Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday. Families get together for dinner and fun. Most people know the origin of Thanksgiving, but most do not know all the facts and trivia associated with Thanksgiving.
This article shares Thanksgiving trivia, facts, and some fun activities for your family get-together. You will find some fun Thanksgiving trivia questions and answers to stump your guests. Additionally, we have a Thanksgiving Quiz to test your knowledge. We close this article with a list of Thanksgiving activities and games.
Table of Contents
Start a new Thanksgiving tradition by having fun with these Thanksgiving trivia questions and answers. Simply cut them out, and place them in a basket or bag. Have your family members and guests divide into pairs or teams and see who can answer the most questions correctly.
Multiple Choice Thanksgiving Questions
- Thanksgiving occurs on the:
1. Fourth Thursday in November
2. Third Thursday in November
3. November 26 each year
- The first Thanksgiving lasted:
1. One day
2. Two days
3. Three days
- Which of the following was NOT served at the Pilgrims Thanksgiving meal?
1. Cranberries, corn, and mashed potatoes
2. Rabbit, chicken, wild turkey, and dried fruit
3. Venison (deer meat), fish, goose
- Which Indian tribe taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land and were invited to the Thanksgiving meal?
- Approximately how many turkeys are eaten each year on Thanksgiving in the United States?
1. 100 million
2. 280 million
3. 500 million
- Which southern state was the first to adopt a Thanksgiving Day in 1855?
1. South Carolina
- What is a snood?
1. The loose skin under a male turkey’s neck.
2. A hat worn by a Pilgrim
3. A hot cider drink served at Thanksgiving.
- What utensil was not used by the Pilgrims to eat Thanksgiving dinner?
- The best place to put the meat thermometer in the turkey is:
1. The breast
2. The middle of the back
3. The thigh
- Which president is believed to be the first to pardon a turkey and start this annual tradition?
1. President Lincoln in 1863
2. President Roosevelt in 1939
3. President Harry Truman in 1947
- The Pilgrims came to the New world seeking religious freedom and were also called:
1. The Puritans because they wanted to purify the teachings and ceremonies of the Church of England.
2. The Great Explorers
3. The Wanderers
- Today, our Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November because
1. It is the date the Pilgrims landed in the New World.
2. This was the date set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 and approved by Congress in 1941.
3. It was the date people voted to have it on.
- What is a baby turkey called?
1. A chick
2. A nestling
3. A poult
- It has been estimated that how many Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving.
- A full grown turkey has about how many feathers?
1. A million
2. Too many to count!
- How long was the first Thanksgiving celebrated?
a. Two days
b. Four days
c. Three days
- In which president’s rule did Thanksgiving grow into an annual holiday?
a. George Washington
b. Abraham Lincon
c. Barack Obama
- What part of the turkey is called a wattle?
a. The bit of red flesh right under the beak
b. Wobbly bit of flesh on the top of the beak
c. The tail feathers
- Which State raises the highest Number of Turkeys?
a. North Carolina
- What Meat was brought to the first Thanksgiving by the native Americans?
- Which food was ever-present at the first Thanksgiving but is seldom eaten at Thanksgiving now?
- In what decade was the Thanksgiving staple, green bean casserole, first created?
a. The 1950s
b. The 1960s
c. The 1940s
- Which culture Birthed the idea of the horn of plenty, cornucopia?
a. British culture
b. Indian culture.
c. Greek culture
- What do Koreans cook during Chuseok, their Thanksgiving?
b. Rice cakes
c. A slaughtered goat
- Which is the only place in Australia that celebrates Thanksgiving?
a. Marshall islands
c. Norfolk islands
- To whom are drawings given by children in Japan during their labor Thanksgiving?
a. The president
b. Police stations
- How many calories, on average, does an average person consume during Thanksgiving dinner?
- When was the first-ever Thanksgiving NFL game played?
- How many women attended the first Thanksgiving party?
- Which president did not agree to the celebration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday?
a. Richard Nixon
b. John F. Kennedy
c. Thomas Jefferson
Hard Thanksgiving Trivia Questions
Now it is time to really test your knowledge of Thanksgiving, and everything associated with it. We have chosen some questions we think most of you will not know the answer to. See just how much you and your family really know about Thanksgiving. We have listed the questions and answers separately to make sure we provide you with a challenge.
