The holiday season is a magical time of year filled with joy, togetherness, and making lasting memories with loved ones. Christmas is especially exciting for families, as parents and children alike look forward to cherished traditions, meals, and gifts. While the holidays can also be hectic, taking time to enjoy some fun family activities helps create a peaceful, festive atmosphere. This article explores some of the best Christmas activities for families to try this holiday season.
Planning Festive Family Fun
The weeks leading up to Christmas are often packed with shopping, parties, school concerts, and more. Taking an afternoon or evening to focus just on your immediate family is a great way to reconnect amidst the hustle and bustle. Plan ahead to make sure everyone can participate. Think about activities that will interest all ages and abilities. Set aside 2-3 hours where you can focus completely on each other and making memories.
Turn off phones, TVs, and other devices so you can be fully present. Light candles, play holiday music, and serve festive treats to create a peaceful atmosphere. Talk to each other about favorite holiday memories and hopes for the season ahead. By intentionally carving out quality time, you'll strengthen family bonds.
Christmas Crafts and Decorating
Doing arts and crafts projects together fosters creativity and teamwork. Christmas crafts also make thoughtful homemade gifts and decorations. Classic options include baking and decorating sugar cookies, building gingerbread houses, and making ornaments, wreaths, centerpieces, and tabletop décor. Display your creations proudly throughout the house.
Younger kids often especially enjoy making decorations they can hang on the tree themselves. Stringing popped corn or cranberry garlands is fun and easy. Let them use salt dough or clay to sculpt and paint their own unique ornaments. Older kids and teens may gravitate toward more complex projects like woodworking, sewing, or painting. adaptable activities like collages and vision boards allow family members of all ages to contribute.
Festive Games and Activities
Fun games bring out playfulness and friendly competition. Classic Christmas games include bingo with holiday-themed cards and prizes, guessing games with clues based on song lyrics or movie quotes, or trivia about holiday traditions. Charades is especially lively when focused on acting out Christmas carols and movies.
You can also add festive twists to classic family games. Upgrade Monopoly by using a version with Christmas icons. Add holiday questions to trivia games. Use red and green candies for poker chips. Incorporating Christmas elements into familiar games makes them feel fresh and exciting.
Consider hosting a themed game night sometime during the season. Provide hot cocoa and cookies, play holiday music, and let family members wear their favorite Christmas sweaters or pajamas for a cozy celebration. Try out new board games or video games you can play together. Themed game nights help make December evenings full of laughter and togetherness.
Christmas Movie and Popcorn Night
Snuggling up and watching a great holiday movie is a beloved family tradition. Set out comfy pillows and blankets so everyone can get cozy. Make fresh popcorn or have hot chocolate and other movie snacks ready.
Fun movies to consider include animated classics like "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," heartwarming tales like "Elf" "The Polar Express," and spiritual stories such as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol." You can also pick out a Christmas comedy your family will find hilarious even if you've seen it multiple times before.
Let younger kids choose the first movie of the night while parents select the later feature for older viewers. Watching movies together doesn't just entertain—it promotes bonding. Pausing to discuss plot lines, favorite characters, and memorable scenes lets family members connect through shared experiences. Make movie nights a recurring event during the month of December to enjoy this simple pleasure.
Christmas Light Adventures
Piling in the car and cruising around to look at dazzling neighborhood light displays is a much-loved holiday tradition. Make an evening of it by listening to Christmas music en route and sipping thermoses filled with hot apple cider or cocoa. Look for well-decorated streets as well as public light displays at churches, parks, and community centers along your route.
Make a list of potential places to visit, or look up holiday light maps for your city. Take along the Christmas camera to document your favorites. Stop to walk through elaborate lighting setups so you can fully experience the sights and sounds. Appreciate all the effort homeowners put into brightening spirits during the season.
For extra excitement, turn your outing into a lights scavenger hunt. Make lists of Christmassy things to spot, like wreaths, trees, snowmen, reindeer, and Santa himself. Keep track of who finds items first. Offer small prizes for winners in different categories, like most lights spotted or most reindeer found. Enjoy all the dazzling displays as you hunt for fun surprises together.
Christmas Baking Extravaganza
Time spent together in the kitchen whipping up holiday goodies offers tasty fun. Schedule an extended baking session so you can create multiple treats, like cookies, fudge, breads, pies, or candies. Search online for new recipes to try in addition to beloved family favorites.
