It’s that time of year. You’ve decked the halls. Baked the cookies. And now you’ve been put in charge of organizing the family Christmas party.
Although hosting a family Christmas party might seem easy enough, there always seems a stress to figure out how to keep everyone entertained.
What kinds Christmas party games do I choose? Will everyone like that game? Do I need prizes?
And my favorite question of all. What if the competition gets too much?
Depending on your age group, this could be a real possibility. I always just cross my fingers that it doesn’t happen and I can step in if the competition becomes too fierce.
Not to worry. The good news is that there are lots of Christmas party games that are family friendly and all of your guests will love. It’s just a matter of getting creative and knowing your audience.
How to Choose the Best Christmas Party Games
With so many options to pick from, how do you select Christmas party games that your guests will love. Nothing is worse than to choose games and end up with groans at the party. Yes, this can happen.
When selecting games, start with getting to know your guest list better.
Ask yourself these questions:
Are there a lot of different ages attending or is everyone around the same age?
What are your guests’ interests? Do they like building, making, tossing or strategy?
What kinds of games do you like to play with your friends? Or do your kids like to play together?
Once you have a better idea about the things your guests enjoy, it will be easier to pick the best Christmas party game options.
When thinking about ages, make sure that you choose games that are age and skill appropriate. This can be hard if there are lots of different age groups attending your Christmas party. But there is a big difference in the type of game that a preschooler will enjoy and a twelve year old. Or even great uncle Mark.
If you’re having trouble choosing a game, think about the kinds of games your family enjoys playing together. Then, select or create Christmas variations of these games. For example, if they love playing Bingo, have a Christmas bingo ready to go. Or if they like to sing and dance, choose a Guess the Carol game.
Be Sure to Have Choices
Not every guest is going to like every game. When planning your Christmas party games, be sure to have a number of different types of games to choose from. Make sure that each game should be a bit different.
Just make sure that everyone can enjoy the entertainment they like best. It will create less pressure on everyone and no one will feel uncomfortable.
Plan in Advance
Sadly, Christmas party games don’t just happen. Like all other party prep, they need to be carefully planned out in advance.
When you’re planning your Christmas party, be sure to include a list of the games you want to play. Then, gather all of the supplies you will need in advance. No one likes to run around the day of the party trying to find different items. Especially when you’re managing all of the other party planning must dos.
In the weeks prior to the party, be sure to gather things to play the games. Most importantly – print out the printables. Decide on where to set up each game. And read over the instructions/rules multiple times. Nothing can be more frustrating when trying to teach guests – especially little ones – how to play a game if you don’t know how to play it yourself.
Once you feel confident in the games that you’ve chosen, play a couple of test rounds with your own kids. Party day will go much smoother if at least a few people know how to play.
Do I Need Prizes?
No. But they sure are a fun addition. And they can be very motivating for participation.
Prizes for Christmas party games don’t have to be complicated. Check your local party or dollar store for ideas. These are great places to get game prizes on a budget.
Other really fun Christmas party game prizes include: (affiliates)
Christmas Ornaments- a variety of small ornaments for winners to choose from
Candy Canes (decorate them like reindeer for added fun)
Christmas Crayons (attach to a Christmas coloring sheet for an easy prize)
Gingerbread Playdough (add a gingerbread cookie cutter for extra fun)
Once you’ve picked out your game prizes, think about a fun way to package it. For cookies, place them in a cello bag and attach a Christmas tag. Or for Christmas candy, package with treat bag toppers. These Elf Kisses treat bags would be lots of fun.
You can also gift wrap your game prizes to add to the mystery. Guests would love receiving an extra wrapped gift this holiday season.
Or place a couple of smaller prizes in a treat bag and add a Christmas treat bag topper. Then, hand those out for prizes. There’s lots of ways to make your prizes extra fun.
Christmas Party Games
So, here are some of our favorite Christmas party games. Have a favorite game that I forgot to list? Be sure to let me know in the comments. We are always looking for new Christmas game ideas around here.
Roll a Dice Games
There are lots of festive dice game options. The best part is that they require very little set up. You just need to print the game and add dice (affiliate). If you can’t find any dice, borrow a pair from another board game. Just remember to put them back.
There are two ways to play dice games. You can have the players compete against each other or build it first. Or you can have the everyone play until it’s complete. No matter how many rolls it takes.
Choose the play that works best for your guests. If you decide to just play for fun, be sure to have a small prize for everyone.
Can’t decide on your favorite dice game? Print out multiple versions so guests can pick the ones they want to play.
Roll a Christmas Tree
In this dice game, players roll to decorate the Christmas tree. You can find a Free Printable Roll a Christmas Tree game here.
