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12 Awesome Friendsgiving Ideas

For many young people these days, Friendsgiving seems to be taking over as a new favorite holiday. Whether you live far away from your family and don’t have time to travel home for the holidays, or you simply prefer to celebrate the occasion with your friends, Friendsgiving is your chance to observe the holiday your own way, with whatever foods and traditions you like! According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the first recorded use of the word online appeared around 2008 or 2009, and it quickly became the go-to term to describe the occasion. Now that it’s that time of year again, we’ve put together this list of 12 creative Friendsgiving ideas to get you started with planning a memorable occasion for your chosen family and friends.

1. Use Google Sheets to plan the menu

One of the most important things to keep in mind about Friendsgiving is that it’s typically planned as a potluck, with everyone bringing a dish or two to share. As the host, you should plan to cook the main dish and set a theme for the evening, but ask your friends to bring everything else. For an easy solution, create an online spreadsheet so that everyone can sign up for a dish ahead of time. That way, you’ll avoid having multiple people bringing the same items. Plus, you’ll have an idea of how much food to expect, making sure all of the most important dishes are covered.

2. Rent an unforgettable venue on Peerspace

If you don’t have room for all of your friends in your apartment, or you just don’t want the hassle of having to rearrange the furniture, consider renting a Peerspace venue for your Friendsgiving event. For example, this venue in San Francisco has an industrial kitchen, making it perfect for a large group dinner. It has room for 40 seated guests and enough stovetops to keep all your dishes warm, so you don’t have to worry about having too many cooks in the kitchen!

Just browse Peerspace to find even more great Friendsgiving ideas. You can search by venue size and location to find the right space for you. Plus, the Concierge service can help you out with furniture, A/V rentals, and even catering services if you want to go all-out on the menu!

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3. Create a photo booth

One of the best things about Friendsgiving is that you get to avoid awkward family photos with relatives you only see once a year. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some pictures to remember the occasion! An easy way to do that is to set up a photo booth so that guests who like pictures can participate, and those who don’t can opt out. Set up a camera and backdrop, and include some fun props and costumes your guests can have fun with. If you need lighting equipment and camera gear, you can rent it through the Peerspace Concierge service.

4. Skip the turkey

Whether you want to host a vegetarian Friendsgiving, or you simply desire a change from turkey, consider coming up with something new as the centerpiece of the menu. If your group of friends is from a mix of cultural backgrounds, not all of them will have grown up with a traditional turkey dinner. Ask everyone to bring a dish that reminds them of the holidays in their family, and honor the different ways that you celebrate the harvest season.

5. Host a pie-making contest

For some friends, the dessert is the most important part of the Friendsgiving menu. After all, it’s the time of year for fresh seasonal treats like apple pie and pumpkin pie! Make sure that dessert isn’t an afterthought by including it on the spreadsheet. Better yet, host a pie-making contest so that everyone gets to sample homemade pies and vote on their favorite.

6. Have a DIY pie bar

Want to make sure there are enough pie options for gluten-free guests or those with food allergies? Epicurious recommends setting up a DIY pie bar, which is essentially a taco bar with pie toppings instead. You’ll make little round pastries (including vegan and gluten-free options), and provide fresh fruit, cream, and other toppings so that everyone can create their own perfect pie.

7. Hold a clothing swap

It’s time to dig some warmer clothes out of the closet and pass along anything that doesn’t fit you anymore to a new owner. Hosting a clothing swap is among one of the easiest Friendsgiving ideas that can accomplish two things at once. Your friends can all try on some new clothes and update their wardrobe, and anything that gets left behind can be donated to Goodwill or another local charity.

8. Craft cranberry cocktails

While you can expect your guests to bring a few bottles of wine, why not get creative with some seasonal cocktails? From cranberry daiquiris to Moscow mules, check out creative cocktail ideas that are perfect for the holiday season.

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9. Create a custom puzzle

If your group of friends has known each other for years, surprise them with a custom puzzle that features a favorite group photo or memory. As you put the pieces together and the image comes into focus, you can reminisce about old times and share past Thanksgiving stories.

10. Get out into nature

Make the most of the season by celebrating Friendsgiving outdoors. If you live in a part of the country with mild winters, you can plan a camping trip and enjoy dinner around the campfire. If you live somewhere warmer, consider renting one of these cozy cabins instead! This is one of the top Friendsgiving ideas for those who love spending time outdoors.

11. Screen a movie

For many families, watching a movie or sporting event is part of the Thanksgiving tradition. At Friendsgiving, you get to choose the movie yourself. We recommend setting up a screen and projector at your Peerspace venue so everyone gets a good seat!

12. Prepare take-out boxes

Finally, make sure that none of the food goes to waste by preparing to-go boxes ahead of time. You can buy Thanksgiving-themed containers or just a fresh set of Tupperware. This way, you won’t have to worry about finding matching lids when everyone’s on their way out the door.

Friendsgiving is the ultimate DIY holiday, as it can be anything you want it to be. It doesn’t even have to be on the official Thanksgiving Thursday, if that conflicts with work, travel, or family commitments. Have it on a weekend so more of your friends can come! Whether you’re hosting your first Friendsgiving or your 30th, use these awesome Friendsgiving ideas to host an event that your friends will remember for years to come.

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