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10 Things to Do Over Thanksgiving Break

Even if it may not feel like it, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Usually, we would all be scrambling to get together with our extended family members, but this year will look a bit different. Even though our traditions may be altered and our tables may have some open seats, Turkey Day will live on in 2020! I’ve compiled a list of fun things to do with your family and friends over your four-day weekend, so get reading and then get texting! Let’s make this break count!

Get together for Friendsgiving.

I had my first Friendsgiving last year and it was an absolute blast! Family is my priority during the holidays, especially when I’ve spent months away from them while at college, but time with friends comes at a close second. There is no better feeling than being surrounded by people that mean everything to you. If you’re not able to be with all of your loved ones this holiday season, set up a Zoom and eat dinner together while having quality conversations. It may not feel the same, but you should take any chance that you can to be with those you’re thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Watch a holiday classic.

There aren’t many Thanksgiving movies since “Christmas Season” tends to overshadow the holiday, but one recommended classic is “The Family Stone” with Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel McAdams, and Diane Keaton. The film is about Everett Stone and his girlfriend, Meredith, going to visit his family for the holidays. Meredith is worried that Everett’s family will despise her and while she anxiously tries to make the best impression, all that could go wrong does. It’s a comedy that’ll give you a strong laugh and get you feeling ready for December’s chaos.

Decorate your home for the holidays.

My family usually waits until the night of Thanksgiving – after we’ve stuffed ourselves with good food – to decorate. For me, that means a Christmas tree, some nutcrackers, a frosted wreath or two, and some dancing snowmen on the staircase. Whatever you celebrate, get decorating and make your home a cheery place. Festive decor never fails to brighten a room and provide your home with a taste of joy!

Go for a sunrise hike with friends or family.

If you live in Colorado, head to the mountains this weekend for one of your last hikes of the year. The leaves may have already fallen, but little feels better than some fresh, mountain air! One of my favorites is Bergen Peak in Evergreen. While the trail runs about nine to 13 miles (depending on the route you choose), the view from the top is absolutely stunning! If you’re looking for a bit more of a light stroll, many of the trails in Lookout Mountain Park provide great views of the Rockies while being easy on your legs.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a twist.

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is still happening, but it will be pre-recorded. To make it more interesting, get out your Martinelli’s sparkling juices and play the parade’s drinking game! You can find a variety of old ones on google that you can tweak and make your own.

Get out the board games.

When I was pretty young, I loved spending the holidays playing Clue, Monopoly, or The Game of Life with my dad and brother while my mom scolded us for taking the competition too seriously. When I tell you that my family likes to play board games, I mean we like the competition that comes with them. It always boosts my ego to be left with thousands of fake Monopoly dollars and leaving others with only a few properties each. But, whether you’re like us or you prefer a calmer game, go old school this week and bring out the boards!

Explore the snow.

I’ve never actually done it, but I swear that this will be the year that I finally go snowshoeing! To me, a short time snowshoeing the evening of Turkey Day sounds like the perfect way to work off the big meal with the added bonus of fun social time! Whether you want to explore the snowy evening with a snowshoe adventure, or you’d rather ski the slopes of the Rockies, head outside over break and enjoy some of the first snow of Colorado’s winter!

Make a ‘Thankful Jar’ for your loved ones.

This is very much a Pinterest idea. I made a similar jar for one of my best friend’s birthdays this past year and she absolutely loved it. While Thanksgiving is not technically a gift-giving holiday, you can’t go wrong with a gift of thanks.

Go for a scenic drive.

Colorado is beautiful year-round and a mountain drive will prove that while also giving you a chance to blast those holiday tunes! A classic drive, starting up at Estes Park, is Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. Along the 55-mile route, you’ll get up close and personal with the Continental Divide as well as drive through old, historic towns like Central City and Blackhawk. Fill up your gas tank and get going!

Volunteer together.

Multiple organizations are still allowing volunteers to help others this Thanksgiving. Shopping Angels is accepting volunteers to deliver groceries to compromised individuals this holiday season. Get your friends and family to also sign up and get a competition going to see who can deliver the most groceries! If you’ll be in Colorado this break, consider volunteering alone, or with a small group of friends, at the Food Bank of the Rockies. Things look a bit different now, but regardless of the pandemic, people still need food. FBR has precautions in place to keep you and their customers safe, so, if you’ve been following guidelines, consider helping the organization. If volunteering in-person doesn’t sound like the move for you, consider donating food or clothing to local drives. Remember, anything helps!

2020 has thrown us for a loop, and while we may still be feeling uncertain and saddened by the current state of the world, the holiday season does not have to be lonely and uneventful! There is still plenty to enjoy and lots to be grateful for. Find something on this list and commit to it over the coming break! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Renee is a new member of Her Campus CU Boulder. She is a freshman majoring in Integrative Physiology and following the pre-medicine track. When she’s not busy dancing away her problems at her desk, she enjoys snacking on açai bowls, hiking in the mountains, and rewatching The Office.
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