Friendsgiving 101: Your Guide to an Adult-Only Extravaganza

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and while many are busy preparing for the chaos of family gatherings (and the cacophony of children that often come with it), the childfree community has a unique opportunity to celebrate their November feast a little differently. For those who hold their chosen family as dear as their blood relatives, it’s the perfect time to revel in the joy of friendship. Enter Friendsgiving.

Friendsgiving isn’t just a gathering. It’s a celebration of your hand-picked family.

But if you’ve never had a Friendsgiving, where do you even begin? We’re here to help! Let’s delve into the art of planning a gathering that’s as remarkable as your friendships are. Grab your turkey baster and stir up some mimosas because we’re going to create an adult Friendsgiving your pals will never forget!

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1. Create Your Ultimate Adult Guest List

Contemplate who you’d like to include in your Thanksgiving bash:

  • Friends
  • Co-workers
  • Mentors
  • Pets and their dog park buddies
  • Screaming toddlers and gurgling babies

As you cultivate the perfect party list, practice that Thanksgiving gratitude by being thankful for the fact that your guest list is free of screaming toddlers and gurgling babies, allowing you to enjoy an evening of uninterrupted adult conversations and laughter.

2. Choose Your Date and Invitations

Pick a date that works for your schedule. Remember: you won’t have to worry about school holidays, so you can work around whatever timing works best for you (even if that means it’s a little before or after the actual Thanksgiving day). 

Embrace the freedom to select a date that suits the schedules of your friends without worrying about bedtime routines or early wake-up calls.

3. Pick Your Location

Pick your location according to the size of your party and relish in the freedom you have to select a venue that doesn’t require childproofing or baby gates.

4. Arrange Your Potluck Sitch

  • Decide what you want to cook or purchase yourself and what you want to designate to your party friends. 
  • Send out a list and let people pick their favorite thing to bring based on their strengths. Some people love to bake. Others are up for making some allergy-friendly goods. Others bring the wine. Lots of wine. 
  • Provide some ideas and let your friends go wild while taking a load off of your hosting shoulders.
  • Go all-in on dishes that children wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Think Brussels sprouts, spicy food, pate, and anything that’s not chicken nuggets. Rejoice in the opportunity to savor dishes that are spicy, layered, and over-the-top gourmet.

5. Decorations

Decorate with anything that screams “adults only.” Think wine glasses, sophisticated centerpieces, and absolutely no Paw Patrol posters. Let your inner decorator run wild with elegant, child-unfriendly decorations that proudly declare your space as a haven for adult celebrations.

6. Seating Arrangement

Set up a seating arrangement that ensures everyone can reach the wine bottle from any angle. Remember: you will have ZERO high chairs or booster seats, so spread those seats out so everyone has a little legroom to stretch out after chowing down on the turkey leg.

7. Shake Up a Signature Drink

Create a signature cocktail or mocktail. This year, let your creation reference your amazing childfree life.

  • “Sleep-All-Night Surprise”– a delightful non-alcoholic concoction that allows you to savor peaceful nights without interruptions.
  • “Autumn Bliss Fizz” – a sparkling and joyful drink that captures the essence of childfree happiness during the Thanksgiving season.
  • “Cranberry Cheer” (Mocktail) – a non-alcoholic delight that embodies the childfree spirit and Thanksgiving merriment.

Here’s one whipped up – a recipe for a “No Kids Negroni” which combines the classic Negroni’s bitter and sweet notes with the added complexity of orange liqueur, creating a sophisticated and vibrant cocktail that embodies the independence and elegance of a childfree lifestyle.


– 1 oz Gin

– 1 oz Campari

– 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

– 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (e.g., Cointreau)

– Orange peel or twist, for garnish

– Ice


1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.

2. Add the gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and orange liqueur to the mixing glass.

3. Stir the ingredients well to combine and chill the mixture. Stir for about 20-30 seconds to achieve proper dilution and blending of flavors.

4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass filled with ice.

5. Garnish the “No-Kids Negroni” with a twist or peel of fresh orange. The citrus aroma enhances the cocktail’s flavor. Serve and enjoy!

8. Put Together Your Playlist

Curate a music playlist with songs that celebrate independence and the ability to live life to the fullest. Feel free to include songs that celebrate adult life, like “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” “Staying Alive,” “Margaritaville,” and “No Children.”

Alternatively, you could take advantage of the quiet in your childfree home and make an extremely chill playlist because who needs blaring music when you can have sweet, sweet silence? Create a playlist of the most tranquil, ambient, and serene music or sounds you can find. Think ocean waves, forest sounds, or even the sweet white noise of a quiet library. Your guests may be wondering where the noise went, but you’ll be too busy grooving to the sound of silence.

