Christmas Party Games to Sleigh the Night

Planning a memorable Christmas party involves more than just decking the halls and preparing delicious treats. One essential element to make or break your festive gathering is the selection of Christmas party games.

Tailoring these games to your audience—whether kids, teens, adults, or seniors—can elevate your party from a simple get-together to an unforgettable celebration.

Christmas Party Games for Kids

From snowy adventures to creative crafts, these activities will make this holiday season unforgettable.

Candy Cane Hunt

The Candy Cane Hunt is a festive and engaging game perfect for kids. You’ll need a bunch of candy canes and a timer to get this game going.

Start by hiding the candy canes in various locations around your party area. Be creative with hiding spots—behind cushions, in plant pots, or even hanging from low tree branches outdoors. The idea is to make the hunt fun and a bit challenging.

Once everything is set up, gather the kids and explain the rules. They’ll have a set amount of time—usually five to ten minutes—to find as many candy canes as possible. Start the timer and let the hunt begin!

When time’s up, call everyone back and count the candy canes each child has collected. The one with the most candy canes wins, and you could award them a small prize, like a Christmas ornament or a holiday-themed coloring book.

Christmas Charades

Christmas Charades is a festive twist on a classic game that never fails to entertain. You’ll need slips of paper and a bowl for this engaging activity.

Start by jotting down Christmas-related words or phrases on the slips of paper. Go beyond the obvious choices like “Santa Claus” or “Christmas tree” to include holiday songs, seasonal treats, or even reindeer names. Fold these slips and place them in a bowl.

Divide the kids into two teams and explain the rules. One child from each team takes turns drawing a slip from the bowl and acting out the word or phrase. The catch is they can’t use any words, only gestures and actions.

Set a timer for each turn to keep the game moving briskly. Keep score by tracking the number of correct guesses for each team.

Christmas Cookie Decorating Contest

A Christmas Cookie Decorating Contest is a delicious and artistic way to engage kids during the holiday festivities. For this activity, you’ll need plain Christmas cookies and an assortment of decorating supplies like icing, sprinkles, and edible markers.

Hand out a plain cookie to each child along with the decorating supplies. You can set up individual stations to make it easier for them to access all the tools they need. It also minimizes mess and ensures everyone has enough space to unleash their creativity.

Once everyone has their supplies, set a timer for about 15 to 20 minutes. The time frame adds a sense of urgency and excitement to the activity, encouraging the kids to think on their feet.

After the timer goes off, have a little show-and-tell where each child can present their decorated cookie. This is a great moment for them to explain their designs and for everyone to appreciate each other’s creativity.

Snowflake Making Contest

A snowflake-making contest is a beautiful way to channel the kids’ creativity into something artistic and seasonally appropriate. You’ll need sheets of paper and safety scissors for this activity.

Distribute a sheet of paper and a pair of scissors to each child. If you’re dealing with younger kids, you might want to pre-fold the paper to make it easier for them to start cutting. For older kids, part of the fun can be folding and planning their designs.

Set a timer for about 10 to 15 minutes to keep the activity engaging and add a dash of friendly competition. While the kids are busy cutting, you can walk around to offer encouragement and marvel at their budding creativity.

Once the time is up, display all the snowflakes for everyone to see. You’ll be amazed at how each snowflake is unique, reflecting each child’s creativity.

Snowball Toss

The Snowball Toss is an exhilarating game to bring the winter fun indoors. For this game, you’ll need a target and “snowballs,” which can be white balls or even crumpled pieces of paper.

Start by setting up a target at a reasonable distance. It could be a hoop, a bucket, or a marked wall area. Make sure it’s at a height that’s accessible to all the kids participating.

Hand out a snowball to each child and explain the rules. Each child gets a turn to throw their snowball at the target. Depending on the age group, you can adjust the distance to make it more or less challenging.

Keep track of how many times each child hits the target. The running score adds a competitive edge and keeps everyone engaged throughout the game.

Christmas Party Games for Teens

Now, let’s turn our attention to Christmas party ideas for teens. Finding something to keep teens occupied without a screen might be a little more challenging, but as you’ll find out, it’s not impossible.

