Thanksgiving Guide for Metro Detroit Families

Celebrate Turkey Day with our handy guide, which includes festive recipes, crafts, events and more.

Fall is already here and, before you know it, Thanksgiving will be just around the corner! 

There’s no better time of year for reflection, finding new ways to express gratitude and giving back to your community. Of course, we also love gathering with loved ones and enjoying a delicious meal together! 

However, the holidays can be stressful for many families. Whether you’re looking for tips to make hosting Thanksgiving dinner a bit easier, need ways to entertain your kids over holiday breaks or just need a creative recipe idea, we have everything you need for Turkey Day in our festive family guide. 

Find Thanksgiving break activities, craft and DIY decor ideas, delicious recipes and more — no thanks needed. 

Thanksgiving break activities

Most students only have a few days off school for Thanksgiving break, so why not take advantage of their free time and create some holiday memories? Check out these local Thanksgiving events, parades and 5K races for families, or try one of these activities over break. 

Visit a museum

Just because school is out of session doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! Check out one of these new exhibits for metro Detroit families. Plus, our handy family museum guides have all the info you need to know before you visit with your kids. 

Check out a new attraction

A couple of days off from work and school is the perfect time to visit that trendy new attraction you’ve been eyeing. Check out these new attractions that metro Detroit has to offer families

Get in the holiday spirit

Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season and, believe it or not, plenty of winter holiday attractions are open by Thanksgiving. Try these festive activities to get in the holiday spirit or visit a holiday light display. 

Treat yourself to some shopping

Black Friday can be a great opportunity to score some deals and get ahead on your holiday shopping, but don’t forget about supporting local businesses on Small Business Saturday. Many towns and counties hold their own small business celebrations; find out how to support your community with these small business events.

At-home activities

Unwind and get into the Thanksgiving spirit with these crafts, children’s books and family nights that are perfect for celebrating the season. 

Create DIY Thanksgiving decor

Decorate your home with turkey crafts — including turkeys made out of paper bags, felt or pinecones — or make cornucopia treat bags

Read a seasonal book

Add a seasonal book to your child’s library. Check out these fun titles about fall or read a children’s book with Native American characters

Have a family game night

Bring a bit of competition or strategy to your next family gathering by hosting a game night. Try one of these fun family board games. We even found some educational games and board games that your tweens and teens can get excited about

Turkey Day recipes

These tips and recipes for your family’s Thanksgiving dinner have our mouths watering! From expert cooking tips to simple recipes you can bring to any holiday gathering, make this Thanksgiving so much yummier with these Turkey Day tips. 

Thanksgiving meal tips and tricks

Whether you’re making a side dish or you’ve hosted the family meal for years, get tips from top chefs in metro Detroit on everything from making the stuffing to the perfect apple pie. Plus, check out these simple hacks for elevating your Thanksgiving meal

Try a new recipe

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pie are all classics for a reason, but why not switch up your menu this year? Start things off with a peanut butter cinnamon hummus spread or serve whipped mashed potatoes. Find creative fall desserts and more in our Thanksgiving recipe roundup

Elevate your kids’ menu

Picky eaters don’t have to worry about these kid-approved holiday dishes. From bacon-wrapped veggies to bite-sized entrees and desserts, be sure to make extra so you can load your child’s plate with seconds! Plus, these recipes are so simple that your little chefs can help out in the kitchen. 

Let someone else do the cooking

Make the holiday meal prep a breeze by ordering Thanksgiving takeout from a local restaurant

Mocktail recipes for the entire family

Make your festivities stand out with a signature holiday drink. Try a holiday-themed mocktail or make one of these celebratory mocktails that are perfect for any occasion. Hosting tip: Make a large pitcher of your chosen recipe, then provide alcohol on the side so your guests can craft their perfect beverage, with or without alcohol.

Giving back

In between family time and enjoying delicious Thanksgiving food, make some time to share thanks and gratitude with your family. Here are a few ways to give back this holiday season. 

Ways to express gratitude

Find 30 unique ways to reflect on your family’s blessings and share thankfulness and gratitude in our practice of gratitude roundup. If you’re looking for a fun activity to teach your family about gratitude, be sure to try this Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt from Let’s Get Together. 

Family volunteering opportunities in metro Detroit

There’s no better way to show your gratitude for what you have than to use your time and talents to help others. Volunteer as a family at one of these local organizations that support pets, kids and families in need. 

Michigan charities to support

Teach your children to appreciate their blessings by sharing your abundance with a worthy cause. These local organizations support important causes in the community and are always grateful for donations.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.


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