Hosting Ideas for a Friendsgiving Potluck: Our Party Planning Guide

Isn’t Friendsgiving such a heartwarming concept? Dear friends are family, after all, if something keeps you from gathering with relations to celebrate Thanksgiving. We shared some simple and chic Friendsgiving tablescape ideas last fall. Now, we’d like to help you actually plan and host this fun gathering as a practical potluck event! See the great ways we found to invite your guests, decorate your home, serve a simple but scrumptious meal, and have everyone enjoy some games. All easy, budget-friendly and fun!

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Gather Friends with These Cool Invitations

Be sure your intended Friendsgiving guests mark the date early, by sending cool invites like these. Oh, and don’t forget to says it’s potluck!

Friendsgiving invitations // curated ideas from Bellenza

1 – “Come Together” Thanksgiving Invitation – Design, customize and send these completely online, courtesy of Evite.

2 – Friendsgiving Invitation – Consider a customizable flat card, like this cute one from Zazzle.

3 – Friendsgiving “Harvest Wreath” Invitation – Such a charming rustic look for this invite design available at Purple Trail.

4 – “Fall Colors” Friendsgiving Party Invitation – Flat cards with colorful fonts create a mod look, courtesy of Purple Trail.

5 – “Whimsical Wreath” Friendsgiving Party Invitation – The “bracket trim” shape of this flat card invite from Purple Trail gives it a bit of fancy flair.

6 – Friendsgiving Party Invitation – This fill-in style invite comes in a set of 10 with envelopes, from Amazon.

Potluck Dishes, Desserts and Drinks Ideas

An entire turkey may be too large for a small(er) Friendsgiving gathering. So consider the recipes below that you and your guests can divvy up to make, and bring along as potluck.

Potluck Dishes, Desserts and Drinks Ideas

1 – Roast Turkey Breast with Apple Cider Gravy – Follow this recipe from Whole Foods Market, just right for a small guest list.

2 – Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Coconut oil and freshly grated lime zest create a nice flavor surprise in this side dish we found at Whole Foods Market.

3 – Cranberry Feta Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette – Such varied flavors and textures in this light, refreshing salad from Kraft Recipes.

4 – Rosemary Pecans – This make-ahead recipe from Real Simple would make a great appetizer while the table is being set.

5 – Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars – Guests can bring sweet fall desserts like these scrumptious ones we found (recipe from The Every Girl). Caramel Apple Trifles (recipe from Frugal Fanatic), and Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies (recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything).

6 – Kahlua Bar – For this occasion, set up a special dessert drink station with all the fixin’s. Earnest Home Co. shows how!

Table and Venue Decor, Plus Printables

Even a small home can be prettied up for Friendsgiving with doable ideas like these we discovered. Including printables for those little themed touches!

Friendsgiving decorations // curated ideas from Bellenza

1 – Faux leaf “chandelier” – Just one of the many amazing Friendsgiving decorating ideas from A Beautiful Mess—so easy, but such an appealing effect!

2 – “Give Thanks” banner and  fringe tassels – Fun touches like these—plus confetti, striped and polka dotted pumpkins—add an instant festive air, as shown on Homey Oh My!

3 – Gilded leaves on a kraft-covered tabletop – Just as in nature, scatter loose autumn leaves on your table. Spray-paint them gold, as we saw on, for added glam.

4 – “Cookies in a jar” gifts – We love this sweet idea, seen on She Wears Many Hats. This was actually a Friendsgiving activity, where the guests assembled these bottled treats to give away to others! (Of course, you could reserve one for each guest to take home, too!)

5 – Gold mercury glass votive candleholders – Add a touch of glitz to the table with these lovely items from World Market.

6 – Printable pie boxes – Such a pretty way to take home party leftovers, found via Evite (with the template available here).

Board Games and Parlor Games

To cap off this holiday gathering, why not plan a game or two that all can enjoy? Choose trending or classic board games, or perhaps kid-friendly ones like cards or a themed scavenger hunt.

1 – Risk: Game of Thrones – available from Amazon

2 – The Logo board game – available from Amazon

3 – Cards Against Humanity – available from Amazon

4 – Urban Dictionary: The Party Game of Slang – available from Amazon

5 – Mini Table Top Pool Table – available from Amazon

6 – Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt – printable available from Let’s Get Together

Looks like a lot of work, we know! But remember, the food, desserts and drinks will be potluck. So just have fun and be thankful! Happy Friendsgiving!

Update: Appetizer and Dessert Ideas for a Friendsgiving Potluck

We already have a section in this post on potluck ideas—from a main dish to sides to dessert and a drink station. But you know us! We can’t resist sharing delish recipes we can pass on to you. So here’s a post update on perfect-for-Friendsgiving appetizers and desserts!

Friendsgiving Appetizers to Make

Choose from these scrumptious autumn-inspired bites for starting off your Thanksgiving gathering with friends.

Easy Friendsgiving appetizers

1 – Cranberry Cream Cheese Crescent Bites – from Pilsbury

These party-pretty mouthfuls combine cream cheese, dried cranberries, chopped chives, and a hint of jalapeño, wrapped in ready-made crescent dough or crescent rolls.

2 – Warm Brie with Candied Walnuts – from Boxwood Ave.

Oven-warmed Brie, topped with crunchy nuts sweetened with a maple syrup and brown sugar glaze. A sure winner with crusty bread, your choice of autumn jams, or with sliced apples or veggies for a gluten-free option.

3 – Savory Apple & Cheddar Puff Pastries – from Wine a Little Cook a Lot

Puff pastry sheets make these fancy-looking bites surprisingly easy. Each one holds a savory mixture of apples, onions, ginger, cinnamon, and sage—with cheddar cheese stirred in until melted.

4 – Hot and Saucy Cocktail Meatballs – from Betty Crocker

Want an appetizer with a little kick? Try these ground beef balls, oven-grilled then coated in a mixture of chili sauce and grape jelly for a sweet and spicy flavor.

5 – Fig and Pumpkin Seed Bruschetta – from City Farmhouse

A blend of cream cheese and goat cheese, with a tad of honey—spread on toasty slices of French bread with a prepared fig spread and pumpkin seeds on top.

Desserts for a Scrumptious Spread

An irresistible selection of sweet endings for your Friendsgiving gathering. Which one will be your potluck pick?

Friendsgiving potluck desserts to make that are easy

1 – Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies – from Fresh Bean Bakery

The classic fave cookie with a seasonal spin for fall, using maple syrup, maple extract, and crunchy pecans—plus a drizzle of maple icing!

2 – Pumpkin Pie Parfaits – from Daisy Brand

Simply layer the pumpkin-cheese mixture, whipped topping, and granola for this eye-catching dessert in a glass. Just the thing for a special occasion.

3 – Fresh Cranberry Cake – from Kylee Cooks

A delightful blend of sweetness and tart berry taste, this cake is moist and tender. And best of all, super easy to make, according to Kylee!

4 – Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie – from Dixie Crystals

This classic fall pie gets delicious caramel notes with the addition of canned dulce de leche. Plus you can dress it up for the party with piped whipped cream and candied pecans.

Image courtesy of The Hady Life

5 – Thanksgiving Dessert Board – from The Hady Life

This tempting spread of mini pumpkin pies, apple pie in apples (yes, real ones!), and mini s’mores pies is sure to be a hit. So prettily decorated for fall, too!

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