Thanksgiving 2020 Pandemic-Proof Ideas and Alternatives

Thanksgiving 2020 – Pandemic-Proof Ideas

Thanksgiving 2020 is almost here! It simply couldn’t avoid the wrecking ball that is 2020. (And Christmas won’t be far behind…) When I think about the holidays this year, I’m like… ?????… I literally have no idea what to do. It’s impossible to know how to make the best choice in so many situations this year due to the covid-19 pandemic. Everyone’s situation is different. We all have to find peace with our own decisions as best we can. To help those who, like me, aren’t sure what to do for Thanksgiving 2020, I’m pulling together this list of pandemic-proof ideas for safe, social distancing Thanksgiving plans.

First, consider how top tier you want to go with your Thanksgiving 2020 plans.

Give some thought to these Thanksgiving alternatives! Unlike the more traditional holiday, these are for smaller crowds. It’s still possible to have a fun and memorable time despite Covid-19. Here are some worthy, pandemic-proof ideas for Thanksgiving 2020.

Host a Baller Turkey Tailgate

Game on! This year’s Thanksgiving is NOT cancelled. Few things go so well together as Thanksgiving and football. With that in mind, a turkey tailgate could be just what the pandemic ordered this year – minus all the bad decisions and drunken schmoozing, of course. This year is going to be the single MOST memorable and exciting Thanksgiving for your family ever.


You can go all out with a full-on tailgate setup, complete with an air fryer or turkey fryer to crush it with your world-famous cooking. Set up a long table with Sterno and food warmers to keep the buffet as spaced out as possible.


Have favorite team chairs and other seating arrangements scattered in your yard or patio to keep everyone comfortably spread out. Keep your gathering small if possible and think about families or couples who will sit together so you have the right configurations.


A great Bluetooth speaker carries the tunes through your entire outdoor space and gets the party going or calms it down a notch with some lovely dinner music. (Depending on your comfort levels, you can decide whether yard games would be a good choice for your group or if it’s better off not to share equipment.) For the after-dinner crowd, consider streaming the football games from a projector onto a large outdoor inflatable movie screen.


Go Rustic with a Campfire Gathering

There’s just something romantic and calming about a campfire this time of year. A campfire Thanksgiving could be the perfect choice if it’s just you and your sweetheart or a very small, intimate group such as your household family unit or just yourselves and one other couple. Larger groups could work well too, as Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to chase your cares away and enjoy a little atypical time outdoors. Whether it’s just your immediate family or a few other loved ones, too, you can make it an unforgettable holiday by spending most if not all of it outdoors.


Consider whether your township requires you to have a covered flame or if you can have an open flame as this can be an important factor in your decision. Bring out your fire ring or pick up a new one for a good deal on Amazon. The way things are going, this could become one of your favorite new family activities.


Set up your camp chairs around the fire as far apart as you’re comfortable. Consider waterproof fleece blankets for a cozy alternative to chairs if you’re more in a relaxing mood.


If you do opt for blankets, everyone can eat Thanksgiving dinner picnic style spaced well apart. Don’t forget the apple cider or mulled cider and other beverages of choice.


Nothing closes off Thanksgiving 2020 quite like a campfire complete with toasted marshmallows or s’mores at the end of the day. Tell your family it’s BYOS – Bring Your Own Stick and everyone can take turns roasting and making their own dessert. Enjoy a little stargazing to wrap things up.


Neighborhood Social Distance BBQ

If you are close with your neighbors, it could be the perfect time to have a social distancing friendsgiving. Low key, nowhere to go, and so great to see people from across the yard or street.


Have so much fun with this Thanksgiving 2020 alternative idea. You can wheel out your barbecue grill or smoker to the front yard or for this fun street-side gathering. For a mouthwatering twist, consider going with a barbecue smoker this year. Nothing like smoked turkey, smoked macaroni and cheese, and loads of other delicious dishes. For your traditional barbecue grill, you can also convert it to work like a smoker with a little smoker box and some wood chips.

More than likely you will need to break down the turkey into individual pieces if you plan to grill it. You can also opt for a totally different take on the traditional meal—for example, smoked turkey burgers with bacon and cheddar!


You can set the ground rules ahead of time to minimize any confusion or deviation from the best intentions. For true social distancing, plan to space out at least six feet apart. If it’s easier, you can also have everyone stay in their own yards and on their own side of the street.


Again, a Bluetooth speaker is pretty worthwhile for all the outdoor use you’ll get to enjoy. You might also put a fire ring next to one neighbor’s driveway and have a street gathering after the food festivities wind down.


A tailgating heater can be a great add-on to this kind of outdoor event. Keep your distance comfortably and still keep warm.


Personal Thanksgiving Day 2020 Parade

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but sometimes distance keeps the family healthier, especially during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Instead of choosing between pretending life is 100% normal OR simply not seeing your family for Thanksgiving, you have another option. You can be super creative with your own Thanksgiving 2020 parade.


If your siblings are also social distancing for the holidays, consider teaming up to do a car parade past your parents’ house, grandparents’ homes, or other important places. Having a few cars together with loved ones can be a very powerful display of how much you care even if you can’t be there sitting elbow-to-elbow at the dining room table.


Your car is your float, so have fun decorating it. You can use window paint or window markers for an easy-peasy and travel-friendly option. Once you get close to your destination, pull over and attach some streamers, balloons, or signs to your vehicle.


Be sure to take a video on your phone and don’t forget to snap some pictures. Give your kids a cheap camera to take some pictures from their perspective – these times are going down in history whether we like it or not. If you like, drive past the house a few times if you want to get the full effect.


To make it easy on your time budget choosing this Thanksgiving 2020 pandemic alternative, consider getting Thanksgiving Day takeout food. A local restaurant will be grateful for your business and you’ll save yourself hours of cooking. (If you’re up to eating takeout food during a pandemic, of course! Alternatively, you can also go super easy and leave a boneless turkey breast in a crockpot all day along with making some microwave mashed potatoes and steamed green beans when you get home!)


Keep Thanksgiving 2020 Small & Simple at Home

When it all comes down to it, simply staying home with your immediate family is a perfectly sound option as well. This year is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, so it only makes sense that our holidays and other events and occasions will follow suit.


You can spend the whole day in your pjs or yoga pants and a tank top if you like. Messy pandemic hair don’t care. You won’t find any judgement here.


Sleep in, watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, enjoy some food, fall into a turkey coma, watch a movie, stay up late or go to bed early. All of these choices are yours to make.


For a simple 2020 Thanksgiving, you can do crockpot turkey breast. You can make a big ole turkey traditional style. You can make a few dozen chocolate chip cookies or opt for an entire unforgettable dessert buffet. Whatever the case, it is perfectly acceptable to do this with *just* your own little family. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. ?

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