With dark nights, the crunching of leaves, and the smell of cinnamon in the air, you can already tell that Thanksgiving is around the corner. Why not show appreciation to the people who have made your year so far by hosting a gracious celebration filled with fun Thanksgiving party ideas?
Whether you're celebrating with family, friends, or even colleagues, you can show them how much they mean to you by giving back in the form of a fun celebration with these Thanksgiving party ideas. It can be either a chill gathering watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a large event with drinks and dancing.
Here are 24 Thanksgiving party ideas to celebrate this year:
Host at Home
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Home Sweet Home! Thanksgiving is the time of year when relatives and friends arrive back in town for the holidays. Make them feel right at home again by planning your party at your house. Not only is it a cheaper alternative than renting an event space, but it also allows your guests to relax in a space they're comfortable in. Depending on the weather, you can even have a large tent in your backyard for an outdoor celebration and those friendly games of football.
Celebrate at Work
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Develop a strong work culture and get to know your colleagues better by having an office Thanksgiving party. Your event will be a great way to celebrate people's amazing work and acknowledge their achievements. It will also be an opportunity to show your peers that you're more than your responsibilities and professional role. So get your turkey hat on and reveal your fun and playful side!
Incorporate a Theme
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While thinking about decorations, food, and activities, it can be tough to bring a party together. When you choose a theme, it’s easier to make it all work. For this year’s Thanksgiving party, choose one of these easy themes to help bring your celebration to life.
Hire Local Vendors
When it comes to Thanksgiving party ideas, local vendors can help with anything from food and drinks to entertainment and more.
Photo: Elena Veselova/shutterstock.com
Having family around can sometimes be stressful enough, so by hiring a catering company, you can relieve some of that pressure. This means no hot kitchen, dirty dishes, or the smell of burning food in the air. On The Bash, there are many great caterers you can browse and choose from. You will be able to get all your holiday favorites delivered to your door while spending extra time with the ones you love most.
Find a Caterer
Photo: SpringLight Entertainment
To make your night more memorable, you can get a live band to be the soundtrack to your event. Whatever your musical preference, you will be able to find an upbeat band here on The Bash that can perform it. Guests can sit back, mingle and enjoy the music as the band showcases their talents. As the evening progresses, everyone can let loose and flaunt their best dance moves.
Find a Live Band
Book a photo booth to keep a record of all the fun memories at your Thanksgiving party with fun pictures that can double as party favors too. Every laugh, silly pose, and touching moment can be captured for you to look back on in years to come.
Find a Photo Booth
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If you love a good cocktail but know nothing about mixing drinks, why not hire a professional bartender for your celebration? Having an expert at your event will save you and your guests time and worry about making your own drinks. Depending on the package, these bartenders can bring all the alcohol and garnishes needed for a refreshing night. From a fruity cosmopolitan to a classic old-fashioned, you can order whatever you want and enjoy the staff’s sweet skills.
Find a Bartender
Thanksgiving Theme Game Ideas
Face The Pie
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If you don’t mind getting a little bit messy, then a game of Face The Pie is a must. All you need are gummy letters, a pie tin, and a lot of whipped cream. The game involves a race between contestants as they stick their faces into pies to search for the letters P, I, and E.
Players can only use their faces and mouth to locate the letters and arrange them to spell the coveted dessert. This game is also great for onlookers, who can sit back and watch their loved ones hilariously cover themselves in whipped cream.
Photo: Justyna Troc/shutterstock.com
Although the food and decorations are nice, you can’t forget what Thanksgiving is all about, which is the appreciation of others in your life. When everyone is gathered around the dinner table, you can play the gratitude game. For this, you will need a packet of colorful skittles and a piece of paper.
On the paper, you should write down questions about what people are thankful for and allocate a color for it. For example, red skittles could mean “name a person you are thankful for.” So if a person randomly selects a skittle from the bowl and it's red, they have to answer the question.
