15 Things to Do Over Thanksgiving Weekend When You're Bored

a woman sitting in a an arm chair


It is the biggest food-centric holiday of the year, but once Thanksgiving dinner is finished, you may find yourself wondering what to do next. Since all the excitement happens on Thursday, that means you have to find things to do for the whole weekend. If your relatives came in from afar, they might have plans to sightsee. Or maybe your family is obsessed with discounts, and everyone plans to go bargain hunting early Friday morning. Call us crazy, but after an entire day of cooking (and cleaning up), our number one priority is to relax.

Luckily, you don't need to leave the house to do so. Sometimes, the best option is to stay in and work on your home or even on yourself. Everyone needs a little self-care, and there is no better time to indulge than during Thanksgiving weekend. Besides, with holiday shopping in your near future, you better store up all the mindfulness you can before the holiday season's stresses come creeping in.

Don't waste your weekend being bored when you could be making happy memories with the family. Here are our picks for the best things to do over Thanksgiving weekend.

01 of 15

Eat Leftovers

thanksgiving leftovers

The College Housewife

In our opinion, the most important item on the agenda would be to eat those delicious leftovers. We personally feel that Thanksgiving dinner tastes better the following day, especially if some of the cranberries accidentally mix with the gravy. Not to mention, flavors in the casseroles will have had a full day to come together.

If you're feeling a little overwhelmed about making an entirely new meal out of last night's leftovers, let us suggest this sandwich from The College Housewife. It's packed with all of the best flavors of Thanksgiving: cranberries, shredded turkey, gravy, and arugula. Pile it all on a Hawaiian roll, and you are in for a treat.

02 of 15

Call Relatives

woman on phone

Westend61 / Getty Images

If some family members couldn't make it to the feast this year, give them a call and tell them you miss them you miss them. And there’s no better time to reconnect than during the holiday season.

03 of 15

Clean the Fridge

kitchen with a fridge

Desiree Burns Interiors

The year’s biggest meal has just passed, and your family is slowly working its way through dozens of containers of leftovers. Now is the best time to clean the refrigerator (while you have a high plastic container turnover rate.) As you sort through expired to-go boxes and forgotten snacks, you might as well tackle the rest of the fridge while you’re at it, including the dark abyss of the freezer. Bonus points if you use natural cleaning products.

04 of 15

Take a Walk in the Park

woman walking with dogs

Matilda Delves / Getty Images

Before winter brings in the harsh cold, this could be a great time to walk around a local park. The air is crisp at the start of the season, and if you’re lucky enough to have snow, this is the best time to frolic in it. Kids may enjoy jumping about on a playground or outdoor games like tag, while parents can enjoy the foliage (if there’s any left!).

05 of 15

Put up Holiday Decorations

christmas decorations

Design: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, which means it’s time to break out those decorations. Spend an afternoon with the family sorting through boxes and putting up lights around your home. If you’re eager, you may even consider buying a tree.

06 of 15

Go Shopping

sisters shopping

Oliver Rossi / Getty Images

You should feel no pressure to scour shops on just Black Friday—the entire weekend is a great opportunity to score some deals. Small Business Saturday is always a nice occasion to walk around the boulevard and explore all your town’s boutiques.

07 of 15

Host a Game Night

game night

Bao Truong on Unsplash

This is the most-traveled weekend of the year, but you don’t have to go out to enjoy time with your family. Plan a game night with your kids' favorite board or card game. Or maybe you have figured out how to use an iPad or Nintendo Switch? Any way that you can have fun together, you should.

08 of 15

See a Play or Ballet


Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Take in a festive show like The Nutcracker with your family. This offers a nice indoor opportunity to get dressed up and out of the house—plus, you'll have the family photos to look back on in years to come.

09 of 15

Turn on a Movie

go to the movies

Myke Simon on Unsplash

Awards season is coming right up, so take this opportunity to catch up on all the great movies out this time of year. Pick a family-friendly flick to see all together or go with your S.O. for something a little more romantic. 

10 of 15

Go Sledding

friends sledding

Westend61 / Getty Images

If you're lucky enough to already have snow, gather up the crew and go sledding. There's nothing like some wholesome fun to get you back in touch with your inner child.

11 of 15

Cook a Healthy Meal

Lemony artichoke soup

Gimme Some Oven

If all the leftovers have been eaten and you're feeling all kinds of bloated, cook up a healthy meal for the family. Everyone will appreciate it after the calorie bomb that is Thanksgiving. You can't go wrong with a piping hot bowl of detoxifying soup.

12 of 15

Hang With Friends

friends cheersing

Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images

Catch up with your friends from high school at the local watering hole. Reminisce on your funniest memories from school and get up to date on their love lives and careers. This is a great time to plan any trips together for the next year, too.

13 of 15

Tune Into a Holiday Movie

watch christmas movies

Design: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

You could also bundle up at home with the family and watch holiday movies. December is coming right up, so indulge in some hot chocolate and watch your old favorite flicks together.

14 of 15

Reminisce at Family Photos

photo album

Sugar & Cloth

Look back on past vacations by peeking at old photos with your family. This usually brings some laughs.

15 of 15

Take a Hike

woman hiking

The Good Brigade / Getty Images

Before it gets too cold, gather up the family for a hike at a nearby state park or trail. You can catch up on life and make future plans while surrounded by the beautiful outdoors.

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