Thanksgiving Traditions for the Family

Fun Thanksgiving Traditions for Everyone in the Family

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Fall is in the air, the leaves are crunchy, the breeze is brisk and there are so many activities focused on family time and being truly grateful for what we have. I love the spirit of gratitude, thankfulness, and tradition that permeates the air. So we gathered the very the BEST Thanksgiving traditions out there!


We are all so blessed and I love taking the time to really remember that! These Thanksgiving traditions and Thanksgiving ideas for family are sure to help you have a very memorable Thanksgiving and create lasting memories with traditions that you and your family will cherish.

140 Thanksgiving Traditions

One of my favorite musicals of all times is Fiddler On The Roof. If you haven’t seen it, you have to! The reason I bring it up is because the Father, Tevye, in the musical continually brings up “tradition” and how tradition brings meaning and deep connections to his family, community, and religion. One of my favorite quotes from the “Traditions” song that Tevye sings is, ” Without traditions our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.”

 In the spirit of “Tradition” I’m sharing traditions that will get you off that shaky roof and plant you firmly in the meaning of the season. In this collection you will find:

Are you ready to celebrate? In this round-up you will find a little something for everyone.

50 Thanksgiving Traditions and Activities for Families

50 Family Fun Thanksgiving Traditions

The best time during the holidays is the time you get to spend with those you love! Create bonds and lasting memories with your family this Thanksgiving by adding a tradition to your holiday celebrations.

Thanksgiving Traditions

1. You’ve Been Gobbled (The Dating Divas) –Share some secret treats this season as you do Thanksgiving service.

2. Shooting Turkeys (A Girl and her Glue Gun) –This is sure to become a classic thanksgiving tradition for your family. Nerf, balloons, competition = perfection.

3. Conversation Prompts (Yellow Bliss Road) –Not sure what to talk about around the table? This is sure to help and is your new favorite Thanksgiving tradition!

4. Turkey Bowling (The Dating Divas) –This is the funnest family game ever! You will LOVE it – and you can reuse the prints each year!!

5. Thanksgiving Day Printable Pack (The Dating Divas) –The whole day is all planned out for you with this adorable family Thanksgiving tradition printable pack.

6. Turkey Rocket Races (Growing a Jeweled Rose) –Who will have the fastest turkey? You’ll want some turkey feathers to make your turkey look fabulous as it reaches the finish line!

Thanksgiving Family Traditions

7. Thanksgiving Charades (The Dating Divas) – This will provide a great laugh and a new Thanksgiving tradition for your family.

8. Don’t Eat Tom the Turkey (Sisters Suitcase Blog) –Watch out for Tom in this fun family game.

9. Thanksgiving Countdown Banner (The Dating Divas) –Celebrate Thanksgiving the entire month!

10. Tic Tac Toe Turkey (How Does She) –A fun twist on a traditional game. Make sure you have some of those mini Post-its on hand!

11. Turkey Hunt (Prepared, Not Scared) –Will you be able to find the turkey in time for dinner?

12. Turkey Feathers Game (The Idea Room) –Whose turkey will get all of its feathers first?

Thanksgiving Ideas for Family

13. Tic-Tac-Toe Table (It’s Overflowing) –Another fun variation to a classic game. {Washi tape totally makes this idea!}

14. Thanksgiving Madlibs (How Does She) –A laugh or two never hurt anyone!

15. Thank You Bank (Tips from a Typical Mom) –Prepare for Thanksgiving all year with this cute bank.

16. Thanksgiving Would You Rather (Mom of 6) –Find out the truth about your family

17. Thanksgiving Pictionary Game (I Dig Pinterest) –This silly game is sure to bring out your inner artist.

18. Family Random Acts of Kindness (The Dating Divas) –Help those around you by serving them!

Thanksgiving Family Tradition Ideas

19. Thanksgiving Bingo and Scavenger Hunt (The Dating Divas) –Two family fun games in one place!

20. Going on a Turkey Hunt (Bloom Design ) –Are you ready to go on this fun-filled turkey hunt?

21. Pilgrim Hat Cookies (Oh So Savvy Mom) –A craft + a treat = the perfect combination!

22. Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt (The Dating Divas) –This fun, family game is sure to bring out your competitive side.

