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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Thanksgiving Games for Kids
If there’s one thing you need to do before Thanksgiving, it’s to make sure that the kids are occupied!
These kids’ activities are the perfect Thanksgiving games to play while the adults are cooking, decorating, and preparing the festivities.
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 Thanksgiving gathering. And it’s picture-based too, so the little ones can enjoy the fun!
If you’re looking for a new game to occupy the very youngest members of your Thanksgiving crew, Pin the Tail on Turkey is here to help!
You just need to construct your own cardboard turkey with feathers to boot. Each kid gets a different colored feather (so you know who’s who) and a blindfold.
It’s up to them to get as close to the tail-end of the turkey as possible! Whoever gets closest wins a prize of your choice.
What better way to celebrate the first pilgrims setting foot on American soil?
Give each participant a straw and a cork with a fake flower pinned to it before starting. Here you’ll need to fill a long storage container with water, and the first two people will place their cork in the water.
The other end of the container is “America,” and the aim of the game is to get your cork to the other side using only a straw to blow on it. The first player to reach America wins!
Here’s another game to keep your toddlers busy while you’re busy preparing the Thanksgiving feast.
You’re going to need pom poms, a pair of tongs, and a plastic bottle with a neck just big enough to place the pom poms inside. With the kids helping, decorate the bottle with googly eyes, feathers, and a beak and wattle cut from construction paper.
The bottle is the turkey, the pom poms are turkey feed, and it’s your child’s job to keep the hungry turkey full!
We’ve all been here before. The adults have barely started their meals, enjoying some dinner time chit-chat, but uh-oh – the kiddies have finished their meals already!
These activity pages are perfect to slip under each child’s placemat, and they can color in the turkey, play tic-tac-toe with their neighbor, or do a word-find.
Just keep a jar of pencils on the table and hopefully, they’ll be distracted long enough for you to finish that delicious slice of pumpkin pie.
I Spy Thanksgiving Edition
If your kids are fans of classic “I Spy” games, it’s easy to make your own version for Thanksgiving.
Just come up with a list of Thanksgiving items you can identify around the house or neighborhood.
If you’re running low on themed decorations, you can also add Fall-related items like acorns, a pile of leaves, pine cones, etc.
Set some time aside to walk around with them, and help them cross off each item as they find them.
Thanksgiving Games for Adults
Thanksgiving games aren’t just for kids! And when you’re celebrating all the things you’re grateful for in life, what better way to do that than with a drink in hand?
Here is our mix of alcohol-infused party games and some brain-bending trivia quizzes that might go over the heads of your younger family members.
So, fill your glasses and say cheers to these fun Thanksgiving activities for adults! 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 judgment 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 whose 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 a 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
Don’t Let the Feather Fall
This game is so simple, so easy, and yet so entertaining! And the stakes only make it more fun.
Each competitor is given a feather, and they must blow on it to keep it in the air for as long as possible.
Whoever’s feather falls first has to take a drink, and whoever’s feather stays in the air longest get’s to “give” a drink to the player of their choice.
Be careful though – the later the night gets, the harder it is to play!
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 off 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? 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 soberest person win!
Thanksgiving Games for the Family
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.
These family games for Thanksgiving are suitable for all ages 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 in 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 intact.
Everyone’s really going to love running around like turkeys in this silly game of turkey tag!
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 gotta use their faces to dig out all of the gummy letters and unscramble them to solve the mystery word.
This is a kid’s favorite on the list of Thanksgiving games to play. It’s like the original Pie Face. ;)
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.
Gobble Gobble Goblet!
Purchase a pack of plastic goblets (or failing that, plastic cups) and a bag of ping pongs balls and split your Thanksgiving crew into two teams.
Set up a line of goblets for each team, and give each player three ping pong balls. The aim of the game is to get each ping pong ball across the room and into one of the goblets.
How is this Thanksgiving-related, you ask? Well, you can only carry the ping pong ball between your chin and your neck, imitating a turkey wattle!
Thanksgiving Relay Race
For this relay race, give each team a “turkey” i.e, an inflated balloon. You’re welcome to decorate it to make it more lifelike.
Now one participant from each team has to keep the turkey balloon between their legs, and race to one point and back to the start line where the next player is waiting.
If the balloon falls or the player touches it with their hands, they have to go back and start again. If that sounds too easy, make it so that each player has to pass the balloon to the next player – without either player using their hands!
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!
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 popsicle sticks in 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!
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!
The first one to shake all the feathers out of their box wins!
This one’s for the artists in the family. Here you take the classic game of Pictionary and give it a Thanksgiving twist – and all you need is pens, paper, and a timer! Before the game, simply think of some Thanksgiving-related nouns, like corn, pumpkin pie, and pilgrims.
Write them on slips of paper, place them in a bowl, and divide your group into two teams. When the timer starts, each team member will take turns blindly choosing a word and drawing it for their team members.
Each correct guess equals a point, and the team with the most points 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!
Turkey Bowl 2 (Cup Edition)
If you want to play the Turkey Bowl game mentioned above but you don’t have the frozen turkey or butternut squash to spare (or don’t want to deal with a potential mess), there’s a slightly simpler and more child-friendly version you can use.
Instead of butternut squash, you can use a set of plastic cups decorated with googly-eyes, upside-down paper triangles for beaks, and feathers on the back.
Instead of the frozen turkey, you can use a mini-pumpkin to bowl the cups over.
This game is so much fun, and so is making the props for it! That’s right, with this game you’ll be making your own paper turkey, and the aim of the game is to stuff it.
Set up two teams with two turkeys, and have each team compete to see who can “stuff” the turkey fastest, by throwing paper balls into the turkey.
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!
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!
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?
There are six different styles of Thanksgiving turkeys and 5 sheets in each set, not to mention these vinyl stickers can be used multiple times!
They’re easy to use and sure to keep the kids entertained for an hour or two while the adults are busy.
Put your family members’ wits to the test with this brilliant set of Thanksgiving riddles! All you need to do is match each riddle with the correct answer.
To make things extra fun, have each family member read out a riddle and choose one other person to give the answer. Not only will they provide some much-needed laughs, but they’re fun for all ages.
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!