Meagan Butler
by Meagan Butler
Posted October 2, 2020

When the leaves start to change, and the weather begins to cool, your thoughts might switch from sunshine and beaches to pumpkins, turkeys, football, and parades. Because of this year’s unusual circumstances related to the coronavirus, your typical fall activities might look different from those in the past. Don’t worry; it’s possible to keep some of your traditions and still have a safe and socially distanced Thanksgiving.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, get-togethers have changed dramatically to help prevent the spread of the disease. Thanksgiving and even Friendsgiving will look different for almost everyone, but that doesn’t mean you need to cancel your plans. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledges that the upcoming holiday season is at the top of people’s minds, so they’ve published a Thanksgiving holiday guideline to encourage everyone to make safer decisions when planning Thanksgiving this year.

A Socially Distanced Thanksgiving Close to Home

Choosing to stay near home and spend time with your immediate family doesn’t mean that you need to forgo your Thanksgiving traditions. This year, try something new! Who knows? You might start a new tradition that everyone will want to continue for years to come. Here are some fun suggestions to have a socially distanced Thanksgiving.


Instead of hitting the stores for Black Friday sales, hit the trails. Find a state or local park close to home, and hike off your holiday calories the fun way. Whether your state park system hosts activities like Tennessee state parks’ After Thanksgiving Hikes, your local parks should have trails open for walking and hiking. If you live in Tennessee, check out Reelfoot Lake State Park for an after-Thanksgiving-day hike. Colorado residents, bundle up and take a snowshoe stroll at the Fresh Air Hike happening at State Forest State Park


Forgo dinner at home. Pack up your RV and head to the closest national park or state park for a holiday weekend at the campground. November is the perfect time of year to camp if you live in hotter states. Big Bend National Park and Joshua Tree National Park are excellent places to get out and explore without the big crowds. Even a cooler-weather park, like Capitol Reef National Park, makes for a fun place to camp and see the sights during the holidays. 

Go Virtual

Take part in a virtual turkey trot. Virtual events allow runners to earn t-shirts and medals while running alone. How fun would it be if you lived near Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park? You could camp, have a virtual turkey trot, and cook an RV-Thanksgiving meal in a park with the perfect Thanksgiving name!

Socially Distanced Thanksgiving Ideas for Travelers

Staying at home during the holidays isn’t always an option for some people. Even though the CDC recommends staying close to home for Thanksgiving, there are ways for travelers to get to where they need to go while still practicing social distancing. It’s still a good idea to attend Thanksgiving activities cautiously. Small group gatherings and outdoor meals should always be a part of a socially distanced Thanksgiving, but instead of flying or staying in hotels, consider some of these ideas to help keep you and your family safer this season.


Consider driving your RV to your holiday destination. Driving your RV will help you eliminate the need to use public restrooms or eat in restaurants along your route. Lowering your interaction with the general public helps protect you and your loved ones, so even the family you visit will have fewer chances of getting sick.


Stay in an RV instead of a hotel. Even if you have Thanksgiving at your parent’s house, it can’t hurt to sleep somewhere else. You don’t have to own an RV to stay in an RV. Outdoorsy makes it easy to rent the perfect rig, and renting an RV can help save you money. Park your rig at an RV park, campground, or even your parent’s driveway. Moochdocking (driveway camping) is a fun way to save money and have a socially distanced Thanksgiving. 

Campground Thanksgiving

Host Thanksgiving at a campground instead of at someone’s house. Gathering the gang around a campfire and picnic tables instead of inside someone’s home helps add distance between you and the people outside your immediate family. You can make an entire weekend out of Thanksgiving by inviting the whole family to a campground Thanksgiving. The best part about a campground Thanksgiving? If someone in your family doesn’t own an RV, they can have an RV rental brought to the park. All they have to do is bring their personal items, and everything else could be set up at the campground for them.


Take the stress out of your upcoming holiday by planning a socially distanced Thanksgiving. Starting new traditions while keeping your family safe are two things to be thankful for this year. Here is to a safe holiday season. Now, please pass the gravy!

Meagan Butler

Meagan Butler is a freelance creative content writer and editor and an advocate for solo female RVing. Meg is based out of the Denver area and travels in her Airstream Basecamp with her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Teddy and Pippa. When she's not adventuring, she's spending time with her husband and writing for her RV blog, Her Fine Mess.


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