One of the best parts about holiday parties are the games we get to play! From silly games showing off acting talents to family relay races and challenges, these Christmas party games for kids and families are sure to keep everyone laughing at a Kids Christmas Party or with the family on Christmas Eve!
To help you plan for a successful holiday party, we’ve put together some of our favorite festive activities that will keep everyone engaged and entertained all night long.
The Best Holiday Games for Families
Here are our favorite Christmas party games for the entire family to play during the holidays.
As kids are often familiar with more movies or songs that adults, you could play a game of charades where one person acts out the name of a movie or an artist. The other family members have to guess correctly before time runs out! Another version would be to act out the names of Christmas movies.
Christmas Around the World
This game is similar to “Apples To Apples” or “Cards Against Humanity” where each person has a turn being the judge. The other family members will draw a card that has both a country and an activity on it, then they have to act out their country’s tradition for Christmas.
The judge decides which is the best answer and awards a point to that family member.
Christmas Card Photo Scavenger Hunt
This game is great for families with small children because it provides an opportunity for everyone to sit down together and look at the Christmas cards that were sent in the mail, or else printed from online.
First, find all of the Christmas cards and set them aside. Then divide the rest of the family into two teams and give each team a list of items for them to find within the larger group of photos. Each item on the list must be found in an individual photo, but it can’t be repeated (i.e., every person on the scavenger hunt has to be found once, but more than once won’t count).
The first team to find the required number of items wins.
Fruit Basket Relay
This game is best played outdoors (or indoors with no carpeting). Place a variety of fruits on two or three chairs, placing them about five or six feet apart from each other. Split the family into two teams and give each person a spoon. Then, one at a time, the members of each team must run to the chairs and as quickly as they can transfer as many pieces of fruit as possible from one chair to another until all of them have been moved. The next player on their team then runs up and does the same thing until all of their team members have had a chance to move the fruit.
Come up with fun and unique holiday themed events, such as stair sledding, sock skating on the kitchen floor, etc.
Each family member gets a turn at doing something related to Christmas or winter sports (skating, skiing, sledding, etc.). The person with the “most impressive/creative display” is declared the winner for that round.
After everyone has had a turn at something then you can vote for the best all around Christmas athlete.
Have everyone bring a small gift that would be appropriate for anyone attending the party. You can also separate this game into a version only for kids and only for adults, if desired.
Have all the guests sit in a circle and randomly pass out the gifts. Start some Christmas music, and either pass around or have the host bring around a deck of cards. Each guest draws a card.
Anyone who draws a King, Queen or Jack must exchange their gift with the person on his/her left. Anyone drawing an Ace must exchange with the person on his/her right. He/She drawing the Joker may exchange with any person they choose in the circle. Once the music stops, each person is left with the gift in their lap.
12 Days of Christmas
Divide the group into 12 teams. Assign each team with a verse of the 12 Days of Christmas. As everyone sings the song, each group is also responsible for acting out their verse.
This gets fun the farther along in the song you go!
Christmas Cookie Recipe Relay
This is best played in a space with room to run or at least a slight distance to cover.
Split the family into two teams and give each person a sheet of paper and a pen. Then, one at a time, the members of each team must run to a designated area and collect ingredients before returning with as many items as possible. The next person on their team then runs up with an empty bowl to receive the ingredients so they can mix them together before the timer goes off.
The first team to successfully bake cookies wins!
No holiday party would be complete without a little bit of trivia. You can play it as a team building game to see which family member knows the most about Christmas and holiday traditions, or you can pick questions and go head-to-head with other families.
The key to winning is knowing your audience – if you’re playing with people who are mostly younger, keep the questions age-appropriate, but if you’re playing with older people or adults make sure to include some tough questions.
Just like Simon Says, but with a festive twist. First choose a Santa Claus and have them facing the rest of the group.
When “Santa” says “Santa says, …” he or she must give everyone directions for what to do (e.g., Santa says touch your toes, everyone who can touch their toes should try to, etc.).
If Santa catches someone doing an activity without saying Santa says, they are out. The last person standing gets to be the next Santa.
Grab the Santa Says game sheet here!
Christmas Music Trivia
This is a great game for adults and teens who like to sing Christmas carols or know their Christmas music history well.
Split the party into two teams and give each team a list of songs that have something in common (e.g., all “It’s A Wonderful Life” movies, all sung by The Chipmunks, all number one hits on Billboard’s Holiday 100 chart in the last ten years, etc.).
The first team to list all of their songs and give a short explanation for why they’re related wins.
Pick a theme for each round (e.g., movies that take place during Christmas time, movies that star a main character named Mary, TV shows that have Christmas episodes, etc.) and then everyone must yell out titles of their favorite show that fit the theme.
The first person to get a title right moves on to the next round where another theme is chosen.
Silly Christmas Party Games for Kids & Teens
Going to Granny’s
This is a fun game played throughout the year that can be used at a Christmas party for kids, adults or both. It’s a great way to introduce people, as well, in case you have a large party with people who don’t know everyone.
Have everyone assemble in a circle. The first person chosen to participate stands up and says “My name is Josh, and I’m going to Granny’s, and I’m bringing ___.” Josh has to bring something that starts with the letter A.
Once Josh is finished, the next person in line stands up and has to repeat what Josh said, i.e. “This is Josh, and he’s going to Granny’s and he’s bringing an antelope.” Followed by his/her own statement, “My name is Caleb, and I’m going to Granny’s, and I’m bringing bananas (or something starting with the letter B).”