Roll a Snowman
For Roll a Snowman (affiliate), players roll the dice and draw on different parts of the snowman. The goal is to see who can “build” their snowman first. It’s the perfect activity for a winter kids party.
Roll a Reindeer
This colorful Roll a Reindeer Game by Simple Everyday Mom is perfect for littler guests. Kids roll the dice and match the color of the pom pom to the circle. The first one to cover the reindeer wins. Don’t have pom poms? Kids could also color the circles in with matching crayons.
Christmas Gift Exchange
If you’re giving gifts at this year’s holiday party, why not transform it into a Christmas party game? This Christmas Gift Exchange Game has guests roll the dice to see which gift they end up taking home. You can find it in our shop here.
Other Roll a Games
Of course, dice games are only limited to your imagination. You can also play Roll a Santa or Roll a Gingerbread House (affiliates). There are lots of fun and festive options to playing this simple Christmas game.
Act it Out
No time to make your own Christmas charades? Check out this Christmas Charades Game. It also makes a perfect hostess gift.
To play, divide guests into two teams. The first player draws a card and acts out the phrase without using words or sounds. Their team tries to guess the phrase in a specific amount of time. If they guess it, they receive a point. Play continues until all of the cards have been guessed. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Or Try Drawing
For those who don’t want to act, try drawing instead with a game of Christmas Pictionary. Using the same clue cards, guests can draw out the phrase.
To play, give each team a white board, markers and eraser. Then, one player picks a card and draws the phrase for their team to guess. If guessed, the team gets a point. Then, the next team goes. Play continues until all of the cards have been played. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Giving to others is one of the joys of the holiday season. So why not turn the exchanging of gifts into its own game. From hosting a Secret Santa gift exchange to playing a Christmas gift exchange game, there are lots of different ways to make exchanging gifts fun this season.
Pass the Parcel
This classic British party game makes a fun Christmas party game with just a few changes. Start with an assortment of small gifts and multiple different wrapping papers. Wrap the first gift to create a base layer. Then, place the next gift on top and wrap it using a different wrapping paper. Continue wrapping until you have several layers. There should be at least one for each guest to unwrap, but preferably more to make it more fun. Be sure each layer of wrapping paper is different to make it easy to distinguish them.
To play, guests sit in a circle. An adult (or person not playing), plays Christmas music. The guests pass the gift around in the circle. When the music stops, the guest holding the gift unwraps a layer and claims the prize. Play continues until all of the layers of the parcel have been unwrapped.
Another version of this game is the plastic wrap ball game. Instead of using Christmas gift wrap, you use plastic wrap. You can find tips for playing here.
Left Right Story Game
This gift exchange game has become one of our family’s favorites. Probably because we love a good story. Add in a gift to pass around and everyone is pretty happy.
Gather guests in a circle. They follow the passing directions in the story. The gift that they’re holding when the reading is complete is the gift that they get to take home.
If acting and drawing aren’t your guests favorite activities, maybe they would enjoy building with playdough instead. Using the same charades cards, challenge guests to build the word/phrase for others to guess. This is one of our favorite kids Christmas party games that we play each season.
You can also set up a playdough snowman building competition and see who can build a snowman the fastest (affiliate). You can make this competitive or just for fun.
Another idea is to give each guest play dough mats to build on (affiliate). They can make snowflakes in the sky, add marshmallows to a mug or design the inside of a snow globe. Be sure that each station has their own play dough for easy playing.
Or make this gingerbread playdough and let guests create their own gingerbread playdough cookies. Use pom poms, googly eyes, beads and sequins as “sprinkles”. Have a cookie decorating contest to pick the best decorated cookies.
Ask a Question
Test guests Christmas knowledge with a Christmas trivia game. Start with a set of Christmas trivia cards. I love this set from our shop because players don’t need to know the exact answer. Just whether the statement is true or false.
To play, divide into teams. The first team draws a card and tries to answer the question. If they can’t answer it, the question passes to the other team. If both teams can’t answer, then the teams can check the answer. The team to answer the question first correctly receives a point. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.
Another version of Christmas trivia is this set of variety cards (affiliate). It’s full of an assortment of challenges including charades, questions and singing games. I love the diversity of tasks in case guests don’t want to just answer questions.
Pass the Candy
Start by gathering guests in a circle. Give each player four pieces of wrapped candy. Since it is a Christmas party game, try to keep it festive. Think peppermints, festive wrapped chocolates and small packets of red and green gummy bears.
Have the youngest start play by rolling the die. He follows the directions that match the roll. Play continues until the first player gets to ten candies first. (Or however many you decide at the start of the game.) That player wins.
