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Thanksgiving Activities for Seniors

Phone conversation. Positive senior aged woman smiling while offering a roasted chicken

There are a lot of different ways you can spend Thanksgiving, especially as a senior

Published: November 17, 2021

Category: Educational, Featured

Believe it or not, the end of the year is quickly approaching, and it’s time for Thanksgiving yet again. Many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving for multiple reasons: spending time with friends and family, eating good food, Black Friday deals and football, among other things.


There are a lot of different ways you can spend Thanksgiving, especially as a senior. And this article is designed to share some activities that you can do, based on many successful Thanksgivings experienced.


Activities for the Thanksgiving season


  • Play “Pass the Plate.” Thanksgiving is about, well, giving thanks. And what better way is there to give thanks than to play Pass the Plate? This is a game in which, just before Thanksgiving dinner, everyone at the table takes a turn to list some of the things that they’re thankful for. This tradition typically calls for a special plate to be passed around, and whoever is holding the plate is the person who gets to share what he or she is thankful for, but a plate isn’t necessary for the game to be enjoyed. The purpose of Pass the Plate is to get you to think about what it is that you’re thankful for, whether it be on a short-term scale like the dinner you’re about to feast on, or a long-term scale, like your family. Either way, this Thanksgiving tradition is a great activity for seniors to try out.
  • Host a Thanksgiving cook-off. Now this one may be a little more difficult to do, especially if all of the cooking is taking place in one kitchen. However, if you have family coming to your house to celebrate the holiday, this is a fun and unique way to how someone will prepare his or her dish. This is also an activity that you can make unique to yourself by setting all of the rules in place. For example, the host of Thanksgiving could be the judge of the cook-off and determine who is bringing what. How you will determine the winner will be up to you, but you can at least expect a lot of wonderful dishes to be served that day!
  • Play Thanksgiving bingo. Bingo is a great game to play during the holidays because the number of players who can participate is endless. And not to mention, the concept of the game is extremely easy to grasp, so your grandchildren and/or great-grandchildren will be able to play right alongside you. It’s also a great way to come up with unique and creative prizes for all of the winners because these are prizes that you can bake or make on your own. Make sure to visit this article from Crazy Little Projects to learn more about the specific rules, and to gain ideas for your bingo cards.
  • Put together a Thanksgiving scavenger hunt. If your grandchildren are younger, this is an activity that is fun for both seniors and their grandkids. And depending on if you’re experiencing beautiful fall weather or getting hit with an early winter chill, you’ll be able to determine whether you want to host your scavenger hunt inside or outside. And, of course, you can’t forget the prizes. Prizes can range from Thanksgiving-themed candies, dollar bills, plastic jewelry and more. If those who are in your family are mainly older, but would still like to participate in this activity, prizes can include liquor-infused chocolates,
  • Bake Thanksgiving treats. There are a lot of different treats that you can make on Thanksgiving, whether they’re for you, your grandchildren or for your friends. The particular Thanksgiving favorites include pumpkin, pecan and apple pies, cranberry cobblers, snickerdoodle cookies, pumpkin and/or banana bread, and more. If you want to make this activity more memorable, our suggestion would be to bake your treats while watching a holiday-themed movie or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Watch Thanksgiving specials on TV. Thanksgiving specials are a definite favorite past-time in America. Specials can include A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving specials, and special episodes that your favorite shows make, too. And don’t forget, there are also Thanksgiving-themed movies you can watch, too. If you have younger grandchildren, Free Birds, Turkey Hollow and Paul Blart: Mall Cop are great family-friendly holiday movies that are based around Thanksgiving. Other movies that are more fit for adults include Friendsgiving, Turkey Bowl, You’ve Got Mail and more. Trust us, this is one of the best things you can do after eating an entire delicious meal with your family!
  • Make Thanksgiving crafts. Wreaths, paper turkeys, fake leaves, oh my! The amount of Thanksgiving crafts a senior can do is endless. If you’re looking for some fun and crafty ideas to bring to life for the Thanksgiving holiday, click here. You’ll be able to find a lot of inspiration, as well as how-tos, for making some amazing crafts. Who knows, maybe they will end up as great gifts for your loved ones! Our suggestion is to make crafts that are easy and durable to ship to your loved ones in the event that they live farther away.
  • Watch football. This one is a guaranteed activity for many Americans during the Thanksgiving holiday. Seeing as football is one of America’s favorite pastimes, there are plenty of games that will be on this year. The matchups you can expect to see this year will be:
    • Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions. 12:30 p.m. EST on FOX.
    • Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys. 4:30 p.m. EST on CBS.
    • Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints. 8:20 p.m. EST on NBC.

Now, the real question is, who are you going to be rooting for?

  • Take holiday photos. This is something that many families do during the Thanksgiving holiday, and it’s mainly because this is the last time that they will all be together before the next wave of the holiday season begins. This way, the photos are the most up to date to prepare and send out to your loved ones.


Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays to spend with your family because it’s a great opportunity for you to share with them how much you appreciate having them in your lives and do things with them that you wouldn’t have been able to do at any other point in the year. Make sure to share this list of activities with your loved ones so that you can see which sounds like the most fun for your family to celebrate.


For more tips and tricks about the holiday season, make sure to visit The Best Senior Services’ (TBSS) blog page. We at TBSS strive to be the nation’s leading senior resource center. We aim to inspire and empower seniors to act on their retirement goals by utilizing our resources. If you’re interested in getting started with us today, visit our website to fill out a form or give us a call at 855-979-8277.