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

a woman sitting in a an arm chair


It is the biggest food and family 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 may have plans to sightsee. Or maybe your family is obsessed with discounts and everyone plans to go bargain hunting early Friday morning. Call me crazy, but after an entire day of cooking (and cleaning up), my 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 stresses of the holiday season come creeping in.

Don’t waste your weekend in a food coma or arguing about the best holiday special 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

College Housewife

Obviously, the most important item on the agenda would be to eat those delicious leftovers. I 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.

02 of 15

Call Relatives

woman on phone

 Getty Images/Westend61

My family never could spend Thanksgiving together all at once, but a nice phone or Facetime call always picked up everyone’s spirits. Technology is truly magical these days, allowing us to speak to and see our distant relatives at any time. And there’s no better time to reconnect than during the holiday season.

03 of 15

Clean the Fridge

cleaning kitchen

 Getty Images/Natdanai Pankong/EyeEm

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 rate of plastic container turnover. As you sort through expired to-go bags 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.

04 of 15

Take a Walk in the Park

woman walking with dogs

Getty Images/Matilda Delves


Before winter brings in the harsh cold, this could be a great time to walk around a local park with the family dog. 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 Christmas tree.

06 of 15

Go Shopping

sisters shopping

 Getty Images/Oliver Rossi

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

 Photo by Bao Truong on Unsplash

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

08 of 15

Go See a Play or Ballet


Getty Images/Thomas Barwick

Take in a show, such as 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

Go to the Movies

go to the movies

Photo by Myke Simon on Unsplash

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

10 of 15

Go Sledding

friends sledding

 Getty Images/Westend61

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

citrus avocado salad

Half Baked Harvest

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.

12 of 15

Go Out With Friends

friends cheersing

 Getty Images/Henrik Sorensen

Catch up with your friends from high school at the local watering hole. Reminisce on your funniest memories from high 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

Watch Christmas Movies

watch christmas movies

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

You could also bundle up at home with the family and watch Christmas movies. The holiday is coming right up, of course. Indulge in some hot chocolate and watch your old favorites together.

14 of 15

Look at Family Photos

photo album

Sugar & Cloth

Reminisce on past vacations by looking at photos with your family. This usually brings some laughs.

15 of 15

Take a Hike

woman hiking

 Getty Images/The Good Brigade

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 crisp nature.

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