Thanksgiving Break: Activities for Kids and Families


You’ve ordered the turkey, your guest list is set and you even know what you’re making for dessert. But have you thought about what will keep the kids busy (besides eating) during the Thanksgiving break?

No need to worry!  Gulf Coast Moms Blog has a great list of activities.  These are creative, easy and engaging – and a few will inspire them to show gratitude.

Helping Hands

As family is gathered around the kitchen prepping for the big meal, have your children help as well.  It’s never too early to teach kids how to lend a helping hand.  They may not be ready to assist with the turkey, but they can still be hands-on in the prep leading to the Thanksgiving feast. They can help with these simple tasks.

Fruit Kabobs

One favorite is to have them make fruit kabobs.  This super easy recipe only requires skewers and fruit.  Separate strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and grapes.  Let them figure out pattern for the fruit kabobs. You can turn a regular ol’ pumpkin into a festive turkey!

Set the Table

Print out table setting instructions and have children set the table.  They can make a craft for the children’s table or name tags for the adults.  

Day Trip to New Orleans

Louisiana Children’s Museum
City Park, New Orleans

This new attraction recently opened in August.  It’s tucked in the beautiful New Orleans City Park.  The Play with Me area is designed for infants and toddlers and includes the coolest sensory lagoon.  The Dig into Nature exhibit offers a sedimentation table, storytelling nest and nature caring station.  There is also a 100-foot-long interactive water display.  Enjoy the beautiful outdoor space for a picnic or order food at Acorn NOLA, the family-friendly cafe owned by Dickie Brennan & Co.

Want to skip the meal prep this year?  Make reservations at Red Fish Grill in New Orleans.  Take pictures with the silliest human-sized turkey.  After dinner head to Champion Square to enjoy Saints football.

The Great Pumpkin Hunt

This is a great activity for toddlers and older children!  Hide mini pumpkins, indoors or outside, and let the kids find them!  It’s like Easter with an autumn twist.  

Show Gratitude

Purchase pumpkin from local patch.  Every day, have your child use permanent marker to write what they are thankful for on the pumpkin.  This is a great activity to spark family conversation around the dinner table.  

Help Those in Need

Holidays are not always a happy time for everyone.  Give back to your community.  The Gulf Coast Public Safety Feed the Needy Program delivers meals to those less fortunate on Thanksgiving Day.  If you would like to donate and/or deliver meals and/or items contact Gulfport Police Department at 228.868.5703

Indoor Fun

Board Games

Board games provide family friendly competition.  Games we highly recommend: Sequence, Scattergories, Monopoly (the classic one), Connect4, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Guess Who?Clue and the just-for-adults Cards Against Humanity.  


Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, movies, and college football.  This is a time to relax and enjoy family.  We give you permission to Netflix (or Disney +) and chill so break out the popcorn and stay in those jammies.  

Trot for a Cause

Turkey Trot 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run
Thursday, November 28 from 8-11 a.m.
L&N Historic Train Depot, Bay St. Louis

What better way to say thanks than by giving back to our loveable furry friends in need? All proceeds benefit the Animal Shelter in Hancock County. Bring pet food, treats or toys as part of the race entry.  Register at 

Get Ready for the Holidays

At the stroke of midnight, many moms turn into little elves ready to begin their holiday prep.  Listen to festive music and start decorating the house.  Out with the pumpkins, in with the lights.  

Local Happenings

Bring the kiddos to Dolce Bakeshop in Long Beach on Saturday, November 23 for a fun afternoon of learning to make treats inspired by the all-time classic Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! In the movie, Snoopy serves up a hearty feast of jelly beans, pretzel sticks, toast, and popcorn. In keeping with the theme,  learn to make popcorn balls, decorate cupcakes topped with jelly beans, make turkeys out of toast, and other fun creatures out of pretzel sticks! $35 per child or $50 for two children using the coupon code SIBLINGS.

The 5th annual Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival is back with new rides, more lights and fun family activities. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 29. Pictures with Santa are FREE with admission. Ages 0-4 (free), ages 5-12 ($5), general admission ($10). Ride tickets extra.

Hammer & Stain in Gautier is hosting a Kids Christmas Ornament Workshop on Saturday, November 30 at 9 a.m. Prices range from $5-20. Pay in store.

There are a number of ways to give thanks.  It may be a simple meal for someone in need or chance to tell your family member how much you appreciate as you’re gathered around the dinner table. 

Always give thanks.  

Please note – While we make every effort to crosscheck current links and event details on our guides, we always encourage you to do the same before making final plans. If details are missing or incorrect, please let us know so that we can correct them.

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Christy is Co-Founder and Owner of Gulf Coast Moms Blog. She was born in Costa Rica and moved to the United States when she was 6 years old. She vividly remembers flying into New Orleans and knew, in the moments to come, her life would change forever. She grew up in Moss Point and moved to Hattiesburg to attend college at Southern Miss, where she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She met her love, Matthew, and they have enjoyed married life for 13 years. They live in Long Beach with their precious children, John Salem and Ann-Michael. Prior to co-founding Gulf Coast Moms Blog, she had a successful 10+ year career in higher education administration, where she developed and spear-headed campus-wide student initiatives and events. Christy is now spending her days as a stay-at-home mom and serves her community through several non-profit organizations. She enjoys making Costa Rican tamales, a fresh margarita from El Aguila, annual sister spa day, collecting random owl things (Hootie Hoo to my Chi Omega sisters), words of wisdom from Irish priests and pool days. She is passionate about connecting women and creating a supportive, nurturing community to empower moms.