This continues on around the circle, getting harder and harder to remember what everyone is bringing. It is also a great way for people to learn the other guests’ names.
You can personalize this game for the holidays by telling guests they are going to Granny’s for a holiday feast, and all their items must be dinner-related.
Santa Dress Up
Count off guests into groups of three or four people. Provide each group a bag of the same items. Include in each bag: two rolls of toilet paper, a roll of plain white masking tape, a bag of extra large cotton balls, and whatever other items you think would help them decorate a Santa outfit.
Each team is given 15 minutes to create a Santa outfit using only the items provided in the bag. The host or hostess of the party gets to choose his/her favorite Santa outfit.
Christmas Carol Charades
Divide the partygoers into two groups. Give each group a pad of Post-it notes and a pencil. Give each team five minutes to write down as many Christmas carols as they can come up with, each on its own sticky note.
Then, switch the pads of sticky notes, and each team takes turns acting out the titles of the Christmas carols. Give each team five minutes to guess the correct title. If not, the other team gets a chance to earn that point with a correct guess.
The Gift Wrap Game
For this game you will need prizes or other “gift items”, wrapping paper, tape and music (to be turned on and off). Before the game begins, wrap each gift in several layers of wrapping paper. The more layers, the longer the game takes. Divide your players into groups depending on number of guests and number of gifts.
Tell them when you turn on the music they are to start passing the gifts around the group and when the music stops, whoever has the gift unwraps one layer of paper. Continue in this fashion until all layers are gone. The person with the unwrapped gift wins the gift.
You can also do this with packs of holiday candy and create a Holiday Wrap Ball with saran wrap, and have people take turns unwrapping until they reach the candy!
Pin the Nose on the Reindeer
Here is a fun Christmas take on the traditional birthday game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Create a picture of a reindeer head sans nose. Place on a flat surface such as a wall.
You will also need the noses that will be pinned on the reindeer. Give each player a nose with tape attached to it, blindfold them and spin them around a few times. Point them in the direction of the reindeer and tell them walk toward the picture and try to pin the nose on it as close as possible to where the nose would actually be.
The player with the nose closest to the actual reindeer nose wins the game.
Gift Wrap Relay
Select 2 small boxes of equal size and gift wrap them. Cut extra sheets of wrapping paper to fit the size of the box making sure to have one sheet for each child. Divide the children into teams.
To play the game, a team member leaves their group and runs to the gift station. Here they unwrap their gift, rewrap it and run back to their team where they tag the next team member who then repeats the sequence. The first team to have all their players unwrap and wrap the gift and return to their team, wins!
Similar to American Idol but the players sing Christmas Carols instead. Make sure you have a song list with age-appropriate songs listed. The children get to pick a song to sing (karaoke machine and music are very helpful here).
The adults present are the judges. The children sing their carols and the judges pick a winner. That child receives a prize. Or, there can be many different categories of prizes so every child is a winner, like most creative, best vocal performance, best acting, etc.
Christmas Karaoke for Teens
This is a great game to help get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Who doesn’t love hearing holiday music to help get them in the holiday mood.
Each teen gets to pick out their favorite Christmas song and sing it. After all the teens are done, they can then write down their top 2 or 3 singers and drop it in a hat. Then you can pull out their votes and announce the winners.
When you are sending out the invites for the party you will want to include a note asking them to bring their favorite Christmas CD so that they are ready to play their favorite song.
This is a great game to test their memory. It is also great because it will give them ideas for stocking stuffers for their family and friends.
Have a stocking and stocking stuffers on a tray. Give each teen a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Then pass the tray in front of them for a few seconds each and then put it back up. The teen who writes down the most in 1 – 2 minutes wins that game.
Base the time off of how many teens are there and how many stuffers you put on the tray. If you have a loaded tray, give them a little extra time to look and to write down the items.
This is another great game to play and it is entertaining to watch as well! What makes this an even better game is that this doubles as their party favors.
Give each teen a stocking and have a huge bowl filled with stocking stuffers. Give them a certain amount of time to fill their stockings and whoever has filled theirs the most wins.
The catch is they have to fill it by placing a spoon in their mouth and using the spoon to pick up a stocking stuffer and then carry it without using their hands over to the stocking that is hung up.
After the game you can allow the guests to finish filling their stocking if not entirely successful while playing since this is their party favor stocking.
The Great British Cookie Decorating Challenge
Host a “baking competition” where the teens will decorate their own cookies for a chance to win the ultimate prize.
You can add on the invites for them to bring a dozen sugar cookies, have them make cookies at the party, or pre-make the cookies yourself. This is great since Christmas is a time that people give cookies as gifts. You will one dozen for each teen attending the party including your own.
Give each teen a dozen cookies and put out frosting and decorating tools on the table. You can also just have them decorate one for the contest if 12 is too many.
Put out items to decorate with such as icing, m&ms, sprinkles, some red hot candy, gum drops, etc. Have each teen decorate their cookies and when they are all finished they can vote who has the best-decorated cookies.
For added hilarity, adjust the rules so that they can only use their non-dominant hand, no hands, or are blindfolded when decorating.
Having games is a great way to keep the party going. Once the games are done have a Christmas movie marathon to keep the Christmas spirit going into the night.
I hope these ideas have gotten your creative juices flowing and will help you out at your next Christmas party. The kids and families will have a blast and, if you videotape the action, you will have made many fun and funny memories!
Have a safe and Merry Christmas!