For many families, Thanksgiving Day is nearly synonymous with football. Cheering on your favorite team while also eating some turkey and stuffing is the typical mental picture called to mind when people imagine this festive holiday. There are many people, however, who prefer to do more to celebrate the holiday. Perhaps they do not want to get stuck inside all day, or maybe they just do not enjoy watching football as much as the next person. Here are some great Thanksgiving Day family activities that encourage bonding and call to mind the spirit of the holiday. They may just be the beginning of another family Thanksgiving tradition.
1) Run in a Turkey Trot
Across the country, there are countless Turkey Trots that sprout up for a wide range of causes, so anyone interested should be able to find one. With the upcoming Thanksgiving meal, these miniature races can actually be great family fun. They are typically casual and open to a wide range of ages, making it easy for the entire family to participate. They are also a wonderful way to help raise money for some charitable causes while also working up an appetite. It is the perfect way to remember everything to be thankful for while getting some fresh air and some laughs with close family and friends.
2) Go to a Soup Kitchen
For many people, sitting down to a table piled high with food can make it difficult to remember that not everyone has enough to eat. Going as a family to a soup kitchen or similar charity will provide bonding time for the family while also offering services to those in need. It will also help put the holiday in perspective and remind everyone of the meaning behind the fall and winter holiday celebrations. Thanksgiving dinner will taste much more satisfying for everyone involved.
3) Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV is an excellent way to get the holiday morning off to the right start. Families can enjoy the morning cuddling up on the couch watching the floats go by. To make the parade even more exciting, consider adding a game such as “Parade Bingo.” It may also be worth investigating to see if there are any local Thanksgiving Day parades in town. Many families with children of all ages enjoy going down to watch the parades in person.
4) Play Family Games
On Thanksgiving Day, most families are all together, sometimes with extended family as well. To have some laughs, consider breaking out the board games from the closet that rarely get played and begin a family tournament. When games get going, it is easy to lose hours in the fun. Taking the time to appreciate each other’s company in a new way can help improve bonding and create some excellent memories.
5) Play Sports as a Family
Instead of sitting in front of the television watching football on TV, get the family and guests together for a game of touch football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, or any other enjoyable game. Running around in the fall air is an excellent way to work up an appetite and is a great way to share laughs and have a wonderful time together. Families who do not enjoy playing sports all that much can play outdoor games such as a three-legged race. Children may also enjoy outdoor activities, such as treasure hunts, to stay entertained and active.
6) Do not be Afraid to Get Sentimental
Thanksgiving Day is meant to be a day where families across the country call to mind what they are thankful for in their lives. Since life can be so very hectic, it can be easy to forget the true gifts experienced. Thanksgiving is an excellent time to bring family together and to express this gratefulness. Consider doing an activity such as going around the table to have everyone say what they are thankful for. Others may prefer to turn it into a bit more of a game and have everyone write down what they are thankful for and stick it in a hat so everyone can draw out one piece of paper and read it out loud. Those who enjoy doing crafts can make a special Thanksgiving table cloth where everyone writes down what they are most thankful for. Whatever activity a family decides to go with, remembering what is good in life will help everyone celebrate the holiday with renewed appreciation.
Although the yearly Thanksgiving Day football game is always a popular option for those celebrating the holiday, it is far from being the only option. Families looking to enjoy each other’s company and make some wonderful memories should try some of the ideas above to get started forming new traditions. Thanksgiving Day is about being with loved ones and remembering to appreciate what is had in life. These activities should help promote both of these ideas to create an even more memorable holiday.
Football on Thanksgiving with Family image courtesy of BruceTurner.
3 Boys Playing Fall Football image courtesy of wharman.