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Best Thanksgiving games

Updated March 2023
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Best of the Best
Tifeson Thanksgiving Bean Bag Toss
Thanksgiving Bean Bag Toss
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All Day Entertainment
Bottom Line

A fun bean bag toss game that all ages can truly enjoy thanks to its simple gameplay.


Comes with three bean bags and a simple to set-up gameplay mat. The mat has three holes with different points to encourage players to accurately throw.


Using it outside can be a bit tricky thanks to the flexible mat.

Best Bang for the Buck
Funnlot Thanksgiving Bingo
Thanksgiving Bingo
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Budget Friendly Fun
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A solid Bingo game that is easy to understand and play for younger kids.


Comes with enough mats for up to 24 people to play at once. The caller sheets are easy to use. Each board has a unique pattern to give each game a different winner.


Some users wished that there were more unique pictures.

Paper Clever Party Turkey Scratch Off Cards
Paper Clever Party
Turkey Scratch Off Cards
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

A unique game of random chance that provides all users an opportunity to win.


Comes with 30 different tickets with five that have a winning pumpkin. Printed on durable card stock. Each ticket is easy to scratch off even for younger kids.


Can be a bit too simple for some users to enjoy.

Woochic Make A Turkey
Make A Turkey
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Most Versatile
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With hundreds of unique combinations and easy-to-stick stickers, this is a fun choice.


Comes with 32 different sheets that can be combined with a variety of different stickers. The stickers hold on well to multiple types of surfaces. Cute designs.


The stickers are kind of thin so they can rip if you aren't careful.

Happy Storm Pin The Hat On The Turkey
Happy Storm
Pin The Hat On The Turkey
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Classic Design
Bottom Line

With a fun twist on the old party game, this is a solid option for kids and adults alike.


Comes with multiple sticker hats so each user can compare how close they got with others. The included eye mask is comfortable for most. The turkey mat is easy to hang.


The hanging poster is a little on the flimsy side.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best Thanksgiving games

After a Thanksgiving feast, and possibly a round of seconds or two, most people are feeling a bit lethargic. A card game or board game is an activity that doesn’t require too much energy and makes for a good wind-down in the evening.

Finding the right Thanksgiving games for your family means considering what types of games everyone enjoys playing, how many people you have, and the age range of players. Some people enjoy longer, more involved games that test strategy and wit. Others would rather engage with something lighthearted and silly, possibly with little to no competitive aspect.

No game is for everyone, but a good Thanksgiving game can involve the whole family and get everyone laughing.

a group of friends playing while eating Thanksgiving dinner
Some games play themselves with little to no player choices. While this may not be fun for all players, sometimes a mindless activity is just what people need after a huge meal.

How to choose the best Thanksgiving games

Ideally, everyone in your family should be able to play together. This means finding a game that suits everyone’s tastes and can support a large number of players.

How many players do you have?

Chances are, your Thanksgiving gathering has at least four people — and very likely more. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of games that support up to 10 players and some that support even more.

  • Games for 4 to 6 players include both strategy games and party games.
  • Games for 6 to 10 players are often party games, social games, or team games.
  • Games for 10 or more players can be party games or activities like dexterity challenges or guessing games.

When your family has more members than a game you would like to play, read through the rules to see if there’s a way to add more players. Often, you can have a few people play as a team rather than individually to include more people.

What is the age range of players?

Just about any Thanksgiving dinner includes people from several different generations. While you won’t always be able to include the youngest players, there are many games that are enjoyable for both kids and adults.

Games for ages five and up are simple as a rule, though this doesn’t mean they are easy. They may test players’ dexterity, memory, or spatial reasoning — all of which children can be astonishingly skilled at. While the themes of these games are usually cartoonish or silly, they can be enjoyable for the whole family.

Games for ages 10 and up typically require skills like writing or reading, or they may require strategic planning. They may also be rated for a higher age simply because they have small components that are a potential choking hazard.

If possible, set up the game table far from the TV game so players can hear each other over a football game.


What to look for in a Thanksgiving game

Once you’ve narrowed down what age range and player count you need, consider what sort of games your family is most likely to enjoy.

Party games

These are crowd-pleasers that can often support a crowd. Party games may have players guessing clues given by a teammate, acting out words or specific people, making terrible drawings, or competing in a dexterity challenge. Though they can be competitive, most of the time, they are too lighthearted and quick to hurt anyone’s feelings. Many party games put players on teams, which is an easy way to level the playing field between players of different ages and get everyone involved.

