While the main event of Thanksgiving is most certainly the big meal, I see no reason why we can’t sprinkle in a dash of fun throughout the day with a few thoughtful yet wild Thanksgiving games! I love spending the holiday catching up with family and friends and what better way to do it than with some friendly competition. ;)
It’ll give everyone something to do while they wait for the grand finale…all the delicious food!
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The Best Thanksgiving Family Games
These Thanksgiving games are totally family friendly and will be a blast for kids and adults alike. They do require some physical activity though, so I’d recommend playing before feasting.
Paint clothespins different colors so that each player has 3 of their own, all the same color. Decorate them to look like little turkeys using googly eyes and foam cutout beaks. Let each player clip the 3 clothespins anywhere they want on their clothes. Then, start the game of tag where the goal is to unclip all the clothespins from your opponents while still keeping your own in tact. Everyone’s really going to love running around like turkeys in this silly game of turkey tag!
We’re not really suggesting you go turkey hunting this Thanksgiving…unless you’re experienced, then by all means drop off a fresh turkey at my house too! It’s just: Turkey Day + Scavenger Hunt = Turkey Hunt! Create your own Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt to keep the whole family busy while they wait for dinner to be served.
Some of my favorite items to list are:
- take a picture of a Black Friday line starting early
- find fall leaves in at least 4 different colors
- check the grocery store to see if they’ve got any more canned pumpkin
- bring a small gift (candle or homemade treat) to a next-door neighbor, find football fans from each team playing on Thanksgiving Day
- track down a local eatery showing the Macy’s Day parade.
There are so many more options, whether you want to stay close to home or get everyone out of the house, so have fun with it!
Fun Thanksgiving Games
What’s a holiday celebration without some fun? I can guarantee you won’t be bored this Thanksgiving if you opt for one of these two fun Thanksgiving games.
Shake Your Tail Feather
Wrap empty tissue boxes with colorful paper making sure to leave the opening exposed. Fill with colored feathers, the same number in each box. Attach the bottom of the tissue box to string or rope using tape or glue and tie one around each player. On “go,” everyone’s gotta shake their tail feathers! First one to shake all the feathers out of their box wins!
This game can get a little messy but is a pretty good way to ensure your turkey gets defrosted on time ;) Using a frozen turkey as a bowling ball, roll it on a slick surface down towards your pins. I like to use butternut squash for the pins because they’re the perfect shape and totally fall. Not only is this game fun, but the materials used to play double as Thanksgiving menu items!
Thanksgiving Dinner Games
Break up the small talk and storytelling during the big meal with these Thanksgiving Dinner games that’ll bring some much-needed entertainment to fill the awkward silence, family disagreements (not that those ever happen, right?!), and clanking of utensils.
Go around the table and have everyone list out two things they’re thankful for, one serious and one fun. Some examples are family & pizza, a job & puppy kisses, the kids & alarm clocks. It’s really great to learn more about family and friends, both their sentimental and serious sides, and what’s really important to them, everyone giving thanks in the spirit of the season.
Piece the Pie
You’ll need lots of extra pie tins and whipped cream for this game! Hide gummy letters in the pie tins to spell out a secret Thanksgiving-themed word…think pie, turkey, stuffing, or pilgrim. Then, top the pie tins with plenty of whipped cream! Each player’s gotta use their faces to dig out all of the gummy letter and unscramble them to solve the mystery word. This is a kid’s favorite in the list of Thanksgiving games to play. It’s like the origional Pie Face. ;)
Thanksgiving Party Games
These Thanksgiving games are perfect for a big group of people so everyone at the party can join in on the fun!
Paint popsicles sticks all different colors. I like to use reds, oranges, and yellows to represent the beautiful fall colors. Then, using a permanent marker, write different Thanksgiving-themed actions onto each stick. Some ideas are carving the turkey, baking a pie, the Macy’s Day parade, or watching football. Then, place the sticks into a jar, split into teams of two, and take turns acting out all the Thanksgiving favorites. This is a fun way to put a seasonal twist on the classic game of charades!
Shoot the Turkey
This fun addition to the thanksgiving games uses balloons which are basically a staple in my life, so I’m obviously a huge fan already ;) Blow up a bunch of balloons using helium, add strings, and tie them down with weights. Draw a turkey onto each balloon, giving them different point values. Hand each player a nerf gun and let ‘er rip!