Plan age-appropriate tasks for the kids, like shaping dough, rolling balls, sprinkling on toppings, or packaging finished baked goods. Keep younger helpers involved with easy jobs like stirring and decorating. Older children can measure ingredients and assist with mixing and baking. Let tasks reflect each person’s maturity level so everyone can truly help.
Play holiday music in the background as you work. Share fond memories of childhood baking adventures and favorite recipes handed down from grandparents. Have all the needed ingredients and equipment on hand so you can make batch after batch efficiently. Arrange an assembly line for maximum teamwork. Enjoy the fruits of your labor together during a festive dessert party that same evening.
Christmas Dinner and Table Traditions
Gathering round the table for Christmas dinner is the pinnacle of holiday togetherness. Make this meal extra memorable with food, decorations, and activities the whole family can take part in. Lean into traditions that have been passed down, like seafood feasts or roasted goose dinners. Try new recipes you've been wanting to attempt together.
Decorate the table festively with a red or green tablecloth, fresh Christmas greenery as a centerpiece, and holidayChina or napkins. Use clipboards or acrylic craft sheets to make place cards featuring each person's name in their best handwriting or a little hand-drawn doodle. Make pop-cracker style favors filled with candies, jokes, and paper crowns for everyone to wear during dinner.
Before eating, go around and have each family member share a favorite memory from the past year or something they are grateful for this holiday season. Sing a few Christmas carols together a cappella. Pass around funny holiday memes on your phones to get everyone laughing together. Simple connections like these remind your family what the holidays are truly all about—togetherness.
Outings to Christmas Events and Activities
Your own home isn't the only place to enjoy festive family fun. Communities often host Christmas events perfect for making merry memories together. Parades with marching bands, lighted floats, and appearance from Santa himself fill small towns and big cities alike. Gather to see the floats and performances, then head home for hot chocolate to warm back up.
Many malls and churches have carolers who give free holiday musical performances. Listen to all your favorite Christmas songs performed live. Other venues present holiday plays or ballets like "A Christmas Carol," "The Nutcracker," or local variations on these classics. Dress up for an elegant night and catch a show.
Santa visits, cookie decorating parties, holiday train rides, and tree lightings provide family fun too. Check event calendars at nearby schools, parks, zoos, libraries, and museums for these and other Christmas activities. Spreading festive cheer in public settings builds community connections.
Christmas Activities FAQs
What are some good Christmas crafts for families to make together?
Great family Christmas crafts include making wreaths, pop-up holiday cards, felt stockings, gingerbread houses, pine cone ornaments, snow globes, and handprint reindeer. Baking and decorating holiday cookies is always a hit too!
What should we do if our kids are different ages when planning activities?
Choose adaptable activities like making ornaments, playing games, and watching movies that allow participation at different skill levels. Give younger kids easier tasks like stirring and decorating while older kids measure ingredients or keep score.
How can we start new Christmas traditions as a family?
Have a family meeting to come up with new traditions you want to begin. Ideas include reading a new Christmas book each year, picking a charity to volunteer for as a family, or taking an annual holiday lights walk through your neighborhood. Start small and add to it.
Where are the best places to see Christmas lights displays?
Great spots include residential neighborhoods known for elaborate displays, parks or gardens with light shows, zoos with holiday lights safaris, hotels or restaurants with decked halls, and downtown areas with light displays. Check local event calendars for light tours or contests.
What are fun Christmas activities for families to do outdoors?
Outdoor options include sledding, ice skating, taking family photos with holiday backdrops, drinking hot chocolate after looking at Christmas lights, visiting Santa at holiday markets or tree farms, and serving food to others at soup kitchens.
The excitement and nostalgia of the Christmas season provide countless opportunities to strengthen family bonds through festive activities. Crafting or baking together, playing games, watching movies while snacking on popcorn, looking at dazzling light displays, and gathering for a memorable Christmas meal all allow families to reconnect during this most wonderful time of the year.
Try out some of these joyful Christmas activities to make memories that will warm your heart for years to come. Intentionally setting aside time to focus just on your immediate family fosters traditions you'll treasure. Have a holly, jolly Christmas filled with peaceful togetherness by immersing yourselves in holiday fun. The laughter and fellowship shared doing festive activities as a family is the greatest gift of all.