- What hymn that was originally a Dutch patriotic song is now considered a Thanksgiving song by many?
- What is the name of an American fiddle song featuring a turkey often played at Thanksgiving parties?
- Which popular Thanksgiving song’s actual title is “The New England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day”?
- Who campaigned for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday, and also wrote the children’s song “Mary Had a Little Lamb”?
U.S. Presidents and Thanksgiving:
- What President declared Thanksgiving on the third Thursday in November attempting to boost the economy for the holiday season and later officially made it on the fourth Thursday of every November?
- What President made two Thanksgivings proclamations and when did he do so?
- What President refused to celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday and why?
- Not all the U.S. Presidents received turkeys at Thanksgiving. What unusual animal did Calvin Coolidge receive?
- About how many turkeys are prepared for Thanksgiving dinner each year in the U.S.?
- How many pumpkin pies are consumed every Thanksgiving?
- How heavy was the heaviest turkey ever recorded?
- How much does the average turkey eaten at Thanksgiving weigh?
- What city has the oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade?
- What city had a Thanksgiving Day Parade which ends with Santa Claus getting a key to the city?
- Why were there no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades in 1942, 1943, and 1944?
- When was the first Thanksgiving football game and the first Thanksgiving NFL game?
- “We Gather Together”
- “Turkey in the Straw”
- “Over the River and Through the Woods”
- Sarah Josepha Hale
U.S. Presidents and Thanksgiving:
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- James Madison in 1814 and 1815
- Thomas Jefferson because he thought it blurred the distinctive separation of church and state as he considered it a religious holiday.
- A live raccoon
- About 46 million
- About 50 million
- 86 pounds
- 15 pounds
- Because of World War II
- 1876 and 1920
True or False Thanksgiving Questions
- Canada also has Thanksgiving. They have their holiday on the second Monday in October.
- The first ever Thanksgiving was held in 1621 at Plymouth by the Pilgrims.
- All turkeys can fly.
- The Pilgrims only “celebrated” three days – the Sabbath, fast days, and days of thanksgiving.
- All turkeys gobble.
- The first department store to hold a Thanksgiving parade was Macy’s.
- More than half of the people in the Plymouth colony died that winter of 1621.
- Every year the President of the United States pardons a turkey, who spends the rest of its life on a historical farm.
- Cranberries are tasted to see if they are sweet enough to harvest.
- Turkeys can see behind themselves.
- President Calvin Coolidge was given a live Raccoon as a Thanksgiving present.
- The Pilgrims were the only Native American Tribe that celebrated the first Thanksgiving.
- Americans consume approximately 46 million turkeys during thanksgiving.
- The first turkey was Trot in 1880.
- The first turkey was Trot in Buffalo, New York.
- About 80 percent of Americans prefer the Thanksgiving leftovers over the actual dinner.
- Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the third Tuesday of October.
- Sarah Josepha Hale, a campaigner for the making of Thanksgiving a national holiday, wrote the song ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’
- Detroit is the city with the oldest Thanksgiving Parade.
- An average turkey weighs 30 pounds.
- The most popular alternative to turkey on Thanksgiving is Ham.
- The first Macy’s Thanksgiving parade featured animals that were from the central park zoo as opposed to our usual balloons culture.
- Thanksgiving began as a day to give thanks for the end of the war.
- A male turkey is called a Jenny.
Thanksgiving Trivia and Facts
There are so many interesting facts associated with Thanksgiving, most of which are new to people. Read through are list to know everything and everybody associated with this American holiday.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade began in 1924 and is 2.5 miles long.
- The first national Thanksgiving in the United States was proclaimed by the Continental Congress in 1777.
- Initially, Presidents proclaimed national Thanksgiving – Washington, Adams, and Monroe did so.
- After 1815, Presidents ceased their proclamations, but by 1850, almost every territory and state celebrated Thanksgiving.
- Other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving are:
- Germany – Harvest Thanksgiving Festival in early October
- Grenada – Thanksgiving Day on October 25to celebrate the anniversary of the US-led invasion of Grenada (one of the three largest Spice Islands in the Caribbean) that began on that day in 1983 to restore political stability to the country.
