Looking to have a virtual Thanksgiving with family and friends this year? We got you.


Although we tend to think of Thanksgiving as an opportunity to gather around a big festive table with family and friends, there are times when you simply can't celebrate the holiday in person. A virtual Thanksgiving makes it possible to connect with loved ones around the globe. With a few tweaks (and some good WiFi) your crew can still have a Thanksgiving to remember with some virtual, family-approved activities.

Family having a video call during dinner
Credit: Getty Images

Virtual Thanksgiving Ideas for 2021

Thanksgiving Recipe Swap

It may not be possible to hop a flight to Grandma's house this year, but that doesn't mean you can't still get a taste of her mouth-watering sweet potato pie. Get the whole family on board, swap your best recipes, test them out at home, then set up a Zoom for the big taste test.

Turkey Day Craft-a-Thon

From free printable coloring pages to easy crafts for toddlers to edible crafts for kids, we've got your little ones covered. Pick a few ideas and get the kiddos together via video to have a little fun.

Macy's Parade Watch-Along

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a staple for kicking off Turkey Day for most families. Why not enjoy your kids' favorite character balloons, Broadway performances, and, of course, a special appearance by Santa Claus by watching along with loved ones on Zoom or FaceTime? Bonus points if everyone rocks some festive pajamas for it.

Virtual Thanksgiving Games

Who doesn't love a good game night? Make yours virtual Turkey Day-friendly with these Thanksgiving games for kids that include everything from Mad Libs to I Spy. They can easily be played from behind a screen.

You can even make a game out of these Thanksgiving trivia questions. Winner gets an e-gift card—or dibs on a sweet treat sent directly to their doorstep!

Scholastic Thanksgiving Virtual Field Trips

Sprinkle a bit of history into your holiday with Scholastic's virtual Thanksgiving field trips that include a tour of the Mayflower and Plimoth Plantation that school-age kids will enjoy. There's also an immersive tour of a Wampanoag village, the Indigenous people who were living in the area before the pilgrims arrived. The best part? It's all free!

Zoom Dinner With Extended Family and Friends

Last, but certainly not least, host a classic albeit virtual Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner with everyone you love—all on Zoom, FaceTime, or your favorite video platform. Set up a phone or laptop near the dining table and enjoy turkey dinner how you normally would, just with fewer people physically in the room. Pump up the music, say what you're thankful for, and catch up on what's new while enjoying some delicious food. Heck, you can even throw in a few awkward family conversations to make it even more legit.