Go On a Hunt
As you probably know by now, one of our family’s favorite party games is a good scavenger hunt. And Christmas is a great time to host a variety of Christmas scavenger hunts.
One idea is to take the celebrating outside and send guests on a Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt around your neighborhood.
Or for older guests, send them on a Christmas photo hunt. See how many of the photos they can snap. The team with the most photos from the list at the end of the hunt wins.
You can also set up a clue finding Christmas scavenger hunt. Check out this fun Indoor Christmas Scavenger Hunt or this more difficult version. Guests will love trying to solve the riddles and finding a prize.
One other idea is to set up a candy cane hunt. To play, simply hide candy canes around your house (or outside). Next, let guests know how many candy canes to find. Or you can let them find as many candy canes as they can to add in some competition. Then, guests hunt for the candy canes. The best part – the candy canes are the prize.
Christmas Musical Chairs
Just add Christmas music to transform this classic party game into a kids Christmas party game. Place a set of chairs in the center of the room (with plenty of walk around space). There should be one fewer chair than the number of players. So if you have eight players, there should be seven chairs.
While the Christmas music plays, players walk around the chairs in a circle. When the music stops, each player grabs a chair. The person without a chair is out. Then, remove another chair for the next round. Play continues until one player is left and is the winner.
This fun Christmas party game has lots of variations and is fun for all ages. Start by choosing the pin the game that you like best. My two favorites are Pin the Nose on the Reindeer or Pin the Carrot on the Snowman (affiliates).
Print the game on the required paper. I usually use 11″ x 17″ paper for ease and budget (affiliate), but you can go bigger if desired. Then, print the noses on medium to heavy white cardstock so they are a little sturdier. Next, cut out the noses so everyone can have at least one.
For play, give each player a game piece. Let them mark the piece with their name or initials. This way you can tell whose piece is whose at the end of the game.
Then, blindfold (if desired) the first player. Spin him around a couple of times. The player tries to “pin” the piece as close to the target as possible.
Play continues until everyone has had a chance. The player whose piece is closest to the target wins.
Santa Sack Race
For this sack race, think a potato sacks meet Santa’s. To set up the race, start with a set of Santa’s sacks. You can use Christmas themed canvas bags or just plain ones. If you can’t find any, you can also use pillow cases or traditional potato sacks (affiliates).
This race is best in a large indoor space that’s carpeted (kids will most likely fall, so hard surfaces aren’t always best). Or move it outside to a grassy area.
Then, line up the racers at the starting line. Have them get into their Santa sacks. Shout “Go”. The first racer to hop to the finish line wins.
Christmas Pajama Race
When I think about Christmas morning, comfy Christmas pajamas come to mind. So, why not make a relay race out of them.
For this Christmas party game, gather a variety of Christmas pajamas (or regular if you can’t find Christmas themed), bathrobe and slippers. You can even have a mug to pretend they have hot cocoa. Place each set of clothing into a box at the end of the race space.
Divide the kids into two teams. Have each team stand behind a string. When you say go, have the first participants run to the box. They put on the pajama outfit over their clothes. Once you make sure all the pieces are in place, they take off the outfit and go tag the next person. Play continues until the entire team has completed the race.
Where can you find clothes for the race? Beyond raiding your own closet, check your local thrift store. There are usually lots of hand me downs to choose from. Or ask other parents if they have some items to lend. It’s a great way to get an assortment of pajamas and other items to use.
This easy to make bowling game is that great party game, especially for younger kids. You can find the Free Printable and instructions for making the snowman pins here.
To play, line up your snowman pins. Roll a “snowball” (stuffing filled sock or indoor snowball (affiliate)) towards the pins. See how many pins you can knock down. The first person to knock down all of the pins wins.
Or you can just play snowman bowling for fun. Kids love rolling the snowball and knocking down the pins. Just be sure to have someone man the pins and set them back up again. It makes play more continuous.
No matter the party, everyone loves a good round of Bingo. It’s the perfect game to play at in person or even virtual Christmas parties. Plus, kids (and adults) of all ages can participate.
To play, choose a favorite Christmas Bingo design. (Here is one of our favorites (affiliate)). Then, print out the number of game cards that you need on white cardstock (affiliate). Trim one card for each player.
Next, make your Bingo game pieces. Print the pieces on white cardstock and cut out. Place the pieces in a bag so they can’t be seen.
Have markers out for play. Small pieces of candy, dry beans or pennies make great markers.
Give each player a Bingo card. One person picks a piece from the bag. They call out the piece. If players have it on their boards, they mark it. The first player that has five in a row – horizontal, vertical or diagonal – wins.
