family fun thanksgiving activities


Balance the wobble and the gobble this Thanksgiving

Holidays are a great time to spend with friends and family, but winter holidays also focus on lots of food and less activity. Don't let tradition stop you from incorporating new ideas into your holiday gatherings! Planning holiday activities that combine movement and conversation, ties together bonding, having fun and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate activity that is fun for all ages this Thanksgiving.

Trot before you gobble. Start the morning with a metabolism boost by walking or running in a community race. Many communities sponsor run/walks of varying distances that also support a charitable cause. Sign up the entire family for fun, exercise and a cause.  

Go on a turkey hunt. It doesn't have to be turkeys, but create an indoor or outdoor hunt for cornucopias, mini pumpkins or other small treasures. This provides hours of entertainment, gives kids an outlet for energy and keeps them (and adults) out of the cook's way in the kitchen.   

Toss the pigskin. Start a friendly competition of touch football, keeping the rules simple. Every game needs a referee and scorekeeper, which is a great way to include everyone, even if they don't move well! Most importantly, have fun and stop when it's not.  

Play turkey tag. This Thanksgiving-themed version of flag tag is perfect for kids and adults to play outdoors. Each person wears three turkey feathers (aka clothespins) on their clothing, and try to remove clothespins off others while preventing theirs from being taken.  

Go ice skating. Thanksgiving seems to be the start of many seasonal activities, including ice skating. The indoor rink at The Depot, in downtown Minneapolis, and the outdoor Wells Fargo Winter Skate rink, in downtown St. Paul, should be open Thanksgiving weekend, weather permitting.  

Give thanks by giving back. Volunteer your time and energy to help others. You can sign up to serve meals at a community center, church or soup kitchen or even deliver meals to families.

Gobble then wobble. It may be difficult to get out for a morning 5K, especially when you're travelling or preparing for guests. Go for a group walk after the meal to help digestion, improve blood sugars and boost energy for the post-meal clean up, because it can wait. And yes, shopping counts!   

Shake your tail feather. Kick up your heels with dancing after the meal. Learn a new dance from someone at your gathering, from a video or by playing Just Dance on a game console.

Just like any other day, Thanksgiving Day should be a balance of keeping active and making healthy choices. You do not need to deprive yourself of trying the delicious foods, but you should dish up appropriate portion sizes. Getting in some activity, before or after the meal, will help you stay energized for socializing with guests and feel better about yourself with less regret. 


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