A virtual Thanksgiving party, eh? The pilgrims never saw this coming!
Times are changing fast at the moment, and while a virtual Thanksgiving party may be different, it certainly shouldn’t be worse. In fact, if you follow our guide, it doesn’t even have to cost money!
At AhaSlides, we’re looking to continue our centuries-old traditions however we can (which is why we also have an article on free virtual Christmas party ideas). Check out these 8 completely free online Thanksgiving activities for kids and adults alike.
8 Free Ideas for a Virtual Thanksgiving Party in 2021
Full disclosure: Many of these free virtual Thanksgiving party ideas are made with AhaSlides. You can use AhaSlides interactive presentation, quizzing and polling software to create your own online Thanksgiving activities for absolutely free.
Check out the ideas below and set the standard with your first virtual Thanksgiving party!
Idea #1 – PowerPoint Party
The old double Ps of Thanksgiving may have been ‘pumpkin pie’, but in today’s age of online holidays, they now stand best for ‘PowerPoint Party‘.
Don’t think PowerPoint can be as engaging as pumpkin pie? Well, that’s a very old world attitude. In the new world, PowerPoint parties are all the rage and have become a fantastic addition to any virtual holiday party.
Essentially, this activity involves your guests making a hilarious Thanksgiving presentation and then presenting it over Zoom. The big points go to hilarious, insightful and creatively made presentations, with a vote at the end of each one.
How to Make it
- Tell each of your guests to come up with a simple presentation on Google Slides, AhaSlides, PowerPoint, or any other presentation software.
- Set a time limit and/or slide limit to ensure presentations don’t go on forever.
- When it’s the day of your virtual Thanksgiving party, let each person present their PowerPoints in turn.
- At the end of each presentation, have a ‘scales’ slide on which the audience can vote on different aspects of the presentation.
- Write down the marks and award prizes to the best presentation in each category!
Idea #2 – Thanksgiving Quiz
Who doesn’t love a bit of turkey trivia for the holidays?
Virtual live quizzes soared in popularity under lock down, and managed to stay relevant even when things started opening back up.
That’s because quizzes actually work better online. The right software takes all the admin roles; you can just concentrate on hosting a killer quiz for workmates, family or friends.
On AhaSlides you’ll find a template with 20 questions, playable for 100% free for up to 7 players!
How to Use It
- Sign up for free to AhaSlides.
- Take the ‘Thanksgiving Quiz’ from the template library.
- Share your unique room code with your players and they can play for free using their phones!
⭐ Want to create your own free quiz? Check this video to find out how!
Idea #3 – Who’s Thankful?
We all know the pilgrims were thankful for corn, God and, to a much lesser extent, native American heritage. But what are the guests of your virtual thanksgiving party thankful for?
Well, Who’s Thankful? lets them spread the gratitude through hilarious pictures. It’s essentially Pictionary, but with another layer.
It starts by asking your guests to each draw something for which they’re thankful before the day of your virtual thanksgiving party. Reveal these at the party and pose two questions: Who’s thankful? and What are they thankful for?
How to Make It
- Gather one hand-drawn picture from each guest of your party.
- Upload that picture to an ‘image’ content slide on AhaSlides.
- Create a ‘multiple choice’ slide afterwards with Who’s Thankful? as the title and the names of your guests as the answers.
- Create an ‘open-ended’ slide after that with What are they Thankful for? as the title.
- Award 1 point to anyone who guessed the right artist and 1 point to anyone who guessed what the drawing is.
- Optionally, give a bonus point for the most hilarious answer to What are they Thankful for?
Idea #4 – Homemade Cornucopia
The cornucopia, the traditional centrepiece of the Thanksgiving table, will certainly be less present this year. Still, making a few budget cornucopias can go some way to rectifying that.
There are some great resources online, particularly this one, that detail how to make some super easy, kid-and-adult-friendly cornucopias out of food in the average household.
How to Make It
- Get all of your guests to buy ice cream cones and Thanksgiving-based, or just orange, candy. (I know we said ‘free virtual Thanksgiving party ideas’, but we’re sure your guests could fork out $2 each for this one).
- On Thanksgiving Day, everyone takes their laptops into the kitchen.
- Follow along together with the simple instructions on Daily DIY Life.
Idea #5 – Give Thanks
Lord knows we still need positivity in 2021. This super simple activity for your virtual Thanksgiving party has got shed loads of it.
Regardless of who you’re throwing your Thanksgiving bash for, there’s likely to have been a few standout players of late. You know, the ones who keep positivity flowing and keep everyone as connected as possible in these disconnected times.
Well, it’s time to pay them back. A simple word cloud can show those people just how much they’re appreciated by their colleagues, family or friends.
How to Make It
- Create a word cloud slide on AhaSlides with the title of Who are you most thankful for?
- Get everyone to put forward the names of one or more people for whom they are super thankful.
- Names that are mentioned the most will appear in larger text at the centre. Names get smaller and less close to the centre the less they are mentioned.
Idea #6 – Scavenger Hunt
Ah the humble scavenger hunt, a staple of many North American households during Thanksgiving.
Out of all the virtual Thanksgiving ideas here, this is probably one of the best to adapt from the offline world. It involves nothing more than a scavenger list and some eagle-eyed partygoers.
We’ve already dealt with 50% of this activity for you! Check out the scavenger hunt list below!
How to Use It
- Show the scavenger hunt list to your partygoers (you can download it here)
- When you say ‘Go’, everyone begins scouring their house for the items on the list.
- Items don’t have to be the exact items on the list; close approximations are more than acceptable (i.e., a belt tied around a baseball cap in place of a genuine pilgrim hat).
- The first person back with a close enough approximation of each item wins!
Idea #7 – Monster Turkey
Great for teaching English and great for virtual thanksgiving parties; Monster Turkey has it all.
This one involves using a free whiteboard tool to draw ‘monster turkeys’. These are turkeys with numerous limbs that are determined by the roll of a dice.
This one is perfect to keep kids entertained, but also a winner amongst (preferably tipsy) adults looking to stay vaguely traditional for the online holidays!
How to Make It
- Go to Draw Chat and click on Start New Whiteboard.
- Copy your personal whiteboard link at the bottom of the page and share it with your partygoers.
- Make a list of turkey features (heads, legs, beaks, etc.)
- Type /roll into the chat in the bottom-right of Draw Chat to roll the virtual dice.
- Write the resulting numbers before each turkey feature.
- Assign someone to draw the monster turkey with the specified number of features.
- Repeat this process for all your partygoers and take a vote on whose was the best!
Idea #8 – Charades
Charades is just one of the old-style parlour games that has enjoyed a resurgence recently, directly thanks to events shifting online, like virtual Thanksgiving parties.
With hundreds of years of history, there’s enough tradition in Thanksgiving to come up with a long list of charades that you can play over Zoom.
In fact, we’ve done that for you! Check out the 10 charade ideas below and add as many others as you can think of.
How to Use It
- Give each person at your virtual Thanksgiving party between 3 and 5 words to perform from the list above (you can download the list here)
- Record how long it takes for them to act out their word set and get a correct guess for each word.
- The person with the fastest time wins!
More Ideas for Your Virtual Thanksgiving Party
You can find some great activities in our other virtual party and meeting posts. Take a rummage through; we’re sure there’s something that you can adapt to fit your virtual Thanksgiving party!
Don’t be a Turkey!
AhaSlides can help you create fully interactive quizzes, polls, and presentations like the ones above, turkey or non-turkey adjacent!
See what AhaSlides can do for you in the workplace, amongst friends or whilst hosting virtual holidays this year!