Eating, drinking, and watching football are always welcome Thanksgiving traditions, but the best part is spending time with the whole family, including some you might not see as much as you'd like. So, after you've caught up with your cousins about school and jobs and finished helping Grandma with the mashed potatoes, introduce some Thanksgiving party games. When you mix food, family, and friends with unexpected fun, your guests will leave talking about more than just the meal.
Free Printable Thanksgiving Games for Adults
When you want a grown-up game to play at the adult table, these printable Thanksgiving activities are easy to make and even easier to use. You can also print these out to use as Friendsgiving games to get your party started.
Who's the Most Thankful? Printable Game
Find out how well you know (or don't know) your friends and family. Start by writing all players in the "name" column, including yourself. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes, and take a look at the provided list of words. Choose which item you would say you are the most thankful for and write it in the column next to your name. Then, go through and guess which item everyone else would say they are the most thankful for. You can repeat the same item for different people; for example, if you think three people are obsessed with pumpkin pie, you can write that answer for each of them. When time is up or everybody has filled out the sheet, go around and have everyone share what their "most thankful" item was. Mark each one that you get correct to see who knows their friends and family best.
Thanksgiving Words Around the Table Printable Game
If you consider yourself a word nerd and love games like Wordle, Words With Friends, or Scrabble, you'll love Thanksgiving Words Around the Table. Start with one player writing a Thanksgiving-related word in the grid (one letter per empty slot). Pass the paper to the next player, who must write another Thanksgiving word connecting to the letters of any previous word on the board. When somebody can't come up with a word to add, they're out of the game and the sheet is passed to the next player. The game ends with the last person standing, or if there is no more space available. Print a few sheets to repeat the game as many times as you want or laminate a single sheet and write with dry erase markers so you can save paper and reuse the game.
Classic Games That Are Always a Blast
Classic games are always entertaining, and they feel as familiar as turkey and gravy. You won't have to teach 10 people the rules of a brand-new game, and you'll be guaranteed to have a good time.
If your family has a "no phones at Thanksgiving" rule, this game might be a fun exception. You'll only need one phone for gameplay, and you can download the Heads Up app on Google Play or in the Apple Store. Hold the phone up to your head without looking at it, and ask the group yes or no questions to try and guess what the word is.
No app? No problem. Stay true to your no phones credo by creating your own clues on sticky notes instead. Make it extra fun by using words related to the holiday. You know, things like Grandma's house, wine, or gravy - but nothing that's too abstract or hard to guess.
There's arguably nothing better than watching your uncle act like a turkey in a game of Thanksgiving charades. Get ready to act out all your favorite Thanksgiving staples in this classic family game.
- Split the group into two teams, and have everyone write on a slip of paper several Thanksgiving-related "clues" that are nouns or actions. Think about things like a turkey, eating food, pumpkins, giving thanks - whatever you deem reasonable or ridiculous to try to act out.
- Put the slips in a bowl.
- Begin by drawing a paper and acting it out.
- When your team gets one right, draw another and keep going for the full minute to see how many you get right.
- If there is one that goes "unguessed" by the end of the round, the other team gets a chance to guess and takes the point if they get it right. If not, the clue goes back into the mix to be guessed again later.
- The team with the most points in the end wins.
Get a big whiteboard or an extra-large paper pad, markers, and an easel to get this party started. Split the group into two teams. Have the players come up with a few clues that someone will draw and have their team try to guess.
Set a timer for one minute. See how many clues the starting team can guess in one minute. Similar to Charades, if the team hasn't guessed it when the timer goes off, the opposing team gets one guess to try to steal the point. If they don't get it right, put the clue back into the drawing bowl. Play until you run out of clues, with the goal of getting more points than the other team.
Family Thanksgiving Party Games
Mix and mingle the generations with multi-age Thanksgiving party games that are fun for kids and adults.
Thanksgiving Trivia Contest
So you think you're the smartest relative in the family? Put your wits to the test with a Thanksgiving trivia contest. With questions about topics like why we celebrate Thanksgiving and the images we associate with the holiday, this one's bound to be a good learning experience for everyone. Keep it fun and fair by pairing younger and older family members together. Or, create separate sets of questions for kids and adults.
Thanksgiving Oddball Out
Circle up with the fam for this fun and easy Thanksgiving game.
