Keep your Christmas party exciting and entertaining with fun games and party activities everyone will enjoy. Christmas party activities for adults and children can make your party an event to remember, so check out these 35 go-to seasonal party ideas to start planning your best bash yet.
Cool Christmas Party Games and Activities Just for Kids
Children can be occupied at a party with a fun games and activities to help them burn off some energy before they sit down for a meal or snacks. Christmas coloring pictures keep children busy while waiting for parents to pick them up from the party.
New Spin on Older Games
Younger children will love holiday versions of favorite games:
- "Duck, Duck, Goose" could become "Reindeer, Reindeer, Rudolph."
- "Simon Says" can be turned into "Santa Says."
- "Twenty Questions" can get shorter for kids with a holiday spin. Whisper a holiday word like Santa, cookie, stocking, or reindeer to the child and have the other children try to guess what it is by asking questions like "Is it red, do you put things in it, and does it fly?"
Host a Holiday Movie Mini-Marathon
Children can watch Christmas movies, such as The Santa Clause and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Between showings, allow kids to make s'mores while you serve hot chocolate.
If you live in a snowy climate, get together with families to host a party for older kids with several outdoor activities, such as sled races, snowman-building contests, and fort building competitions with snowball fights. For contests, be sure to give out small prize awards or have each family contribute money to purchase a video game or other appropriate prizes so that each child receives a gift. If hosting by yourself, mention in the party invitation that kids should bring snowsuits and boots for outdoor games.
Decorate Your Own Christmas Tree
For a deliciously edible Christmas craft activity, set up a Christmas tree decorating station. Place waffle cones upside down and let the children cover them in green food coloring and 'decorate' their trees with things like gum drops, peppermints, sprinkles, and so on.
Play Twisty the Snowman
To play Twisty the Snowman, you just need three paper coal buttons, one paper carrot nose, and a roll of toilet paper. The goal of the game is to create a living snowman by wrapping someone up like a mummy. Have your child hold on to one end of the toilet paper and twirl and twirl until they're completely covered. Attach the paper buttons and nose to finish off Twisty the Snowman's look.
What's in the Box? Christmas Edition
Test you and your kids limits by setting up a Christmas edition of the popular game "What's in the Box?" Cut out two arm sized holes in the bottom of a cardboard box, and set it on its side. The purpose of the game is for people to put their hands through the holes and guess what object is inside the box. Place things like garland, candy canes, coal, and so on inside to stay within the theme.
How Many Mints in a Minute?
This is a perfect game if you have a surplus of candy canes on hand. Toss a few candy canes into a bowl, and using only your mouth, try to hook as many candy canes as you can onto your own candy cane. The person who can get the most candy canes hooked in a minute wins.
Christmas Activities Just for Families
Everyone, young and old, will enjoy these festive party activities. Put your own spin on them to create a memorable event.
Families participate in this age-old tradition of decorating a Christmas tree, moving from one home to the next. Set up a group of families to participate. The lights must already be on the tree, so only your ornaments are added. Each host provides a holiday snack and beverage. Gather around each tree for a group photo and email to each family. The last house in the progression will host a Christmas movie and refreshments for everyone to enjoy.
Find the Santa
This is a game that's fun for families to play. Host the party at your home.
- Take a Santa figurine that's fairly small and hide it in a room. Have families come into the room.
- One person begins to move about the room and the person who hid the Santa reveals if he or she is a cup of hot chocolate or a snowflake.
- Hot chocolate gets hotter as the person moves closer to where the Santa is hidden. Such phrases as "melting marshmallows" can be substituted for the traditional hot, hotter, burning up phrases. Snowflake can become a "blizzard" when the person is on top of the hidden spot.
- Each person is timed for one minute. If they haven't discovered Santa's hiding place, it's another person's turn and continues until the Santa is located.
- Afterwards, everyone celebrates with hot chocolate and snowflake cookies. Be sure to take photos and videos during the game to share with everyone afterwards.
It's best to play this during daylight hours. Families meet at your home to share a cup of hot chocolate or hot cider and Christmas cookies. Prepare a list of objects based on a theme, such as nature with items to find like pinecones, holly leaves, and so on. Provide each family with a scavenger bag and set a time to return to your home with the collected objects. The family with the most objects collected wins a prize, such as large candy canes or a movie night gift basket filled with microwave popcorn, sodas, candies, and so on.
Have a Family Holiday Photoshoot
Let your hair down with this tongue-in-cheek family holiday photoshoot; have everyone dress up like a famous family and take pictures for your family's holiday cards. Bonus points are awarded for dressing up like famous holiday families like the Griswolds or the Kranks.
Host Christmas Karaoke
There's nothing that rings in the Christmas season quite like the radios turning into Christmas stations at the start of December. With so many tunes to choose from, you and your family can host a fun-filled night of Christmas karaoke where you can sing the classics, serenade as a group, or build your own holiday choir.
