Family watching a movie on a couch at night

Hosting a Movie Marathon: Ideas for Hosting a Thanksgiving-themed Movie Marathon at Home

Thanksgiving is a time for coming together with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks. One great way to spend time together is by hosting a movie marathon. A Thanksgiving-themed movie marathon is a fun and unique way to celebrate the holiday, and can provide entertainment for hours on end. In this article, we’ll provide ideas for hosting a movie marathon, including tips for planning and preparing, as well as a list of Thanksgiving-themed movies to choose from.

Setting the Scene

The first step to hosting a successful Thanksgiving movie marathon is to set the scene. Create a cozy and comfortable environment for your guests with blankets, pillows, and plenty of snacks. You can also add some Thanksgiving-themed decorations such as autumn leaves, pumpkins, and gourds to add to the festive atmosphere.

Choosing the Movies

When selecting movies for your Thanksgiving-themed movie marathon, there are plenty of options to choose from. To get you started, we’ve put together a short list of Thanksgiving-related films. This list includes Dutch (1991), Tower Heist (2011), A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987).

Dutch (1991) is a comedy-drama film about a working-class man who volunteers to drive his girlfriend’s son home for Thanksgiving. Along the way, they encounter a series of obstacles and challenges, which ultimately brings them closer together.

Movie poster for Dutch (1991)

Tower Heist (2011) is an action-comedy film about a group of employees at a high-end residential building who conspire to rob their boss after he steals their pension fund. The movie is set during the Thanksgiving holiday, which adds a unique twist to the heist.

Still shot of mall scene in Tower Heist (2011)

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) is a classic animated television special that follows the Peanuts gang as they gather for a Thanksgiving feast. The movie is heartwarming and family-friendly, making it a great choice for viewers of all ages.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) is a comedy film about two men who are trying to get home for Thanksgiving. Along the way, they encounter a series of misadventures and mishaps, making for a hilarious and entertaining movie.

Snacks and Refreshments

Popcorn mixed with smoked almonds, raisins, and pretzels

No movie marathon is complete without snacks and refreshments. To keep your guests satisfied throughout the marathon, make sure to have plenty of options available. Some great snack ideas include popcorn, pretzels, and chips and dip. You can also provide some healthier options such as fresh fruit or vegetable platters.

In addition to snacks, make sure to have a variety of drinks available. Soda, water, and iced tea are all popular options. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could also create a signature cocktail or mocktail to serve throughout the marathon.

Planning the Schedule

When planning your Thanksgiving-themed movie marathon, it’s important to consider the length of each movie and how many you want to watch. A good rule of thumb is to aim for four to six movies, each lasting between one and a half to two hours.

To make sure your marathon runs smoothly, create a schedule that includes the start and end times for each movie, as well as any breaks or intermissions. This will help keep things on track and ensure that everyone has time to relax and recharge between movies.

Inviting Your Guests

Once you’ve planned out the details of your movie marathon, it’s time to invite your guests. You can send out invitations via email or social media, or you can simply make a phone call or send a text message. When inviting your guests, be sure to include the date and time of the marathon, as well as any other important details such as what movies will be shown, the dress code, and any food or drink restrictions. You can also ask your guests if they have any favorite Thanksgiving-themed movies they would like to see included in the marathon. Once you have your guest list, it’s time to start planning the details of the event.


Once you have your guest list and movie selections sorted out, it’s time to start preparing for the marathon. Set up your living room or home theater with cozy blankets and pillows, and make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand. Consider creating a themed snack bar with items like popcorn, candy corn, pumpkin seeds, and apple cider.

As the host, it’s important to make sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time. Take breaks between movies to allow for bathroom breaks and stretching, and encourage conversation and discussion about the films. You can even create a game or trivia contest based on the movies, with prizes for the winners.

One important thing to keep in mind when hosting a movie marathon is to be mindful of your guests’ needs and preferences. Make sure to provide options for those with dietary restrictions or allergies and choose films that are appropriate for all ages and sensibilities.

In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving-themed movies, you may also want to consider adding in some classic or cult favorites to mix things up. Some great options include “The Princess Bride,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Just make sure to keep the focus on fun and entertainment, and don’t worry too much about sticking to a specific theme or genre.

Hosting a Thanksgiving-themed movie marathon is a great way to bring friends and family together for a day of fun and relaxation. With a little planning and creativity, you can create a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. So grab your favorite blanket, cozy up on the couch, and get ready for a day of movie magic and Thanksgiving cheer.

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