37 Fun Christmas Activities for Kids, Adults, Families, and Everyone In Between

Ah, the holidays! Whether you like to get into the Christmas spirit as soon as possible (we won’t judge you for getting started on decking the halls before Thanksgiving) or wait to kick off the holiday season on December 1st, there are no shortage of ways to get festive.

One of the best parts about Christmas is that it brings everyone you love together into one place — so why not dedicate as much time as possible in the leadup to the holiday to making memories you’ll cherish forever? The following 37 Christmas activity ideas are a great place to start when it comes to planning your holiday season. So put on your ugliest Christmas sweater and let's dive in!

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Christmas Prep, Festive Edition.

It’s easy to get caught up in everything you need to do ahead of December 25th — but why not use your list of errands and tasks as an opportunity for a bit of festive cheer? Here are a few ways to make decking the halls, checking your list, and preparing a Christmas feast just a little bit more fun.

Create a fun Family Photoshoot

Kick off your holiday season by gathering up your family (furry friends included!) for a Christmas-themed photoshoot. There are plenty of ways to make snapping your Christmas pictures a special occasion — no matter if you’re hoping to get a more traditional shot or are planning to have plenty of cheeky fun. Start by getting everyone’s wardrobe ready, then find your perfect location. A few ideas could be to head up to a nearby mountain for a bit of wintery fun and working in fun props to give an at-home photoshoot some festive flair.

Feature the finished photo in your annual holiday cards, in text messages to friends, virtual backgrounds for video calls, and emails to extended family.

handwritten note

handwritten note by Up Up Creative

Make and Send Christmas Cards

Once you have your perfect Christmas photo, it’s time to make and send your Christmas cards! Before you get started, check out our Christmas card etiquette guide to ensure that you’re not forgetting anyone on the list. Then, browse through Minted’s collection of photo holiday cards created by independent artists from around the world.

Once you have your favorite design picked out, get the whole family involved in a brainstorming session to come up with the perfect Chrsitmas saying to include on your card. You can take a look at our funny Christmas sayings article for a few ideas, but we recommend having each member of your family sit down with a cup of hot cocoa to come up with a few of their own. The saying with the most votes wins!

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Joyeux Noel

Joyeux Noel by Benita Crandall

Head To A Christmas Tree Farm

Sure, you could pick up a Christmas tree at the local mega-store or parking lot pop-up, but the holiday season is about creating memories! A fun Christmas activity for adults and kids could involve driving out to a Christmas tree farm and hand-selecting the tree that you think will look best in your home. In some cases, you may even need to cut the tree down and transport it back to your car. While the process takes longer, we have a feeling the memory will last a little longer too.

Decorate the Christmas Tree

Decorating the Christmas tree is an activity that always sparks some good family bonding. It can be exciting pulling sentimental ornaments out of storage and finding the perfect spot for them on the tree. So dial up the festive fun by putting on some Christmas music (or even your favorite holiday movie) in the background and having plenty of cider and eggnog ready to sip on as you hang ornaments. Oh, and don’t forget to drape a festive tree skirt around the base of the tree to provide the perfect frame for all of your presents!

If you have younger children, we recommend getting them involved by getting a second, smaller tree. That way, they can reach and decorate this tree to their heart’s delight! It’s among our very favorite Christmas activities for kids.

tree clip

tree clip by Carolyn Nicks

Put Up Christmas Lights

It is widely accepted that the weekend or two after Thanksgiving is the best time to hang your Christmas lights before the rest of the holiday season becomes too busy. (But, like we said earlier, we won’t judge you if you can’t wait until the calendar officially flips into December to get your lights up!).

Make this Christmas chore extra fun by scheming for ways to make sure your house has the best holiday light display on the block. This is a great way to show off your creativity and spread holiday joy! A monochromatic theme can be classy and elegant. Or, perhaps your household will opt for the old-fashioned multi-color bulbs and a reindeer on the lawn. It is never too early to at least start thinking about what design or color scheme you may want to feature!

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fir forest

Fir Forest by Gwen Bedat

Turn Your Home into Santa’s Workshop

Decking the halls in the main areas of your home is always a festive and fun experience. From hanging personalized stockings and other decor on your mantel, to swapping your usual throw pillows and tea towels for something more festive, there are plenty of ways to get creative.

