Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas
The seasons have changed and finally, Thanksgiving is upon us! It’s such a fun holiday that centers around a huge feast and reflecting on the things you are thankful for that year. It’s a time to spend with those that mean the most to you. However, while Thanksgiving usually centers around a delicious meal, you’ll also want to have some entertainment ideas to keep your guests occupied. Here are several fun things to try at your Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Try the Viral Butter Board Trend
Most people have probably seen the butter boards that are taking the internet by storm. It’s a twist on dips, appetizers and charcuterie boards. Here’s our favorite butter board recipe to get you started:
1 cup Butter
1. Spread the butter across your board.
2. Add the toppings - start by spreading the
jam lightly over top and then drizzling the
honey. Next, sprinkle on any dry ingredients.
3. Serve with a sliced baguette and enjoy!
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving with your family, a group of friends or a mix, one fun way to celebrate is by sharing traditions. If you just celebrate with your immediate family, you can always share traditions from each side of the family, which could be really fun. If you celebrate with friends or a larger mixed group of family and friends, sharing traditions might be an even bigger deal. Ask a few people ahead of time to think of something that their family did during Thanksgiving and ask them to come prepared to share.
If you’re thinking that your family didn’t have many traditions, here are a few things to consider
- Did you serve a unique dish at Thanksgiving?
- Did you do a Thanksgiving brunch?
- Did you do volunteer work?
- Was there a special game you played?
- Did you dress up or down for Thanksgiving?
- Did you have a certain decoration that was always on display at Thanksgiving?
- Did grandma always make a certain kind of pie?
- Did you do a certain activity after your Thanksgiving meal (i.e., put up the Christmas tree, go deliver food to people in need, etc.)?
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. Some people might think they just had the meal and moved along. However, as you reminisce on Thanksgiving's past, we’re certain a thing or two will stand out as a tradition or at least a consistent fond memory of Thanksgiving. By having your guests share or even do their favorite Thanksgiving tradition at your meal, it’ll give you new ideas and help people reminisce on good times in their lives.
Have you heard of a gratitude pumpkin? If you haven't, it's a great tradition to add to your Thanksgiving lineup. Some people go around the Thanksgiving table talking about the things they are grateful for, and this is a fun spin on that tradition.
You’ll want to start with a real pumpkin or a faux craft pumpkin in orange or white. Then grab a few black sharpie pens. Start at the top of the pumpkin and have people write the things they are grateful for that year. You can have people write everything in even lines that spiral down, or just have guests write wherever they want on the pumpkin. At dinner, you can read off the items that have been written or simply use the gratitude pumpkin as part of your Thanksgiving table centerpiece. It’s a fun way to help people reflect and focus on the things that matter most to them.
Activities for Adults
While many people are just content sitting and talking with everyone, having a few fun activities for the adults and older kids at your Thanksgiving meal can really add to the fun factor. First consider the personalities of your guests. Are they boisterous and full of energy? Perhaps they’re quiet and prefer to sit? Maybe a mix of both? Especially if you have a mix of the two or new people joining your meal, you’ll want to make sure everyone knows that the games are optional. People can sometimes get uncomfortable, and they might prefer to sit out and watch, which is great too. Here are a few ideas of things to do:
- Play turkey bowl
- Watch a football game
- Play a favorite board game
- Do an unwrap-the-Saran-wrap ball with prizes inside (fast-paced game)
- Have a musically talented family member perform for everyone
- Show a slideshow of pictures from the past year of everyone in the family
- Do a service project in your community
If you're unsure of what to do, consider gauging interest before your Thanksgiving meal so you know what everyone might be comfortable with doing.
Don’t Forget the Kids
If you hold a more formal Thanksgiving dinner especially, you’ll need to ensure you have activities for the kids in attendance. You’ll want to take their ages into consideration (a 13-year-old probably won’t want to play the same games as a 3-year-old.) Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Set the table with placemats they can color (don’t forget the crayons)
- Bingo (with small prizes)
- Make gratitude turkeys out of construction paper (each feather has something the child is grateful for written on it)
- Let them play with Play-Doh
- Do a scavenger hunt with a prize at the end
- Have them watch a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- Have favorite board games available for everyone to play
Some of these ideas are so fun adults may even want to participate. Keeping the kids occupied, though, can mean a much more peaceful and fun Thanksgiving meal for everyone. Also, since kids have short attention spans, maybe have a backup idea or two on standby, just in case things get too rowdy at the kids’ table.
Ultimately, no matter how you decide to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s more about the people you’re spending it with. So, even if there isn’t a turkey, fancy charcuterie boards, games or lots of family and friends, it’ll be a special time as long as you focus on gratitude and what matters to you the most.
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