- Japan – Labor Thanksgiving on November 23, a day for commemorating labor and production and giving one another thanks.
- Korea – late September or early October (on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar); called Chusok, this major harvest festival lasts three days.
- Liberia – the first Thursday in November with the same traditions as Thanksgiving Day in the United States
- Norfolk Island – the last Wednesday in November
- Puerto Rico – the last Thursday in November
- Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular women’s magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, began a campaign in 1827 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Sarah Josepha Hale also wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb.
- In 1863, Hale was able to convince President Lincoln that a national Thanksgiving might unite the country after the Civil War. Lincoln declared two national Thanksgivings that year, August 6 celebrating the victory at Gettysburg, and the last Thursday in November.
- In order to help the country economically, Franklin Delano Roosevelt lengthened the Christmas shopping season by declaring Thanksgiving for the next-to-the-last Thursday in November in 1939. In 1941, Congress permanently established the holiday as the fourth Thursday of November.
- Swanson had an abundance of turkey (260 tons) in 1953 and a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminum trays with sides similar to airline meals. The dinner had turkey, cornbread dressing, peas and carrots, mashed potatoes, and “apple cranberry cake cobbler.” Hence, the TV dinner was born.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest turkey weighed 86 pounds.
- Ever wonder about the origin of the green bean casserole? Campbell soups created the recipe for an annual cookbook over 50 years ago. Campbell’s sells over $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup for Thanksgiving meals.
- Cranberries were probably not eaten at the first Thanksgiving as they were too bitter. Native Americans used the berries as a dye and to heal wounds.
- Thanksgiving Day is the busiest travel day of the year.
- Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song composed for children to sing in a Boston Sunday School celebration.
- It wasn’t until a fictional account appeared in the bestselling Standish of Standish (1889), a story about the Pilgrims, that the Pilgrim’s “first Thanksgiving” became associated with the holiday. However, this idea did not become popular until after WWII.
- There are only two accounts of the 1621 Thanksgiving.
- Edward Winslow wrote about it in a letter dated December 12, 1621 and published in 1622.
- William Bradford wrote about it in his History of Plymouth Plantation. Bradford’s account mentions turkey as one of the meats eaten.
- The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1924. Four hundred Macy employees marched from Convent Ave to 145th street in New York City with animals from the Central Park Zoo.
- It took 66 days for the Mayflower to travel across the Atlantic Ocean. There were 101 men, women, and children on board.
- The Pilgrims were also called Puritans because they wanted to purify the Church of England from Catholic influence. Those that wanted to separate from the Anglican Church were called Separatists.
- Fun Facts About Turkey
- A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
- Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
- Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.
- The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in stew, chili or soup, casseroles and as a burger.
- Native Americans and Colonists might not have actually had turkey during their Thanksgiving feast. The Wampanoag reportedly brought deer to the celebration that added to the swan, seal, lobsters, and other seafood enjoyed during the feast.
- Part of the Plymouth Mass still looks the same way it did in the 19th century. You can even order a ticket as early as June to visit the historic attraction site and have your Thanksgiving dinner there.
- The first-ever Thanksgiving parade balloons were made by the Good Housekeeping illustrator, Tony Sarg, who seemingly had a passion for puppetry too. He made the balloon floats that came to life in the 1927 parade.
- In 1939, Thanksgiving celebrations switched to the third Thursday of November and not the fourth. The move was by President Roosevelt, who moved it to add seven extra shopping days to boost the economy. The idea angered football coaches who had arranged seasonal games, calendar printers, and Americans at large. Therefore, the date was officially switched back to the original in 1942.
- The first TV Thanksgiving dinners were inspired by a mix-up. A Swanson employee accidentally made an order of 260 tons of Thanksgiving turkeys. Gerry Thomas, a salesman, came up with the idea of stuffing the turkeys to deal with the excess, and voila, over 10 million got sold. An industry was born.
- The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line receives over a hundred thousand calls every season. This company is an underrated Thanksgiving superhero; they explain to at least a hundred thousand people why their turkey isn’t turning out as they expected.
Thanksgiving Icebreaker Questions
Thanksgiving is a time for parties and get-togethers. Sometimes making conversations with friends and relatives we seldom see can be difficult. Our Thanksgiving Icebreaker Questions are perfect for such times. Many of them will cause smiles and maybe even outright laughter. They can all be used to start an interesting conversation.