Christmas Movie Trivia

Christmas Movie Trivia is a hit, especially among teens with a penchant for holiday films. You’ll need a list of questions based on popular Christmas movies to set up. Consider including questions from classics and newer releases to make it enjoyable for everyone.

Divide the teens into teams, aiming for an even number of players. Once the teams are set, you can start asking the questions. Keep the pace lively to maintain interest; add a timer for each question to ramp up the excitement.

Keep score as you go along. A simple tally on a whiteboard or piece of paper will suffice. It’ll keep everyone engaged and add a layer of competition to the activity.

Snowman Building Contest

A Snowman Building Contest is a quintessential winter activity that playful teens will love, especially if you’re fortunate enough to live in a snowy area. To kick things off, divide the teens into teams. Ensure you have enough space in your yard or a nearby park to create multiple snowmen.

Provide a set of fun accessories for decoration—think scarves, hats, buttons, and carrot noses. These props not only make the snowmen look fantastic but also add an element of creativity to the contest.

Set a time limit for the activity, say 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how intricate you want the snowmen to be. An impartial adult can judge which snowman stands out in creativity, structure, and use of accessories. 

Christmas Alphabet Game

The Christmas Alphabet Game is a simple yet engaging word game that requires quick thinking and a good grasp of Christmas fun facts. To start, have the teens sit in a circle. The objective is for each teen to name something Christmas-related, beginning with a specific alphabet letter.

Begin with the letter ‘A’ and proceed through the alphabet. Each teen takes turns, and the challenge is to come up with a different word. This keeps everyone on their toes and ensures the game remains exciting.

If teens can’t think of a word when their turn comes, they’re out of the game. This adds a layer of suspense, especially as you get to the trickier letters like ‘Q’ and ‘Z.’

Christmas Photo Booth Challenge

A Christmas-themed photo booth can be the life of the party, offering endless entertainment and memorable snapshots. Arrange a corner of your party space with a backdrop featuring Christmas elements like snowflakes, reindeer, or a faux fireplace. Add a table filled with props such as Santa hats, elf ears, and holiday-themed signs.

Encourage the teens to let their creativity shine as they take turns posing for photos. Whether they opt for funny faces, dramatic poses, or group shots, the key is uniquely capturing the season’s spirit.

Christmas Simon Says

Simon Says is a classic game that never gets old, and adding a Christmas twist makes it even more engaging. Use Christmas-themed actions to keep the teens on their toes. For example, you could use commands like “Simon says act like a reindeer” or “Simon says decorate a tree.”

The key to a successful game of Christmas Simon Says, is in the delivery. Vary the speed and tone of your commands to catch the participants off guard. Throw in some non-Christmas actions as well to keep them guessing.

This game is entertaining and a great way to burn off holiday energy. It’s a perfect pick for teens who enjoy competitive fun.

Christmas Party Games for Adults

Adults like to get in on the party games, too. Sure, adults are there to ensure their kids have a good time, but it’s Christmas, and everyone deserves fun. Here are some Christmas party ideas for adults.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

The White Elephant Gift Exchange is a holiday staple that adds a layer of strategy and surprise to gift-giving. Participants bring wrapped, unmarked gifts and place them in a designated area. Drawing numbers sets the order, adding an element of luck to the game. Regardless of the gifts, it’ll make a fun party idea that never disappoints. 

Ugly Sweater Contest

The Ugly Sweater Contest is a delightful way to celebrate the quirky side of the holiday season. Encourage guests to don their most outrageous Christmas sweaters; the more flashy and over-the-top, the better. The dressing-up sets a lighthearted tone for the event and serves as an instant icebreaker.

You can go two routes for judging: a panel of judges or a democratic vote. If you opt for judges, select a few impartial people beforehand and brief them on the criteria—originality, ugliness, and creativity. If you go the voting route, provide each guest with a ballot to cast their vote anonymously.

Consider including categories like “Most Original,” “Most Festive,” or “Most Likely to Scare Santa” to make the contest more engaging. It allows for multiple winners and keeps the competition friendly and inclusive.

