Christmas is such a memorable holiday to spend quality time with friends and family. Over the holiday season, one of the most popular traditions is playing festive games with loved ones, but for many people, the holidays might look a little bit different this year.
Since many families will be celebrating with just their immediate household, we came up with fun Christmas games and holiday activities that you can do from the safety of your own house. Keep reading for 40 Christmas games and holiday activities you can do from home.
Celebrating a socially distanced Christmas? There are lots of ways to have fun this holiday season, even if the festivities aren't the same as usual this year. Everything from holiday-themed games to putting up Christmas light decorations in your apartment can get you in a jolly mood for the upcoming holidays.
Whether your holiday celebration this year is a family gathering or a Zoom call, you can create unforgettable memories with these kid-friendly Christmas activities. Have the adults help set up the games, then let your kiddos go to town with these fun holiday activities.
To play a Christmas scavenger hunt, come up with a list of holiday items hidden around the house. Give your kiddos a list with clues about each item and let them go to town finding their holiday treasures.
Some ideas for Christmas items to hide include stockings, an Elf on the Shelf or Christmas ornaments. Once the kids complete the treasure hunt, consider giving them the prize of opening a present early.
Put a fun spin on the classic activity of gingerbread house decorating by dividing the kids up into teams and having them compete to make the best gingerbread house. Give out awards for creativity, architecture and craziest structure. For an extra fun game, try having the kids recreate your home (or from one of their favorite TV show homes) as the gingerbread house.
Cookie decorating is a classic (and tasty) holiday activity to do with kids. Have the kids bake the holiday-themed cookies and decorate them as snowmen, string lights, snowflakes and more.
Create prizes to give out for the most creative, funny and festive cookies. No matter who wins, everyone gets to enjoy a delicious treat afterward.
To play Christmas heads up, print out this card deck with holiday-themed prompts. The first player will hold the prompt to their forehead, not reading what’s on the card. The other player will act out the prompt without talking until the first player can correctly guess their holiday character.
To play bowling for snowmen, grab some used tissue boxes, glue them together and paint them white to create your “snowman.” Next, use balls to have the kids try to knock over the snowman from increasingly further away.
This is an excellent game for creative kids who like to try their hands at art and play physical games. Let their imagination run wild while creating the snowman and watch as they are delighted by bowling with their creation.
To play candy cane spoons, use a deck of cards and one fewer candy cane than players in the game. The object of the game is to collect four-of-a-kind.
Each player has five cards in their hand. The first player picks up a card from the deck and removes one of their five cards, passing it to the left. Each player will continue this pattern, discarding to the person on their left, until the last player discards into a trash pile.
Once someone gets four-of-a-kind, they sneakily take a candy cane from the center and everyone else grabs for the remaining candy canes. The player who doesn’t grab a candy cane in time gets a letter, and once a player spells out “C-A-N-D-Y-C-A-N-E,” they’re out!
To play Christmas storytellers, have all the kids sit in a big circle. Have one kid start off a Christmas story with a single sentence, then go around the room and have each kid repeat the story before adding their own sentence. Go around the room until someone forgets part of the story — they’re out of the game. Keep playing until there’s one winner who can recite the whole story. Christmas storytellers is a great game to play for a Zoom holiday celebration.
If learning about nativity is an important part of your family’s Christmas, nativity bingo is a great way to teach your kids about the miracle. Nativity bingo includes essential parts from the story of Jesus’ birth and can be played with your children or printed out for a game with all their friends.
To play Santa says, designate one kid to be Santa and the other players as elves. Santa stands in front of the group and tells people to do certain activities by saying “Santa says” before the activity. If Santa doesn’t say “Santa says” before the instructions and an elf still does the command, they’re out. The last elf remaining gets to play Santa next!
Christmas carols give the holiday season such a magical and exciting feel. To play name that Christmas song, print out the lyrics to popular holiday carols and songs and cut out sections of the lyrics. Give them to your kids to see if they really can finish each other's song lyrics.
Play the Christmas stocking guessing game by filling stockings with surprise goodies (or gag gifts) and having the kids guess what’s in each one. Use items like ornaments, candy and maybe even a lump of coal to see how many your kids can get right.