In addition to decorating your living spaces, it never hurts to bring a bit of festive cheer to your gift wrapping station! When it comes time to wrap gifts, think of fun ways to display all of your wrapping paper and other supplies, turn on some Christmas tunes, and make sure you have a plate towering with holiday treats nearby.

If you want to go above and beyond, you can also host an elf training session for a fun way to teach your family how to wrap gifts (and to lighten your own gift-wrapping load).

Snow Tracks

Snow Tracks by Carrie ONeal

12-Days Of Christmas Virtual Calls

Here’s a fun Christmas activity idea for those with type A personalities, or if your family and friends are spread across the country. Grab a calendar and start to plan a virtual meeting with 12 different friends or family members spread out over 12 days. Send out your meet-up requests in advance so you can have your “12-Days of Christmas Calls” all finalized well in advance. This will make the two weeks leading up to Christmas seem to fly by. Minted has some great themed virtual backgrounds you can download for free — we suggest using a different one for each call!

Joy in Photos

Joy in Photos by Lauren Chism

Christmas Shopping

Whether you’re shopping for gifts or are filling your cart with a holiday grocery haul that would make Santa proud, there are plenty of ways to add some festive fun to Christmas errands. Here are a few ways to add a bit of holiday cheer while you’re out and about:

  • Wear a festive outfit — don’t save your favorite holiday sweater just for Christmas day!
  • Treat yourself to a holiday-themed drink or snack to fuel you as you shop.
  • If you’re taking kids along, turn your shopping trip into a scavenger hunt.
  • Decorate your car with reindeer ears and a red nose.
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Christmas Activities for Kids and the Whole Family

When it comes to planning Christmas activities for kids, remember to keep your family’s personality in mind. Are you a crew of energizer bunnies? Then pack your days full of outdoor activities. Are you more low key? Plan a few festive nights in to help recharge your batteries between Christmas parties.

Here are a few of our favorite ideas the whole family can enjoy.

Build a Gingerbread House

Nothing beats a craft that you can eat when you’re finished! Many supermarkets sell gingerbread house kits around the holidays. These kits will usually include the bare essentials to build four walls and a roof, so make it personalized and festive by heading to the candy aisle and selecting a few custom treats that will add to your child’s design of the gingerbread house. Here are a few ideas on how some popular candies may be incorporated:

  • Plain or peanut butter M&M’s - can be used for colored roof tiling.
  • Gumdrops - can be used for colored roof tiling.
  • Small candy canes - can be used for wall decorations or fence posts.
  • Shredded coconut - can be used for snow on the roof, or dyed green for grass.
  • Pretzel sticks - can be used for fence posts or logs for a log cabin.
  • Red vines - can easily be bent and wrapped around corners and edges.
  • Marshmallows - can be used to make snowmen or little snow bundles.
Gingerbread

Gingerbread by Grae

Make Gingerbread Men or Sugar Cookies

Is there anything quite as nostalgic as baking Christmas cookies? Turn your afternoon in the kitchen into an opportunity to make heart-warming memories by getting your family involved. Depending on how old your child is, they may be able to help you make the cookie batter. Let them decide if they want to add in chocolate chips, coconut, cinnamon, and even food coloring. Pick out some holiday-themed cookie cutters and let your child play pastry chef. If you have any leftover candy from the gingerbread house decorating, be sure to add them to the sugar cookies.

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Cut Paper Snowflakes

This fun Christmas activity with kids is super easy to set up and execute. Most of us have paper lying around the house, but you can add some artistic flair to the project by buying some colored construction paper or origami paper. Fold up the paper numerous times and have your child cut out some creative designs. (Pro tip: Browse online for some stencils to create some really fun patterns.)

Once unfolded, you can hang the paper snowflakes on the Christmas tree, from the mantel, or tape them to the wall. You could even include one of the hand-made paper snowflakes with your Minted holiday card that you mail off to your family and friends. This is also a great activity to do on Christmas Eve as the kids countdown to bedtime.

Big Painted Snowflake

Big Painted Snowflake by Jackie Crawford

Build a Snowman

If you have snow on the ground, this is a must-do activity for the kids! Arm them with some carrots, charcoal, twigs, and clothing like hats, scarves, and mittens — then see what their creative minds come up with.

