Give Thanks with Friends: 13 Ideas for Hosting a Perfect Friendsgiving Party

8 mins read
Give Thanks with Friends: 13 Ideas for Hosting a Perfect Friendsgiving Party
Written by: Sara Mezyk
February 9, 2024
8 mins read

It’s that time of the year when the air gets crisper, leaves start to fall, and the smell of roasted turkey starts to slowly appear in your dreams. Thanksgiving is coming, and while it’s usually a time to spend with your family, there’s another tradition worth celebrating this time around: Friendsgiving.

Friendsgiving is a modern celebration that brings friends together to share a Thanksgiving-like meal. It is typically held before or after the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a time to thank your chosen family for their friendship, indulge in good food, and spend time with people you really care about. We’ve prepared a list of Friendsgiving party ideas to help you celebrate this special occasion.

Friendsgiving Party Ideas

Whether you’re looking to put a unique spin on traditional Thanksgiving dishes, organize a potluck extravaganza, or explore some new ways to celebrate, these Friendsgiving party ideas will surely come in handy!

1. Host a Potluck

Hosting a potluck for Friendsgiving is not just about cutting down costs. Every household has its own Thanksgiving traditions, so a potluck gives a perfect opportunity to learn what each of your guests loves to eat for the holiday. 

🦃 Party Tip: Make sure to organize who’s bringing what so you don’t end up with a table full of yams or pies!

friendsgiving feast
Ask your guests to share their favorite holiday dishes to create a diverse and delicious Friendsgiving feast.

2. Make it a Brunch

While Thanksgiving is usually celebrated during dinner, for Friendsgiving, you can change that up and organize a brunch celebration. This is a great way to get friends together who may have different schedules during the day but still want to celebrate the holiday with you. A brunch is also perfect for those who aren’t big fans of turkey or ham!

3. Giving Back Friendsgiving

Instead of focusing solely on food and festivities, make this year’s Friendsgiving a meaningful gathering where you and your friends come together to support a charitable cause. Choose a local charity or organization that resonates with your group and plan activities that contribute to their mission. You can organize a food drive, a volunteer day, or even a fundraising event.

4. Friendly Pie-Off

If you come to the Thanksgiving dinner only for the pie, then you will love this idea for a Friendsgiving gathering: organize a pie-making contest. There are three ways you can go about it:

🥧 Let every participant follow their family recipe for the same type of pie and then compare which version is the best.

🥧 Let everyone make a different pie, and then compare which filling takes the cake (we’re not sorry for this pun).

🥧 Provide the ingredients but not the recipe for the pies, and see who’s the best intuitive baker in the group!

🦃 Party Tip: If you don’t have the space to organize a bake-off competition but still like the idea of adding rivalry to the evening, organize a blind-tasting competition. Buy (or bake!) pies with various fillings, cover your guests’ eyes, and let them guess what they’re eating!

5. Traditional Friendsgiving

If you think the traditional Thanksgiving feast is too good to be eaten only once a year, Friendsgiving gives you a great opportunity to indulge in your favorite dishes yet again. So, get ready for the roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and all the things we love Thanksgiving for!

a private dining room set up for a dinner
Make Friendsgiving unforgettable by renting a restaurant space and enjoying a hassle-free celebration. | Yara, New York, NY

6. Around the World

On the other hand, if you would like to try something different for your party, why not organize an around the world feast. Search for harvest festivals and how they’re celebrated around the world, or simply choose an overall theme for the party. It could be a Japanese Sushi Night, Mexican Taco Time, or an Italian Pasta-licious Friendsgiving. The opportunities are endless!

7. Orange Carpet

For this year’s special Friendsgiving celebration, embrace the glitz of a Hollywood premiere. Roll out a red (or orange, to fit the traditional colors we associate with Thanksgiving) carpet leading to the entrance and encourage guests to dress their best. Set up a photo booth to catch all the looks, and serve champagne or sparkling cider as a welcome drink.

🦃 Party Tip: Choosing a theme is a great way to amp up the celebrations this year. If you’re looking for more Friendsgiving themes, get inspired by our ultimate list of 170 party themes.