Holiday Cookie Decorating
Bake sugar cookies together and decorate using red, green and white icing along with decorative sprinkles. Depending on decorating techniques used, provide all necessary supplies and equipment or have guests bring their own.
Family Party Activities for Charity
Some activities in the spirit of the true meaning of Christmas are centered around charity. Choose your favorite charity for this family Christmas activity.
Share the Love
One of the best ways to teach children about Christmas is to help others. Have each child select a toy (in good condition) to donate to a local Santa drive. Guests drive together to the drop-off and return to your house for a party complete with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.
Homemade Ornaments for Charity
Families come together to make attractive Christmas ornaments to donate to local charity tree trimmings, such as hospices, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement centers, churches, and community centers. After participating in the tree trimming, families return to your home for a pot luck meal.
Get several families together to create a food drive by collecting foodstuff for a community food pantry. Contact the person in charge of the community pantry and find out what foods are most needed. Have guests arrive at your home and each set out to collect food. Deliver to the community center and return to your home for a celebration with food and drink for all family members.
Visit Children in Hospital
Families donate $10 each to create a small budget for buying Christmas candy and small gifts. Arrange with a local hospital to visit children patients. Create small gift bags filled with Christmas candies, a coloring book, and crayons or an activity book. Dress up like elves, or in Christmas clothing with one dad as Santa. Sing Christmas carols while delivering the gifts to children. A party can be held for making the costumes and another one following the visit to the hospital to deliver your gifts.
Donate a Saturday to Community Service
Families can get together to vote on a special community service project. Once everyone has completed their Saturday of service, regroup at your home for an evening of Christmas movies complete with popcorn and Christmas cookies. Possible community services include:
- Picking up trash in a park
- Offering free babysitting services to shoppers
- Visiting shut-ins and patients in nursing homes with a gift of homemade Christmas cookies and singing carols
- Giving time to a specific charity, such as preparing and serving a holiday meal at a homeless shelter
Grown-Up Christmas Party Games
A party just for adults is a great way to unwind from the holiday stress. Christmas games for adults that are fun to play and offer plenty of laughs will make your Christmas party a winner. From drinking games to naughty-or-nice contests, there are plenty of ways to keep everyone amused.
Dart Board Balloon Game
Write Christmas trivia questions on slips of paper and place inside balloons. Blow up the balloons and secure to a dartboard or large cork board.
- Guests use darts to pop one balloon.
- If they answer the trivia question correctly, they get another turn.
- If the player misses the balloon or gives an incorrect answer, it's the next player's turn.
- Once all the balloons have been popped, the game is over.
- The player with the most correct answers wins a prize.
Guess the Christmas Gift
Each person gets a guess for what is inside a wrapped gift box. Place an object that can be shaken without damaging it. For example, you can put something in the gift box that makes a jingling sound like a sleigh bell, but isn't a sleigh bell, or a Christmas stocking or scarf that won't make any sound. Offer a prize for the one whose guess is the closest to the actual object.
Christmas Wreath Ring Toss
Purchase five inexpensive Christmas wreaths from a discount store and a cheap toilet plunger. Paint the wood handle green or red.
- Using the suction cup, set the plunger 10 feet from the toss line where the player will stand.
- The plunger suction cup will provide suction to the floor, so the plunger remains upright. If playing on carpet, use a board so the plunger will grasp it and remain upright.
- Each player gets five wreaths.
- The goal is to toss the wreath so it lands over the plunger stick.
- The player with the most wreaths that land over the stick wins.
Name That Christmas Song
Use a piano or other musical instrument to play the notes of a Christmas song. Depending on the size of your party, you may want to break out into teams. Set a time limit for the first round and play as many tunes as you can within that timeframe. For example, you can designate each round takes 10 minutes or fewer if you prefer.
- Each team or individual takes turns by saying how many notes they want. For example they will state, "I can name that Christmas song in three notes." The challenging team can pass or state they can name it in two notes and win the chance to guess.
- The first person or team to identify the song wins.
- The person or team with the most correct guesses within the 10 minute round wins a prize.
- You can have as many rounds as you like. The person or team with the most rounds won is the grand prize winner.
Dirty Santa Gift Game
Each guest brings a $5 wrapped gift (can change dollar amount). Each person will draw a slip of paper that has a number on it based on the number of participants. For example, for 15 people, you'll take 15 slips of paper and write a number on each slip. You'll write #1 on the first slip, #2 on the second, and so on until all 15 are finished.
- Fold the papers and place in a bowl.
- Allow each participant to draw a number.
- The person with the slip revealing #1 will choose a gift, unwrap it and show it to the others.
- The person who drew #2 will go next, but has the option of taking the gift from #1 or opening a new one.
- #3 goes next and can take #1 or #2's gift or choose a new one.
- The game proceeds, but gifts are retired after they've been stolen three times. The person taking the gift for the third time gets to keep it.
- The gift exchange game ends when all the gifts have been opened.
