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The Ultimate Guide to Hosting the Perfect Friendsgiving

The Ultimate Guide to Hosting the Perfect Friendsgiving

The countdown to Friendsgiving has begun! If you’ve decided to host Friendsgiving and are struggling to come up with party ideas, don’t worry – we’ve got Friendsgiving ideas for you!

From festive activities to delicious recipes, we have all the Friendsgiving ideas you need to throw the perfect Friendsgiving! So gather your friends and get ready to celebrate this holiday season!

person contemplating

Guest List

Every good party starts by creating the perfect guest list. Some questions to ask yourself might include:

  • Do I want a small, intimate gathering or a large party?
  • Can guests bring friends?
  • Do I want guests to sit down at the same Friendsgiving table for dinner or have multiple areas for people to mingle?
  • If I’m hosting on actual Thanksgiving day, can my best friends still make it?
  • Will the mix of guests I’m inviting enjoy each other’s company?

Once you have a good idea of the size and style of your party you’d like to have, it’s time to start finalizing the perfect invite list!


Send out themed Friendsgiving invitations! Our favorites are these gorgeous digital invites, funny digital invites and personalized animated invitations. You could also create a Facebook event or even send out real paper invites like these!

Be sure to include the date, time, and location of your party. Include RSVP info as well as any other pertinent details such as what to bring for the Friendsgiving meal.

One of our favorite hosting tips – on the invitation, tell everyone to bring Tupperware to your Friendsgiving party to pack up their favorite leftovers before going home!

friendsgiving digital invitation

Planning a Friendsgiving Menu

Now that your invitations have been sent, it’s time to start planning your Friendsgiving menu! Food coma, here we come! You can either do a potluck-style meal where each person brings a dish to share or you can cook all the food yourself. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of top Thanksgiving recipes!

Potluck Style

Having a potluck-style meal is one of our favorite Friendsgiving ideas because it is the easiest way to make sure that everyone has something they enjoy eating. Plus, it takes the pressure off of you as the host!

To ensure that you have a variety of dishes, put together a list of dishes and let people sign up for which ones they want to bring. This way you can avoid having six pumpkin pies and no main dish.

thanksgiving meal table

Make Everything Yourself

If you’re the type of person who enjoys cooking and has endless Friendsgiving menu ideas already in mind, then making everything yourself might be the way to go! For easy make-ahead menu ideas, grab your slow cooker and check out these delicious slow cooker recipes!

Food and Drink

Every good party needs good food and drink! If you love to cook, this is a great opportunity to try out new recipes as well as come up with creative twists on old classic menu items!


Appetizers are the perfect way to kick off your Friendsgiving party as guests arrive. A few of our favorite appetizer ideas include:

  • charcuterie trays
  • brie bites
  • bacon-wrapped dates
  • cheese balls
  • fig and goat cheese crostinis

Check out this list of Thanksgiving appetizer recipes for all the ideas you need to get your party started! If you want something simple, go for make-ahead favorites cheese and crackers or dips and spreads. Be sure to have plenty of napkins and utensils on hand so that your guests can easily snack while mingling.

fall charcuterie board

Main Course

This is the part that everyone looks forward to! For the main course, you can’t go wrong with a crowd favorite dishes like turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, and stuffing! But, Friendsgiving food doesn’t have to be traditional! Consider adding a turkey pot pie or slow cooker butternut squash soup to your Thanksgiving meal! For more Friendsgiving dishes, check out this list of recipes.

Here are some Friendsgiving food ideas to get you started:

  • Turkey & gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Mac ‘n cheese
  • Sweet potatoes – caramelized sweet potatoes or a sweet potato casserole
  • Green bean casserole
  • Butternut squash kale salad
  • Bread & butter – brown and serve rolls, yeast rolls, biscuits, or French rolls
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Pie – a classic pumpkin or pecan pie


No Friendsgiving is complete without dessert! After all of that savory food, your guests are going to be ready for something sweet to finish off the night.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • a classic pumpkin pie
  • Anything else pumpkin – pumpkin tiramisu, mini pumpkin cheesecakes, pumpkin spice cake
  • Anything apple – apple pie or apple tarts
  • Cookies – turkeys shaped sugar cookies or peanut butter cookies
  • Pies – pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, chocolate

For more ideas and Friendsgiving recipes including the perfect pumpkin pie, check out this list.

