Planning A “Friendsgiving”? Here Are Tips to Make It Fab

Celebrate Thanksgiving with friends at Burnett Grant Park

There’s nothing quite like home cooked deliciousness on the Thanksgiving holiday. The sights, smells, and sounds of the holiday render cozy thoughts of warm hoodies, full bellies, and perhaps a cinnamon-spiced libation or two. So consider yourself fortunate if you get to hang out with family on this special time of year. More often than not, whether due to work obligations, high travel costs, or shortages in free time, people are hosting and attending “Friendsgiving” events instead. Don’t be daunted — hosting such a shindig doesn’t have to be as complicated as mom’s typical Turkey Day affair. Here’s how to make it both easy and super-fun for everyone that can’t make it home for the holiday:

Make it a potluck

The host should cook the bird, but if that’s outside the realm of possibility, go for roasting a few turkey breasts instead. They are already cleaned up and often pre-seasoned too. As for attendees, ask that each bring a home-cooked dish to share. If you want to be really organized, assign appetizers, salad, side dishes, and desserts so that there is no overlap. Or, better yet, don’t. So what if everyone brings appetizers? You’ll end up having an impromptu tapas party! Or (YUM) a dessert party. Either way, it will be fun to see what everyone brings to the table.

Throw in some football

Whether you are a football fanatic or not, you know that Thanksgiving and the big game go hand-in-hand. You can go about incorporating it into your shindig in a few fun ways: 1) Turn on the TV and let the pros play in the background 2) For those that are a little more into sports, create a football pool for your attendees to play. 3) For the more active set, head to Grant Park to play tag football. The bonus? That last activity will help you work off some of your holiday feast.

Coloring isn’t just for kids

…or maybe it is, for those that are ‘kids at heart.’ And who isn’t nowadays? Nonetheless, let your guests entertain themselves (and each other) with the fun act of coloring. There are tons of free printables that you can find on Google. Mandalas are neat to color. This Thanksgiving-themed one is a good one too — intricate yet not overly complicated, especially after a glass of wine (or two.) So stow some freshly sharpened colored pencils, some magic markers, and a box of crayons on the table, along with some interesting coloring pages, and you’ll be amazed how people will gravitate to this relaxing activity.

Host a wine/beer/booze tasting

Grab a few different wines, craft beers or whiskeys and put each of the bottles in paper bags. During your party, let everyone taste and vote on their favorites (and make sure there is no peeking!) Tally the votes and have a grand unveiling of the winner at the end. You and your fellow party-goers may be surprised at the victor …and have a new favorite libation to boot.

Play board games

Whether you want to go old-school with the likes of Scrabble, Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit or go with something edgier, like Cards Against Humanity, everyone will have a blast playing board games. This entertainment works especially well after eating a big meal when there is a lull in activity.

Are there any other “Friendsgiving” activities would you add to this list? Sharing is caring. Let us know in the comments below.

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