Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time for fun family activities. Let’s look at some great ideas that your whole crew will enjoy.
If you'll be celebrating Thanksgiving in an area of the country where the leaves are turning, don’t miss this chance for some family leaf-peeping. Why not take a stroll on Thanksgiving Day after the main course and before dessert? By that point, most of us would enjoy stretching our legs anyway. Don’t forget the family fleece when you head out! Women’s fleece jackets, men’s fleece jackets, and kids’ fleece will keep everyone toasty. If you get into true Wisconsin weather, you can even layer your fleece under your winter coat.
Many arboretums and state parks have driving paths where you can leaf peep from the comfort of your car. This can be handy if the weather is cold (like it is in Wisconsin) or if you have family members who enjoy beautiful foliage but aren’t able to walk long distances. This can be a good activity for keeping multiple generations warm and happy (especially if you let the younger crew bring their phones for entertainment backup). Consider bringing bottled water with you or perhaps stopping off for coffee or cocoa afterward.
Check out the local volunteer events for Thanksgiving weekend. You’re likely to find anything from food pantries taking donations to homeless shelters that could use help serving Thanksgiving dinner. It’s amazing how good helping someone else can make you feel.
If you don’t find a formal volunteer activity, look around your neighborhood and see who you can help and welcome into your fold. Do you have an elderly neighbor who is solo this Thanksgiving? Invite them to dinner and offer to help with some yard work, household chores or snow shoveling. Chores are always easier and more fun when you have the whole crew helping. Just make sure to bundle up with a winter coat if Thanksgiving weather is turning to Christmas weather.
This decidedly low-tech option can be great fun. When was the last time your family read stories or books together? It may take a bit of convincing, especially if you have Gen Z members in your family, but having someone who has a great voice read to everyone is a treat. Choose a holiday story or the first chapter or two of a classic book everyone knows. A creative twist on this can be reading a play out loud and having different family members play different roles. If you do this, consider making copies of the play so that each actor can have their script.
Plan the reading. Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner or some tasty leftovers, and then create some family entertainment during dessert in front of the fire. Put on a cozy cardigan sweater or cuddle up in a fleece throw and get ready for some fun!
In addition to those selfies and TikTok videos, let your crew know that you would like to get a family photo with everyone in it this year. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for this as everyone is likely to be in town. Hire a professional (or amateur) photographer for the occasion, set at least a casual dress code so people will know what to pack, and get a great photo (perhaps for your holiday cards). Thanksgiving décor is the perfect backdrop for a family photo as it's warm and inviting.
Scheduling is key with this activity. If you opt for a professional photographer, make an appointment far in advance. For a DIY photo, it’s best to do this on a day other than Thanksgiving Day. With cooking, baking, serving, eating, and football, a lot is going on during Thanksgiving Day. If you have little ones, make sure to schedule a time for the photo when they are well-rested and already fed. It's best to get them dressed at the last minute to avoid the possibility of stains. If you have a DIY photo in your home, plan out the lighting in advance. As a rule, the more natural light, the better.
Consider gathering around the dining room table with felt, markers, glitter and glue. Making holiday crafts is a great quiet activity for all ages — and it can be a lovely change of pace from cooking, shopping and movie watching. You can find easy crafts on the internet, just make sure to have any required materials on hand. Why not make Hanukkah gifts, Christmas gifts or New Year’s gifts to share?
Decorating sweatshirts is a fun holiday pastime. All you need is a solid-colored sweatshirt for each participant, some fabric glue and fun colors of glitter. Red, green or white sweatshirts are nice choices for the holidays.
Have a blast with your family activities this Thanksgiving weekend!