Photo: AN NGUYEN/shutterstock.com
Let’s rock and roll for this next game — or more like pumpkin and roll! With this fun, simple, and festive game of Pumpkin Roll, all ages will be able to take part. To start, you have to line up all the players with a pumpkin.
When the whistle blows, all contestants must race against each other from one end of the room or backyard to the other as they roll their pumpkins across the finish line. It sounds very easy, but players will be in for a surprise when their squash starts moving in different directions because of its shape! The first person across the finish line is victorious.
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Why not take a pre-existing game and theme it around the holiday season? One example of this can be Turkey Tag. For this activity, you will need colorful clothespins that you can decorate with feathers to make the turkeys. Each player will be given three turkey clothespins to put on their shirt.
When the game begins, the contestant's objective is to take other people's turkey pins while protecting theirs. If you would like more instructions about this entertaining game, you can read this article by Teach Beside Me.
More Thanksgiving Celebration Ideas
Make Hand Turkeys
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Drawing hand turkeys is almost a right of passage that everyone seems to go through as a kid in school. It’s easy to see why as it’s fun, requires minimal materials, and you end up with your own silly turkey. What’s more, this activity is good for children as it shows them they can get creative with the tools they already have and make something unique. So get sketching, and afterward, you can decorate your space with lovely artwork!
Add Cozy Touches
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Make your guests comfortable by throwing some cozy touches into your space. Items, such as blankets, pillows, and beanbags, will help give your space an inviting atmosphere. So gather your guests on the sofa at your Thanksgiving party and wrap them up in a warm blanket as you watch the parade or holiday movies on the TV.
Make a Gratitude Tree
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If you're looking for a heartfelt centerpiece that encapsulates the spirit of Thanksgiving, you should make a gratitude tree. This simple yet meaningful decoration is easy to create and can be a fun activity for you and your guests.
All you need is a bare branch like this one from Etsy, and decorate it with hanging leaf-shaped paper cutouts. Have the pieces of paper beside the “tree” with a pen, and let your guests write down what they're thankful for. When they're finished, they can place their leaf on the tree for everyone to see and read.
Sit by the Fire
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If you have a fireplace in your home, you can add to the evening's snug ambiance by lighting a relaxing fire. A festive hearth will keep your guests warm and provide a pleasant backdrop for the rest of your festivities (maybe even some toasted marshmallows). This idea is even better for outdoor celebrations, as you and your guests can circle around the firepit and watch the early sunset.
Decorate with Fall Leaves
With their beautiful colors of yellow, orange, red, and brown, as well as the crisp sound of crunching beneath your feet, fall leaves are the signature feature of the season. Decorating your home or event area with fake leaves can enhance the space, giving it an autumnal appeal. You can have them as garlands around your fireplace or scatter the leaves on your dining tables and other flat surfaces for an extra pop of color.
Wear Cozy Sweaters
During the colder months, it’s important to stay cozy and comfortable as much as possible. Sweaters are a great way to achieve both of those things while still remaining cute. You can opt for a loose-knit sweater, a fashionable turtleneck, or even a relaxed crewneck.
Whatever you decide to do, you have the choice of dressing it up or down. For a family gathering, get even comfier with sweatpants and slippers. However, for a formal party, you can go comfy-chic with a skirt or pants.
Play Fun Music
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Stream a free playlist on Spotify or your favorite service and let it play in the background throughout your Thanksgiving party. This playlist features some classic songs about gratitude and spending time with friends and family, while mixing in some of today’s hits.
Thanksgiving Party Food Ideas
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Time to gobble up! Would it be a classic Thanksgiving feast without a delicious roast turkey with all the trimmings? If you said no, then keep the tradition going and have your guests FOWL in love with your main dish. So when the time comes, gather everyone around the table and show off your carving skills while serving up a feast they won’t forget. For an extra treat, you can make yummy late-night sandwiches for people if you have Thanksgiving leftovers.
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There’s apple, cherry, strawberry, and coconut cream, but nothing can beat a good old-fashioned pumpkin pie during fall. Eating pumpkin on Thanksgiving can be dated all the way back to the 1600s.
