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9 Family Activities To Do On Thanksgiving, Because Football Is *Not* Your Thing

Thanksgiving is either one of the busiest days of the year or the laziest. If you're hosting, it's a whirlwind of cooking and cleaning. If you're a guest, your only job is to show up and eat. There are lots of hours to fill until dinner though, so you might as well do something fun. On TV shows, it seems like everyone organizes a game of football, but if you're like me and don't have an athletic bone in your body, you'll want an alternative. Luckily, there are tons of fun Thanksgiving activities that aren't football in the front yard to pass the time until the turkey's out of the oven.

If you're lucky enough to be celebrating the holiday with a big group of family and friends, it's a perfect time to organize an outing or an activity that everyone will enjoy (not to mention keep the kids from getting in the way in the kitchen or complaining that they're bored). That may involve giving back to the community, laying out an arts and crafts table, or simply kicking back in front of the TV for a holiday-themed Netflix viewing.

Here are nine fun Thanksgiving day activities that the whole family can actually do together, and actually enjoy it.



On a day all about expressing gratitude for the blessings in your life, why not take some time to give to others who are less fortunate. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer on Thanksgiving. Pop Sugar suggested delivering meals to the needy, serving meals to the homeless, or visiting elderly people who might otherwise spend the day alone.


Run A Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is the most popular day of the year to run a race, according to Runner's World. Even if you're a beginner, a 5k race is probably doable. And best of all, many of these events raise money for charity.


Watch A Parade

Thanksgiving's a great day for a parade. The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade features several new balloons and floats this year according to Mommy Poppins. If you'd rather see a parade live and in person, see if there's a local Thanksgiving parade to check out near where you live.


Get Crafty

Is it even Thanksgiving until your kid has traced their hand and made a turkey? Country Living has some great ideas for Thanksgiving crafts that will help keep the little ones occupied until dinner.


Give Thanks

Adults can get in on the crafting, too. Better Homes & Gardens suggested putting together a family thankful jar where everyone writes down what they're thankful for, which can then be read aloud over dinner.


See A Movie

A couple of highly anticipated sequels are hitting theaters in time for Thanksgiving, according to Movie Fone. Creed II and Ralph Breaks the Internet both come out the day before Thanksgiving. Check with your local theater for specific hours, but many are open on Thanksgiving Day.


Make Your Shopping Plan

Lots of stores are opening up on Thanksgiving night to kick off the holiday shopping season early. Target, Macy's, and Kohl's will all open at 5 p.m., according to CNBC. Black Friday preview ads are already available online, so you can spend Thanksgiving day picking out which deals you'll try to score.


Watch Some Thanksgiving TV

You can stream a whole mini-marathon of all Thanksgiving episodes of some of your favorite shows. Variety noted that Friends alone has 10 Thanksgiving episodes to choose from.


Put Up Your Christmas Tree

It's never too early to put up your Christmas tree. Since you've already got the whole family together, why not take advantage and start decking the halls? Sure some people find it totally wrong to have the Christmas tree up before turkey day, but if it brings the family together, then why not?