- Why do male turkeys gobble?
- What is a Turkey Trot and where and when was the first one held?
- Were forks used at the Thanksgiving?
- What are a wattle and a snood?
- Does a tom turkey have a beard?
- What song sung at Christmas was originally meant to be a Thanksgiving song?
- Can a turkey look backwards?
- Where should one place the meat thermometer in a roasting turkey and what temperature should it be when done?
- How long can a turkey live and at what age are they slaughtered for food?
- Is it true that the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in turkey, makes people tired after they eat a Thanksgiving dinner?
Many of us celebrate Thanksgiving with family get-togethers that may include grandparents, uncles, aunts, and any number of cousins. Our collection of seasonally appropriate Thanksgiving games and activities add an element of fun to your gathering.
Pin the Tail Feather on the Turkey
This game is the same as Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
- Simply draw a turkey on a large, rectangular piece of paper.
- Create craft paper tail feathers.
- Blindfold players in turn and spin them around a few times before letting them go facing the turkey drawing.
- Write names on the back of the feathers and see who can get closest to the tail end of the turkey.
A Thanksgiving “Boat” Game
Keep the youngest kids busy with this fun non-competitive game.
- Give each child a small milk carton and a balloon. If you stretch out the tops a few times, the balloons will be easier to blow up.
- Have each child insert the balloon into the milk carton and blow it up.
- When they let the balloon go, the escaping air propels the boats.
- Once they understand how to do it, propelling boats will keep young children entertained for hours.
- Try doing this before explaining it to the kids to avoid any problems.
“Pick Two” Scrabble
You will need a bag of Scrabble tiles for every four players.
- Begin by dealing out seven tiles to each player.
- Place the remaining tiles in the middle of the table, face-side down.
- Each player arranges their tiles in front of them and forms them into words.
- When a player runs out of extra tiles, they shout out, “Pick two!” and every player takes two new tiles from the center pile.
- The person who uses up all the tiles first making words wins the game.
This Thanksgiving version of hide-and-go-see works well with a larger group of mixed ages, especially if the weather outside is mild.
- Create a turkey feather adjustable headband using construction paper.
- Have players take turns being “it” and wearing the headband.
- Very young children can pair up with a parent or other adult for this fun Thanksgiving game.
Watch a Thanksgiving Day or Football Game
Frequently, everyone is too full after Thanksgiving dinner to engage in much activity. Sometimes even dessert must wait until later in the day. If you have two televisions available, set one to a football game for the adults and have the majority rule when it comes to which game to watch. Set the other television to one of the Thanksgiving Day parades for the kids. Make coffee for the adults, and ice tea or lemonade for the kids, and serve dessert and popcorn or other treats during television time.
Thanksgiving is one of our oldest traditions in the United States. Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving and many other countries set aside a day of thanksgiving in the fall of the year. Our Thanksgiving facts and trivia will enhance your knowledge about the US celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Our activities and games add run to any holiday party or dinner. Add enjoyment to your celebration as you have a happy day of thanksgiving wherever you live.
For Thanksgiving Dinner, I had
Prepare yourself for a memory game:
- The first person begins by saying, ‘For Thanksgiving I had Turkey.’
- The subsequent person adds any food after the turkey.
- The sequence continues to add up, and every subsequent player has to recite the entire reel of food, as said before their turn.
- Every person that cannot remember the list in the given order is out of the game.
The Pumpkin Rolling Game
Whether to play this game before or after the feast is completely up to you.
- Go to an open space or just an area with a lot of space like the yard.
- Divide yourselves into several teams.
- Carry some pumpkins equivalent to or more than the number of teams.
- Set the start and finish lines.
- Begin to roll the pumpkins in a race per group member.
Guess the number
You need an apothecary jar, even better, if shaped like a pumpkin to match the theme.
- Fill the jar with candy corn.
- Place it at the center of the table or wherever your players are seated.
- Give each player a slip of paper.
- Each player is to write their guess on the number of corn kernels in the jar.
- Now all of you count the actual number of candy corns in the jar.
- Whoever’s guess was closest takes the candy home.
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.