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Thanksgiving Family Activities & Traditions

Nov 24, 2015 | Meal Planning | 0 comments

Thanksgiving is of course about the food but a few Thanksgiving family activities & traditions can make it extra memorable. Simple & fun!

Thanksgiving is almost here! We hope you have been prepping ahead so that you have more time to spend with friends and family versus spending all of your time in the kitchen!! As you get ready to gather family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, we wanted to share a few ideas for starting a new Thanksgiving tradition or two.

PS: if you are still searching for some last minute recipe ideas, don’t forget to check out our Holiday cookbook. It’s a collection of 24 festive ideas for anything from appetizers to cocktails and in between.

Thanksgiving Family Activities

Thanksgiving Family Activities - mini pumpkin hunt

Have a Mini-Pumpkin Hunt
What a great way to get the family up and running after a big meal. Hide as many mini pumpkins as you want, indoors or outside, and let the family loose — like an Easter egg hunt with an autumn twist. Play individually or pair up in teams and have a prize for the person/group that finds the most pumpkins.

Book of Thanks

Create a Book of Thanks

Grab an archival photobook or scrapbook from a local craft store and every year snap a picture of your guests. Print the picture and have each guest write what they are thankful for in the book. Don’t forget to put a date on the page so you can pull the book out year after year for a walk down memory lane! Original idea and photo are from here.

Gluten Free Corn Muffins

Pass Down a Family Recipe

Keep family favorites passed down from generation to generation. Bring the kiddos into the kitchen and teach them grandma’s recipe for pumpkin pie or a favorite aunt’s stuffing recipe. You can always start a new tradition of your own as well! At my house, we love making my gluten-free corn muffins and peanut butter cookies!

Thanksgiving Mad Lib

Play a Game of Mad Libs

Who doesn’t love a game of Mad Libs?! Play at the table or before you sit down to eat to get the conversation flowing. This free download is appropriate for the entire family – it’s actually better when both children and adults play. Free download (pictured at left) can be found here.

Kids Holiday Parade

Hold a Parade

Watching the Macy's Day Parade is a part of many people's Thanksgiving tradition, but why not hold your own parade? If you have kiddos present at your Turkey Day feast, this can be such a fun way to get everyone out for a walk after the big meal. Invite the kids to raid the dress-up bin and grab any kids' instruments you have lying around and march around the neighborhood.

Play a New Board Game

Make it a tradition to purchase a new board game to play every Thanksgiving. OR, perhaps even better, ask any guests who are coming to bring their favorite board game and teach everyone how to play.

Thanksgiving Tradition Letter Writing

Write a Letter

Do you have a loved one who couldn't make it in person? Take a few minutes to write them a letter about why you're thankful for them and how you miss them. Have everyone write a paragraph and they'll be sure to treasure it!

Thanksgiving Family Food Drive

Give Back

Make the holiday more meaningful by finding a way, big or small, to give back every year.

If you have guests coming, ask everyone to bring a few cans of food that you'll then donate to a local food bank. If it's just your little family, raid the pantry for donations!

Other simple options include voting on a charity to donate to. Encourage the kids to contribute if they get an allowance!

You could also have an art table and enlist the children and adults alike to make cards for a children's hospital or for our overseas soldiers.

Thanksgiving Movie Night

Watch a Holiday Movie

It's easy for holidays to end on a down note when you realize that all of the fun and festivities have come to an end. For many though, the end of Thanksgiving brings the beginning of the winter holiday season. So why not cap off Thanksgiving with your favorite holiday movie to mark the change in seasons? Watch the same film every year or choose a new one, whatever your family finds more fun!

We are so grateful for our readers and subscribers! Thank you for supporting us this year!!! Please let us know what you are grateful for this year and if you have any fun family traditions in the comments below.

If you're still looking for Thanksgiving recipes, you can find some of my favorites here. And don’t forget to post your Thanksgiving Meal photos and tag #prepdish or @prepdish.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? We'd love to hear! Share your ideas and pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as @prepdish in all 3 places, or leave a comment below.

Want to save for later?  Pin the image below!

Thanksgiving Family Traditions
Beginner Menu Guide


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Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Learn more…

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