Thanksgiving is one of the most important celebrations in the US. It is primarily a national holiday in the U.S. but is celebrated in Canada, Grenada, St Lucia, and Libera as well.
Whether you celebrate it with your family, friends, or colleagues, you would want to make sure to enjoy every moment of it.
Join us as we share multiple Thanksgiving event ideas to celebrate in exciting and fun ways.
A. Thanksgiving at office
Office Thanksgiving isn’t just about giving a full-blown feast to showcase your gratitude. Here are some amazing employee engagement Thanksgiving event ideas to successfully kick off the holiday season-
- A wall of thanks
Thanksgiving is the day you show gratitude loud and open. One of the best ways to make the most of this day is to dedicate a portion of one of your office walls to honor each other.
You can give a card or paste it note to each of your team members with the name of another person. And they will have to write one thing they appreciate about that person. You can then mix them up and attach them to the space on the wall. This becomes like an interesting treasure hunt itself as each person searches for the cards with their names on them.
- Creative charity event
Thanksgiving is a great day to tickle your creative senses and get more innovative. For example, if you have a closed-circuit television system or ticker board in your area, consider selling ‘holiday grams’
Encourage each employee to submit 3 names of co-workers they are thankful for, along with a message. These ‘holiday grams’ can then be displayed on the TVs throughout your office. Then, they can donate $1 for each submission and those funds could be transferred to a local non-profit.
- Storytelling session
Storytelling is a fun session that can get as entertaining as you want it to be. Tell your employees to share the story of your company’s journey with a bit of a reenactment.
You can also recruit a few team members to help you write and act out your company history while incorporating some costumes, company jokes, and audience participation.
- Thanksgiving contest
Consider these interesting content ideas for a fun and exciting Thanksgiving event-
- Recipe contest
Many offices organize a potluck get-together where everyone gets to contribute to a shared celebratory meal. You can expand the scope of the feast and ask everyone to contribute their favorite dish and share their recipes.
Consider having prizes in categories such as the first dish emptied, the dish most eaten, a dish we were afraid to try but did anyway. Prizes could range from a printed certificate to a wooden spoon to a grocery gift card depending on your budget.
Games with a festive theme
Some of the interesting Thanksgiving-related games include
Pumpkin bowling - Find pumpkins that are as round as you can spot, and set up rolls of paper towels or water bottles as your pins.
Thanksgiving BINGO- You can pay the traditional way or get creative and have players build a ‘T’ or ‘G’ for Thanksgiving. Print cards for all participants and some extra so you can have items to draw.
Online scavenger hunt- Create a scavenger hunt with items that are on your intranet site and are specific to your company, historical facts about Thanksgiving, or things traditionally associated with Thanksgiving.
Contests and challenges- Split employees into teams and set up contests to find out which team can win the most number of rounds.
5. Volunteer as a group
Keep an afternoon or morning aside to meet at a specific location to volunteer. You can-
- Help at a local kitchen
- Offer box meals to the homeless
- Go on a cleanliness drive in your neighborhood
- Deliver clothes, blankets, socks, coats, and boots to shelters
Be sure to check with your chosen organization regarding viable dates and times while preparing the schedule for the outing.
6. Sponsor an event
If you prefer heading a charity event rather than participating in one, put a committee together and organize your drive. Promote the name of the local organization you are planning to keep the proceeds. Some of the options to consider include-
- Hosting a dinner
- Organizing a carnival
- Arranging a silent auction
B. Community Thanksgiving ideas
Here are some inspiring Thanksgiving community event ideas-
- Community thanksgiving feast
Community feasts are a great way to embrace the entire essence of Thanksgiving. For that, you need a local space- a community hall or church. You can also have a ‘potluck’ theme where everyone can bring a dish that they have prepared to create a huge Thanksgiving community feast.
Each family can bring one dish or perhaps you could work within wider groups such as the local high school or businesses and put them in charge of particular dishes like desserts, and starters.
There are multiple ways to make this work, but collaborating with local businesses could be an excellent opportunity for sponsorship leading to business promotion. Inquire if the local florist is willing to provide table centerpieces or if the local butcher is willing to provide turkey and make arrangements accordingly.
- Turkey fun run
Thanksgiving without a turkey does not really count as Thanksgiving. Ever since President Harry Truman received a live turkey from the National Turkey Federation, it has become an annual White House Thanksgiving tradition. Now, approximately 90% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving day, so a Turkey fun run would be a great way to celebrate. Popularly known as ‘turkey trot’ you will be encouraging your local community to come out dressed as turkeys to complete a fun run in honor of Thanksgiving.
- Community football tournament
A fun and exciting way to celebrate Thanksgiving with the community is by combining American tradition with celebration. And what’s a better way to do it than an American football tournament?
