Thanksgiving family traditions

8+ Ideas For Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that sometimes flies under the radar but NEVER goes unnoticed. This year we are encouraging you and your family to start some new Thanksgiving Family Traditions!

While we are all grateful for a lot of things – family, children, friends, careers, etc – we are also really grateful for food. It’s the one thing that brings us all together.

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8+ Ideas For Thanksgiving Family Traditions

In all the fun and business on Thanksgiving, it can be easy to forget what Thanksgiving is truly about: gratitude. One thing our family is super Thankful for is our time together and for making new traditions.

So today we are sharing 8 fun family traditions you might consider starting this year.

family traditions for thanksgiving

Write down what you’re thankful for

Before dinner hand out black sharpies to everyone in the house. Invite each person to write what they’re thankful for on butcher paper cloth.  Help kids write out theirs and they can even draw what they are thankful for if they can’t write yet!


Together as a family volunteer at a local food bank or shelter. Shelters often need volunteers on days other than Thanksgiving.  This could be a monthly or quarterly volunteering project for you and your family!

Collect canned goods

We totally understand if you can’t volunteer in person, not every family can! Another great tradition is to invite your guests to bring canned goods to you.  Following Thanksgiving, your family can donate to the local food bank or Karma Box.  Include your kids in donating because this is a great tradition you could all do together.

Start a Gratitude Jar

Set out a mason jar or bowl and have family and guests write anonymously things they are grateful for. During or before dinner someone can reach them all out loud!

Turkey on the Table

We’ve done the turkey on the table tradition for a couple of years now and every day the kids get to write down something they are grateful for on a feather. It’s easy to do and stays on the table all month long.

A budget-friendly alternative is this adorable Thankful Tree.  Similar to the Tukey on the Table have kids and family write what they are thankful for on the leaves and it would make a perfect centerpiece to your Thanksgiving table!

thanksgiving activities

Go for a Walk

Before/after dinner. Spend some time together without technology and walk off all that goodness – even better if you can make it to watch the sunrise or sunset.

On your walk, you can talk about the things you are thankful for or reflect and share some of your favorite things from the year.

Bake Together

One of our favorite Thanksgiving family traditions is baking! There are so many amazing recipes and traditions for Thanksgiving. Kids love being included and I know ours are always eager to help in the kitchen.

Find an item you can bake together and enjoy on Thanksgiving.  Kids also find pride in knowing they made something that others get to enjoy!

Turkey Bowl

Is your family a fan of football? Start your own turkey bowl game tradition!  Invite your extended family or friends and partake in a little Thanksgiving turkey bowl!

Family Time is the Best Time

However you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy creating some new Thanksgiving family traditions with your family and friends! Happy Holidays!

For a complete list of local happenings, check out, the #1 Family Guide to Nevada and tag us in your family fun on social media @northernnevadamoms.


Kacey Queen is a co-founder of Nevada Moms

Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.

She serves on the board for Northern Nevada Health Systems, and Northern Nevada Sports and Recreation, and she is passionate about her community.

Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, exploring the outdoors, working out, local coffee shops, and dessert!

Leanna Carson is an expecting mama via IVF and a serial entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, she loves sharing all things family-friendly as well as local spots most don’t even know about! She co-founded Nevada Moms in 2018 and it has become the #1 Family Guide to Nevada experiences, activities, happenings, and more.

Connect with her on social media or IRL @mrsleannacarson on Instagram.