8. Friendsgiving Costume Party

Add a playful twist to Friendsgiving with a costume party. Ask your guests to come dressed up, and be sure to take loads of photos to capture all the costumes. You can dress up as historical figures, movie characters, or superheroes. Alternatively, host a contest for the best turkey costume. This will surely bring in a lot of laughter!

themed friendgiving party
A Friendsgiving costume party adds an element of playfulness to an already joyous occasion.

9. Prepare Party Favors

While party favors are not a necessity for Friendsgiving, they can be a thoughtful gesture to express gratitude and make your guests feel appreciated. They can include personalized thank-you notes, homemade treats, small seasonal gifts, or even customized mementos that reflect your friendship. 

🦃 Party Tip: Consider organizing a DIY workshop during your Friendsgiving party, where guests can create something together that doubles as a party favor. The workshop can include candle decorating, mug painting, or custom ornament crafting.

10. Outdoor Friendsgiving

If you and your friends aren’t fans of sitting around the table, make your party an outdoor adventure. The activities can include playing classical yard games such as cornhole or bocce, outdoor movie screening, s’mores making, or even a hiking trip.

11. Game Night

Here’s an idea that guarantees an evening full of laughter and friendly competition: a Friendsgiving game night. Prepare classic games like Monopoly and Scrabble or modern favorites like Cards Against Humanity and Codenames, some delicious snacks, and get ready for a Friendsgiving filled with good times and plenty of fun.

🦃 Party Tip: Take the game night to the next level by adding a twist of Thanksgiving-themed trivia or charades. Create custom trivia questions related to Thanksgiving history, traditions, and pop culture. For charades, have guests act out Thanksgiving-themed words or phrases.

a room full of board games on display
Level up your Friendsgiving by hosting it at a venue with a variety of gaming options! | Snakes & Lattes, Chicago, IL

12. Pyjama Party

If your favorite way to spend Thanksgiving is to eat food, lay around, and just chill, then this is a perfect idea for you. Prepare some snacks, cozy blankets, and a favorite movie. Put on your pajamas and enjoy a lazy afternoon with your friends!

13. Give Thanks

No matter what you decide to do for your Friendsgiving, this one element has to be on your agenda: giving thanks. One thing I always do with my friends for our Friendsgiving celebrations is to go around the table and say one thing (you can say more!) that we’re thankful for from the passing year. It’s such a sweet moment of reflection amongst all the laughing, eating, and drinking!

Friendly Final Thoughts

If Thanksgiving is about celebrating with the family you got at birth, then Friendsgiving is about celebrating with the family you chose: your friends. So spend the evening any way you and your friends want. Whether it’s a recreation of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or a totally different approach, make it an enjoyable event you will look back on fondly. We hope our list of Friendsgiving party ideas and themes will help you have an unforgettable night!

Need a venue for Friendsgiving?

From cozy restaurants perfect for the heartful meal to crazy bars where you can let loose for a non-traditional party, Tagvenue has many options for hosting your next Friendsgiving. Take our search engines for a spin, and find the perfect spot for you and your friends!

FAQ

When should you host Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving is typically hosted close to the Thanksgiving holiday, but the exact date can vary depending on your preferences and the availability of your friends. Many people choose to host Friendsgiving on the weekend before or after Thanksgiving to ensure that everyone can attend without conflicting with their family gatherings.

How do you host Friendsgiving on a budget?

Hosting Friendsgiving on a budget is entirely doable with some thoughtful planning. You can spread out the cost of the food by asking your friends to contribute dishes, making the event potluck-style. For decorations, opt for DIY ones with inexpensive materials like autumn leaves, candles, or repurposed items. You can also ask your guests to bring their preferred beverages to share, reducing the cost of providing drinks (BYOB).

What should I prepare for Friendsgiving?

When preparing for Friendsgiving, consider the menu. Decide whether you’ll have a potluck-style gathering or if you’ll be preparing the majority of the food yourself. Create a warm ambiance with autumn-inspired colors, natural elements, and cozy lighting. You can also include personalized touches that reflect your friendship. Think about incorporating games, music, or even a movie night to keep your guests engaged and entertained throughout the event. You can add a theme to make the party even more fun. Lastly, prepare a selection of beverages, including non-alcoholic options. Most importantly, focus on creating a welcoming atmosphere where friends can come together to celebrate friendship and gratitude.

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Give Thanks with Friends: 13 Ideas for Hosting a Perfect Friendsgiving Party