Christmas Punch Drinking Game for Adults
This game requires a deep bowl for each person and a punch bowl cup or similar shallow cup for each. The object is to see who can drink the most cups of punch in 15 seconds by dipping the cup into the bowl and drinking the punch. If there's a tie, you can have a 10 second run off.
Christmas Movie Trivia Drinking Game for Adults
You can play a drinking Christmas trivia game. Choose a Christmas movie and go around the group asking questions. Anyone who answers correctly gets to take a sip of their drink only if they answer correctly. You can make almost any question-and-answer game into a drinking game. Choose a Christmas movie and ask trivia questions. Those who answer correctly get to drink.
5-Second Marshmallow Game
This game requires lots of large-sized marshmallows. Set up places at a table long enough to accommodate players. You may need to hold several rounds if hosting a large party.
- Count out the same number of marshmallows and place in each bowl at each place setting.
- Contestants will see how many marshmallows they can stuff into their mouths within 5 seconds.
Another version is for contestants to eat the marshmallows instead of stuffing into their mouths with a 20 second timer.
Fill the Christmas Stocking Relay
This game requires one stocking for each relay team and identical stocking stuffers, such as candy and small objects. On a large table, place the stocking stuffers in a plastic container beside the stocking. Make sure you have enough to fill just above the top of the stocking.
- Each team member must sit down at the table and fill the stocking one item at a time.
- As soon as they get all the items in the stocking, they must carry it with them without spilling to their team mate waiting in line.
- If any items fall out of the stocking, the person must return to the table to place the dropped item(s) into the stocking and then attempt to relay again.
- When the stocking is handed off, the other person must run to the table, sit down and remove each item individually from the stocking, placing it back into the container.
- The winning team is the one that finishes unloading the stocking and returns to their group starting line.
Host a Hobby Evening for Adults
Hosting a hobby evening is a good way to keep mature audiences entertained at your Christmas party. You can offer a night of food, drinks and socializing, along with the chance to work on some new skills.
Take and print photos to commemorate your get-together using free Christmas scrapbook pages or traditional Christmas pages. Be sure to provide a mix of free Christmas scrapbook pages, supplies, fonts, and clip art.
Learn How to Bartend
Assign each guest a specific alcohol to bring but supply all mixers and equipment. Print and display your drink menu. Print drink recipes on festive Christmas paper for each guest. Serve champagne while teaching guests how to mix Christmas and holiday drinks.
Teach friends and family how to wrap those Christmas presents to create a boutique store quality look. Guests can bring one or two real gifts in boxes to practice on, along with their own wrapping paper, ribbon and bows. Provide scissors, double-sided tape, and invisible tape.
Bring everyone together for a music party. Musically adept can bring instruments for a Christmas music jam session. Provide guests with Christmas sheet music and plenty of food and drink. Those not playing an instrument are the chorus, or they can play a percussion instrument. Once the evening gets going, and if the crowd is right, you can even throw in a few dirty Christmas carols for fun.
Host a recipe exchange party, complete with potluck samples for everyone to taste. Have guests email recipes to you ahead of party and print in a booklet or as recipe cards. Save the file and email to your guests the next day.
Deck Out for an Adult Dinner Party
Consider hosting a dinner party for the fabulous adults in your life. You can go as casual or as formal as you like.
Fancy Dinner Party
A full course dinner party gives everyone the opportunity to shine in their holiday garb. Adults might get a kick out of a six course dinner complete with wines paired with dishes. Create an elegant table and place setting in golds, greens, and reds with candlelight. Cater or make your own. Teenagers and friends can pitch in as servers. Give each guest a menu and a Christmas favor at each place setting.
Progressive Dinner Party
A progressive dinner party moves from one home to another. One person is the guide and keeps the timetable. Allow 30 minutes (or longer) for each stop, depending on how many homes are participating and the style of food being served. The hosts of each home join in with the other guests as the party progresses from one house to the next. Make sure that each person understands their responsibility for their course in the dinner. Hosts provide appropriate drinks. Each dinner party course following the cocktails portion requires a drink. The dessert party hosts may serve flavored and regular coffees. Be sure to provide both caffeinated and decaffeinated. The breads, cheeses and spreads hosts should serve wines but offer non-alcoholic alternative. Here's some advice for ways that each participating house can complement the other's food and drink choices:
|Dinner Party||Dessert Party||Breads, Cheeses & Spreads|
|Cocktails||Fudge||Rye (choice of cheese/spread)|
|Appetizers||Sugar cookies||Sour dough (choice of cheese/spread)|
|Salad||Pie||Bruschetta (choice of cheese-optional)|
|Soup||Cake|| Rosemary Focaccia |
(choice of cheese/spread)
|Entrée||Pastry||Banana bread (choice of cheese/spread)|
|Dessert||Candy||Artisan Boule (choice of cheese/spread)|
Making Sure Party Guests Have Fun
The key to having a successful party is for all guests to have fun. Put your feet into your guests' shoes and think about how you'd want to be entertained at a Christmas party, and plan your party around providing as much fun as you can!