Fall has either arrived or is arriving soon and you’re probably wondering what you can do for fun this year. As a believer, you want to be careful what activities you choose so you aren’t compromising your Christian beliefs in any way. And with Halloween around the corner, you’ll want to be especially careful as others are watching your testimony.
What a fun way to start this post, huh? Well, it’s true, our testimony is visible for all to see and it’s up to us to ensure that others are not confused by the messages we send, both verbally and non-verbally. So, let’s look at some fun Thanksgiving activities for the whole family as you tackle your Fall bucket list ideas.
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If you have made a decision to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in a contemporary way without compromising your Biblical beliefs, you will want to ensure that simple activities like pumpkin carving are not on your list. Having an outdoor display of pumpkins and squash and sunflowers are perfectly acceptable but not carving. Why? Well, that practice began with the Druids who had superstitious beliefs and practices concerning it.
It began with a story about Jack who was denied entrance to both heaven and hell and satan threw a live hot coal at him. Jack put the coal inside his hollowed-out turnip to use the heat to keep warm. Later, families would put their carved turnips outside the door of their houses to ward off the spirits from tricking them with threats. You can read more about the history of Halloween in “Should Christians Celebrate Halloween or Have a Light Party?“
35+ Fun Thanksgiving Activities
So, with all this in mind about having clean and fun Thanksgiving activities, I’ve compiled a safe list for you in 2020.
Remember, these are suggestions for the Fall season, not only on October 31st.
Are you wondering what else you can do for your fun Thanksgiving activities? Maybe these ideas will spark your imagination and you can add to this bucket list.
- Rake the Leaves…and your neighbours’ leaves (with their permission, of course). Let your kids and furbabies run and jump in…repeat until it’s time to put the leaves in bags at the curb.
- Geocaching is a fun way to get to know the neighbourhood. You would need to place items in hidden areas ahead of time for the kids to find and check off on a list, or, they can replace the item with something of their own. Either way works great. Read this to learn more about geocaching.
- Dinner and a Movie, with lots of popcorn…in your backyard! Hook up a TV or put up a white sheet against the house and borrow someone’s TV projector. If this won’t work, then maybe setting it up in your garage would be better.
- Roast Pumpkin Seeds. This is a great way to get a supply of pumpkin seeds by scooping out your own pumpkins. You’ll have both a supply of seeds and pumpkin for baking.
- Pumpkin Cookie Contest. Let the kids make pumpkin cookies from your own pumpkin pulp. Let Dad or an elderly neighbour be the judge…but really, just bless the neighbour!
- Family Thanksgiving Dinner…in both October and November! What a great way to keep remembering why we need to be thankful.
- Board Game Night … or afternoon. Invite your kids’ friends over for a kid-level fun night of board games and popcorn.
- Bible Lesson on Holiness. This is a good time to teach your children about holiness, what it is, and what it is not. Make this age-appropriate and incorporate visuals as needed.
- Apple Picking. Check your area to see if there are any orchards who invite the public to pick apples. This is a perfect time to get the best apples!
- Bake Apple Pies or Applesauce. If you picked your own apples (or not), the littles can help you with stirring the apples or rolling the pastry. As you work together, talk about the goodness of apples and how they help the body grow.
- Watch a Movie about … maybe the history of Reformation. If you can’t find one, maybe you can find a book to read to your children and teach them the significance of what Martin Luther did for Protestantism.
- Family and Friends Chili Cook-off. Plan a chili cook-off for the adults and let the kids be the judges! Of all the ideas I’ve seen about hosting a chili cook-off, this is the best one!
- Fundraiser Chili Cook-off. You can take the above idea one step further and make it a fundraiser for your missionary group, youth group, or another group that you would love to support.
- Play-Dough Fun. Do your kids still use play-dough? Make your own and let them tell a story through their designs. This looks like a great recipe for Pumpkin Spice Play Dough. P.S. I haven’t made this recipe (no grandees) so I hope it works out for you!