The Best Games to Play on Thanksgiving that Money Can Buy
If you’re in charge of the major preparations this Thanksgiving and don’t have the time to plan out a bunch of Thanksgiving games, I’ve got good news…hop online and pick up one of these games and you’ll be set to entertain your guests with just a couple clicks!
This or That
Similar to the classic “Would You Rather,” This or That is a game that’d be great to play with friends or family this Thanksgiving. You could give everyone their own sheet and have them silently circle preferences, then go around and have each person share OR you could have one person call out the two choices and have the rest of the players gather into two groups based on their preferences. Either way, there’s sure to be some friendly fights and players defend their points of view. In the end, everyone wins though because there’s just too much to be thankful for!
The Awkward Storyteller
This game is less Thanksgiving and more let’s have fun and laugh together because it’s a holiday and why not?! One player is a storyteller, answering questions about their story from the other players based on their cards. Time is ticking and it’s all about creating something funny in a crunch. Think you’re up for the challenge?
Thanksgiving Trivia Games
Trivia games are always a blast during holiday celebrations and always great additions to your Thanksgiving games. Whether you and your family are knowledgeable on the subject or not, it’s always interesting to hear what everyone thinks. It may surprise you if your 5 year old nephew seems more educated than you do, what with a college education and so much more life experience, but hey, you win some you lose some, right? ;)
Think up all sorts of questions about turkeys. Anything one could possibly want to know. What’s the average life span? How many eggs do they lay? What type of climate do they prefer? Are males and females similar in look and size? Then, Google the answers because who really knows all this stuff of the top of their head…and write them down for safekeeping. Quiz the crowd and see who’s the real turkey tutor!
Do the same thing you did with the Turkey Trivia but this time with the history of Thanksgiving. Some sample questions include: When did the Mayflower set sail? Who was aboard? What foods were shared at the first Thanksgiving? Who invented pumpkin pie?
Thanksgiving Drinking Games
Family gatherings almost always require alcohol, or is it just me? HA! Whether your family is borderline loony or the biggest bunch of fun, alcohol is a fun way to celebrate a special occasion. So, fill your glasses and say cheers to these fun Thanksgiving Drinking Games! P.S. Make sure to hydrate with lots of water and keep your tummy full of snacks (shouldn’t be hard to do on Thanksgiving)!
*Pro tip: If you want to make these Thanksgiving games family friendly, just substitute a fun bubbly soda for the alcohol to make drinking games everyone can play.
I love this game because you can either make or buy it depending on your desire to be creative or desire to kick back and let someone else do the work. Honestly, no judgement here. I think there’s a time and a place for both! The basic idea is there are cards that say “Drink If…” and then include a statement that whoever relates to, has to drink. Examples are Drink If: fall is your favorite season, mashed potatoes are your least favorite side dish, you did no cooking this year, you plan to Black Friday shop, you like whipped cream on your pie, etc.
Family Faux Pas
Probably the funniest of the Thanksgiving games on this list is Family Faux Pas, a drinking game that’s based on the fact that families are weird and awkward situations are bound to happen. Here’s the breakdown…each time a ‘Family Faux Pas’ occurs, the person who’s family committed the crime has to drink. If you’re gathering with only one side of the family, males can drink when males are the culprits and females for females. Faux Pas that require drinking include:
- Someone being called the wrong name
- Kid spilling something on the floor
- Someone’s weight is mentioned
- Food criticism
- Someone asks when dinner will be ready
- Cell phone use at the table
- Marital argument
- Inappropriate bodily function
- Eating the last helping of a dish
- Putting finger in the pie before it’s served
- Bragging about one’s career, possession, achievements, etc.
- Overly person question is asked
- Private information is shared
Do you get the gist? Feel free to add in your own faux pas, knowing the crimes your family will probably commit, and may the most sober person win!
Printable Thanksgiving Games for the Kids
Roll a Turkey
This simple dice game is perfect for kids. They’ll try to roll each of the numbers 1-6, as each corresponds to a different part of a turkey. Once they roll each number, they’ll draw the corresponding body part until their little turkey is complete!
This little mad lib is oh so perfect for kids. It tells the story of their very own Thanksgiving celebration. So fun to see what their creative minds think up to create silly and happy stories.
This printable includes 10 bingo cards and 32 call cards, perfect for all the kids at this year’s Thanksigving gathering. And it’s picture based too, so the little ones can enjoy the fun!
This Thanksgiving there’s more than just food to look forward to! Which of these games do you plan to play with your family and friends? Drop a comment below and share with me your favorites! Happy feasting and happy fun!