Take a Hike: Six Active Ways to Bond With Family and Friends Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving is, arguably, the biggest eating holiday of the year, right? But, there is so much more that families and friends can do together over the course of that glorious long weekend, aside from getting their fill of turkey, or duck, or turducken, or whatever ends up on the platter that Thursday! Here are six ideas for bonding in ways that do not include food. Honestly, I wasn’t kidding when I saidâÂ?¦

Take a hike
Or a walk. Or something that involves the great outdoors. Recruit as many people as you can, bring a camera, and take a deep breath when you get there. Even the biggest naysayers and couch potatoes can’t argue with the beauty that is nature. If there isn’t a hiking trail nearby, try a simple walk around the neighborhood. Fresh air can do your body (and mind) a world of good.

Put up the Christmas tree
If the whole family is in town to celebrate Turkey Day, why not take advantage of the extra help? If you like to have a real tree for Christmas, load up your vehicle with as many people as you can and head to a great tree farm. Or, utilize the family to put up the faux tree you’ve had for years and involve everyone in fun decorating activities, like stringing popcorn or throwing tinsel on the tree. Heck, get some help with the outside decorations, too, while you’re at it!

Catch up on house repairs
This doesn’t sound that fun, but it certainly is one way to get people out of the kitchen! Send some folks on a mission to do whatever you’ve been putting off — fixing the roof, screening in the porch, changing light bulbs, etc. You know what I’m talking about. These “repairs” are a good way to get things done while spending time with your loved ones.

Shop Black Friday
Dare I say it? Why shop the deals alone when you’ve got company in town? It would be a whole lot more fun to go shoulder-to-shoulder with people you know instead of complete strangers. Just make sure you don’t end up fighting with one of your shopping companions over something. That would totally defeat the purpose.

Play a game
I come from an Italian background, so a game of Bocce ball during a holiday is status quo. But, the game can be anything, from charades in the family room to softball at the park. At the end of the day, it’s not about what you’re playing, it’s about the fact that you’re doing something fun together.

Volunteer to help others
Is there anything that gives a person greater satisfaction than helping someone in need? Wouldn’t it be even cooler to do something selfless alongside the people who are closest to you? Holidays are a rough time for a lot of people, and there is no better way to bond than by doing something with your own peeps for the benefit of others. Check out your local soup kitchen or any other organization that needs volunteers this Thanksgiving.

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