Divine Dinner Party

Thanksgiving Party Ideas and
Creative Dinner Themes

Getting some friends together for Thanksgiving and hunting for some fresh, fun Thanksgiving party ideas? Who can blame you! There's only so man pilgrim landings anyone can attend, and after having seen about a bazillion of them in your life, pot luck gatherings (while great time savers) don't have a whole lot of creativity or flair.

So what might you do differently? Here are some fun Thanksgiving party ideas that I love. Who knows? These creative ideas for a Thanksgiving party may even inspire some great ideas of your own!

And don't limit these only to Thanksgiving... most of these dinner party theme ideas can be used any time of year!

The Iron Chef Pot-Luck Thanksgiving Party

Thanksgiving Iron Chef Buffet MenuOf course, no matter what kind of party for Thanksgiving you plan, it's the feast that is always the star of this holiday. So why not make a game out of it?

How to Plan this Thanksgiving Party. Put together teams of people, each of which will in charge of making a different one of the meal's components-- including:



Now, unlike the TV show you won't want all of your teams to be working with one main ingredient. For a whole meal, that would be boring! Instead, several weeks ahead of time, ask all teams to come up with five or so potential dishes, from which you will choose several. This allows you to round out the menu for the meal without duplication. Plenty of time in advance, give the teams their assignments.

Serving and Set-Up. Have the teams lay out the meal buffet style. Next to each offering include a cup (the cup is used for voting) and a card with the name of the dish. It's also nice if you have a printout from the teams of the recipes they used, so that people can take the recipe home if they really like something.

Judging and... Eating! When your guests arrive for this party, give them each voting tickets (to go into the cups adjacent to the dishes). At the end of the night declare the winners (and have a nice prize – like a good bottle of wine for each member of the team). And have fun!

Progressive Dinner Thanksgiving Party Idea

I love this Thanksgiving party idea! It kind of reminds me of a pub crawl, but with food, fun, and Thanksgiving. A dinner crawl! And it also allows everyone to host a Thanksgiving dinner, instead of just one person.

How to Plan a Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner. For this Thanksgiving party idea, several different people who'd like to take part will each offer a different dish (or multiple dishes, depending on the number of cooks you have) in their home. So you might start out at your home with the appetizer, then go to Bob's loft for a side dish or two, and then to Carol's house down the street for the Thanksgiving turkey, and finish up at Angie's apartment for dessert.

What's fun about this Thanksgiving party idea is not only getting to see everyone's home, but also getting to share the load. Since each person only has to present one or two dishes, the clean-up is a snap.

A Variation on this Idea Don't like the idea of dividing up the Thanksgiving turkey and side dishes, etc., because you like to eat them all together? Put somebody be in charge of the main meal, and do the "dinner crawl" for cocktails, appetizers, dessert, and coffee & aperitifs. It's even more fun this way... and the party will go on all afternoon.

Thanksgiving Leftover Party

The idea of having a Thanksgiving party probably seems like a lot of fun. But for most people, Thanksgiving day is more about a festive dinner with family than a big party. Which makes a party that you host after the day itself such a good Thanksgiving party idea.

Planning this party. If you've ever wondered what on earth to do with all your Thanksgiving leftovers, this Thanksgiving party idea is a great solution that will clean everything up quickly! A Thanksgiving leftovers party can run one of two ways. The first is simply using your own personal leftovers to make creative dishes for your guests: turkey salad finger sandwiches, cranberry vodka smoothies, potato pancakes, etc.

Another option. Another way to plan a Thanksgiving leftover party would be to ask your guests to each bring a "reinvented" Thanksgiving leftovers dish to pass around-- a leftover potluck. A nice bonus to going with this idea? All the great ideas you get for using your Thanksgiving leftovers-- be sure to make notes for next year!

Around-the-World Thanksgiving Pot-Luck Party

Another good theme idea for a Thanksgiving Party is "feasting around the world." This will be a Thanksgiving costume dinner... and it will be a ton of fun. Around-the-World Thanksgiving Pot-Luck Party

How to do Plan it. To get this Thanksgiving party idea started, inform all your guests that they should dress in something that reflects a culture of their choosing. Then those guests should be encouraged to make a dish from the culture they're representing.

They can either do a fusion dish, such as a turkey stuffing with Moroccan flavors, for example, or go all-out with their cultural dish, like making a big bowl of couscous instead of the stuffing.

Decorating for this Party.What will be your centerpiece for the dinner table? A globe of course! Decorate the rest of the party area with travel maps, a suitcase, etc. And be sure to serve wines from around the world!


Medieval Thanksgiving Dinner Party Theme

If you don't want to travel around the world for your party, how about taking your guests backward in time instead? This Medieval Thanksgiving party idea can be a ton of fun!

Planning this Party. Invite all of your guests with fun scroll-style invitations. Have everyone come in period costumes, if they can (but costumes aren't so important, so don't sweat it). Put up some decorative rugs on the walls as tapestries, use wooden bowls and plates on the table and eat by candlelight! Maybe even invest in a pewter tankard or two for beer or cider.

The Food. What kinds of food should you bring to the table? How about mead to drink, big old roasted turkey legs (you'll love this recipe for turkey drumsticks), bread with honey butter, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, and a chestnut stuffing? While it doesn't necessarily have to be authentic Medieval food (I doubt they ate any corn on the cob!) it should be simple food without a lot of ingredients.

These are just a few of my favorite Thanksgiving party ideas. There are certainly many other Thanksgiving dinner themes out there that you and your guests could have a lot of fun with. Get creative and think outside the turkey. Maybe have a gothic Thanksgiving complete with a scavenger hunt or a murder mystery party game. Or host a turkey bowl (yes, at a bowling alley!). Really there's no limit to the kind of Thanksgiving party you can throw. Just use your imagination and enjoy!

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Crock Pot Crockpot Dinner RecipesSign up for my free newsletter, and get a free e-cookbook or other fun download sent right to your inbox every month. Plus, you'll get access to all kinds of goodies you won't find on the website!

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Even with a great theme, you need some great food for these Thanksgiving party ideas. Take a look at:

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If it's a fat bird with a beard (no, I don't mean your Aunt Marjorie), we can help you cook it. Click on the icon above or click here to get started with recipes and tips on how to cook a turkey for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any time of year.

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