20 Best Christmas Activities For Families

By Wednesday, December 8, 2021 0

There’s something about Christmas that can thaw even the iciest of hearts. Whether it’s the music, the decorating, the baking, or the gift exchanging, there’s something that everyone can find joy in during Christmas time. However, it is by far the busiest time of the year. Between the packed schedules, spending time with the family and revelling in the spirit of the season can often fall to the bottom of the pile. Throughout the year, families only spend around four hours of quality time together each week[i], so why not make up for that lost time this festive season? Here are some of the best Christmas activities for the whole family, from children to adults, plus some fun ideas to keep everyone busy on Christmas eve!

Christmas Activities For The Family

Bringing the entire family together can be hard sometimes, but there’s no better excuse to bond than Christmas! So make sure everyone sets aside a little time in their schedules, turn all the screens off, and spend some quality time together this December.  

decorating christmas tree

Decorate The Tree

Decorating Christmas trees is a tradition in many households, but try and involve the whole family this year! Bring everyone together, break out the festive music and go to town on your seasonal centrepiece. Everyone, from toddlers through to teenagers, will be able to find joy in decorating a Christmas tree, and it will put the whole family straight into the festive mood.

pexels elina fairytale 3810885 1

Check Out A Light Display

Nothing says Christmas quite like a good light display. The U.K. is home to many beautiful landscapes, most of which are decked out spectacularly for the festive season. With film projectors, live musicians, shadow theatres, and more lights than stars in the sky, a Christmas light display is just the ticket for the whole family this year.

Find some festive light displays near you here.

christmas market stall

Visit Your Local Christmas Market

Many towns and cities become host to an annual Christmas market, and they’re well worth a visit no matter your age. These one-of-a-kind stalls offer unique present ideas, tasty food and drink options, plus more seasonal spirit than you can jingle your bells at, so bundle your family up and be prepared for a festive stroll.  

See some of the best Christmas markets here.

volunteers handing out food


Christmas is the season of goodwill to all men, so take your family to spread some Christmas cheer to those who need it by volunteering. Whether it’s helping out at a soup kitchen, volunteering in a charity shop or even giving some company to the elderly, your family could make a big difference this year. It is also the perfect opportunity to teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas, plus the importance of helping others.

You can find more information on volunteering here.

board game pieces

Christmas Games Night

Traditional games aren’t played that much anymore, so why not bring them back at one of the most traditional times of the year? Games like Cluedo, Frustration, Pictureka, Monopoly, Pictionary and charades are all great fun for the family, and you can even break out Twister if you’re feeling adventurous!

Christmas Activities For Kids

Entertaining the kids can be challenging all year round, but it’s darn near impossible around Christmas time! So channel their energy into some fun festive activities to keep them busy through December.

writing letters to santa

Write Letters To Santa

Writing letters to Santa has been a tradition in Britain since the 19th century. Back then, children would burn their letters in the fireplace, believing that the wind would carry the ashes to the North Pole. These days, there’s an address for kids to send their Father Christmas letters to. If you get it in on time, you should get a reply too!

christmas cookies

Bake Some Christmas Cookies

This is the perfect activity to let the kid’s creativity take over! Granted, you might have to do most of the challenging work, but their happy faces will make it all worth it. Pick out a lovely festive recipe and hand over icing duties to the kids once they’re baked and cooled. This is perfect for encouraging your child’s imagination and getting them into baking!

gingerbread house

Decorate A Gingerbread House

Decorating a gingerbread house is a tradition stemming from Germany in the early 1800s and is reportedly inspired by Hansel and Gretel. You can make the gingerbread from scratch if you can, but a gingerbread house kit will do the job just as well. You could even turn this into a competition – the person with the best-decorated gingerbread house gets a prize!

christmas crafts

Christmas Craft Party

To encourage your child’s creativity, try hosting a Christmas craft party. Set up stations with different festive crafts, invite all of your child’s friends’ round, play some Christmas tunes and provide some seasonal snacks to keep them going.

elf on the shelf

Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf took the world by storm when it was released in 2005, and it has quickly become a fun tradition in many households. According to the book that accompanies every purchase, the Elf on the Shelf monitors children’s behaviour and reports back to Santa for his Naughty or Nice list. So, although you’ll have to hide your Elf in a new place every night, the best behaviour will be well worth it.

