Now’s the time to get into those late-fall activities and gear up for the holiday season. While the peak time for apple and pumpkin picking has passed, there are still enjoyable fall activities during the final month of fall. Additionally, the earlier onset of darkness in November provides extra motivation to include a few fall activities in your schedule before winter arrives and holiday preparations take over.

Christmas is approaching, but let’s not forget Thanksgiving.

Every year, Christmas decorations start appearing almost immediately after Halloween ends, especially in stores where Christmas becomes the primary focus. Thanksgiving tends to receive less attention. But Thanksgiving deserves recognition in its own right. A Thanksgiving dinner isn’t just about providing a satisfying meal, but also a warm heart. It doesn’t require gifts or candy to celebrate this day, either. Thanksgiving is all about the food, family, and traditions, which some people may sometimes overlook. Additionally, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the National Dog Show are more reasons to appreciate Thanksgiving.

The season of gratitude sets the stage for the season of giving at Christmas.

Thanksgiving might have a complicated history, but for many, it’s a time to slow down and focus on family. With schools, offices and most stores closed, it’s a chance to hit the pause button on life, reflect on what you’re thankful for, and indulge in some delicious home-cooked food and a dessert spread that’s hard to beat. Alternatively, you might opt for ordering takeout or delivery. Regardless of the menu, the quality time spent with loved ones is what truly counts. There are numerous ways to enjoy this time with your family during Thanksgiving break.

Consider some Thanksgiving activities that offer creative opportunities, such as crafting turkey-themed arts and crafts. These options include making playdough turkeys, pinecone turkeys, or cardboard turkeys with your family. You can also explore gratitude-related activities for families, such as creating gratitude rocks or crafting thankful turkeys.

Here are some fun activities to consider in the lead-up to Thanksgiving.

  • Turkey Trot

    Look around for a Thanksgiving race happening near you. Round up your friends or family members and join a seasonal run. Some of these races are pretty laid-back, while others are more intense for those serious runners. Either way, it would make for a great activity ahead of Thanksgiving.

    Marathon running in the light of evening

    Pavel1964/ Getty Images

  • Binge Thanksgiving Episodes

    Nothing gets you in the Thanksgiving mood like re-watching the best Thanksgiving episodes from your favorite TV shows. You can even make it a family affair by having each family member pick 2 or 3 themed episodes from their favorite shows for everyone to binge-watch. You have a variety of TV shows to pick from, such as Friends, specifically “The One with All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8), This Is Us with the episode “Pilgrim Rick” (Season 1, Episode 8), or Gilmore Girls featuring “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9).

    Girls watching television on sofa

    Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/ Getty Images

  • Pie Swap

    Whether you’re trying to use up all those apples you picked last month, perfect a pie recipe before the holidays, or simply want an excuse to devour something sweet with friends, a pie swap is a great way to gather in November. You could even make it a virtual baking event or deliver your pastry creations to your friends’ doorsteps.

    Assortment of homemade fall pies. Apple, pumpkin and pecan. Top down view table scene on a dark wood background.

    jenifoto/ Getty Images

  • "Friendsgiving"

    Not everyone can make it home for Thanksgiving, and even if they can, consider hosting a potluck feast with your closest friends. Ask everyone to whip up or bring their favorite Thanksgiving dish. You can even add a unique theme to your celebration for extra fun.

    Multiracial group of friends gathering at dining table for Thanksgiving dinner. Focus is on man carving roast turkey.

    Drazen Zigic/ Getty Images

  • Gratitude Crafts

    Get your creative juices flowing by making crafts that express what you’re thankful for. Try something like creating a Thankful Turkey or a Turkey on the Table. It’s an activity that encourages the whole family to share their gratitude and make it a daily thing. Get your family to jot down what they’re thankful for on little paper feathers throughout November. These feathers can be added to a turkey centerpiece made from construction paper. Then on Thanksgiving day, take the time to read each one with your family.

  • Volunteer

    Chat it out with your family and decide which organization or foundation you want to support, then kick off a collection. Making your annual donation a Thanksgiving tradition is a cool way to show your gratitude. Volunteering together anytime in the year teaches your family to think beyond themselves, give back, and appreciate what they have.

    Positive atmosphere. Charming friendly sincere men and women working in charity foundation and carrying boxes with supplies while enjoying good time

    Zinkevych/ Getty Images

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