You divide into teams and compete in silly contests like who can stand on one foot the longest, who has the tallest thumb and any other contests you can invent. The version described here involves putting a book on your head and using that as a drawing surface, but it seems simpler to just blindfold people. Parlor Games (One Kings Lane): Parlor games are games for groups to play that don’t require a board or anything purchased. Conversation starters: This is less of a “game” and more of a fun way to spark conversations, especially as you’re sitting around the table. The bloggers at Cookies Sangria have a similar list (although they suggest doing exercises instead of drinking!) including doing a set of jumping jacks when “the hosts refer to bad parade weather in the distant past (25 years ago)”. Favorites of mine for adults include Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, Outburst and Taboo. Flavor Wire has created four humorous bingo cards and participants cover the squares as they day progresses and they observe things like running out of gravy, someone coming late, a drunk uncle, a pet stealing food, someone starting a story with “when I was your age.”
“The Best” (The Idea Room): describes this game which can be played any time of year but is particularly well suited for a large gathering. Choose based on the age groups you have or break into a kids group and an adult group. The gist is that each person wears three clothespins on their clothing and then everyone runs around trying to remove clothespins from everyone else. Thanksgiving Bingo (Flavor Wire): This version of bingo is for adults and is probably the most fun if you’re the cynical type. This is essentially a relay race where teams carry small objects like nuts and cranberries from bowl to bowl with chopsticks. Other games that are easy to learn are Crazy Eights, Hearts, I Doubt It and Spoons. Thanksgiving day can be a long one and you may need activities to fill up the time as you wait for the turkey to cook or as you recover between turkey and pie. Especially if you have a crowd, it’s a great time to get some games going. Good ones for kids are Candy Land, Chutes Ladders and Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It!. Board Games: Board games are kind of a no-brainer. Here are ideas for games to suit all ages and, especially, games that all ages can play and enjoy together. If you don’t know any, here’s a list of modern twists on classic parlor games. If you’re fuzzy on some of the rules for a card game, Bicycle Cards has a free app with rules to 75 card games that you can download. The most classic and well known is charades.