Pie Bar

Looking for fun dessert Friendsgiving ideas? Have a table with different types of pie to enjoy throughout the night. You can even turn it into a contest and have guests compete to see who can make the best pie.


And finally, don’t forget about drinks! No Friendsgiving is complete without a few festive party drinks to wash down all that delicious food! Set up a table with apple cider, hot chocolate, or even a signature cocktail for your party. You could even have all the fixings for a fun build-your-own bar so people can make their own drinks!

Signature Cocktail

Create a signature Friendsgiving cocktail for the night! This will make things feel more festive and special. Choose fall drinks like something pumpkin, apple, or cinnamon. Check out this list of Thanksgiving cocktails for more ideas!

apple rosemary cocktail


When planning Friendsgiving, it’s easy to forget about all food that might be leftover. One of our favorite Friendsgiving ideas is to send your guests home with Tupperware full of their favorite dishes. This is a great way to ensure you aren’t stuck with all the leftovers as well as give your guests a delicious meal to enjoy later!




Set the mood with some light background music. Make your own playlist or stream Spotify’s Dinner with Friends or Thanksgiving playlist. As guests arrive, background music is perfect for filling any awkward silences while still allowing guests to carry on a conversation without having to shout.


Nothing says warm and cozy like candles! Choose a festive scent like pumpkin, cinnamon, or fall farmhouse to make your Friendsgiving party feel that much more warm and inviting.


If you have a fireplace, now is the time to use it! Not only will it add to the ambiance of the room, but it will also keep everyone warm and comfortable. Don’t have one? Turn on your TV and display a digital fireplace from Amazon Prime to get the same effect.


When it comes to decorations, anything goes! You can use traditional Thanksgiving decorations like pumpkins and leaves, or get creative with things like string lights and streamers.

No matter what Friendsgiving decorations you choose, make sure your space is welcoming and inviting. This is a time to relax and enjoy the company of your friends, so make sure everyone feels comfortable.

fall centerpiece


A simple yet elegant way to elevate your table setting is with a centerpiece. Choose something like this rustic white pumpkin centerpiece. There are endless decor ideas! Create something with a fall theme with things such as white pumpkins, gourds, leaves, or berries.

Table Setting

Nothing says Friendsgiving like a decorated holiday table! Choose a festive table runner like one in burnt orange, plaid, or burlap. Then, add some chargers, plates, cups, and napkins in a similar color or pattern to tie together the look. Don’t feel up to doing dishes at the end of the night? Go with paper plates instead and avoid being left with all those dishes to wash!

minimalist white pumpkin tablescape

Place cards

Add a personal touch to your Friendsgiving table with hand-written place settings! Make your own or check out these adorable origami pumpkins! Not only will this help guests find their seats, but it will also elevate your table decor.

origami pumpkins from Etsy shop YourCherryBlossom


Friendsgiving is a great time to catch up with your closest friends. Make it even more memorable by planning some fun activities! Here are a few of our favorite ways to keep guests entertained:


Aside from the classics like charades, Pictionary, and Monopoly, there are tons of other fun games that will have everyone laughing all night! Try out ones like What Do You Meme?, Cards Against Humanity, or Apples to Apples!

If you want to stretch your Friendsgiving late into the night, try games that take longer like Catan. If you’re looking for something more low-key, put out a puzzle for everyone to work on together!

friends sitting on couch smiling

Movie Marathon

After you’ve eaten your fill of turkey and pie, it’s time to relax! Curl up on the couch with your friends and watch some of your favorite movies. You can do a theme like all Thanksgiving movies, Christmas movies, or anything else you and your friends enjoy.

Watch Football

For many, Thanksgiving means football! Gather around the TV with your friends, serve some snacks, and root for your favorite team. If you’re not into football, there’s always the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show to watch!

Drinking Game

If you and your friends’ idea of fun includes drinking, break out your favorite drinking game like flip cup or compete to make the best Thanksgiving cocktail!

Corn Maze

Burn off calories at a local corn maze! This is a great activity if you’re looking to do something outdoors. Many corn mazes also have hayrides, pumpkin patches, and other fun activities.