Throughout the decades, many recipes evolved, and with a bit of experimentation, pumpkin soon became a staple pie option. No matter if you make it with fresh pumpkin, from the tin, or buy it pre-made, guests are sure to love their after-dinner treat.
Sweet Potato and Marshmallows
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For another traditional and tasty food option for your Thanksgiving dinner, you can make sweet potato casserole. Is it a side dish or a dessert? It’s up to you to decide.
If you would like to try it out, here’s a recipe by Nigella Lawson that can get you started. Its sweet cinnamon and squash combination will have your guests coming back for more.
Pro Tip: When it comes to Thanksgiving food (who doesn’t love mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce), the possibilities are endless. Here are 23 mouth watering recipes to make this year.
Make Festive Drinks
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Want to make sure your guests are hydrated at all times? Making a large bowl of Thanksgiving punch will do the trick! Guests of all ages will be able to enjoy this refreshing drink, but you can spice it up, if desired.
For a breakdown of all the ingredients and measurements needed, here’s a great recipe you can follow by Thyme & Joy. So grab a large bowl, pour in your favorite juice, and sip on some fall flavors.
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If you would like to try something different this Thanksgiving, how about making your guests a nice glass of warm mulled wine? This spiced wine can be spotted in many countries across the world during the fall and winter months. Made with red wine, brandy, and various spices, this drink will have you feeling cozy on those chilly evenings. You can find several recipes online, but here is one by Cookie and Kate to get you started.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for different cocktails and mocktails to make this year, check out these 15 Thanksgiving recipes.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
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If you're a coffee lover and can't get enough of pumpkin-flavored things, you'll enjoy sipping on the fan favorite: pumpkin-spiced latte. It can be the perfect after-dinner drink to help your guests relax into the night ahead.
Although it isn’t Starbucks, your DIY lattes will still taste amazing and can be tailored to your preferences. For an easy recipe, you can follow this article by ambitious kitchen. With real pumpkin purée, your seasonal hot cup of joe will be naturally sweetened and vegan-friendly.
Find more ideas and inspiration for your next event here on The Bash.
What can I do for my employees for Thanksgiving? ›
- Give employees time off. ...
- Give thank you cards. ...
- Send a virtual note of appreciation to one team member a day. ...
- Start a gratitude Slack thread. ...
- Show appreciation for team members on social media. ...
- Create a “gratitude wall” ...
- Commit to investing in social impact. ...
- Swap recipes.
Here's what you need to know:
Show your employees your gratitude through ideas like a wall of thanks or holiday grams. Spread good-natured Thanksgiving fun through activities like recipe contests and pumpkin bowling. Spend time with your staff giving back to the community through volunteering or sharing expertise.
- Never turn down help. ...
- Make as much ahead as possible. ...
- Don't experiment with new recipes. ...
- Start early on your non-food prep. ...
- Consider making the turkey the day before. ...
- Set the table the night before. ...
- Have a cocktail (or wine) ready to go. ...
- Don't make a big deal over appetizers.
- Don't comment on what others are eating.
- Stop talking about the wine.
- Don't ask students about grades, school problems or college plans.
- Avoid asking people about having kids or getting married.
- Skip the politics.
- The Checkup with Dr. Wen.
We are grateful for your loyalty and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Our gratitude goes out to you and your family this Thanksgiving. Thank you for your business in 2022! We appreciate your business this and every year!How do you make Thanksgiving fun for adults? ›
- Host a “Friendsgiving” and Have Everyone Contribute Something. ...
- Turkey Trot. ...
- 10 Best Thanksgiving Games for Adults. ...
- Festive Cornhole. ...
- Gratitude Game. ...
- Pin the Tail Feathers on the Turkey. ...
- Turkey Tag. ...
- Hay Bale Bowling.
Ideas for Hosting a Gratitude Dinner
Write a note to express thanks to each guest, specifically highlighting a favorite quality you love about your guest. Print a favorite photo of your guest and their family. Provide a favor that expresses your gratitude. Prepare a specialty drink or cocktail to commemorate the event.
