After getting a fill of relatives this weekend, you may yearn for a break. While four whole days off from work or school may be a gift, who wants to squander that time dodging kooky Aunt Edna?
It’s not too late — you can make the most of your holiday weekend with one of these 4 ideas for rocking that Thanksgiving weekend.
Get Your Game On, I: NFL’s Thanksgiving Classic
Tis the season of turkey, stuffing… and NFL’s Thanksgiving Classic! If watching the big game(s) on that big screen TV just isn’t enough, check out NFL.com and ESPN.com for more stats, scores and live game details. And if the family all gathered around the telly watching the latest holiday-themed movie instead, access to NFL.com will be even handier, with its audio “game radio” feature. Just $5 gives you a seven-day pass.
Note: Verizon smartphone subscribers will also be able to watch live video via NFL Mobile for iOS or Android for a small fee. (Non Verizon customers can still download the app free, but will have limited functionality and features.) Other mobile apps you may be interested in checking out: NFL ’12 (iOS/Android) and ESPN ScoreCenter (iOS/Android).
Get Together For Hot Device Deals
After the Turkey’s been put away, what are you gonna do with the rest of your holiday weekend? Well, Black Friday shopping is practically a Thanksgiving tradition now, and there are some big savings due to hit the masses this weekend. You could shop online by yourself, in the cold, dank darkness of your parents’ basement like a lone hermit, or you could turn it into a genuine social event with drinks, snacks and super-awesome Wi-Fi for your best buds.
You can make this as simple or elaborate as you want. Just offer a comfy place so your pals can trade info on the best deals and steals in person, or go for an all-out blitz by setting up a command central — complete with notetaking pads, pencils, whiteboard (if you’re sharing/splitting up lists or doing any other strategic shopping) and extra computers/gear that they might need. You could even send in-store scouts out while you hold down the fort, issuing out sales info, nearest retailers and even bathroom locations while they’re out on the fly. (For more advice on formulating a bullet-proof Black Friday shopping strategy, check out this post.)
Get Your Game On, II: The Epic Gaming Party
Among the things you might be thankful for this time of year is the company and support of your friends. And what better way to celebrate those friendships than trouncing their butts in an epic gaming fest? You could do this a few different ways — if everyone’s a PC gamer, invite them and their laptops over for some MMO-playing, Portal-making, RPG-pushing fun. (Bonus points if you have some spare gaming rigs for the borrowing.) If you have access to a big TV and a console, that’s even better, for the real-world communal experience. (Click here to learn how to throw an awesome gaming party.)
Geek Out Over Movies
Whether your crew loves dissecting Darren Aronofsky films or freaks for Jerry Bruckheimer — hey, we don’t judge — why not get a flick (or several) together and host your own movie night? Apart from the movies and a TV, all you need is some seating, popcorn and beverages. (And really, those last two are optional.) Or hold movie night out for yourself and/or friends at the local multiplex. While it’s still too early for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, there are some other great choices these days: Wreck-It Ralph, the latest 007 flick Skyfall, Lincoln and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 are all out now. And Life of Pi and Rise of the Guardians are both coming out in time for Thanksgiving. One word of caution, though: The theaters are going to be cuh-razy this weekend, so if you go, be sure to hit up Fandango, Moviefone, MovieTickets or another service early to get tickets ahead of time.
Note: If you decide to host your own at home, don’t rely on streaming alone. The bandwidth pipes could get plenty clogged, with others in your neighborhood scouring shopping sites and streaming gigs and gigs of movies. Play from actual DVDs or local storage if at all possible, or at least have some on hand as back-ups, in case the streaming doesn’t work out well.
How are you planning on spending Thanksgiving weekend? Getting together with friends? Spending total family time? Other? Let us know in the comments below!