Fun Games to Play This Thanksgiving Weekend


Food is always the focus of our Thanksgiving weekend, but planning games and outdoor activities for the kids always comes in at a close second. From butternut squash bowling to donut eating on a string (though you may want to skip this one this year or keep it to siblings-only) we take our inspiration from fall fairs and carnivals and set up a few different activities to keep the young ones excited and entertained. Here are three ideas for this weekend.

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids

Butternut Squash Bowling

What You Need: 5-10 butternut squash that stand upright and 1 round pumpkin with the stem removed.

How to Set Up: Stagger the squash in a 5 or 10 pin bowling formation so the gourds fall like dominos when hit.

What to Do: Have the kids take turns ‘bowling’. They each get three attempts to knock down as many ‘pins’ as they can. Keep score of how many squash get knocked over during the course of 5-10 (depending on the age of the kids) rounds. For an extra challenge, have kids take one step backward during each turn, placing then farther away from the pins each time.

Pretzel Toss

What You Need: Large floury pretzels and wooden dowels or stocks (one per child)

How to Set Up: Pair the kids up, partnering children who are of similar height together. Give each group one pretzel and each child one dowel or stick.

What to Do: Have one player place a pretzel on their stick and toss it into the air; their opponent needs to catch the pretzel on their stick, which will require some running around to do successfully. Note that this game can be a challenge for children under the age of 8.

Pumpkin Ring Toss

What You Need: Large pumpkins with long stems (enough to create a mini pumpkin patch), small rings to toss (you can even use glow-in-the-dark bracelets, which are great if you’re playing at night).

How to Set Up: Scatter pumpkin across the lawn to create a mini pumpkin patch. Set some on buckets, or bales of hay if you any, to create variation in the height and distance you need to throw the rings. You’ll also need a rope or some tape to make a ‘starting line’.

What to Do: Give each player three rings to throw on the pumpkins, keeping score to see who can who can get successfully toss the most rings onto the pumpkins. You may wish to have three different starting lines, allowing younger children to stand closer to the pumpkins so it’s easier for them to toss the rings.


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