For some unique Elf on the Shelf ideas, take a look here.

Christmas Activities For Adults

Christmas isn’t all about the kids! There are plenty of festive activities for adults to enjoy that will put you straight into the festive spirit.

ice bar

Visit an Ice Bar

Although many ice bars are open all year round, visiting one at Christmas time just feels that little bit more special. So gather a few of your friends, bundle up, and pretend you live in the North Pole for a night!

karaoke microphone

Christmas Karaoke

Christmas songs are one of the best things about the festive period, and who doesn’t love a good sing-song? There are plenty of instrumental versions of your favourite classics available online, so invite your friends over, lay on some booze, and let rip this year.

ice skating

Go Ice Skating

For some, ice skating is already a Christmas tradition. It’s fun, it keeps you active, and it brings you and your friends together – what’s not to like?! So, thaw out the skates and give this Victorian favourite a shot this December for some grown-up bonding time.

adult party

Throw An Adult’s Only Party

Everyone loves a good Christmas party, no matter their age, so set up the best bash this side of the North Pole this year! Put the kids to bed early, invite all of your friends, cook up some seasonal favourites and bring some grown-up party games for a night you’ll be remembering next Christmas.

festive cooking

Try A Festive Recipe

There’s so much fantastic food around at Christmas, so indulge your taste buds with a festive treat. Let loose your inner Gordon Ramsay and try your hand at that recipe you’ve been eying recently. All the time and effort will be instantly worth it as soon as you take that first bite!

Christmas Eve Activities

The kids are running around, Home Alone’s on TV, there’s a certain buzz in the air – it’s definitely Christmas Eve! So keep everyone busy while you prepare for the big day with some entertaining Christmas Eve activities.  

santa biscuits

Set Out Some Snacks For Santa

Delivering presents is hard work! Leaving snacks out for Father Christmas and his reindeer is a sweet tradition dating back to the early 1900s, and for many children, it means that Christmas is nearly here. Set out a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, maybe a little alcoholic tipple if Father Christmas is so inclined, and send the kids to bed with dreams of reindeer-pulled sleighs.

gift wrapping

Have A Gift Wrapping Race

Last-minute gift wrapping may seem stressful, but you can get the whole family involved with a fun little competition. Gather any presents you still have left to wrap plus enough wrapping paper and tape, then see who can wrap their gifts the fastest. Don’t forget the prizes!

christmas jumpers

Ugly Christmas Jumper Party

Christmas jumpers are notoriously ugly, yet still, we wear them. So celebrate their horridness with an ugly Christmas jumper party on Christmas eve! Get everyone to wear the most horrible Christmas jumper they can find and break out the festive music to get into the last-minute spirit of the season.

hot chocolate

Set Up A Hot Chocolate Bar

Hot chocolate is the perfect festive treat, and many families enjoy a cup on Christmas eve. If you’re having the extended family over this year, set up a hot chocolate bar so everyone can help themselves. Layout some hot chocolate stirrers, cups and a kettle so people can help themselves throughout the day.  

festive treat

Whip Up A Festive Treat

Some flavours you can only have at Christmas, so make the most of them while they’re here! So whether it’s Christmas cookies, mince pies, gingerbread men, stollen or a very last minute Christmas cake, get ready to finish up the festive season with your favourite sweet treat.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Amid the hustle and bustle of Christmas, spending time together often only happens on Christmas day. This year, with a brand new arsenal of festive activities at your disposal, you can keep the festive cheer going all through the season. Spending time together at Christmas has never been more fun!

What’s your favourite family Christmas activity? Let us know in the comments below!


  [i] https://www.familiesonline.co.uk/news/research-finds-families-spend-just-4-hours-of-quality-time-together-each-week

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