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15 Fun Friendsgiving Party Ideas and Themes to Make Hosting a Breeze

You’re officially the hostess with the mostess.

Thanksgiving is great and all, but perhaps the most fun gratitude (cough, food)-centric event is Friendsgiving. It’s all the food and none of the family drama. And if you’re hosting this year’s get-together, we’ve compiled some Friendsgiving party ideas to turn your gathering into a highly-requested annual event.

Friendsgiving is a great excuse to bring all your friends together to chow down on stuffing and pumpkin pie more than once during the month of November. And get as lit as Serena van der Woodsen circa Thanksgiving 2007. Minus the part where she hops into the bathtub fully clothed, ideally.

The beauty of Friendsgiving is that it’s a free-for-all. While it should be loosely reminiscent of a Thanksgiving meal, there is no obligation to eat canned cranberry sauce or Aunt Mindy’s jello salad. You can just throw a bangin’ party.

Friendsgiving Party Ideas - friends laughing

15 Friendsgiving Party Ideas and Themes

1. Start with charcuterie…or make it the main event.

If there’s one trend that’s here to stay, it’s charcuterie boards. There’s nothing that lactose and gluten-tolerant crowds flock to quicker than a wooden slab piled high with delicious carbs.

Plus, charcuterie boards no longer have to be just meat, cheese and crackers. You can really make anything into a board, which could extend to Thanksgiving staples. Don’t come for us, Jared Fried.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - charcuterie with friends

2. Make it a potluck.

A classic Thanksgiving meal requires a heck of a lot of food, and it’s impossible to recreate solo without dropping a ton of dough.

To ensure your table is filled with all of the staples (and without inflated grocery prices robbing you at checkout), have everyone contribute a dish. Set up a shared Google doc so there’s not three green bean casseroles. As much as we love green bean casserole, that might be one too many.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - potluck Thanksgiving

3. Include a wine tasting.

Or beer, if that’s more your friend groups’ taste. In that case, might we also recommend rebranding to ‘Brewsgiving’?

You’re going to need a few bottles anyway, but adding the tasting element will make your Friendsgiving feel classy and special. Either have each guest bring their favorite bottle of wine, or go splitsies on a collection from the store. To really recession-proof this plan, Trader Joe’s offers some damn good wines for less than ten bucks.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - friends gathering

4. Have a cook-off or bake-off.

You don’t have to stress your guests out by making this an amateur Chopped. Just ask everyone bring their best dish and then vote on the winners.

Hosting a particularly large crowd? Have a competition within each major category: appetizer, side dish, main course, dessert. Let the games begin.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - pies

5. Serve some fun cocktails.

For larger groups, plan a fun cocktail (or mocktail) for the evening. It’s worth it with a crowd, because you can splurge on the random liqueurs required in the recipe and not get stuck with half a bottle of Peach Schnapps.

If your group is small enough, ask each guest bring ingredients to serve the others a cocktail of their choosing. It could be based on their personality, horoscope, drunk alter-ego…whatever creative madness you can come up with.

And we say for “smaller groups” because 10+ cocktails per person could be a recipe for absolute disaster. Friendsgiving, meet Blackout Friday.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - cheers

6. Make it a pajama party!

Everyone loves to be comfy. Have all of your friends show up in a fun pajama set for a Friendsgiving party idea that’s cozy and silly. Elastic waistbands also make that second slice of pie go down easier.

Feeling competitive? Award a prize to whoever wears the craziest or funniest PJs.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - pajama party

7. Give your Friendsgiving a theme.

If you’ve got the kind of friend group that loves to dress up, give your party a theme. You could go full college and do something like high school stereotypes or Margaritaville.

Or you could take a step further and create your own unique theme based on one of your inside jokes. Put together a fire playlist and have fun!
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - themed place settings

8. Play some games.

In case you don’t want to exclusively eat throughout the whole Friendsgiving (at least not without Tums on hand), plan games for those moments you’re not stuffing pie into your face.

You could get a game of cards or Monopoly going for a sedentary group. To get things active, play some variation of charades or get wild with a game of Sardines. Or if your friends are stuck in college, you can plan a Friendsgiving Beer Olympics. Although Beerlympics-giving doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - Monopoly game board

9. Have a hot chocolate bar.

After stuffing yourself with cocktails and pies and…stuffing, why not add a night cap to the mix?

Create a spread of hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, caramel drizzle, whipped cream, and whatever else you like to put in your hot chocolate (perhaps Bailey’s?). Bonus points for cute jars.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - hot cocoa bar

10. Make it a brunch party.

Sick of turkey and stuffing? Make your Friendsgiving a brunch instead. You can still serve some of the Thanksgiving classics by finding a brunch-y way to package them.

Think: turkey sausage, pumpkin-pecan coffee cake, mini green bean casseroles, and sweet potato hash. And dinner rolls have a place at every table, regardless of the time of day.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - brunch thanksgiving

11. Turn it into a Murder Mystery Friendsgiving.

Are your friends more into the classics? Consider a good ol’ Murder Mystery party. This idea will require ample prep time so you can write the story story and assign characters, so make sure to start planning it out ASAP.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - mystery party

12. Go on a weekend getaway with your besties.

Instead of cramming into one of your apartments, rent an AirBnb for a fun Friendsgiving getaway. Cozy cabins and lake houses especially fit the bill for this type of celebration.

This idea will entail some additional prep to ensure you have all the right cookware and ingredients for your Friendsgiving feast. But it’ll be so worth it when that Airbnb cleaning fee covers the kitchen deep clean.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - cozy cabin in the woods

13. Make it a PowerPoint Night.

Make your Friendsgiving a memorable one by turning it into a PowerPoint night. At a PowerPoint night, each member of the group comes prepared with a slideshow on a chosen topic, and then they present them to one another.

Potential topics include: the vision for your dream wedding, your favorite memory with each friend, each friend’s toxic trait, or ranking your exes/hookups from best to worst.

@graceescueta

The way we presented topics that weren’t even planned for with CONVICTION‼️😩 #powerpoint #powerpointnight #powerpointnightideas #powerpointideas #powerpointchallenge #trend #ppt

♬ Them Changes – Thundercat

 

14. Go to a fancy restaurant.

If planning and hosting a gathering feels like too much effort, get your pals together for a fine dining experience at a local restaurant. It’s all the food of your dreams, and none of the dirty dishes.

Plus, everyone loves an excuse to get dolled up. Leave your PJs at home for this one.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - dinner at restaurant

15. Deflate from your feast with holiday movies.

The best thing to pair with a food coma is a cozy holiday movie. Reach for one of the classics like Elf or Santa Clause, or share some laughs watching a cheesy Hallmark movie.

Take a shot every time a big city career woman falls in love with a small town farm boy.
Friendsgiving Party Ideas - movie night

By Jess Lohr

Jess is a Cambridge-based, Syracuse-born twenty-something who loves coffee, dogs and stalking Zillow for her future home. Her favorite ways to kill time include strolling through Boston’s cobblestone streets, socializing over a glass of wine, and reading finance books (if only 22-year-old Jess were like this).

She has spent the past 4+ years working in Consumer Insights, and when she’s not working on her 9-5, you can find her pursuing her most recent side hustle as a dog sitter. Jess is co-founder of Adultescence, a podcast and lifestyle website with the mission of helping post-grads navigate adulthood.

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