23. Pluck the Turkey (Prepared, Not Scared) –Yikes! Who can pluck the turkey the best?

24. Thanksgiving Win it in a Minute (U – Create Crafts) –Fast paced games for the whole family.

Thanksgiving traditions for family.

25. 27 Days of Gratitude (The Dating Divas) –Help your family remember to be grateful all month long.

26. A Thankful Heart (Lasso the Moon) –This is a really sweet game to play with your family to help remember who bless we all truly are.

27. Homemade Butter (Playdough to Plato) –A little pre dinner shaking!

28. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Movie in a Box (Katherine Marie) –Gather the family for a Thanksgiving movie night. {Don’t you just LOVE this movie!?!}

29. Fall Family Photos (The Dating Divas) –What to wear? Where to take the pics? We have it all covered here!

30. Family Handprint Pumpkins (The Melrose Family) –A tender memory from year to year as you watch those little hands grow.

Fun family Thanksgiving traditions.

31. Thanksgiving Photo Booth Props (The Dating Divas) –Snap some FUN pictures of the family this Thanksgiving. Hurry and grab these free photo booth props. Time to make and capture some memories! No time to print and cut, get some props here to save on time.

32. Gratitude Certificates (Creative Certificates) –Present those you love and are thankful for with a gratitude certificate. Spend family night filling out several of these certificates and mail or hand deliver these together

33. Thankful Pumpkins (Kelly Elko) –This Thanksgiving craft tradition will be something you will treasure forever!Get some white pumpkins for this one!

34. Thankful Garland (Silver Box Creative) –Create a thankful garland using this beautiful printable. Have each family member write what they are thankful for and display it around the house.

35. Thankful Boxes (Cottage in the Oaks) –This is a great activity that your kids will enjoy doing every year. Let them decorate their own box, fill it with thankful slips, and read the slips each Thanksgiving.

36. Gobble and Gab Conversation Starter (The Dating Divas) –Choose a random slip of paper and get gobbling with this new Thanksgiving tradition.

Thanksgiving traditions for the whole family.

37. Thanksgiving Trivia (Alpha Mom) –Who knows their Thanksgiving Day facts best?

38. Blessing Jar (Marty’s Musings) –Set this jar out year round to remind the family of their blessings. Add blessings all throughout the year. On Thanksgiving day read the blessings one by one.

39. Thankful Tree (Simply Vintage) –This Thankful Tree is darling and oh so thoughtful. Write notes on the first of the month and leave them up till next Thanksgiving.

40. Grateful Leaf Garland (Simply Modern Mom) –Not only is this a beautiful decoration but also a gorgoous way to count your blessings leaf by leaf.

41. Turkey Ticket (Let’s Get Together) –Involve your kids in a gratitude challenge that will help them count their blessings all month through.

42. Share Thanksgiving Treats (Paging Supermom) –Make treats together as a family and hand out to your neighbors or friends.

43. Bread Wrappers (Whipperberry) –Bake an extra bread or two, share them with your friends or neighbors, and top with this thankful printable.

Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas

44. Gratitude Garland (Somewhat Simple) –Another version of a gorgeous garland. Count your blessings one by one and display them for all to see.

45. Counting Blessings as a Family (How Does She) –Spend time together as a family creating a blessings tree. Allowing everyone to take part will make this tree of blessings all that more special.

46. Thanksgivng Devotional (Frugal Fun 4 Boys) –Each day of November during family dinner, read a devotional with the purpose of teaching thankfulness to your kids. The devotional has a bible verse and questions to stir discussions about gratitude.

47. Gratitude Challenge (Inspired by Family) –We all love a challenge! These challenges will help you focus on what matters most and will create memories that you will treasure forever.

