30+ Fun Christmas Activities to Help You Enjoy the Holidays

Make the most of your holiday season with our list of the best Christmas activities for kids and grown-ups alike. The holidays are a special time to reflect on the good things, celebrate annual traditions, and connect with friends and family. This year more than ever, we’re also doing our very best to cherish every one of these special moments with our loved ones. With decorations to be hung, seasonal recipes to be followed, and Christmas cards to be put in the mail, there are plenty of holiday-themed experiences to keep us all entertained. That’s why we prepared a Christmas checklist of our top picks for fun Christmas activities you can do with family and friends – or even enjoy solo! While each family household has different holiday traditions, we created this list of creative Christmas activities for kids and adults you may want to test out this year.

Whether you start new Christmas traditions by getting crafty and making unique Christmas ornaments or gathering up your friends and family for an ugly holiday sweater party, we have plenty of Christmas ideas you can use to plan a season full of festive fun! These activities incorporate fun Christmas themes, and the best part is that you can do them whenever you please; during the week, on weekends, and even on Christmas Eve. Bookmark this list and watch the memory-making moments start rolling in! Get started on planning the ultimate holiday bucket list by browsing Shutterfly’s Christmas Store for Christmas cards, ornaments, decorations, kitchenware, and gifts for the festive season.

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Christmas Activities For Families

From planning a family Christmas photoshoot to building gingerbread houses– the following Christmas activities are perfect for the whole family. Just choose your favorite from those below or use them to inspire an idea all your own.

1. Take a Holiday Card Photo

Christmas photoshoot

Get your family Christmas card squared away early in the season to give you plenty of time to enjoy the Holidays. Stage family members in funny ways, include clever props, and experiment with wardrobes. Are there certain rooms or locations in your home that could create an interesting backdrop? The more creative the better! Feature the finished photo in your annual holiday cards, in text messages to friends, virtual backgrounds for video calls, and emails to extended family.

2. Visit A Christmas Tree Farm

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 families 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.

3. Decorate a Gingerbread House

Girl Making Gingerbread Cookies With Mom

Trying to figure out what you can do for Christmas from home again this year? Nothing beats a craft that you can eat when you’re finished! Many supermarkets will sell a gingerbread house kit around the holidays. These kits will usually include the bare essentials to build four walls and a roof. Make it personalized and festive by heading to the candy aisle of the supermarket to select a few custom treats that will add to your child’s design of the gingerbread house. The kids are sure to love decorating the house with all their favorite sweets. 

4. Bake Unique Christmas Cookies

This is one of those Christmas activities that evokes a lot of nostalgia and makes heart-warming memories. 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. You can even plate the festive cookies on custom holiday plates.

5. Plan a Family Photoshoot 

Family with one kid holding burning sparklers and looking at camera during Christmas as an exaple of portrait photography

Need an excuse to get the whole family dressed in their Holiday best? Plan a fun family photoshoot for an activity you’ll look back on for years. Just remember to bring hot cocoa and treats to keep the kids smiling through the end of the activity. Looking for the perfect family photo idea to send to family and friends? Create a custom photo Christmas card to share with your loved ones.

6. Host A Holiday Game Night

A family celebrates their family Christmas traditions with Christmas crackers

Round up your friends and family and get your competitive energy on! You can include an ugly sweater contest if you like, but we’ve compiled a great list of Christmas games for adults with a few kid-friendly options included, as well, that get everyone into a festive spirit. From secret Santa, white elephant, and jigsaw puzzles, there are plenty of Christmas games to start new traditions with.

Christmas Activities For Kids

Finding the right Christmas activities for your children can feel stressful. After all, you want them to experience the magic of the season, but many activities are expensive or too time-consuming. The following Christmas activities are not only affordable but something you can do from your home:

7. Host a Christmas Craft Party

Get the Holiday fun started by hosting a Christmas craft party. Set up stations with various crafts, invite your child’s friends, and prepare a few seasonal snacks to carry them through the party. For specific craft ideas, make sure to visit our post on Christmas crafts for kids

8. Write Letters to Santa

Writing letters to Santa is a time-honored tradition. Make it a part of your kids’ holiday celebration by making use of our letters to Santa generator and template.

9. Make Salt Dough Ornaments

Hand painted Christmas salt dough ornaments on festive wood table.

Salt dough ornaments are a festive and easy craft to pull together. All you need is salt, flour, and water to start crafting. Just make sure to plan a craft table so you can contain the mess along the way!

10. Create Snowglobes From Mason Jars

Snow globe without water

Snowglobes are great seasonal gifts from kids, and they make a fun Christmas time craft. Help your kids build the ultimate winter snowglobe with the instructions from our resource on mason jar snow globe ideas.

11. Break Out the Coloring Pages

Little girl's hand painting on the white paper with pink color pen.

Coloring pages remain a long time favorite among children worldwide. That’s why we created a set of Christmas coloring pages, just for you. Check out our post and download the images for a fun Christmas activity the little ones are sure to love. 

Fun Christmas Activities For Adults

Looking for Christmas activities you can do without kids? Whether it’s for an adults-only party or for something you and your significant other can do together, the following activities are plenty of fun.

12. Make Spiked Hot Cider/Hot Cocoa

hot chocolate

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 and your favorite custom photo mugs. Pair your potent potable with other fun Christmas activities, like watching a holiday movie or singing Christmas carols.

