Make the Most of Family Time this Thanksgiving Weekend

Turkey Day is on its way, and while it’s widely considered a time for family fun, it’s easy to get caught up in the work and stress that goes along with big family gatherings. Don’t let preparing the meal and cleaning the house get in the way of spending quality time with your loved ones. Put the cooking and cleaning on hold and get some good laughs in with these holiday family activities.

Tour the Light Shows

Oregon Zoo Lights
Photo via Zoo Lights

Grab the kids or your friends and hop in the car as soon as the sun sets. Holiday light shows are available everywhere this time of year, and they are fantastic. The Oregon Zoo night show is perfect for the animal lovers in your life. Garden d’Lights at the Belleview Botanical Garden in Seattle includes live music and a stroll through over half a million sparkling lights transformed into plants, flowers, birds, animals, and cascading waterfalls. Some of the displays are free and others charge a fee. Don’t forget to pack a thermos of hot chocolate to add a bit of sweetness to all of the wonder.

Break Out the Board Games

There’s simply nothing as fun as a little festive game night with the kids or adult friends. Not sure what to play? We’ve got some suggestions.

Cards Against Humanity: Break out the bubbly for an adult-only night of fun with this game. Cards Against Humanity will have everyone laughing with its dark humor and difficult questions. One player flips a card with a question to be answered and the rest of the players must pick the best answers to throw down in hopes of being chosen. Sound simple? It is…and it isn’t. But it certainly reveals a whole lot you might not have otherwise known about your closest of friends.

Apples to Apples: This game is essentially the kid-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity. It guarantees a night full of giggles for all.

Speak Out: Get ready to drool. Players wear a mouthpiece that won’t let them shut their mouth while trying to say different phrases their friends have to guess. It will have you and the gang rolling with laughter in no time at all.

Go for a Hike

Nothing clears the stress like a little fresh air. The Pacific Northwest is filled with beautiful places to go for hikes year round, many only a short drive from your front door. Work out your anxiety while taking in beautiful scenery and scoping the local wildlife with your best friend or the whole tribe. It’s also the perfect way to help with digestion after a giant Thanksgiving feast—or pack up your leftovers for a picnic lunch while you’re out on the trails.

Get Your Game On!

If you don’t have time to get out for a day hike, grab your racquet and a partner for some play time on the court. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition between loved ones to work out the holiday tension and make room for Thanksgiving leftovers. There are plenty of indoor options available for the rainy days. But believe it or not, the Pacific Northwest also has its fair share of sunny days this time of year, so hitting the outdoor courts isn’t out of the question.

Go ahead, stuff yourself silly come Thursday. But remember, whether you are hosting dinner or just bringing yourself and a dish, don’t let Thanksgiving slip by without getting some good family activities in. After all, there’s nothing to be more thankful for than the ones you love the most.