Encourage your community to form a team and submit names for the tournament. Depending on the availability, you could host the tournament over a weekend or simply do a series of mini-games on the day. You can also segment the tournament into mixed-gender teams, children’s teams, family teams, etc.
- Thanksgiving-themed quiz night
A good quiz night is a fun twist to your Thanksgiving dinner and is guaranteed to get the community excited. The questions can focus on Thanksgiving, its origins, and Native American history. You can also include a round on national holidays and unique traditions across the globe. For a better cause, you can encourage people to enter their quiz teams with a fee so that you can donate the proceeds to charity.
- A food drive
Organizing a food drive for a local homeless shelter or food bank is a thoughtful way to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving. You can start by encouraging your local community to stock up on canned food and donate to celebrate your food drive, sending a positive message to the children and families about helping others and striving to truly make a difference.
- A pumpkin patch
While pumpkins are typically associated with Halloween events, they are used closely related to Thanksgiving too. Pumpkin pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, so a great way to celebrate this spirit is to harvest those pumpkins as a community event. You could collaborate with a farm with a pumpkin patch that is close to your area. The key idea is to get the families and neighborhood involved and let them choose their pumpkins to take home which can be used for cooking, carving, and decorative purposes.
- An arts and crafts session
An arts and crafts session is an effective way to make parents and children bond over a fun activity. You can create challenges based on themes such as the first Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin carving, and decorations, crafting special cards of thanks, and so on. These kinds of activities are low-budget but with high rewards.
- A fall festival
Hosting a fall festival is an incredibly fun way to unite the community. The best thing about it is that you can include whatever you like within it. From inviting local musicians to come along and perform to inviting local businesses to have stands and showcase their products or offerings to offering wreath-making masterclasses to table decorating sessions you can go wild with creativity.
C. Virtual Thanksgiving ideas
Distance should not keep you from Thanksgiving celebrations. Thanks to technology, you can now celebrate Thanksgiving from anywhere in the world with your family, friends, and colleagues like you are in the same room. Here are some exciting ways to celebrate Thanksgiving virtually-
- Online Thanksgiving scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are an excellent way to engage and involve your audience during online gatherings. You can give players clues one at a time and award points to the team that produces the prompted object or action first.
- Virtual Bingo
Playing Bingo encourages teams to interact and learn more about each other. The best way to do this is by splitting up into breakout rooms for intimate conversations and randomizing the results. Ensure to randomize the groups so that everyone has a fair chance of winning. Also, keep some time aside to elaborate and share stories when marking squares.
- Do good dash
Do Good Dash is a virtual team-building activity for remote groups that lasts for about 45 minutes. A host leads the team through a series of mini-challenges to encourage donations for causes like planting trees or shelter homes. Even though the game environment is energetically charged, the experience is not overly chaotic and makes a feel-good activity.
- Virtual community volunteering
Giving back to the community on a Thanksgiving holiday is a thoughtful way to celebrate the true spirit of Thanksgiving. For this good cause, many companies and individuals participate in community service projects and offer remote volunteer opportunities. You may also be able to find online volunteer opportunities through a local company or company-affiliated charity. You can also launch a new project, like reading or writing to senior citizens, or create a tool to serve the community.
- Kindness to-do lists
Kindness to-do lists encourage team members to perform random acts of kindness. You can start by giving each teammate a list of tasks to accomplish and ensure to set a timeframe for the list’s completion. After that, the staff can check off every item on the list.
- Recipe swap
Thanksgiving foods vary from dinner table to dinner table and different families have unique ways of preparing dishes. An online recipe swap is a great way to expose your crew to new experiences and cuisines. Participants will be encouraged to share traditional recipes or spill a secret ingredient.
To host this, you can invite participants to post on a special chat channel or online page or invite them to exchange recipes and real tips during a trial-run cooking video call. After you gather all the recipes, you can compile a team cookbook in a PDF or Google doc that can be shared with all the participants.
- Remote Thanksgiving dinner
The central theme of Thanksgiving revolves around food, therefore hosting a remote dinner is one of the most obvious ways to celebrate Thanksgiving. If this is an office event, you can invite your teammates to a video call and provide a food stipend. The meal does not need to be Thanksgiving-centric- the key idea is to connect with your employees and spend quality time together.
While enjoying the meal, your team can then answer Thanksgiving icebreaker questions like-
- What is the best Thanksgiving meal you ever had?
- If you could eat one Thanksgiving meal, what would it be and why?
- If you could invite any famous person to the Thanksgiving dinner, who would you choose and why?
- What are you most thankful for this year?
Thanksgiving is not just an event or a feast, it is a day to connect, be grateful, and make a meaningful connection with each other. While you concentrate on making memories with your friends, family, and colleagues, let Ticket Generator take care of the registration process to allow you to plan all kinds of Thanksgiving events effortlessly. Ticket Generator is an all-in-one event management system to simplify registration for your events so that you can focus more on planning activities and making the event enjoyable.