Name That Christmas Tune

The Name That Christmas Tune game is a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Create a playlist of iconic Christmas songs, but here’s the twist: only play a few seconds of each tune. The shorter the snippet, the more challenging and engaging the game becomes.

Hand out paper and pens for guests to jot down their guesses. You can make it even more interesting by adding a bonus question for each song, such as naming the artist who performed it, thus adding an extra layer of challenge to keep everyone on their toes.

Christmas M&M Challenge

The Christmas M&M Challenge is a vibrant and energetic game that brings out the competitive spirit in everyone. Provide each player with a straw, a container full of M&Ms, and an empty plate. The objective is simple: use the straw to suck up the M&Ms and transfer them to the empty plate.

Set a timer for this challenge, perhaps one or two minutes, depending on the difficulty level you want to introduce. The atmosphere becomes electric as everyone races against the clock, trying to move as many M&Ms as possible.

You can also make them select only green and red M&Ms to add a Christmas touch to the game.

Christmas Guess the Scent

Engage the senses with the Christmas Guess the Scent game, a delightful way to immerse your guests in the holiday spirit. Prepare small containers filled with Christmas-themed scents like pine, cinnamon, peppermint, and gingerbread. Blindfold the players and pass around the containers for them to smell.

Accuracy and a keen sense of smell are essential in this game. Each player takes a turn sniffing the scents and trying to identify them. Keep track of the correct answers for each player.

Christmas Party Games for Seniors

You can’t leave out grandma and grandpa from the fun. These party games for the seniors will ensure everyone can have fun regardless of age.

Christmas Bingo

Bingo is a classic game that never loses its charm, and a Christmas-themed version will surely delight your elderly guests. Customize bingo cards with festive images or words such as “Santa,” “Reindeer,” “Snowflake,” and “Ornament.” Use a randomizer or draw from a hat to call out these images or words.

Players listen carefully and mark off the corresponding spots on their cards. The excitement builds as each participant gets closer to completing a line or a full house.

The beauty of Christmas Bingo lies in its simplicity and the comfort of familiarity. It’s a game that allows everyone to participate, regardless of age or mobility, making it a perfect choice for a gathering that includes older men and women.

Christmas Storytelling

Gather your guests in a cozy setting, perhaps around a fireplace or a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Each participant takes a turn sharing a Christmas-themed story. It could be a cherished memory, a fictional tale, or even a family legend passed down through generations.

The atmosphere will be beautiful as each storyteller adds their unique flair and perspective to the holiday narrative. Whether it’s a heartwarming tale of a childhood Christmas or a whimsical story about a naughty elf, it’ll fill the room with the season’s spirit.

Christmas Karaoke

Set the stage for a festive evening with a Christmas Karaoke session. Participants take turns belting out their favorite Christmas carols, from classics like “Jingle Bells” to modern hits. A karaoke machine or a simple setup with a microphone and speakers will suffice.

The atmosphere becomes lively and spirited as each participant takes the stage. Whether they’re seasoned singers or just there for the fun, the joy of Christmas music will fill the room.

Christmas Gift Wrapping Contest

A Christmas Gift Wrapping Contest can add a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of challenge to your holiday gathering. Participants are given the same items to wrap and wrap paper, ribbons, and other decorative elements. The goal is to wrap the items as neatly and creatively as possible within a set time limit.

Consider using a variety of items to wrap, from simple shapes like boxes to more challenging objects like a wine bottle or a teddy bear. It’ll add a layer of complexity and excitement to the game.

This game not only brings out the artistic flair in your guests but also results in beautifully wrapped gifts that could be donated or used for other purposes.

Christmas Party Games Everyone Will Love

The selection of games can elevate your Christmas party, making it a memorable experience for guests of all ages. 

Whether you’re entertaining kids, teens, adults, or seniors, the key is to choose activities that are engaging, inclusive, and filled with holiday spirit. So add a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of challenge to your festive gathering, and watch as the room lights up with the joy and laughter of the Christmas season.

This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.

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