48. Family Trivia Game (Martha Stewart) – Do you know all the little details about your family members? This game will get everyone involved, conversations started, and everyone telling their best stories.

49. Blessing Tree (Somewhat Simple) –Add your family photos along with your many blessings to decorate this ‘Count Your Many Blessings Tree.’

50. Family Turkey Trot (Brooks Running) –This family thanksgiving tradition will help make some extra room for those delicious mashed potatoes

35 Thanksgiving Traditions and Activities for Kids

35 Thanksgiving Traditions and Activities for Kids

Kids need some excitement on Thanksgiving while all the food cooks – this list is sure to provide that! Enjoy your Thanksgiving traditions and feast while creating lasting memories for every member of the family. 

Thanksgiving traditions for kids.

51. Golf Tee Turkeys (I Can Teach My Child) –Kids will love making this creative turkey! {This bag of tees + some play dough and you are good to go!}

52. Fall Scent and Sensory Bin (Messes to Memories) –Smell and feel the season with this Fall sensory bin.

53. Clothespin Turkey (The Simple Parent) –Bright and colorful turkey art for the win!

54. Candy Corn Turkey (Crafty Morning) –A deliciously adorable craft.

55. Thanksgiving Utensil Holder (Eighteen25) –Let the kids help decorate the table.

56. Dish Brush Turkey (Crafty Morning) –Who wouldn’t love this?

Kids Thanksgiving traditions.

57. Mayflower Craft (First Pallet) –A fun craft to help talk about the pilgrims.

58. Native American Headdress (Ankle Biter Art) –Let the kids dress up this holiday season.

59. Paper Bag Turkey (No Time for Flashcards) –Simple items can make wonderful things!

60. PaperTube Friends (Creative Me Inspired You) –Are these not the cutest!?!

61. Paper Plate Pilgrim (All Kids Network) –A little paper, glue and a plate is all it will take!

62. Tissue Paper Turkey (Crafty Morning) –This bright and colorful turkey craft is sure to please. Be sure to have some colorful tissue paper.

Thanksgiving traditions, kids arts and crafts.

63. Painted Paper Plate Turkey (I Heart Crafty Things) –I know that we LOVE to paint at our house! The kids will love this! These finger paints are awesome for the little guys!

64. Popsicle Stick Pilgrim (Crafty Morning) –A little pilgrim out of popsicle stick! How cute! {I seriously ALWAYS have these on hand for crafts!}

65. Pilgrim Dress Up (WAyback Machine) –If the Native American Headdress wasn’t for them, try out these pilgrim dress-ups!

66. Pumpkin Pie Craft (A Nightowl Blog) –A craft cute enough to eat!

67. DIY Thankful Plate (My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia) –This plate will serve as a conversation piece and is perfect for your Thanksgiving traditions. Give the kiddos their own paper plate version!

68. Thankful Placemat (Nurture Store) –Help your kids remember what they are truly grateful for.

Arts and Crafts Thanksgiving Traditions

69. Rolled Paper Pumpkin (One Creative Mommy) –I love this pumpkin!

70. Pilgrim Crayon Holder (A Pumpkin and a Princess) –These would look adorable at the kids table! 🙂

71. Thankful Spinner (Parents) –Can they fill their spinner with things that they are thankful for? {#15 on this list}

72. Thankful Turkey Book (B Inspired Mama) –A book stuffed to the brim with gratitude!

73. Free Thanksgiving Coloring Sheets (Lil Luna) –Simple and sweet.

74. Tissue Paper Turkey – By Number (Crayon Box Chronicles) –A little math and art join together to make this cute turkey possible!

Thanksgiving traditions for children.

75. Handprint Turkey Hat (Crafty Morning) –Will your little turkey love this hat or what!?!

76. Turkey Finger Puppets (Handmade Charlotte) –A mini-turkey for all of the mini-humans in your life.

77. Thanksgiving Tablecloth (From Glitter to Gumdrops) – Set markers out on the Thanksgiving table. Invite everyone to write or draw their blessings on the tablecloth. Bring it out every year to follow and add to it again and again.

