Every other week in The Coach’s Box, Timothy Thomas explores the various lessons that can be learned from the world of sports.

Here in The Coach’s Box, we enjoy competitions of all sorts, and with Thanksgiving drawing near, it’s traditionally a great time for families and friends to enjoy competitions of all sorts together. So, if your family or close-knit community doesn’t have an annual Thanksgiving Day tradition or is looking for one, then we’ve got your back.

Below, you’ll find some outdoor activities to help you make room for seconds and some indoor activities for when everyone’s fighting the turkey tryptophan or postprandial somnolence (aka, the “food coma”).

Outdoor Activities

5K Run, or Just a Run (or Walk)

Many people sign up for turkey trots on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a fun idea whether you plan on running or walking; it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors with people you love. Plus, the Vitamin D from the sun is an added benefit to getting out of the house. Even if you don’t sign up for an official 5K, taking a neighborhood walk or run, or even making it a competition, can be a fun way to see everyone you love in a different light.

Throw Some Football

Where I grew up, my hometown church hosted an annual “Turkey Bowl” flag football competition. Parishioners were mainly from two cities, so it was always Killeen (Texas) versus Copperas Cove (Texas). If it’s just your family, then maybe you can see if any of your neighbors would be interested in a showdown at the nearest open field. And even if you can’t get in a complete game, just getting outside to toss the ball around can still make for a good time.


Pickleball’s popularity has increased rapidly in recent years. It’s a relatively safe, age-friendly game and is loads of fun. It doesn’t require much practice and four people can play simultaneously. (Think table tennis without the table.) Your family can set up a tournament and play throughout the day. An idea might be playing a round before dinner, then ensuing games between seconds, thirds, and desserts. Make the tournament even more enjoyable with a prize for the champion!

Indoor Activities

Football Squares

There will be plenty of football to watch on Thanksgiving Day, but join in on the competition instead of just watching it! Football squares is a fun, randomized competition the whole family can enjoy.


Though you can play cornhole outdoors, it’s also a great indoor option if you have enough room in your Thanksgiving Day house on a cold or rainy day.

Bake-off Competition

It doesn’t get more on-theme for Thanksgiving than hosting a bake-off competition. Make it a pie, cake, cookie, or all-around dessert competition with a prize for the winner. The tricky part will be designating a taste tester or a panel of judges. If kids are involved, perhaps let them be the judges!

There are plenty more ideas out there, so get creative! The main thing is to enjoy time with family, friends, and community with a thankful heart. Competitions are a great way to get everyone invested and bring out the God-given personalities we don’t usually see every day. If you have a family competition tradition, we’d love to hear about it! Please share below in the comments or on our social media pages!

Happy Thanksgiving!