- The "first Thanksgiving" was in 1621.
- Thanksgiving becomes a national holiday in 1870.
- Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November.
- 292.9 million Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.
- 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving.
- Book a night at a local hotel. Anything you can do out of the ordinary will make the holiday feel special and not blah. ...
- Stay in your PJs all day. 0 Guilt. ...
- Don't make any plans. ...
- Play charades over Zoom. ...
- Help a neighbor. ...
- Spend the day writing letters. ...
- Friendsgiving, duh.
The most important Thanksgiving tradition is a big meal with family or friends. Some specific dishes I love are macaroni and cheese, cranberry relish, and of course pumpkin pie.” Many Americans attend a local Thanksgiving Day parade, and these parades are often televised.
What is a thankful game to play at Thanksgiving? ›
On Thanksgiving day, give a turkey to each of your friends and family members, and instruct them to write something they are thankful for on each turkey feather. This gratitude game is like an art project meets a scavenger hunt. To play it, give each participant a piece of paper and colored pencils or markers.What is the thankful game? ›
On the blank notecards, have everyone write three things they are grateful for about the person they drew. Pick someone to read their card out loud. Then have the rest of the family guess who the card is about. Smile and remember to focus on love, not only during Christmas but each and every day.How do you play Thanksgiving bingo? ›
The assigned caller will begin by picking out a calling card. They will announce these one at a time, and the players will mark them as they show on their bingo card. Once a player has filled out a row of five, they will call out “BINGO!” and they win the game.What do companies give employees for Thanksgiving? ›
A turkey gift is a workplace holiday tradition going back generations. Historians date the employee turkey gift tradition to the manufacturing boom of the 1800s as a way to introduce immigrant workers to American culture and the holiday spirit of Thanksgiving.What can I send my team for Thanksgiving? ›
- Socks Gift Set. ...
- Winter Comfy Box. ...
- Subscriptions. ...
- Self-Care Gift Set. ...
- 5. Box Full of Tech Items. ...
- Bluetooth Speaker for the Festivities. ...
- A Pet Set for the Pet Lovers. ...
- Wide Range of Gift Cards.
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and a happy holiday season! I am fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated team! I wish you all an enjoyable Thanksgiving day and a wonderful holiday season. As managers, we are incomplete without hard-working employees like you.What profession is the busiest on Thanksgiving? ›
- Kitchen sink clogs / jammed garbage disposals.
- Main sewer clogs.
- Toilet clogs.
- Sugar-Coated Pecans. ...
- Deviled Eggs. ...
- Pumpkin Dip. ...
- Cheese Ball. ...
- Sausage, Cranberry, and Apple Stuffing. ...
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.
- Green Beans with Walnuts.
- Sweet Potato Casserole.
- Make their favorite meal.
- Write up a gratitude list to share over dinner.
- Set a place for your loved one at the table.
- Display photos and swap stories with your guests.
- Do something your loved one enjoyed.
- Provide sincere and consistent recognition.
- Give a thoughtful gift.
- Get your team involved.
- Listen with intent.
- Create a kudos culture.
How do you say thank you in a classy way? ›
- I'm so grateful. Thanks is an expression of gratitude, so cut to the chase. ...
- I appreciate it. ...
- Thanks for your hard work on this. ...
- I couldn't have done it without you. ...
- I owe you one. ...
- Much obliged. ...
- Thanks for having my back. ...
- Please accept my deepest gratitude.
May your Thanksgiving and year bring abundance and joy. We hope Thanksgiving brings you reasons to be grateful, as so many are so grateful for you. May your blessings be multiplied this year and throughout your life. Wishing you a harvest of blessings, good health, and good times.What is a simple Thanksgiving message? ›
"Wishing you a harvest of blessings, good health and good times." "May you enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving, a joyous holiday season and healthful, Happy New Year." "Sending you my warm wishes from home to home and from heart to heart to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!