Healthy and Fun Thanksgiving Weekend Activities

Healthy activities for the Thanksgiving weekend are easy to plan and will keep guests entertained. More calories are consumed during the holidays than usual, so staying active is especially important during this time. Whether indoors or outdoors, these activities are a healthy way to begin the holiday season.

After Thanksgiving Dance Party
Start a tradition of an after dinner dance party on Thanksgiving. This is a great way to burn off extra calories and fun for everyone. According to Readers Digest, a 37 minute dance party will burn 200 calories. Calories burned may vary according to body type, and the style of dancing. Make a CD or playlist ahead of time, and clear out a space for a dance floor. Dancing is a great stress reliever, and a very healthy activity to kick-start your Thanksgiving weekend.

Backyard Games
Visit a local store and pick up a new backyard game or two. Croquet is an inexpensive family game that doesn’t require a huge backyard, and some may not have played before. Badminton is also a good backyard game. These are easy games to learn and fun for many age groups. You can also make your own game, like a scavenger hunt, ring toss, or bean bag throw. Depending on the number of family and friends in attendence, you may want to set up a few different games for people to play as they wish.

Visit a Local Park or Landmark
Local parks are a great place for family fun, and an inexpensive way to create new memories that last a lifetime. Search for your neighborhood and view the satallite image. Zoom out to explore interesting landmarks that you might not have known are in your area. I recently discovered a lake within 2 miles of our house. It cost 3 dollars to park and we had a great time hiking the trails, learning about native plants and animals, and taking some amazing pictures.

Work a Jigsaw Puzzle

Puzzles are a great way to bring the family close together, and have surprising therapeutic benefits. According to, puzzles can keep the brain healthy and protect against Alzheimers and other mental conditions. Puzzles help calm the body and re-align the mind, by using both sides if the brain. Our family enjoys 500 piece jigsaw puzzles. Its a wonderful feeling to make progress, building teamwork and cooperation. Puzzles have a calming effect, and can counteract some of the stress brought on by a busy season.

Go on a Walk – The Liesurely Way
Take a walk around your neighborhood, but pay close attention to your surroundings. Don’t walk just to walk, but to explore and open up your mind to new things. Go a different way then you usually do, or a little bit further than your usual route. New discoveries will inspire you to explore more often, and become more aware of your environment. When I pay close attention, I discover beautiful exotic flowers that I had walked by a thousand times, but had never seen before because I was so focused on reaching the destination. Fresh air and exercise is good for your body, and new discoveries are good for the mind and the soul.

Watch a Comedy

Laughter is good for you and releases chemicals into the brain that promote feelings of well-being. These feel-good chemicals counteract the everyday stress that we are exposed to. Laughing is also a good abdominal work-out, too. That is why your side will hurt after laughing a lot, because your abs just got a great work out. Movies are a great conversation starter, and make for a good family talk (or laugh) after the movie.

These healthy activities will help to keep your family and guests active, both physically and mentally. These activities are not only healthy for the Thankgiving weekend, they may become your new year-round favorites.

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