9. Relax!

One of the most important (and often forgotten) rules of having a holiday is to chill out and enjoy. 

Thanksgiving is a time to pause and decompress. Take advantage of that to situate your Friendsgiving so that it’s the least stressful activity of your year. Do a little planning ahead, delegate tasks to others, enjoy the cooking and community, and sit back and enjoy the ride. With this guide, we know you’ll have a blast. 

Plus, you’ll be especially at ease knowing that your Friendsgiving won’t be disrupted by diaper changes or temper tantrums.

Activity Ideas

Now that you have a general idea of what and how to plan a Friendsgiving, you may be wondering: aside from cooking and eating, what in the world are you going to do??

Fear not, brave host! We have some ideas for you that cater to your fantastic adult friends. Here are some of our favorite activities for your adult-only bash:

Games and Entertainment

Think up some age-appropriate games that you know your friends will love. Feel free to include games that kids wouldn’t understand even if they tried, like:

  • “Who’s Got the Most Student Loan Debt?” or “Stupid Things in My Spam Email” or even “Complaining About Home Repairs” 
  • What Do You Meme? – an adult card game
  • Thanksgiving trivia
  • The Thankful Game – buy a set of pick-up sticks and designate each color to represent different categories such as a type of food, a person, an object, or an experience. Each time someone picks up a stick, they can take a moment to say something they are grateful for in that category.

And if you’re at a loss for creative party games, we have some adult-friendly games below that are sure to light up your Friendsgiving soiree!

Zen and the Art of Turkey Basting

Childfree Friendsgiving means no interruptions! And that means you and your guests get to take your beautiful time basting that turkey like it’s the most important task in the universe. Fall into a meditative state as you baste the bird, bake the dressing, and season the gravy. Have each guest assigned to a task or dish and be comforted by the fact that you won’t have to worry about a child’s boogers getting in your secret recipe! 

Perhaps you even get your guests involved and set up a twist on a cook-off. Instead of seeing how fast a person can cook, award prizes to the people whose dish takes the most time, love, and care!

Turkey Day Puppy Parade

Invite your childfree friends to bring their fur babies for a seasonal “Puppy Parade” because what’s cuter and more fun than a bunch of dogs waddling around in seasonal costumes? Once the parade’s over, you can all gather around the TV to watch the annual National Dog Show, which takes place on Thanksgiving every year. 

And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, why not consider cooking up a canine Thanksgiving feast?! Similar to the Puppy Parade, you’ll have the joy of having both humans and doggy friends attending, and while cooking for both species may sound mighty ambitious, we can guarantee you’ll have the loyalty of every pooch at the party!

The Lounge of Plenty

Create a childfree relaxation lounge with comfy pillows, soft blankets, and endless bottles of wine. Encourage your guests to kick back, unwind, and revel in the silence. Naps are highly encouraged.

And if you like a little competition, why not make a sport of it? After your Thanksgiving Feast, challenge your guests to a “Nap-a-thon” where the person who can take the longest uninterrupted nap wins a fabulous prize. Enjoy your mid-afternoon siesta without worrying about waking up to a child’s cries.

Pie Contest (Without the Mess)

We prefer our pie contests with a twist! Here are our two favorite variations on pie contests:

1. Bake-off: Pick your judges in advance and do a “Great British Bake-Off”-style judging where all the pies are critiqued on flavor, appearance, and quality. Have an assortment of ridiculous, adult-themed prizes for different categories, like “Ugliest, Yet Most Delicious,” “Could Change Your Career and Go Into Baking,” and, “Best Use of Alcohol in a Pie.”

2. Pie eating contest: Instead of making a mess and scarfing it all down in mere minutes, compete in who can savor each bite the slowest. Take your time enjoying the delectable pies. Whomever enjoys their pie the most wins first dibs on leftovers!

Cocktail Relay

Set up a cocktail-making station, filled with alcohols, glasses, mugs, decorations, and flavors or syrups. Equip your guests with shakers and have them craft their own cocktail! Judges or fellow guests can evaluate the cocktails based on taste and presentation

Some people presume a childfree Thanksgiving means sacrificing all the unencumbered joy, but we are here to say: no, no, no. 

In fact, for us, a childfree day of feasting means embracing the serenity and indulging in hilarious ways to enjoy the day, so while everyone else is dealing with picky eaters and temper tantrums, you’ll be sipping wine in your Zen-like tranquility with a beautifully basted turkey and a grin that says, “I wouldn’t trade this for all the babies in the world!” 

Cheers to a very quiet, humorous, and unforgettable Friendsgiving!


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