These dishes taste traditional Thanksgiving flavors in convenient, single-serving portions.

Find out which state eats the most Thanksgiving turkey here.

In Summary

It’s a chance to hit pause, recalibrate, and make it your day. 

Whether you’re trying to explore new horizons, planning an exciting getaway, or simply taking time to relax and recharge, the possibilities are boundless.

I’ve found that these solo Thanksgivings have taught me the value of self-discovery, the joy of solitude, and the importance of charting my course. 

So, don’t let the absence of family deter you. Embrace it. Make it your day. Who knows what revelations you might uncover when you venture into the world?


Kimberlee Johnson
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