- Gather several small pumpkins, real or fake, and a stuffed turkey.
- Hand these out to random players, with at least one person not holding anything.
- Chant the Thanksgiving song to the tune of Hot Potato and pass the items to the left as you go. "Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, who loves Thanksgiving? If you love Thanksgiving turkey, you are out!"
- You can't hold more than one item at a time, and you must take an item handed to you if your hands are empty.
- When the chant ends, the person holding the turkey is the oddball out, and they're out of the game!
- Remove one pumpkin from the rotation so there is still one person starting with nothing.
- Keep playing until only one person is left - that person wins!
Naptime Field Goals
Wake up from your post-dinner turkey coma with an easy football game that kids and adults can all enjoy. Don't worry if you're still a little groggy. You start this game by laying on the ground. You're welcome.
- Split the group into two teams.
- One player from Team One lays down on their back and holds their arms straight up in the air as a goal post.
- One player from Team Two lays down on their back so the bottom of their feet meet the bottom of Team One's feet.
- Team Two holds a plush football, turkey, pumpkin, or small throw pillow with arms stretched up straight.
- The Team Two player can bend at the waist only to sit up and try throwing the ball through the goalpost.
- If the ball goes through the goalpost, it's three points.
- After each attempt, players switch out laying down, and the opposite team "kicks" a field goal.
- The team with the most points after everyone's had a turn to both kick and be a goalpost wins.
Fun Thanksgiving Dinner Table Games
You worked really hard to make the Thanksgiving table look pretty and might not want to mess it up right away. No worries! You can keep your tablescape pristine and still have fun. Try these Thanksgiving dinner table games that don't require any supplies or set-up.
I'm Going to Thanksgiving Talking Game
Liven things up while you're sitting around the table or relaxing after your meal with this easy talking game. This one's super fun for all ages and in any setting, like an office party or with kiddos at school. If you've ever played the "I'm going on a picnic" game, you'll get this one quickly.
- The first person secretly chooses a pattern for the game, like every word starts with the letter T or each item could be found at the first Thanksgiving.
- Player One says "I'm going to Thanksgiving and I'm taking..." followed by one item that fits their chosen secret pattern.
- Each player will use the same phrase to pick an item that they think fits Player One's pattern.
- If their item fits the pattern, the first player will say, "You're welcome at Thanksgiving."
- If it's wrong, Player One says, "You can't come to this Thanksgiving."
- Keep playing until everyone states two items on two turns in a row that work, meaning they've (hopefully) figured out the pattern.
Thanksgiving Napkin Categories
Napkins: they aren't just wiping your mouth! For this game, start with one paper napkin and a marker. As a group, choose a Thanksgiving category like dinner, parade, or first Thanksgiving. The first player writes down a word that starts with the same first letter as their name and fits the category. For example, if your name is Mark and the category is Thanksgiving dinner, you might write mashed potatoes. Keep the napkin going around the table until a player can't come up with an answer. You might find this game addicting, which is great news for you, because you can start a new napkin with a new category as many times as you want!
Thanksgiving Dinner Rhyme Time
Once you're settled in at the table with full plates, a funny rhyming game will get the conversation going.
- Choose one person to go first, and go counterclockwise around the table.
- The first player picks an item on the table (like a food or decoration), then says a real word that rhymes with the name of the item they chose.
- The next player has to choose a different word that also rhymes.
- Keep track of how far each rhyme travels.
- When a player can't think of a rhyme, that rhyme pattern ends, and the player chooses a new word.
- The player who gave the word that had the most rhymes is the winner.
Gobble, Gobble, Eat!
Test your listening skills with a simple Thanksgiving dinner table game. Throughout the dinner, anytime you hear the words "gobble, gobble," take a bite of turkey. If you hear the word "thankful," take a bite of your favorite food from the dinner. If you hear the word "stuffed," take a bite of stuffing. After you take your bite, say the magic word again and keep your fork in your mouth. Everyone else at the table has to take a bite of the right food. The last person to take a bite is out. Play continues throughout dinner until one winner emerges.
Active Thanksgiving Party Games
The best Thanksgiving games for children will engage the mind and the body. Play some activity-based party games in that pre-dinner time slot when the kiddos (and adults) might start getting a little antsy.