Tip: If you don’t have enough space at home for a traditional holiday mantel to hang your stockings, check out some of our decorating ideas for apartments without fireplaces for inspiration on where to hang your stockings.
To play the Reindeer game, have each player write the word Reindeer at the top of a blank piece of paper. Have them write as many words as possible in three minutes using the letters in the word “reindeer.” When time’s up, see which kid has the most words written down on their paper — the winner gets a special Christmas prize!
Make up for not getting to trick-or-treat this year by playing “naughty or nice” with your kids. To play, set a bowl with a mix of red and green candies in the middle of a room. Place separate bowls at opposing walls in the room (one for red and one for green). Each player has to put the candies in their respective bowls, one piece of candy at a time. In the end, all players get to snack on their delicious treats!
Christmas is such a meaningful time of the year for the whole family. Whether you’re able to gather with extended family or are celebrating a socially distanced Christmas, playing Christmas games is a special way to create unforgettable memories with loved ones — and maybe even start some new Christmas traditions while you’re at it.
These family games are appropriate for most ages and easy for players to understand. From your little kiddos to the grandparents, keep reading for Christmas game ideas that are fun for the whole family to play together.
To play Christmas superlatives, print pictures of each person playing, one copy for each player. So, if you are playing with four people, you should have four copies of each person’s photo.
Ask questions like “Who is most likely to make a mess with Christmas cookies?” or “Who’s most likely to open presents early?” to see if you all agree on who’s most likely to do certain Christmas activities.
To play Christmas Mayhem, pick one character card and one scene card. These cards will be the key to the scenario you’re going to act out — just choose a partner from the other players to be your “elf” helper to act along with you. The audience will give you points based on the cleverness of your acting skills, but the real fun is that the points don’t matter! This is an excellent game for families that like to laugh and have a good time goofing off together.
Santa’s helper is similar to a traditional white elephant exchange, except each person is assigned to be the “helper” for another player. Have each person bring a small gag gift and place them in the middle of the group. Each person picks out a present, and the first person will open theirs.
After this, each subsequent player chooses whether to open their gift or steal another's. Instead of stealing or opening your gift, you play to win a gift for another player.
To play Christmas Pictionary, grab a few pieces of paper, a timer, pencils and dice. Divide your players into teams and roll the dice to see who plays first. The player picks a card and has one minute to draw the corresponding clue. For a holiday flair, switch out the traditional prompts for Christmas-themed ones like holiday movies or songs.
To play Christmas Family Feud, create questions ahead of time and ask each player to write down answers to them individually. Rank the most common solutions and write them on a poster board, covering the answers with a piece of wrapping paper.
Set a candy cane in the center of the room to be your “buzzer” and separate the family into teams. Once the host asks a question, the first team to pick up the candy cane has five seconds to get the number one answer to the question. Christmas Family Feud is a great game to play on Zoom with your extended family using the hand raise feature!
Minute-To-Win-It is a classic party game where you have to complete specific tasks within a one-minute time frame. To make your minute to win it more festive, choose activities like decorating a festive cookie or keeping a holiday-themed balloon in the air to see who ends up the Christmas Minute-To-Win-It household champion.
To play Christmas charades, divide the players into two teams and choose which players will play first. The player selects one of the holiday-themed prompts and acts it out without speaking. Both teams try to guess what their player is acting out, and the team who guesses first wins a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game are the winners.
The ornament guessing game is a fun interactive game you can play with everyone at your holiday gathering. To play the ornament guessing game, have each player write down their guess of how many ornaments are on the Christmas tree. The player that’s closest to the actual number wins! After the holiday festivities are over, be sure to dispose of your Christmas tree properly.
To play Christmas 20 questions, have a player think of a holiday-themed object. Terms can include things like Christmas trees, eggnog, Santa’s workshop or Queen Elsa.
Each player will get to ask questions where the person who is “it” can only answer “yes” or “no.” To make the game harder, don’t allow classic questions like “Is it an animal, vegetable or mineral.” Whoever guesses correctly gets to be “it” next! This is another fun holiday activity that can be played over Zoom with the whole family.
