To describe the prevalence of everyday activity engagement for older people in nursing homes and the extent to which engagement in everyday activities is associated with thriving.Research into residents' engagement in everyday activities in nursing homes has focused primarily on associations with quality of life and prevention and management of neuropsychiatric symptoms. However, the mere absence of symptoms does not necessarily guarantee experiences of well-being. The concept of thriving encapsulates and explores experiences of well-being in relation to the place where a person lives.A cross-sectional survey.A national survey of 172 Swedish nursing homes (2013-2014). Resident (n = 4831) symptoms, activities and thriving were assessed by staff using a study survey based on established questionnaires. Descriptive statistics, simple and multiple linear regression, and linear stepwise multiple regression were performed.The most commonly occurring everyday activities were receiving hugs and physical touch, talking to relatives/friends and receiving visitors, having conversation with staff not related to care and grooming. The least commonly occurring everyday activities were going to the cinema, participating in an educational program, visiting a restaurant and doing everyday chores. Positive associations were found between activity engagement and thriving, where engagement in an activity program, dressing nicely and spending time with someone the resident likes had the strongest positive association with resident thriving.Engagement in everyday activities can support personhood and thriving and can be conceptualized and implemented as nursing interventions to enable residents to thrive in nursing homes.