Build a Turkey Game
Time to dig those crafting supplies out of your closet. Set up a table or a few baskets full of craft supplies: construction paper, pipe cleaners, felt, markers, glue, paper clips, drinking straws, sequins, buttons, and more - get creative! Ask everyone to make a turkey or other seasonal creation that will be judged in a contest at the end. Award prizes for the best creations - what kind of prize is totally up to you. If you don't want to name winners and losers, you could also give each craft a title like Most Lifelike, Whackiest, or Best Use of Glitter.
Fruit Salad or Cornucopia Game
Burn off some energy with this game that requires close listening and just the right amount of running. This one works better with a larger group.
- Have everyone sit in a circle of chairs, with one player standing in the middle who is now called the "chef."
- Give each player the name of a fruit or vegetable. You can write these names on cards and hand them out randomly, so everyone remembers what their names are.
- If you want to give two or more players the same name, the chef will call out one fruit or vegetable at a time.
- If you decide to give everyone an individual name, then the chef must call out combinations, such as "squash and potatoes."
- When the chef calls out a food name, those players must jump up and find a new chair.
- At a random time of their choosing, the chef will call out "fruit salad" or "cornucopia," and all players including the chef will race to find a new seat, but it must be a different seat than their own, and can't be the seat next to them.
- Whoever is left standing at the end is the chef, and you can start the game again.
Everyone loves an Easter egg hunt, so why not try something similar for Thanksgiving? Throughout the house or around the yard, hide an assortment of turkeys. The hidden turkeys can be paper cutouts or a small stuffed option. Give a prize to the player that finds the most. This will definitely occupy the kids while the adults are making dinner.
A Classic Game of Family Football
We know running around might not be everyone's idea of fun after eating the biggest meal of the year. But once everybody's ready to start moving again, help your body digest all that food with some good old-fashioned Thanksgiving football. It doesn't need to be too competitive or rough, and you should look for ways to include all family members, regardless of age and ability. If the weather isn't great or you don't have much outdoor space, you can play indoors by requiring all players to crawl or walk on their knees, assigning furniture pieces as end zones, and using a plush ball that won't break any windows.
Thanksgiving Party Icebreaker Games
Some Thanksgiving gatherings might require a social warm-up of sorts, like a friendly icebreaker activity. Whether you're hosting an office party or a Thanksgiving open house, icebreaker games help everyone get to know each other and boost the holiday spirit.
Turkey Fill-in Favorites
Get to know your co-workers or even complete strangers you might cross paths with as you volunteer at a local soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. A simple game of favorites will do the trick.
- Print out a free Thanksgiving coloring page. Something simple like a turkey works perfectly. The host of the icebreaker should supply crayons and markers.
- Give each person a chance to fill in a section of the turkey (on the same coloring page) with their favorite color, and encourage everyone to pay attention to whose color is whose.
- Then, each will use a marker to write one word that they love or that describes them in the same space they colored in.
- When everyone has filled in their section, have each of them write down their guess for who filled in each section. Give them all time to explain their color and word choice (if they feel comfortable doing so).
Thanksgiving Word Association
You might be after an easy and fast-paced icebreaker for a classroom setting. Print out a few free Thanksgiving word searches for kids and give one to each player. On "Go," each player looks for the first word they see in the search grid. Players are most likely to find the given words, but may also find words that aren't on the list. When each player finds their first word, they flip their paper over. Go around the group and talk about what words each person found and see if they can find any special personal meaning about their word.
Who Would You Invite?
One small group icebreaker game that can reveal a lot about your guests is Who Would You Invite? Give everyone a few minutes to come up with a list of the three people outside of standard family and friends they'd invite to their Thanksgiving. Celebrities, famous people in history, a favorite author, a fictional character, or a deceased ancestor are all good ideas; the possibilities are limitless! Let everyone share the three people they'd invite and why - you might be surprised by some of the answers!
Be Grateful for Thanksgiving Games
Whatever games you choose to include at your Thanksgiving celebration, it's all about being thankful for the time you spend together. There are plenty of online Thanksgiving games and phone apps to entertain kiddos while you're busy cooking or cleaning, but when it's finally party time, play some of these group-friendly games to turn an ordinary celebration into something extraordinary.