If you live in a beach destination, bring the shovels and buckets to the sand and construct a sandman. Sunglasses, sunscreen, water floaties, and a Santa hat really pair nicely with a sandman. Lastly, if you don’t have snow or sand to use as a medium, you could have your child tape three white paper plates or white balloons together. Give them a box of markers or crayons and design a fun snowman that can be displayed in the living room or on your child’s wall.

Big Painted Snowflake

Snow Day by Olivia Kanaley Inman

Watch a Christmas Movie

Does your child have a favorite Christmas movie? If not, this might be the year to start a tradition of watching the same holiday movie every December. Many cities host showings of Christmas movies as part of their holiday community activities, but if you’d rather stay home, there is no shortage of movies you have access to. Just be sure to add some extra fun to an at-home movie night by wearing Christmas-themed pajamas and prepping some of your favorite holiday treats to have on hand.

Here is a list of popular kid-friendly Christmas movies:

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toots sweet

toots sweet by Design Lotus

Make Popcorn Tinsel

You don’t want to go overboard on this one, or else your whole house will smell like popcorn. Get out the thread and needle, pop some popcorn (preferably non-buttered) and let your children create a lanyard of kernels that can adorn the Christmas tree or Christmas mantle. You could even pair this activity with watching one of the Christmas movies recommended above.

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Take a Picture With Santa

Our list of Christmas activities for kids would not be complete without a visit or picture with Santa! Who knows, you might even secure the perfect picture for this year’s holiday card. If you are planning for additional holiday photoshoots around the house with your child, we have a great list of tips for taking pictures of children.

Family Holiday

Family Holiday by Chris Griffith

Go for a Christmas Lights Drive

Make some hot cocoa, pour a cup for each member of the family, and head out in the car in search of the best Christmas light displays for some memorable family bonding. You may know a couple of neighborhoods that always go above and beyond each winter. Some cities and towns even have a professionally made light display or experience that charges admission. If you are lucky, you will come across a light display that is synched up with music for one of the most memorable Christmas activities for families.

Launch a Candy Cane Hunt

Think of this Christmas activity for kids as the wintertime equivalent of an easter egg hunt. All you need to do is spread some candy canes around the house (and perhaps rope in an older child to help you hide them), and then set your little ones loose to collect them in a Christmas stocking. Then, give out a prize for the largest collection to add to the excitement!

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Family Holiday

candy cane crop by Susan Zinader

Listen to Christmas Songs

You could pair this at-home Christmas activity with almost all of our other suggestions to boost your holiday spirit to the next level. Whether you tune in to a holiday-specific radio station or find a holiday-themed channel on a streaming service, you can rest assured knowing there are plenty of options for Christmas songs around the clock. If you play a musical instrument, you could learn a few Christmas songs and print the lyrics for your children to sing along as you play. It’s the perfect solution for what to do on Christmas Day after the gifts have been opened!

A Very Merry Season

A Very Merry Season by Wildfield Paper Co

Make Holiday Popsicles

Making your own Christmas popsicles is one of the most colorful Christmas activities for kids on our list. With a simple popsicle mold and a few ingredients, you can make this activity come to life. And if you’re looking for what to do on Christmas eve to distract the little ones from all those gifts, this is it!

To make an all-green popsicle: In a blender, mix pineapple, banana, apple juice, spinach, and coconut milk. Add in more spinach if you desire a darker shade of green. Pour the mixture in the mold and freeze.

To make an all-red popsicle: Use all the same ingredients as above but substitute strawberries, raspberries, or cherries in place of spinach. You could even use a combination of all three of those options!

To make a half-green half-red popsicle: First, start with the green mixture and fill the popsicle mold halfway. Freeze the mold overnight. The next day you can then fill the rest of the mold with the red mixture and freeze again for at least four hours.