This Christmas party game is a spin on the classic Simon Says. To play, choose someone to be Santa. Have them call out a direction to the rest of the group. An example is “Santa says touch your toes”. If they say “Santa Says”, then players need to do that instruction. If not, any player that does it anyway is out of the game. The last player standing becomes the next Santa.
Spoon and Ornament Race
You might remember this party classic from when you were a kid. Except that it was a spoon and egg race. And, I will admit, not always my favorite game to play. Something about racing with a spoon in your mouth while trying to balance an egg. That hopefully was hard boiled because it most likely was going to drop in the process.
This spoon and ornament race is much more fun. Mainly because there isn’t an egg involved. Instead, players place an ornament on the spoon.
For the ornament, I recommend something plastic. That way when it falls – and it will most definitely do so – it won’t break. Clear plastic ornament balls would work great for this race (affiliate). You can even fill them with something to make them more festive (and add some weight).
Also, I was never a huge fan with carrying the spoon in your mouth. Kids might be more comfortable racing by holding it. Wooden spoons work great. If you don’t have any to lend to the race, check out your local dollar store.
Sing Christmas Carols
Turn traditional Christmas caroling upside down by singing Christmas carols together. Karaoke style. If you have a karaoke machine and TV, you can play a Christmas karaoke CD (affiliate). One person can sing at a time or the group can sing together.
If you don’t own a karaoke machine, you can still set up a karaoke activity using YouTube and your TV. Choose a Christmas Songs Playlist from You Tube. Play it on your TV and let guests sing along. It’s a great way to bring holiday musical fun to your party.
Even if you don’t have snow on the ground, you can have some winter fun with an indoor snowball fight. These soft white snowballs are fun to throw and can be used to play an assortment of Christmas party games (affiliate).
Although you can have a traditional snowball fight, these snowballs can also be used for knock down games, snowman bowling, bucket toss, relay race or hot potato (snowball). Check out all of these fun indoor snowball activities here.
Antler Ring Toss
Some Christmas party games are fun just because they are extra silly. That would be the case with these inflatable antlers (affiliate). One child wears the antlers and other kids toss rings to see if they can get them on the antlers.
To play, you will need a set of inflatable antlers and rings (affiliate). Divide guests into two teams. Have one child wear the antlers. When you say go, the rest of the team tosses the rings onto the antlers. The team who gets the most rings on the antlers at the end of the time wins.
Guess How Many
This game is for the mathematical thinkers. I just love watching how kids (and adults) try to estimate the number. All the different methods are so much fun.
You can play this game by setting up a jar with similar sized small items. Some ideas include peppermint candies, M & Ms, small Christmas cookies, jingle bells, Hershey kisses or mini marshmallows. Add a printable sign asking guests to guess. Include small pieces of blank paper or printable guessing cards and a pen. Guests can guess how many items they think are in the jar and place their guess in a box. The person closest to the actual number wins the objects in the jar or another prize.
Variations – Another way to play this guessing game is to have guests guess how many ornaments are on your tree. The key is that you know how many there are first. So if you play this version, be sure to count the ornaments as you decorate.
Or you could play a candy cane guessing game. Put a specific number of candy canes on your tree and have guests guess how many there are. Check out the free printable for this game here.
Cookie Decorating Competition
Think Cupcake Wars meets Christmas cookies. For the older ones, plan a cookie decorating competition. Set up a cookie decorating station complete with premade cookies. Put on a timer. Then, let the everyone decorate. After the cookies are decorated, have guests vote for their favorite ones. You can give a prize for the most loved cookies in each category.
At the end, guests can enjoy their cookies or bring home them home. Be sure to have boxes for easy transporting the decorated cookies home (affiliate). You can even add a custom label. Guests will appreciate this touch.
Christmas party games are a fun addition to any Christmas celebration. As you plan your Christmas party, be sure to include the details for the games that you want to play. It will help you be more organized on party day.
Love these Christmas party game ideas? Be sure to pin it below to save for later.
Looking for other Christmas party games to enjoy at your party? Be sure check out our variety of Christmas party games in our shop. There are lots of ideas to make your Christmas party extra fun.
- Gnome Christmas Game Set
- Cookie Quiz Game
- Winter Charades
- Santa Christmas Game Set
- Christmas True or False Game
And if you need some Christmas crafts to add to the party, here are a few of our favorites that work well with larger groups.
- Yarn Wrapped Christmas Trees
- Button Wreath Ornaments
- Cinnamon Stick Ornaments
- Christmas Pasta Ornaments