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9 Unique Thanksgiving Party Ideas

You might think event venues are only for large events, but even the most intimate gathering can be a cause for hosting a celebration in a unique space. Take Thanksgiving, for example. It’s a holiday typically celebrated in one’s home with family, but why not buck the tradition and host it somewhere new? Peerspace is the Airbnb of party venues, and the platform can help you find a dining room space where you can host a holiday feast. Try these Thanksgiving party ideas for a nontraditional turkey day!

Choose from cafes, bars, mansions, lofts, warehouses, and more when you use Peerspace. You are sure to find something that will impress your guests. So switch it up this Thanksgiving! The biggest food holiday of the year is the perfect excuse to gather friends and chosen family for a potluck-style dinner. Enjoy!

1. Host a charitable dinner

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for what you have, and it is also the perfect occasion to give back. A charitable organization like No Kid Hungry provides an extensive guide for hosting a Friendsgiving fundraiser that can be used any time of year. Or, you can take it upon yourself to host a potluck-style gathering and simply ask everyone to “match” their dish with a donation by bringing food donations of every ingredient included in the recipe.

For example, if someone made a green bean casserole, they would bring canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup to donate to the local food pantry. If the ingredients of a dish are perishable, be sure to consult the food pantry first to see which donation items they accept. Many places will take turkeys and vegetables on select days right before Thanksgiving. This is one of those thoughtful Thanksgiving party ideas that is meaningful and a win-win for everyone.

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2. Serve nontraditional food

Who says Thanksgiving has to include a turkey, pies, potatoes, and stuffing? Celebrate in your own way by serving whatever you want, or ask everyone to bring their favorite comfort food to share. If people are unsure what to bring, try setting a theme like “Italian food” or “Thai food.” Better yet, ask everyone to bring recipe cards so that they can share their culinary secrets with all of the guests. You’ll end up with an array of diverse dishes and might even discover your new favorite food!

3. Give thanks 

It’s already in the name, but we couldn’t leave it off this list of Thanksgiving party ideas. Take the time to write thank-you cards for various people in your life. They could be for family and friends, including the people at your party, but they could also include your mailperson, the baristas at your favorite local coffee shop, your children’s teachers, the garbage person, gardeners, housekeepers, dog walkers, or babysitters.

Buy pre-made cards from the dollar store, or make your own out of cardstock. This can be a fun activity for kids at the party. Supply them with stickers, fun markers, glitter glue, and gel pens so they can get creative and design unique cards.

4. Feast in a new venue 

If your home is lacking in seating, a Thanksgiving party isn’t off the table. With Peerspace, you can find a space that accommodates any number of guests. From cozy and quaint lofts to massive and industrial warehouses, you can find a venue that fits your party style. Unlike most venues, many of the places on Peerspace don’t have a rental minimum, so you can rent them for as few or as many hours as you need. 

5. Reeducate yourself on the holiday’s origins

Chances are, you didn’t learn the true history of Thanksgiving in school. Or, at least, not the whole truth. Learn the real history with some humorous YouTube videos like this one. If you have guests that belong in the limelight, provide costumes and suggest that they reenact the real Thanksgiving history in an improvised play (tastefully, of course). This can be an entertaining and educational activity for everyone.

6. Design a festive tablescape 

When the table is the focal point of the party, it’s important for it to make an outstanding impression. Use centerpieces like a cornucopia, pumpkins, gourds, fall leaves, and baskets of apples. For a table runner, use burlap and bind all utensils together with tan-colored twine. Use earth tones and fall colors like red and orange to inform your design palette.

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7. Say thanks over drinks 

With a Thanksgiving table full of extended family, you just might need some spirits to sip on. Wash down your Thanksgiving feast with festive fall drinks like apple cider (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), cocktails, punch, and eggnog (if you can’t wait until December). Ask everyone at the dining table to give “gratitude toasts” (if they can stand the thought of public speaking). It is a sweet way to celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

8. Set up a dessert table 

Pumpkin and pecan pie are classics, but you can switch it up this holiday season. Serve a buffet of mini desserts! You can offer goodies like pecan tassies, pumpkin cheesecake bites, and apple turnovers, so everyone can have a little bit of everything. Instead of serving them to your guests after the big meal, display all of the sweets on a decorated table. That way, everyone can grab dessert at their own pace. Place the treats on cake stands, fancy plates, or trays, and arrange centerpieces like turkey figurines and mini pumpkins in the midst of all the desserts for a stunning, festive display.

9. Enjoy a tailgate-style party

This Thanksgiving party idea is for the football fans. Ask everyone to come dressed in jerseys representing their favorite teams and bring their favorite game-day snacks, drinks, and appetizers. Have some footballs available for guests to toss around if you have an outdoor area available (Peerspace can help you find an indoor and outdoor venue).

Start new traditions this year! Thanksgiving can be so much more than a huge meal. No matter how you celebrate the occasion or whom you celebrate it with, these Thanksgiving party ideas are sure to turn the feast into the best yet.

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