The holiday season is a joyful time of the year. With decorations to be hung, seasonal recipes to be followed, and Christmas cards to be put in the mail, there are plenty of Christmas activities to keep us all entertained. We prepared a Christmas checklist you may want to review to ensure you stay on track! While each family household has different holiday traditions, we have assembled this list of creative Christmas activities for kids you may want to include in the traditions this year. For the more mature audience, we have also included a list of Christmas activities for adults. We hope you enjoy it!
Build a Gingerbread House - Nothing beats a craft that you can eat when you’re finished! Many supermarkets will sell a gingerbread house kit around the holidays. The kit will usually include the bare essentials to build four walls and a roof. Take your child to the candy aisle of the supermarket and help them select a few custom treats that will add to the design of the gingerbread house. Here are a few ideas on how some popular candies may be incorporated:
Make Gingerbread Men or Sugar Cookies - 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. Once all the cookies are baked, you could encourage your child to share them with some of their classmates at school or the neighbors on your street.
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. 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. Pro tip: Browse online for some stencils to create some really fun patterns.
Build a Snowman - If you have snow on the ground, this might be a fun activity to get the kids involved in. Arm them with some carrots, charcoal, twigs, and clothing like hats, scarves, and mittens and 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. Sun glasses, 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.
Decorate the Christmas Tree - Decorating the Christmas tree is an activity the whole family should participate in. It can be exciting pulling sentimental ornaments out of storage and finding the perfect spot for them on the tree. Unfortunately, a younger child may not get to enjoy the full scope of this Christmas activity, as they can only reach the lower branches of the tree. You may want to consider getting a second smaller Christmas tree that is only three feet tall. Your children will then be able to reach and decorate this tree to their heart’s delight!
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. Add some extra fun to the event by wearing Christmas-themed pajamas. Here is a list of popular kid-friendly Christmas movies:
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 mantel. You could even pair this activity with watching one of the Christmas movies recommended above.
Take a picture with Santa - Our list of Christmas activities for kids would not be complete without a trip to visit Santa! Usually, around the start of December, local malls and outdoor venues will start to offer “meet Santa” photo events. Check with your little one to see if they would like to meet Santa, and then have them prepare their wishlist. This may be a golden opportunity to get that timeless photo of your child on Santa’s lap, that will surely be appreciated for years to come. Who knows, you might even secure the perfect picture for this year’s holiday card! If you are planning for additional holiday photo shoots with your child, we have a great list of tips for taking pictures of children.
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. 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.
Launch a Candy Cane Hunt - Sometimes hiding the candy canes can be more fun than hunting for them. This is a great activity if you have multiple children. If you don’t, you could plan this event for when some friends or relatives are over. Just like an Easter egg hunt, spread some candy canes around the house and the children can collect them in a Christmas stocking instead of an Easter basket. You could even purchase a variety of colors of candy canes and give out prizes for the largest collection to add to the excitement.
Listen to Christmas Songs - You could pair this 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 an internet-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.
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.
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:
Go to the Humane Society - Kids love seeing and interacting with animals. A trip to the humane society is a great idea for the family that is thinking about adopting a fur baby. Even if you don’t plan on taking a pet home, your kids will still enjoy getting to play with the animals. You could even leave a small donation as a holiday present from your family.
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 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.
Make Spiked Hot Cider/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.
Show Off the 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 house to bring a smile to a loved one’s face or broadcast it to the world at a social gathering or company event, 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. Be sure to check out our related post on the history and trends surrounding holiday sweaters and matching attire.
Go Ice Skating - New York City has ice skating at Rockefeller Center. San Francisco constructs an outdoor ice rink in Union Square. There are countless other seasonal ice skating rinks that are created across America for the public to enjoy over the Christmas season. If you can’t find an outdoor rink, your town is sure to have an indoor rink that is just as much fun and possibly not as cold (depending on where you live). Plan a night out on the ice as a Christmas activity.
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. Often times 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.
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. Will this be the year that your house has the best holiday light display on the block? This is a great way to show off your creativity for anyone to enjoy. 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!
Make and Send Christmas Cards - The holidays are a perfect time to check in with family and friends. We all get so busy with the responsibilities of everyday life, that sometimes we lose track of the significant life events of those close to our hearts. Browse through Minted’s collection of photo holiday cards created by independent artists from around the world. Ensure that your Christmas card leaves a lasting impression this year! Check out our Christmas checklist timeline to guarantee that your card preparation and mailing stays on track.
Holiday Flowers by Wildfield Paper Co.
Head to a Holiday Performance - Traditionally theater houses will plan their calendar of performances a year out. More often than not, a holiday-themed performance is slated to run in December. Popular holiday performances include The Nutcracker Suite, A Christmas Carol, and Elf, to name a few. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as these holiday performances tend to be a popular Christmas activity for adults.
Host A Christmas Trivia Night - Host a dinner party or cocktail hour and add a competitive edge to the night with a fun Christmas-themed game. You could prepare a bunch of holiday-themed questions that each team can answer in a trivia challenge. You could also act as a DJ and play popular holiday gingles to see who will be the first to correctly name the popular Christmas song.
Sign Up for Community Service - As the old saying goes “it’s better to give than receive.” The holidays are a time for giving. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer to feed the homeless, help the elderly, or clean up the community you live in year-round. There are soup kitchens that could use volunteers or you could simply make yourself lunch for two and bring the extra one to someone in need. You could even organize toy drives to give gifts to kids who don’t have as much.
Plan a Holiday Themed Paint and Sip - A new activity that has grown in popularity over the last decade is a group painting class that will guide you step-by-step through painting a work of art. Often times alcoholic drinks are also served, for those a little less artistically inclined. Around the holidays, the themes that are painted by the group usually pivot toward images of Santa, reindeer, elves, presents, and Christmas trees. Organize a group of friends to attend the same class for a unique Christmas activity for adults.
Participate in a Holiday Fun Run - For the health and fitness enthusiasts, consider signing up for a themed holiday fun run. Whether you run down city streets wearing a Santa costume, join a bunch of runners sporting their ugly holiday sweaters, or simply run a red and green 5K, you could use a little physical activity to distract you from all the stressful holiday planning- and all those cookies! The winning medal will also make a great ornament for years to come.
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:
Movies in the Park - Depending on where you live, outdoor movies in December might not be possible. For others, you may just need a warm blanket and a head covering. Again, you could opt to just watch one of your favorite Christmas movies in the comfort of your home, but a night under the stars in front of a big screen is just the kind of magic you expect during the 2020 holiday season.