- Decorate the Front Door for fall. Scout around for the best fall decorations. Dried corn stalks amidst pumpkins and squash make a nice welcoming decoration.
- Plan an Outdoor Picnic. Bring kid-friendly food, a blanket to sit on, and thermoses of hot chocolate as you enjoy the outdoors.
- Walk along the River … or another nice trail that you’ve heard about but haven’t yet explored. Bring a baggie for the fall leaves the kids might pick up for a craft later on.
- Thanksgiving Indoor Craft. If you collected fall leaves, design Thanksgiving cards using the leaves on the card covers. Or, you could make place cards for Thanksgiving Dinner.
- Make a Door Wreath. If you have extra leaves and pinecones, they would look great on a door wreath.
- Make a Table Centerpiece. Let the kids help you pick out gourds or small squash to design a unique table centerpiece.
- Pick fall flowers! Sunflowers, black-eyed susans, and pussy willows would make a lovely bouquet for the entryway.
- Plan a Day of Horseback Riding. Check with a local horse farm or maybe you know of a friend who has horses. Dress appropriately.
- Be Star Gazers for the evening. Let the kids lay in sleeping bags in the back yard and as you watch the stars. Name the constellations if your kids are old enough.
- Eat S’Mores in the backyard or at a safe campground spot.
- Take a Sunday Drive someplace you’ve never been.
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And, here’s the last 12 fun activities for your bucket list.
- Walk Through Town on a Sunday afternoon. Peer in windows to count how many mannequins there are or how many items are a specific colour.
- Go Hiking. Look for safe trails for you and your kids. Dress appropriately and bring your bottled water!
- Fly a Kite! The Fall season is often windy so buy a cool kite and go fly a kite!
- Take Photos as you hike or around your neighbourhood. Use the photos as backdrops in homemade Thanksgiving cards.
- Snuggle Up and Read a Book…either by yourself or with the kids.
- Be Community Minded. Think of volunteering with soup kitchens, auxiliary shops, or thrift stores, or, consider donating gently worn items to second-hand stores.
- Make Your Own Apple Cider…or buy a bottle of Organic Apple Cider and enjoy it on a cool Saturday afternoon.
- Work on a Puzzle. Check the second-hand or thrift stores for puzzles. When you’re done, donate them back to the store!
- Go for a Bike Ride, one more time, before the bikes are put away.
- Create a Gratitude list. Let the kids write their own gratitude list. Then talk about the attitude of gratitude with them.
- Bonus Activity #1: Host your own Family Feud. Set up your questions ahead of time, invite some friends, and have fun!
- Bonus Activity #2: Share Your Thankfulness at Thanksgiving Dinner.
These ideas have been carefully selected as they are not replacements for Halloween but rather fun things to do anytime during October and November. As I’ve already stated, I do not support any Halloween activity that has origins steeped in Druidism. However, in case you want to comment, for example, children playing dress-up is completely different than wearing Halloween costumes. How? Because on Halloween, the meaning of wearing costumes is with the intent to disguise yourself, to be someone you are not. Playing dress-up on any day other than Halloween is children playing and using their imaginations.
So, which activity do you think you’ll want to do with your kids this year?
Do you want this list? Okay, it’s yours, simply download and print it out to help you plan your fun Thanksgiving activities for this year!
And if you are still looking for more fun Thanksgiving activities, I found this post on Pinterest on Thanksgiving Traditions. The Turkey Rocket Races and the Thanksgiving Charades sound like fun!
That’s a Wrap
Well, I hope you enjoyed this list of fun Thanksgiving activities to do for the Fall season. Don’t forget to print out the free list so you and your kids can check’em off as you work through the bucket list!
I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any ideas that should belong on this list that are safe, clean and fun? If so, leave them in the comments for me!
Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible.
Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk.
You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through 215 Ministry.