Strategy games

Strategy games aren’t necessarily long or complex; they are any game that tests players’ critical thinking and planning, even if they are fairly straightforward. Rather than being rowdy and silly, most strategy games are mellow and thoughtful. It may take enough time between turns for you to get up for a helping of leftovers.

Themes for Thanksgiving games

Board games come in a variety of themes, not all of which may fit the Thanksgiving vibe. There are a few themes, however, that are particularly fitting.

  • Cozy: Themes like quilting or collecting cats pair well with a fireplace and a cup of tea.
  • Nature: Get in touch with your inner naturalist with games featuring wildlife, zoos, or nature preserves.
  • Pastoral: Whether you’re building a farm or brewing ale, games featuring crops and harvests are particularly apt.
  • Food: From Sushi Go! to Kitchen Rush, there are plenty of games that have players collecting varieties of food.
two girls playing
Games that allow players to drop in and out can serve as a good low-pressure activity to keep everyone entertained.

How much do Thanksgiving games cost?

Games for Thanksgiving evening range from a single deck of cards to a box full of well-crafted components.


For $5 to $10 are small card games and games with few components. These are typically quick to learn and play.


Games from $10 to $25 may be card games with a large deck or more traditional board games. Many classic titles fall in this price range.


For $25 to $60 are well-produced games that often have several illustrations and unique components. These games tend to be more complex but may also be enjoyable to play for years.

If you have a large family, consider buying two copies of a game so everyone can play, or split your group and play two different games.


Tips for gaming with food on the table

  • Keep drinks far from the board or cards. If you have a side table or another nearby surface, try to place drinks there. Otherwise, encourage players to give the game a bit of distance from their beverages to prevent disaster, especially if a game is fast-paced.
  • Avoid sticky treats. If you can’t resist a delicious marshmallow treat, consider using utensils or just wiping your hands on a napkin before your turn.
  • Protect cards with sleeves. One foolproof method is to use card sleeves, which offer peace of mind and allow everyone to eat what they like while they play.
  • Offer non-sticky foods. By putting game-safe options on the table, you might curb players’ appetites for something messier.
  • Choose foods that can be passed around. If the food takes up a lot of space on the table, not only will you have little room for the game, but you also might have trouble reaching the serving platters. Snacks that can be passed around the table work best.
  • Keep napkins and paper towels handy. Napkins help everyone keep their hands clean, and paper towels let you sop up a spill as soon as it happens.
  • Accept messes. When food and games mix, there’s always the risk of damage. If you accept this possibility, you (and everyone else) are more likely to enjoy the evening.

How to teach a game

After finishing dinner, cleaning dishes, and putting away leftovers, everyone is at least a bit tired. Learning a new game can be challenging, but being prepared to teach in a concise and clear manner goes a long way.

  1. Read the rules first. Avoid reading the rulebook aloud at all costs. It is much easier for people to learn from someone who knows the rules well.
  2. Unwrap cards and punch out tokens. Most games come with decks of cards wrapped in cellophane or tokens in a punch board sheet. Prepping all of these helps you set the game up quickly.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the pieces. Identifying cards and components as you set up saves a significant amount of time, especially with more complex games.
  4. Explain who players are in the game. Starting out by telling everyone “we are astronauts” or “we are spies” sets the theme and puts people right into the game. Not all games have specific roles that players take on.
  5. Explain what you are trying to do. Tell people how they will achieve their goal.
  6. Break down how turns work. Explain what your choices are on a turn and how play moves from one player to another.

By this point, players should be ready to start. Explaining information in the order most relevant to players—the “who,” “why,” and “how”—helps players grasp the theme and the purpose of the game. If necessary, you can also walk players through the first few turns to familiarize everyone with the flow of play.

set of dominoes
Not everyone likes board games, and that’s okay. Don’t pressure anyone to join in; many people are content to watch others play or do something else.


Q. How do I know if a game works for children and adults?

A. The best way to get a sense of how a game plays is to watch or read an online review. In many cases, reading the back of the box gives you a good idea as well.

Q. What if I don’t like reading rulebooks?

A. Almost any game has numerous “how to play” videos online that can get you and your family playing quickly. Use a laptop or tablet with a reasonably large screen to play the video and teach everyone the rules.

Q. Is it okay to change the rules of a game?

A. Absolutely. Playing games together is about fun first and foremost. As long as everyone is okay with adding house rules, you should play the game the way your group enjoys best.


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