Make a Wreath

Get into the holiday spirit by making your own Friendsgiving wreaths! This is a great activity to do with friends and you can hang it up as decoration afterward. Check out your local craft store for wreath kits or design your own!

making a wreath


This is one of our favorite parts of hosting Friendsgiving. Just because you’re spending Thanksgiving with friends instead of family doesn’t mean you can’t start your own traditions!

Here are a few of our favorite Friendsgiving ideas to get you started:

Thankfulness Time Capsule

Share what you’re thankful for before digging into the feast. Remix this classic tradition and create a thankfulness time capsule. Give everyone a slip of paper to write down a fun life memory they are thankful for from the past year and store them away in a jar until next year’s Friendsgiving. Next year you’ll have a blast reading them all aloud while reminiscing about life together!

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Get into the festive spirit with a Friendsgiving pumpkin carving contest! Provide guests with carving tools and a few pumpkins, and let them go to town. The guest with the most creative carving wins a prize!

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Get everyone up and moving after Thanksgiving dinner with a fun photo scavenger hunt! Put together a list of fall-themed items or activities for guests to find and photograph. Some ideas include a leaf, candy corn, something pumpkin flavored, something orange, and something plaid. The first person or team to gather all the things on the list wins!

young adults taking a group selfie

Rent a Cabin

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, rent an AirBnb cabin! This is a great way to relax, enjoy nature and spend time with friends. Many cabins have amenities like fireplaces, hot tubs, and game rooms which are perfect for a fun-filled Friendsgiving!

Turkey Trot

Get active and start your Thanksgiving Day off right with a Turkey Trot! This is a great way to get some exercise before indulging in all the delicious food. And, it’s a great way to work up an appetite!

Have a Pie Bake Off

If your friends are anything like ours, they love to eat! So why not combine two of our favorite things – food and competition – with a Friendsgiving pie bake-off?

Choose a fun prize like this ugly turkey trophy that the winner can take home and display proudly. At next year’s bake-off, have that person be the judge of the pie competition and award the winner the same ugly trophy!

Gobble Wobble

Fight off that food coma with a twist on a dance party game of musical chairs! Have everyone grab a chair and place it in a circle with the seats facing outwards. Remove one chair so that there is one less chair than there are participants.

Play music and have everyone dance like a turkey. Yup, you read that right – dance like a turkey! When the music stops, everyone must grab the nearest chair. The person left standing is out and removes another chair from the circle. The game continues until there is only one person left – the winner!

Paint Fall-Themed Pottery

Get into the fall spirit by painting some pottery together! This is a fun way to send everyone home with something to remember Friendsgiving by!

Volunteer Together

Spend time with friends this Friendsgiving by giving back! Volunteer to serve meals at a local soup kitchen or maybe even collect items for a coat drive or food bank. There are so many ways to serve and give back. What better way to do it than with friends by your side?

serving food to others

Make it Virtual

If you can’t be together in person this year, that’s okay! We have virtual Friendsgiving ideas for you!

Virtual Friendsgiving Ideas for Dinner

Plan a fun virtual Friendsgiving party by planning a menu that everyone can enjoy together! If everyone likes to cook, share recipes, and make the same dishes to enjoy during your video call. You can even make it interactive by sending everyone care packages with all the fixings for the meal you’ll be eating virtually together. Don’t like to cook? Order in from places like Boston Market, Cracker Barrel or Harry & David!

groceries delivered

Virtual Games & Other Friendsgiving Ideas

Connect with those near and far by playing some fun virtual party games together! You can even do a virtual Friendsgiving scavenger hunt to get everyone moving!

couple holding wine glasses while on zoom call

You can also still do many of our favorite traditions virtually! Start off on a note of gratitude by going around and sharing what you’re thankful for before digging into dinner. Make a virtual thankfulness time capsule by having everyone email in a shared memory from the past year they are thankful for. Keep them in a safe place and open them up next Friendsgiving as you reminisce together!

If you’re looking for a fall-themed activity, carve pumpkins or make wreaths together for your virtual Friendsgiving party! Everyone will leave with something to remember the party by!

happy friendsgiving sign

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve gathered all your favorite party ideas for your Friendsgiving celebration, it’s time to start party planning! We know you will make your Friendsgiving one to remember! Happy Friendsgiving!

Have any favorite Friendsgiving ideas? Share them with us in the comments below!