Christmas celebrity is similar to charades, except you’re acting as characters from famous holiday movies. Whether you’re setting traps like Kevin in “Home Alone” or wandering around New York City like Buddy in “Elf,” Christmas celebrity is a fun game to play after watching classic holiday movies with the whole family.
The Santa hat game is a fun game to play throughout the night at your holiday party. To play, give each person a Santa hat and have them pick a piece of paper at the start of the gathering. One of the papers says, “you’re it,” and secretly designates one person to be “Santa.” Whenever “Santa” takes off their hat, everyone else does too — but people who aren’t Santa can also take off their hat to throw people off. Over the night, the tension builds as people try to figure out who is the real “Santa!”
If you’re having a Christmas get-together without the kids, check out these adult-friendly holiday activity ideas.
The Santa hat drinking game is the perfect low-effort activity for adults at a holiday party. To play the game, just put a Santa hat on the corner of your TV. Each time someone “wears” it on screen, everyone takes a drink.
Hallmark movies are a classic holiday tradition. See how well you know the Hallmark movie formula with this movie drinking game. To play, just pick an adult beverage and follow the instructions on the printable drinking game card.
Two gifts and a lie is a fun holiday spin on the classic party game two truths and a lie. To play two gifts and a lie, have everyone list two Christmas gifts they received and one they didn’t. Players then take turns guessing which gifts were real and which was the lie.
To play switch, steal, unwrap, make sure every guest comes prepared with a small gift for the activity. Put all the gifts in a pile and have each player pick out a wrapped present. Each player will then roll the dice and follow the corresponding instructions of switching, stealing or unwrapping the gift.
If your family is enjoying playing Christmas games together, check out some of the holiday games below for even more ideas to spend quality time together during the holidays.
29. Minute-To-Win-It candy cane hooks: See who can hook to most candy canes together in one minute, using only your mouths.
30. Christmas cookie decorating: Take this classic holiday activity and make it into a fun game by giving awards for the most creative, most festive and best grinch.
31. Reindeer unscrambled: Take a piece of paper and write the names of all the Christmas reindeer. Take another sheet and scramble up the letters, and let your kid have fun trying to figure out which reindeer is which!
32. Gift wrap relay: Make opening Christmas presents twice as fun by seeing double! Have teams of kids unwrap and rewrap a set amount of presents to see which team can do it faster.
33. Blindfolded Christmas trees: Grab some paper plates and blindfolds and have the players hold the paper plates on top of their heads. One person will name Christmas items or drawing instructions, and each of the players will try to draw the item on their plate while blindfolded.
34. Jingle bell pong: Take a classic party game and turn it into kid-friendly fun by filling the cups with water and using jingle bells in place of ping pong balls.
35. Santa’s little elves: Have the kids play a relay game where each round, they carry more and more packages back and forth until one team comes out victorious.
36. Gift wrap-up: Pair two players together and tie one person’s right hand to the other person’s left. The players will then try to wrap a present together using only their free hands.
37. Pin the nose on the Rudolph: Instead of the classic donkey, create a Rudolph poster where the kids can try to pin a red nose.
38. You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch: Pair up and stare at your partner until one person starts laughing first. Whoever wins at the end is the ultimate Mr. Grinch!
39. Minute-To-Win-It cup stacks: Use thick pieces of paper and red cups and let your kids go to town, stacking as many cups as possible in one minute.
40. Reindeer ring toss: Create a pair of reindeer ears out of sticks and have the kids try to toss rings on them from further and further away.
Although a socially distanced holiday celebration may feel a bit different this year, you can still have an unforgettable holiday season with your family playing Christmas games and holiday activities. To prepare for a holiday season from home, try out these Christmas shopping apps to help keep track of your gifts and make the holiday season as relaxing as possible.
Whether you’re a renter looking for some easy Christmas fun in your apartment or are having a Zoom get together with your extended family, holiday games are a classic and timeless way to spend time with people you love. Print out your favorite Christmas games to get started with your holiday festivities at home today.