Decorate Pine Cones

Pine cones fall during late autumn, so the timing is perfect for a fun Christmas activity involving art for your kids. Whether you collect some pine cones off the ground or purchase them at the local craft store, your children are bound to have some fun making them their own. Some decorating tools include:

  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Colorful cotton balls
  • Paint
  • Ribbon
  • Beads
  • Googly eyes
Snowfall Pines

Snowfall Pines by Alethea and Ruth

Complete a Holiday Craft Kit

Purchase a fun craft kit and have your kids focus their concentration on stitching an elf together from scratch, building a toy airplane or train out of wood, or decorating ornament molds with fluorescent paint gel. This is one of those rare Christmas activities for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Share pictures of their creations on social media or in your holiday card so friends and family can feel as if they were involved with the fun. You could even encourage your children to give their creations to someone special as a heartfelt holiday gift.

Send Holiday Cheer to Service Members

The brave members of our armed services often sacrifice holiday time with their families to keep us safe all around the globe. One of the most meaningful Christmas activities for families to do together is to send Christmas cards to soldiers serving abroad. It’s fairly simple to find organizations that can coordinate the details, and messages from the homefront can make a huge difference in morale for those who can’t come home for Christmas.

Sing Loud For All To Hear

Caroling is one of the wonderful Christmas activities. Whether you organize a group of singers to carol at a nursing home, take your family door to door around your neighborhood or simply gather around your home’s digital device for a singalong, this is one of our favorite things to do any time of year. We’ve compiled a holiday playlist that includes classics and newer tunes to please everyone. Channel your inner Buddy and spread that Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear!

Volunteer

As the old saying goes “it’s better to give than receive,” and the holidays are definitely a time for giving. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities to collect and deliver food to the needy or clean up the community you live in year-round. You could even organize toy drives to give gifts to kids who don’t have as much. If your family is wondering what to do on Christmas eve, there’s likely a soup kitchen in your town that could use volunteers to serve a hot meal to those in need. Just think how much more your kids will appreciate all they have!

Christmas Activities for Adults

The magic of Christmas isn't just reserved for little ones! There are plenty of ways for adults to get into the holiday spirit. Here are a few of our favorites.

Make Spiked Hot Cider or Hot Cocoa

Warm up this holiday season with a festive cocktail that will put you in the Christmas spirit. Just add a touch of peppermint schnapps to your favorite hot cocoa recipe and top it off with whipped cream. Pair your potent potable with other fun Christmas activities, like watching a holiday movie or singing Christmas carols. For even more themed adult beverage ideas, be sure to read through our post on holiday cocktail recipes featuring vodka, gin, or whiskey.

extra cheer

Extra Cheer by Paper Raven Co.

Show Off a Holiday Sweater

If you have that ugly Christmas sweater in the back of your closet, don’t forget to show it off at least once. Whether you wear it around the office to bring a smile to a colleague’s face or show up to your weekly happy hour with friends rocking it, Christmas sweaters have a way of spreading holiday joy. If you don’t have an ugly sweater in your wardrobe yet, maybe this is the year to add it to the wish list. We have some other great ideas for your Christmas outfits in a separate post you may enjoy reading through.

joyful grid

joyful grid by Susan Asbill

Attend a Tree Lighting Ceremony

Once December 1st rolls around, be sure to keep an eye out for any Christmas tree lighting ceremonies that may be hosted near you. Oftentimes the tree lighting ceremony includes other holiday entertainment from school bands, professional singers, or dance troops. It could be a fun date night if you paired a nice dinner out followed by a tree lighting ceremony.

Big Painted Snowflake

Christmas Trees by JPati Cascino

Complete a Holiday-Themed Puzzle

Crack open a challenging puzzle with a winter or holiday theme on December 1st and aim to have it complete by Christmas morning. A 500- or 1000-piece puzzle should be a perfect size. Of course, if you’re looking for what to do on Christmas eve and you don’t want to go out, a puzzle pairs nicely with a hot toddy and some festive music. Consider posting a photo update to social media each week with your progress. Once done, you can re-gift the puzzle to a friend or neighbor to complete! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Make a Wreath

There are many DIY Christmas wreath ideas that will walk you through how to construct a beautiful wreath for your holiday home decor. You could start with a plain premade wreath and add decorations. Or, for a more hands-on approach, purchase a styrofoam ring at a craft store and then begin attaching your own materials. Some materials to consider using include:

  • Pinecones
  • Pine limbs
  • Wine corks
  • Ribbons and bows
  • Wrapping paper
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Candy
  • Bells
  • Garland
toots sweet

Winter Greens by Mansi Verma