78. Printable Coloring Book (Happiness is Homemade) –This printable coloring book is perfect for the long wait for the turkey! And it may become your favorite Thanksgiving tradition + a new keepsake.

79. Gratitude Album (Cathy Zielske) – Pass around prepared note sheets to each guest, snap a photo of each guest, and compile a book of thanks. Each year create a new booklet, add new pictures, and continue to record memories.

80. Kids Printable Placemats (Sisters Suitcase ) –Let the kids entertain themselves with these adorable placemats. These are a great way to entertain them and collect memories on Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving traditions for kids and family.

81. Corn Wreath (1 Pure Heart) –This craft will give your kids something to contribute to your Thanksgiving decor.

82. Kids Table Decoration (Paper Glitter) –Make the kids feel extra special with their very own table.

83. Hand Stamped Tablecloth (Over Crescent Moon) –Capture your children’s growing stages with a yearly turkey hand stamp on a tablecloth. Use it to decorate the kids table or have all the cousins stamp their hands and give as a yearly Thanksgiving gift to grandma.

84. Project Turkey (Crafting Chicks) –Decorate some fruit with this adorable craft idea that your kids will love.

85. Thanksgiving Bingo (Miss Information) – Your guests will enjoy a little bit of healthy compition with this fun game of bingo.

15 Thanksgiving Day Ideas for Couples

15 Thanksgiving Day Ideas for Couples

Holidays get so busy we sometimes forget our priorities. Keep your spouse at the top of your “must do” list with these ideas. Thanksgiving traditions will create memories that you will treasure your whole marriage.

Thanksgiving Couple Ideas

86. November When (The Dating Divas) –Show your loved one how thankful you are for him/her on this special occasion by sharing your favorite November memory together.

87. Top 10 Reasons Why I’m Thankful For You (The Dating Divas) – Use this sweet free printable to list the top 10 reasons you are thankful for your spouse and watch them smile when you give it to them.

88. Thanksgiving for 2 (The Dating Divas) –Don’t just tell your spouse that you are thankful for them, show them with a special Thanksgiving Tradition for 2.

89. Sexy Thanksgiving After Party (The Dating Divas) –

90. Play Cowboy & Pilgrim Bedroom Game (The Dating Divas) –Make intimacy a priority during this busy season. Spice up Thanksgiving with this bedroom game for two. Make sure to be prepped with some outfits {wink}.

Thanksgiving traditions for couples.

91. Thanksgiving Prep Date (The Dating Divas) –Center a date night all around preparing for Thanksgiving. Also check out the additional date ideas near the bottom of the post for a few other ideas to add to your traditions.

92. Sexy Love Notes (The Dating Divas) –

93. Gratitude Journal (The Dating Divas) – Count your blessings all month through together with a gratitude journal. This will be a keepsake all year through.

94. DIY His & Hers Pillowcases (The Dating Divas) –A unique twist to a Thanksgiving countdown that will show your spouse just how much you care!

95. Gratitude: On a Roll (The Dating Divas) –Prepare a basket of rolls with a secret note tucked in the each and every roll. This will be a tradition that you’ll want to do year after year.

Thanksgiving Day Ideas for Couples

96. Fall Love Notes (The Dating Divas) –Let your honey know that you are extra grateful for them this year.

97. Free Gratitude Printables (The Dating Divas) –Hide these love notes around the house for your honey to find

98. Service with your Spouse (The Dating Divas) –Use these free printables to help remind you of all the reasons you are grateful. Each day, note a reason you are grateful for each other and display the note for your spouse to discover.

99. Show Gratitude for Your Spouse (The Dating Divas) –We’ve got your one-stop shop with OVER ONE HUNDRED ideas to show your spouse just how grateful you are for them!

100. Give a Love Note to Your Spouse (The Dating Divas) –This Thanksgiving, show your special someone just how much you love them with a FREE printable love note that tells him/her just how grateful you are to have them in your life!

