10 Thanksgiving Alternatives If A Big Family Dinner Isn’t Your Thing

November 21, 2017  |  
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Contrary to popular belief, not everyone LOVES Thanksgiving. Sure, there are some who look forward to this gluttonous day all year long, waiting for the chance to spend quality time with their families over turkey, stuffing and all the other holiday trimmings. Others, not so much. Sure, the idea of spending hours with your fam as a few members imbibe a little too much wine might seem appealing at first, but for some of us that entertainment wears thin … and fast. But what’s a person to do if the traditional approach to Thanksgiving isn’t really their speed? There are a variety of activities that will still give you Turkey Day vibes but with the twist that you might be looking for. MadameNoire takes you through a few of them.

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An Unexpected Getaway

Though Thanksgiving can be a tough time of the year to travel, if you’re looking to avoid the pressure of hosting a big get-together with the family, then traveling to an unexpected destination could be the way to go. Whether you opt to flee the cooler temperatures with a trip to the Caribbean or you end up tapping into your inner winter adventurer with a little fun in the snow, making the most of the long weekend with a fun getaway with you, a significant other or a group of friends can be a wonderfully unexpected way to celebrate the holiday. And don’t forget that you might be able to score some good Thanksgiving Day travel deals since you won’t be leaving with the masses of people the night before.

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A Day Of Service

One of the ideas that we love the most is devoting Thanksgiving Day to what it’s really meant for: Showing gratitude and giving back to those who need it most. So if sitting around the house on Thanksgiving Day isn’t your first choice, then why not take a few hours to help those who might be down on their luck and without a place to go. Whether you’re called to volunteer at a soup kitchen, you want to spend time with animals at the local shelter or you’d like to spend time at a nursing home, Thanksgiving Day should give you that added push to get out into the world and do good.

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Eat Out

OK, so maybe not the most inventive of suggestions, but it’s one that we really, really like. So much of an onus is placed on cooking the greatest meal of the year on Thanksgiving Day. And while your girl has definitely stepped up her cooking game in recent years, but I’m not up to Turkey Day levels quite yet. Plus the idea of so many people infiltrating my house still seems like a tall order. So instead, I’d rather pick a bomb restaurant for me and the hubby to savor an incredible Thanksgiving Day meal at together. Judge us if you must, but with tough work schedules and families far away, taking Thanksgiving Day to be with the one I love the most seems like a good choice.

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Watch Football … In Person

Football has become about as much of a mainstay on Thanksgiving Day as turkey. And while most Americans will opt to watch the big game from the comfort of their living room (or someone else’s), why not take things up a notch and hit up the game in person? Now, granted, this suggestion is very much contingent on the weather (we don’t want ya’ll freezing out there), but if we luck out and Thanksgiving ends up being a nice, fall day then spending some quality time outdoors with thousands of your fellow gridiron die-hards might not be the worst idea.

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Go To The Movies

Another, slightly less exciting option if the big family dinner isn’t your thing? There will be plenty of movies in theaters to satisfy any mood you might be in. Looking for the big budget, action-packed blockbuster? Look no further than “Justice League.” In the mood for a little Denzel Washington fix? He drops his new movie “Roman J. Israel” just a few days before Thanksgiving. And if you’re taking a little one to the multiplex, Disney has you covered with its new release “Coco.” Even if you do decide to swing by family dinner, catching a movie could also provide a solid excuse to make a run for it before the post-dinner boozing and inappropriate conversations begin.

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Get An Early Start On Your Holiday Shopping

Now hear us out on this one. We are not fans of brick and mortar stores being open on Thanksgiving. It’s an unfair burden to place on store employees who might want to be with their families and shouldn’t be forced (in some cases) to work on this day. But when it comes to online shopping, we’re definitely not against that. Even if you don’t end up buying anything on Thanksgiving itself, doing a little pre-shopping/planning can make you have a more successful and less stressful Black Friday.

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Do An Unconventional Friends-giving

Friends-giving has certainly gained some traction over the past few years. For those unable to commute to see their families, Friends-giving offers a nice chance to capture the Thanksgiving spirit with people you care about. But why not take that Friends-giving concept up a few notches with a nice dinner and a fun activity. Whether you’re in the mood for ice skating, wine in the park or another activity, infuse a little fun into Friends-giving by taking yourself out of the kitchen and out into the world.

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Do A Little Holiday Decorating

It seems as if every year holiday decorating starts earlier and earlier. I could have sworn that I saw a few red and green decorations right after Halloween, which – for the record – is ridiculous. But now that we’re on the cusp of Thanksgiving, it’s totally acceptable to break out those stockings and get into the holiday spirit. So as Turkey Day winds into the evening, pour yourself a glass of wine and turn on that Mariah Carey.

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Have A Treat Yo’self Day

This might be a little tricky to accomplish given that most stores, spas, beauty salons, etc. are probably closed on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the opportunity to treat yo’self even if it’s a scaled down version at home. From a relaxing bubble bath to a little relaxing mid-afternoon yoga, take the opportunity to unwind and enjoy some me-time.

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Go On An Outdoor Adventure

Last but certainly not least, we love the idea of venturing out on Thanksgiving. As late-November usually provides us the ability to hang out outdoors without freezing our booties off, why not takes this opportunity to spend some time being thankful for the natural wonders around you?

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