13. Set Up a Christmas Photo Booth

Christmas photobooth props

Photo booths make great activities at any Christmas party. Simply find an appropriate Holiday Background, add a few props like selfie frames, and set up a camera to get the party started. 

14. Host Your Own Paint And Sip

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. Rather than attending a group class, purchase a blank canvas, paints, and a brush or two, and test your artistic ability at home! There are plenty of online video tutorials you could play on your smart television or computer that will guide you through creating your own masterpiece. For even more fun, look for a tutorial that focuses on a holiday theme like Santa’s workshop or a winter wonderland.

15. Enjoy A Drive-In Movie

drive-in movie theater

Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback and just in time for the holidays! Check to see if any local venues will be hosting one of your favorite Christmas movies like Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, or Love Actually. We have even seen some large stadiums in major cities convert their parking lots into make-shift drive-in theater locations. This is one of those fabulous Christmas activities for kids of all ages, especially us grown-up elves!

16. Host an Eggnog Tasting


Love eggnog? Consider hosting an eggnog tasting party for your loved ones. Or ask guests to bring their favorite holiday beverage for a wider tasting menu.

Christmas Eve Activities

Christmas Eve is a special day meant to be spent with family. The following activities will help you make the most out of your holiday and family time.

17. Host a Cookie Exchange

Christmas cookies in paper wrapping.

Cookie exchanges are fun parties where you can catch up with friends and family while getting to express your creativity. It’s especially perfect if you’re planning on involving your little ones. 

18. Throw a Christmas Party

Young smiling people with Christmas presents in their hands.

Christmas parties are a great way to spend time with friends and family during the Holidays. For inspiration and decoration ideas, make sure to check out our guide on Christmas party themes.

19. Create a Santa Key

Christmas decoration - Santa's Magic Key. Close-up on light blue wooden background

Do you live in an apartment or home without a chimney? If so, you may be wondering how to explain Santa’s arrival to the little ones. Turn their questions into a fun Christmas Eve activity by making a Santa key. 

20. See Some Christmas Lights

Young family with two kids celebrating Christmas.

Take the family on a tour of the local lights this Christmas Eve. Pack everyone into a car and include some fun Holiday snacks for the road such as hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, and candy canes.

21. Attend a Church Service

Many churches offer a special service on Christmas Eve, making it a great activity for religious families. It’s also a great excuse to dress the whole family in their best Christmas attire to celebrate the meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Day Activities

This big day is here and you’re looking for some special activities to help you feel the Christmas spirit. The ideas below range from helping others to getting a little pre-Christmas dinner exercise, perfect for any family.

22. Volunteer

kids recycling

Looking to give back during the Holidays? Take the family to a local shelter or other volunteer organization. This is also a good opportunity to teach the little ones about the spirit of Christmas.

23. Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar

Full hot chocolate bar

Who doesn’t love hot cocoa during the holidays? Celebrate that warm and fuzzy feeling of Christmas time with your favorite chocolate beverage by setting up a hot chocolate bar. This is a perfect addition for Holiday parties or for visiting family.

24. Take the Family Ice SkatingFriends having so much fun while ice skating. Wearing warm clothing. City is decorated with christmas lights.


Ice skating is a Christmas tradition for a reason. It’s active, fun, and a chance to spend some time on the ice (even if you live somewhere that doesn’t get snow.)

25. Go on a Hike or Walk

two kids getting piggy back rides on a hike

If you’re looking for a way to walk off a Christmas meal, a family walk or hike is a great idea. It also gives you the chance to check out local Christmas decorations and lights along the way.

Other Fun Christmas Activities

Still looking for a little more inspiration? We’ve got you covered. Check out our additional fun Christmas activities below to help you fill your Holiday planner. 

26. Have an Ugly Sweater Party

Ugly Christmas sweaters on card

Ugly sweater parties are a great way to get creative (and a little silly) during the Holidays. Invite your loved ones and hold a competition for the most creative, funny, or elaborate outfits. 

27. Throw a Rustic Christmas Party

christmas party table spread and decorations

For a more elegant and outdoorsy Christmas party, check out our post on a rustic Christmas party ideas. From a cute hot chocolate truck to outdoor table settings, there’s plenty of ideas to help you plan the ultimate party.

28. Build a Snowman

Brother and sister building snowmen.

Building a snowman is one of the most classic and fun Christmas activities to make a part of your family traditions. Accessorize the snowman with a hat, scarf, buttons, sticks and more to bring it to life.

29. Go Sledding

Two woman on a winter vacations playing in the snow.

If there’s a local area safe for sledding, consider taking the kids for a day of fun outdoor activity. Just make sure that there aren’t any dangerous materials, such as tree trunks, rocks, or others in their way.

30. Get Your Personalized Gifting Done

High Angle View Of Christmas Presents On Wooden Table.

Finally, don’t let all of the Holiday activities leave you stretched for time and stressed about finding gifts for under the tree. Check out our holiday and Christmas gifts for a little inspiration.

31. Make Decorations Out of Old Christmas Cards

Christmas card craft showing how to recycle old greeting cards with christmas decor

Are the old holiday cards piling up every year? Is so, turn them into something special with this fun Christmas card craft. Check out our post on how to recycle greeting cards to learn how to transform them into a festive Christmas tree decoration.

Resources Related to Christmas Activities

If you liked this resource on Christmas activities and you’re looking for additional inspiration, make sure to visit our other Christmas ideas and links below: