Celebrated annually on November 4 in the United States, Thanksgiving Day caps the fall season. Since the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians in Plymouth Colony first observed the day in 1621, it became an American tradition. The main idea behind Thanksgiving Day is to spend time with family and friends, and thank them for being there with you. However, it is also associated with festive meals, parades, games and of course turkey. It also marks the beginning of Christmas season with ‘Black Friday‘ taking place the next day as the biggest shopping day of the year. That means along with feast and fun, you can shop for Christmas on the extended weekend. if you are looking for fun ways to spend Thanksgiving Day, or want to thank for all the good things in your life in a more meaningful way, then check out these exciting activities that will bring all family members closer together in the true spirit of the holiday.
Prepare the Meal
The traditional Thanksgiving menu of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce stuffing, breads and different pies is a standard for celebration. However, you can make your own menu for the day. Make the menu in advance to ensure you have all the ingredients available at the required time.
Here are some recipe suggestions to consider for the feast: stuffed turkey, old-fashioned string beans, roasted potatoes, pumpkin puree, cranberry sauce, baked pumpkin pie, pumpkin log roll and Thanksgiving cookies. You can also prepare appetizers, sandwiches and candies for snacking so that you won’t starve before the meal.
A good idea to start preparing in advance. Make a checklist of things required for preparations and get them from the market a day before to avoid any confusion. Things like pies and cookies can be made prior to a day to save time for fun.
Thanksgiving Day Craft
You can work on various holiday crafts before or on Thanksgiving Day. Creating crafts is a nice activity to engage kids of all ages. You can work with pinecones, crayons, construction papers and other things to make decorative items like placemats, wreaths, table centerpiece and more.
Collect the table decorations items and lay them at one place where they are readily accessible for quick table decorations. For decorations, you can either buy or create your own centerpiece. Scented candles, autumn flower bouquet or a cornucopia are good options for centerpiece.
Watch the Parade
The Macy’s department store began sponsoring widely attended parades in 1920s. With simple floats like Humpty Dumpty, first-generation immigrants who were ‘grateful to their adopted country for accepting and nurturing them’ joined the parade. The other attraction at the parade were live animals from the Central Park Zoo, Macy’s store employees dressed up like clowns and cowboys and balloons depicting cartoon figures to name a few. By the 1930s, Walt Disney balloon characters and radio broadcasters were added to the festivities.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is now a tradition. You will love to watch giant balloons, floats and marching bands rolling down the streets of the city.
Thanksgiving Day Games
If you have football fans in family, it is hard to keep them stay away from TV. However, playing games is an amazing way to engage all family members. You can try any of the below mentioned games or can tweak any of your favorite game to give it a Thanksgiving flair.
Mini Pumpkin Hunt
This game is like Easter egg hunt but with an autumn twist. You can hide one or two mini pumpkins indoor or outside, make teams of two or three and ask them to find the pumpkins.
Pin the Turkey Tail
Make a brightly colored turkey from construction paper and tape it on the wall. Now blindfold the playing members and ask them to pin the turkey tale. The first person to do so will get the prize.
This is an old time game similar to baseball where you have to kick the ball. It could be a very fun and engaging game for Thanksgiving.
Make Words from Turkey
Give a pen and a paper to all the playing members and ask them to make as many words as possible from the word ‘Turkey’.
Track Your Family Tree
With all family members together, Thanksgiving is the best time to help kids learn their family history. Sit with grandparents and other relatives to find your genealogy. Talking about your family is one of the best and most memorable ways to spend the day.
Do Gift Shopping
As Black Friday is just the next day, many stores start the sale early on Thanksgiving Day. Thus, you can make the best use of time and offers on hand by start your shopping. If you don’t want to stuck in the crowd, shopping online is a brilliant idea. The online deals are as good as local ones and they offer shopping from the comfort of your home.
Help the Less Fortunate
Serving to less fortunate people is an admirable way to celebrate the day. You can volunteer time before or during the day help preparing food at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen, donate food and clothes or some money to help less-fortunate families celebrate the annual feast.