Host a Turkey Bowl Party

Every year it's the same old thing. Gather your entire family together; reveal everything for which you are thankful, eat until you explode, watch football until your eyes are googly, and then pull your stomach up to the table for a second and third helping of food. Rather than spending Thanksgiving Day alternating between the table and the sofa, start a new tradition for which everyone will be thankful. Whether you pit family members or neighborhood families against one another, a Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl tradition is one that cannot be beat!

Turkey Bowl Invitations
Kick off your party with a fabulous invitation. We have some fun personalized Turkey bowl invitations that you can personalize to suit your traditions.

Or invite everyone to a "Touch Football Thanksgiving" play-by-play instead of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner (this also works for weekend entertaining for friends from out of town). At your local party store, I am sure they have football shaped invitations or you can make one on your home computer! Or you can use these football invitations.

Our biggest seller are football ticket invitations. You get to use your own wording, choose from nine colors and can order as few as 30. So these are perfect for Thanksgiving, Saturday’s and a college football party or Sunday when the pros play.

Tell your guests to come dressed for "football" whether they are a player or a spectator. They'll be relieved they don't have to dress up!

Thanksgiving and Football Decorations and Party Supplies
Start with a giant straw turkey at the front door (you can probably find one at your local craft store) and outfit it with one of your local team's jersey's and a cap. Add a speech bubble above Tom's head that says, "I'll PASS this Thanksgiving!" Get it??

Party411 has a lifesize cutout of a turkey that we'll add your face to - your guests will love it!

As soon as your guests enter, start the party. Give them each a velour football hat and they become part of the decor. These are fabulous and fun for photos.

Then, if your fans are fanatical like most fans are, give each guest some body paint to use to decorate themselves with your team colors, and they'll love it!

As soon as they're done, let them pose with an inflatable football. Cool. Different. Or have them stand behind a football themed photo op for some great pictures and laughs!

Have your children (or do it yourself) make large leaves and hang them from the ceiling in the foyer or wherever the ceiling allows. Each leaf should have the name of one of your guests...it's a nice welcome!

turkey bowl table decorations and menu
A simple centerpiece could be a fall tinsel wreath with a football sitting in the middle. Scatter foil-wrapped chocolate footballs around the bottom as confetti (and watch them disappear). Or we have football confetti.

If you want to save yourself some time cleaning up, you may want to use our football plates and just throw the stuff away instead of washing it. Buy some orange and brown ribbon to tie around the napkins for a final touch.

Centerpieces are an important part of any Thanksgiving festivity. The football players will need a quick energy boost when the game is over, and, for a more informal side table, consider using grass field table cover and spread whistles, clackers and maracas around for decoration. They’ll come in handy later when you’re watching the game.

Traditional Thanksgiving fare works (if they played touch football before dinner, they've worked up an appetite, that's for sure--if they're playing afterwards, you'll think you're watching the game in slow-motion). You may want to use a football mold for the stuffing, the Jell-O and make a football cake for dessert.

Hot chocolate, coffee and mulled cider are great for keeping everyone warm while they are watching the game. Make sure to have plenty of water available as well. Even if it is chilly out the players will work up a sweat during the game. And serve cold beer while everyone is relaxing in front of the TV (watching football of course!). You can make your beverages extra special with personalized bottle labels on your beer and water.

For something different, you may want to use a football piñata filled with all sorts of goodies for a different style dessert extravaganza. Don't forget the piñata filler (candy and toys), and a blindfold and bat for the game.

turkey bowl Activities
A touch football game, what else? Well, watching football, decorating football cookies, talking football, football trivia and all that.

Have some megaphones ready for spectators and let them all be cheerleaders. Football whistles, pompoms and even a baton or two. Imagine how much fun they will have, even if they protest otherwise!
 
It is my recommendation that you play ball in the early afternoon before the meal is served. Very few people want to exercise once they are stuffed and playing before the meal will help everyone to work up a good appetite. Also, since it turns dark earlier now, playing before the meal will ensure that it will still be daylight for the game.
 
Since rules vary by family I am going to give you the rules that my family follows every Thanksgiving and you can modify them to fit your specific needs. My family follows basic "touch football" rules. Since our yard is not the size of a regulation football field, each team is given only four chances to carry the ball into the endzone. For each of these "chances" (called "downs"), the quarterback of the offensive team (the team trying to score a touchdown) has to either pass or hand the ball to a teammate. As the person with the ball runs toward the endzone the only way to stop him/her is to touch him/her with two hands. Remember this is a day that you are giving thanks for family and not trying to tackle members of the opposite team to the ground in a show of team spirit (this is not the NFL you know!). If the offensive team member carrying the ball finds his/her way into the endzone then that is a touchdown and is worth 6 points. Our family does not own goal posts so the extra point is null and void. If the offensive team is stopped short of the endzone within four downs then the opposing team gets the ball (and thus becomes the offensive team trying for a touchdown).
 
So now that you have the basic rules and regulations of a Turkey Bowl, I have a few last minute pieces of advice that I think are necessary to ensure a fabulous game:
  1. Name your teams. Think of the most ridiculously funny or tough name that will embody your team for years to come.
  2. Establish in and out of bounds for the "field." It will prevent disruptions and debates later.
  3. Do not verbally or physically abuse members of either your own team or the opposing team. No one likes a bad sport.
  4. Make up your own wacky traditions. Instead of playing the game with a football, use a Nerf basketball or volleyball. I can assure you that this will make your Turkey Bowl unique.
  5. Have fun! You will be making memories and traditions that you and the rest of your family (those playing as well as those on the sidelines watching) will always treasure.
  6. Consider establishing the Annual Turkey Bowl trophy for the winning team. It can really be anything unique and fun. I once witnessed a "trophy" that was actually a lamp made of a deer leg. It was stuffed and someone had painted the hoof with nail polish and adorned the ankle with bracelets. All kinds of ribbons and do-dads were tied to the thing, too. On top of it all, a special brass plate was made bearing the name of the family's Turkey Bowl and the year it was started. Very Clever.
 
Thanksgiving Party Favors
Of course, left over food is always the best party favor for Thanksgiving!  But if you want to make it a little extra special, check out our personalized Turkey Bowl candy bar wrappers, wrapped around milk or dark chocolate.  These fun extras can be the new tradition at your Thanksgiving!
 
Happy Thanksgiving! And stay in one piece!