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Host a Thanksgiving Happy Hour

Once you’ve given your guests enough time to digest that savory Thanksgiving bird, keep the turkey festivities going by turning your traditional dinner into a fun-filled happy hour!

Jodi Cohen and Sarah Lowy, co-founders of JOWY productions,  shared some creative ideas for sprucing up your Turkey Day celebrations (spoiler: it includes tons of booze and exciting games). If you’re tired of the same old turkey dinner followed by an ABC family movie marathon, mix things up with a Thanksgiving happy hour/ cocktail party. Be sure to give guests ample time to relax their bellies after the hearty main course before bringing out the booze.

Thankful Toast

Raise a glass in the air for everything and everyone you are thankful for. We suggest doing a toast with a cranberry martini or cranberry infused champagne drink like our Cranberry Bliss Champagne Cocktail.



Thankful Toast Recipe:


1 lime wedge

Red sanding sugar

8 ounces vodka

1 ounce cranberry juice

1 teaspoon vermouth

Skewered fresh cranberries (for garnish)


Rub the rims of 2 martini glasses with a lime wedge, and then dip each rim into a saucer of red sanding sugar, rotating gently to evenly coat.

Chill in freezer at least 10 minutes. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vodka, cranberry juice, and vermouth until chilled, about 20 seconds.

Strain into chilled glasses, and garnish with skewered fresh cranberries.



Drinks will get the party started, but the games are what really keep the party going.


Guess Who?

This is a mix of 20 questions and “Who Am I” – one person thinks of a character – it can be a famous person or someone well-known by the family (perhaps a crazy uncle?). The rest of the guests then have to ask questions until they’ve guessed the correct person!



Sure, the game of charades is a family fun classic, but this year put a twist on this hilarious party game for some serious photo-worthy fun.

Set Up: First, you’ll need to borrow or buy a Pictionary board. Divide the guests into two equal groups. Then, have them sit in a circle with teammates sitting alternately from each other.

How To Play:

Place the Pictionary cards in a stack in the middle. The first person takes the stack and draws one card. He or she then has to get their team members to guess what the card is without using the “taboo” words listed on the card in 60 seconds or less. If he or she does use the taboo word, subtract one point from the total points (each correct answer is +1 point).

The stack of cards are then passed to the next person and so on. Once you decide to stop, or everyone has gone at least once, calculate the score and announce the winner.


Word Building

This is a simple game filled with loads of laughs.

How to Play:

Give the guests a long word related to Thanksgiving or Fall such as “Thanksgiving” or “Cranberry”. Provide them with pen and paper and ask them to list all the words they can think of that can be formed with the letters in the word given.

Set a time limit for completing their list. The person (or group) that has the largest list of words is the winner!

Find more party planning inspirations for Thanksgiving

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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