20 Must Have Thanksgiving Recipes

20 Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

One of the biggest traditions of Thanksgiving is the food! And honestly the rolls and potatoes are my FAVORITE Thanksgiving traditions. We thought you might like to add a few of our favorite Thanksgiving foods to your tradition list as well.

Thanksgiving Tradition Recipes

101. Turkey Panni (Pinch of Yum) –Ok, so really this one is what to do with the leftovers, but doesn’t that look amazing!? Make it even easier for yourself and grab a Panini Maker!

102. Turkey Gravy (Center Cut Cook) –Dinner wouldn’t be complete without the gravy.

103. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn (Damn Delicious) –This looks SO much better than the canned stuff!

104. Foolproof Pumpkin Pie (American Heritage Cookie) –Any recipe that says “foolproof” is right up my alley!

105. How to Roast a Turkey (Betty Crocker) –Thanksgiving dinner has to include a delicious turkey!

Recipes for your Thanksgiving tradition.

106. Pecan Pie (Thistlewood Farms) –Pecan Pie was always a staple at our Thanksgiving table growing up.

107. Pecan Sweet Potato Caserole (Creme de la Crumb) –If it is called a casserole, then it counts as part of dinner even though it is delicious enough to be dessert!

108. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (Baker by Nature) –Pumpkin pie + Cheesecake = Heavenly bliss!

109. Sage Apple Stuffing (The Complete Savorist) –I think that stuffing is my very favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner!

110. Pumpkin Dessert Bars (Pinch of Yum) –Skip the pie and head straight for these dessert bars! This pumpkin pie dish will make the bar even more festive.

Thanksgiving traditions for your table.

111. Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Cobbler (Living Locurto) –Yum! Do we need to say anything else?

112. Cranberry Sauce (Cooking Classy) –Turkey would NOT be the same with out homemade cranberry sauce!

113. Creamy Corn Pudding (Pinch of Yum) –This could be a new favorite!

114. Dinner Rolls (How Does She) –This is the recipe that is our go to Every. Single. Time!! They are SO SO good!!

115. Garlic Mashed Potato (Pinch of Yum) –Easy, garlic, and potatoes, those are ALL favorites when it comes to cooking!

Food for your Thanksgiving tradition.

116. Easy Green Bean Casserole (Damn Delicious) –A must-have at every Thanksgiving dinner!

117. Candied Pecans (Cooking Classy) –These are sure to make an appearance at your Thanksgiving table this year.

118. Ceasar Green Bean Salad (Messes to Memories) –This is a recipe from the kitchen of one of our very own Divas! Stop by and give her some love!

119. Caramel Apple Pie (Happy Food Healthy Life) –As if apple pie could have gotten any better!?

120. Candied Carrots (The Novice Chef) –Yes, please! These delicious carrots are sweet and the perfect side to accompany your roasted turkey.

20 Decorative Thanksgiving Ideas

20 Decorative Thanksgiving Ideas

Is it really a holiday without its own decor? This Thanksgiving tradition decor is sure to bring the grateful spirit into your home this holiday season. 

Special Thanksgiving Tradition Decor

121. Fall Center Piece (Shanty 2 Chic) –A great DIY that you could change out with every season!

122. White Pumpkin with Garland (Karen Lidbeck-Brent) –Finish your Thanksgiving table in style!

123. Embroidery Hoop Turkey (Gwenny Penny) –A cute twist on some basic materials, just a few of these hoops, some material, and you are quickly on your way to an adorable, festive decoration!

124.Picture Place Settings (Feels Like Home) – Not only a great conversation starter but a lovely way to celebrate all of your loved ones that you are very thankful for!

