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5 Fun Thanksgiving Party Ideas & Themes For The Family

Are you looking for Thanksgiving party ideas and themes for your family this year? Maybe you prefer Thanksgiving party ideas for the adults? Whatever type of Thanksgiving party you want to organise, we have all the best ideas! We even have a great selection of ideas for Thanksgiving decorations, so let’s get started! 

What is Thanksgiving?

Also known as Turkey Day in the US, Thanksgiving is a time when families and friends get together to celebrate all the good things in life. Usually celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims who set sail for the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. However, it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving was proclaimed an official holiday by President Abraham Lincoln, during the American Civil War. It’s now one of the best loved holidays in the US! So if you need some inspiration for this year’s Thanksgiving party, let’s take a look at five Thanksgiving party ideas for adults and kids, so that everyone can have fun on this special day.

Thanksgiving party ideas & themes for the family

To make sure that your day goes off without a hitch, there are five areas you need to work your way through. These are the Thanksgiving invitations, food, drinks and games, not forgetting the Thanksgiving home decorations. If you tick all these boxes, everyone will have a fabulous time and you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

1. Thanksgiving invitations

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Not everyone sends invitations for their Thanksgiving dinner, many simply call their friends and relatives on the phone, email them or just make arrangements on the fly. However, sending and receiving an invitation gives us a warm and cosy feeling, harking back to a time when receiving a letter in the mail was an exciting event! So why not send your own invitations by mail this year?  

If you aren’t into DIY crafts, there are websites where you can use their templates to create your own invitations and email them to all your guests. However, if you love anything to do with crafts, why not create your own custom invitations? These can be in the shape of a Pilgrim’s hat, turkey, pumpkin or autumn leaf. You can also create a simple card with a hand drawn image of a harvest festival, maybe a family gathering around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving together? Whatever type of design you use for your invitations, the fact that they are handmade sends a wonderful message of Thanksgiving to your guests.

2. Thanksgiving food

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Most families have their own way of celebrating Thanksgiving, anything from a formal dinner around a well-laid table to a fun-filled BBQ outside in the garden or on the patio. However you want to celebrate your Thanksgiving dinner is going to be fine with all your guests, but most people focus on including specific foods for their celebratory dinner. These include the turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, fresh corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and pecan pie.

If you want to add an element of soul food into your Thanksgiving party menu, then why not explore some new recipes? Just think about bourbon pecan stuffing, ranch seasoned turkey, bacon cornbread, creamy Brussel sprouts, scalloped potatoes, sausage gravy, caramel pear upside-down cake, and creamy buttermilk biscuits or scones. 

If you want to involve your kids in the fun of cooking for Thanksgiving, why not get them to help you make some chocolate-dipped pecans, cheese platter with the cheese cut into little pie slices or triangles, cranberry crescent rolls, turkey nuggets, meatloaf, and cranberry and brie bites (made in a muffin tin). Use these ideas to give yourself even more inspiration for the perfect Thanksgiving menu!

3. Thanksgiving drinks

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When you are putting together your list of awesome Thanksgiving party ideas and themes for your guests, you don’t want to forget the drinks. Most people offer a range of alcoholic drinks to their guests, but which should you choose? What about a cranberry champagne cocktail? That sounds perfect for a Thanksgiving celebration because it’s made from cranberry juice, limes and champagne! 

Then there’s a pecan pie martini (rumchata cream liqueur, crème de cocoa, bourbon and ice), apple cider mimosas (apple cider, champagne, sugar and cinnamon), and Thanksgiving punch (red wine, ginger ale, cranberry juice, whiskey, and sliced oranges to garnish). Of course, you can’t forget the comfort of hot chocolate or warm apple cider, and then there’s a cranberry fizz (ginger ale, cranberry juice, orange juice and sugar), and even a cold beer or a glass of wine with your meal. There are so many options for drinks at your Thanksgiving party, just make sure you have everything organised before the big day.

4. Thanksgiving party games

Thanksgiving party ideas for adults and kids wouldn’t be complete without at least a few fun games played after dinner or even during the day to keep everyone entertained! Games that initially come to mind are a turkey piñata, turkey calling contest and pin the gobble on the turkey! There are plenty of other games that are perfect for Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at some now.

Pumpkin Toss: Creating a game of pumpkin toss in the yard is easy because all you need is a large pumpkin made from orange cardboard with a large hole in the centre for the mouth and two smaller holes for the eyes. The aim of the game is to throw tennis balls into the large hole and ping pong balls or golf balls into the smaller eyes, and the winner can be the person who throws balls through all three holes! Add a few Thanksgiving home decorations to the pumpkins and you have a fabulous game that everyone can enjoy.

Turkey Scavenger hunt: Everyone loves a scavenger hunt, kids and adults, so make dozens of small turkey cut-outs, hiding them around the house and garden. The winner is the person who collects the most turkeys in 30 minutes (you can make it longer if you need to keep the kids entertained for longer!). Don’t forget that you can buy some hilarious turkey hats and masks online for Thanksgiving – just imagine the hilarity of the scavenger hunt if everyone wears a turkey hat!

Pumpkin pie explosion: For each person who wants to play the game, fill three medium-sized pie cases with whipped cream, placing one gummy alphabet letter at the bottom, covered with whipped cream. These gummy letters can be purchased online quite easily, but the whole point of this game is that the letters must be used to spell a three-letter word. So if there are five people who want to play the game, you need fifteen whipped cream pies, and each person must find the letter in their three pies using their mouth, not their hands, and unscramble the word. Someone needs to be on hand with a camera for this game!

Turkey baster races: This game is ideal for little kids, but big kids will still have a go because it’s such good fun! All you need are a few turkey basters and some feathers. The aim of the game is to use the turkey baster to ‘puff’ the feather from the starting line to the finish line (draw chalk lines on the patio), and the fastest feather wins! You can set the kids up to race each other at the same time or if you don’t have a lot of space, just time them one by one.

5. Thanksgiving home decorations

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Invitations, food, drinks and games are all well and good, but you can’t ignore the fact that you need Thanksgiving decorations for your home. These are the icing on the cake and the way you initially welcome your guests to your home. So what Thanksgiving home decorations should you be using? 

Pumpkin candles: Some of the simplest DIY Thanksgiving decorations are the best! So consider using small pumpkin gourds as the base for long golden tapered candles and use them as the centrepiece on your table. Just core the gourds to make a hole large enough to fit the base of a candle.

Fire mantle pumpkins: Place six small pumpkin gourds, painted white and arranged in a row along the mantle or a shelf in the kitchen. Paint one of the letters for THANKS on each pumpkin in a dark red colour and when they are placed in a row, they will spell the word. You can also create pennants in a similar manner with one letter on each of the flags to spell HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and string them up on the wall in the dining room. Pinecones are also another option and can easily be attached to a string line.

Flower garlands: Spray leaves with gold or silver paint and glitter, arranging them in pumpkin gourds or creating hanging garlands around the room. These make really pretty Thanksgiving decorations, particularly if you hang the glittering leaves from coloured ribbons.

For more Thanksgiving party ideas and themes, check out CostumeBox today!

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