125. Fall Burlap Sign (Tatertots and Jello) –This is sure to grab everyone’s eye!

Thanksgiving Tradition Decor

126. Glittered Monogram Pumpkin (Unoriginal Mom) –Okay I may just NEED this in my life! Seriously adorable! {But seriously, doesn’t glitter just make EVERYTHING better!?!}

127. Gather, Give Thanks, Feast (Lake Girl Paints) –The weathered look on this is absolutely perfect.

128. Fall Twig Wreath (Taryn Whiteaker) –This would look great all fall long!

129. Falling Leaves Garland (House of Jade) –Adding glitter to just about anything makes it a favorite in my book!

130. Wooden Hello Fall Sign (Tori Grant Design) –This sign is just too cute! I love that it can be used for Thanksgiving, but also the whole fall season.

Decorations for a special Thanksgiving.

131. Give Thanks Door Tags (That’s My Letter) –Giant door tags that everyone will totally be envious of!

132. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble (The Happy Tulip) –This gobble, gobble, gobble sign is definitely a favorite!

133. Indian Corn Wreath (Stone Gable) –Cute + festive is the best combination! {Snatch up a few of these and make your wreath today!}

134. DIY Pumpkin Mason Jar (36th Avenue) –This would be a project that you could get the kids involved with for sure! {These + these + these and you are good to go!}

135. Grateful Garland ( Love Paper Paint) –A touch of nature to bring the beauty of fall inside!

Thanksgiving Decorations

136. Pumpkin Vase (Wine and Glue) –Take your fall flower arrangements to the next level with the outstanding pumpkin vase idea.

137. Paper Bag Leaf Wreath (Crafting Mom) –Recycle and decorate, all in one! Just be sure to have your paper bags.

138. Porch Pumpkins (Hazel and Ruby) –I love pieces that can last through multiple holiday! These are so on my to-do list!

139. Pumpkin in a Jar (Passionate Penny Pincher) –Simple and beautiful, grab this jar and a few other quick supplies fir this adorable centerpiece!

140. Painted Acorns (Home Stories A to Z) –Adding the paint to these acorns makes them a to-die-for piece! {Love this but can’t find any acorns near you? Snatch these artificial acorns up and you can still enjoy this fun fall craft!}

It is our hope that the traditions we shared with you today will hold a special place in your heart as you and your family implement them into your Thanksgiving celebrations. As you enjoy old and new traditions, may the meaning of the season swell within you and deepen the bonds with those you love.

Looking for more ideas for after the big turkey nap? Lessen your leftover load by sending guests home with our DIY Thanksgiving Leftover Bags or find 101 Unique Ways to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers.

Now go out there and rock this Thanksgiving like you have never rocked one before! This year is sure to be one to remember.

About the Author: Shanelle

I am a reading, singing, shopping queen! (I'm very lucky that my handsome hubby likes shopping as much as I do) Married for 6 years and ready for forever, I love spending time with Brigham (my husband) and our girls, Adelaide and Tacy. I teach high school English and in the summertime we love to go on adventures in the great outdoors.

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15 Responses to Thanksgiving Traditions for the Family

    1. Paige, mine too!!! I think Thanksgiving and Christmas are the perfect holidays to pair together because your constantly reminded to be grateful for every little blessing! xox

  1. Traditions are part of the glue that hold relationships together. Wow! So many meaningful traditions to consider and choose just the right ones for the family! All in one place!! Thanks so much for including my Thanksgiving themed games.

    1. Charlene I hope you found the perfect traditions to add to your Thanksgiving celebrations! I found a few that were the perfect addition for our family and they all loved them just as much as I did! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! xox

  2. This is my first year to host a Thanksgiving at my own home, and I really appreciate this list! I know it will all be friends and family, so no matter how it turns out they all have to love me still, but I was a little nervous about new traditions, games, and ideas. This is absolutely what I needed. I feel much better about my plans! (You should see all of my notes that I just scribbled down in the last 10 minutes)

    Thank you!!!!

    1. Oh I love this!!! Congratulations on your first year hosting Thanksgiving! Last year I used a few of these ideas with our family get together. Many of them will be used again this year. I love that you are trying new traditions this year and I hope you enjoy them enough to use them over and over again. So happy you found this post! Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving! xox