The top 24 Christmas party games for families in 2023
It’s the season of dusting off holiday decorations, embracing ugly sweaters, and wondering how to tell your daughter that Santa can’t wrap a pony under the tree. With all the chaos that comes with the countdown to Christmas, there’s also plenty of wholesome excitement for the memories your family is going to make.
Best Christmas party games for families with toddlers
Whilst classic Christmas movies inspire ideas of passionate snowball fights and bonding over sturdy mugs of hot chocolate, our sunburnt country offers us a slightly different reality. Even so, your family Christmas party can still stir up festive fun and we’re going to show you how.
These are some of of our favourite kid-friendly Christmas party games for families in all shapes and forms.
Candy cane hunt
Why save the scavenger hunts for Easter? Bring that same jolly energy to your Christmas games with a festive and frenzied candy cane hunt. Sneak around your house or garden and hide candy canes for both kids and adults to hunt down excitedly. Door handles act as great hooks, garden beds provide great cover, and the fruit bowl is perfect for hiding in plain sight. The best feeling of all is seeing everyone’s faces light up as they spot those red-and-white stripes. Your toddler can have an adult buddy helping them out and making sure they stay safe.
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Pass the parcel
Let’s not forget about the star of the show for your kids’ Christmas – presents! There’s a lot of magic in some wrapping paper and a bow, even if the gift itself isn’t all that fancy. Think toys, fun socks, small books or craft tools for the game that tops all Christmas games – pass the parcel. This activity can even be a slightly upgraded substitute for Christmas crackers.
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A game as old as time, everyone can get around musical chairs – especially when the song playing starts with “dashing through the snow….” This Christmas party game is a simple but always reliable go-to that even toddlers can get involved in. Round up some chairs, pop on a Christmas tune, and watch everyone rush to a seat the moment the music stops. Just make sure no kids get pushed over in the process.
Best Christmas party games for families with older kids
DIY wrapping paper
Anything can be an art project if you let it, so consider using your kid’s art as wrapping paper this year. Grab kraft paper, pens, markers, and even some scrapbook paper or magazine cutouts. Set up an arts and crafts table in your house and let your guests get creative making their own wrapping paper. These projects can be taken home and offer a more sustainable (and memorable) alternative to cover the gifts under your Christmas tree.
DIY Christmas ornaments
In the same vein, there’s lots of fun and creativity in making a game of kids creating their own Christmas ornaments. You can channel your inner DIY blogger with pipe cleaners, glitters and paddle pop sticks, or keep it simple by following a template. For big groups, using a pack of wooden ornament cutouts and setting them up with art tools to decorate will let everyone express their festive creativity and make meaningful keepsakes. After all, Christmas trees aren’t meant to look like an interior design magazine. They’re a reflection of your family and the love and memories that bind you together.
Festive mad libs
For a more silly take on Christmas party games, this word play activity is guaranteed to bring the giggles. Mad libs is a template word game where you finish phrases by substituting the blanks. The idea isn’t to create the most logical sentences, but rather the most fun and unexpected. Whether you write a Christmas themed template yourself or download one online, your little guests will love coming up with all sorts of goofy answers. It’s also a great opportunity for older kids to practise their grammar and vocabulary.
Christmas party games for all ages
Gingerbread house decorating contest
In the true spirit of Christmas, it’s time to get competitive with the people you love the most. Set up a gingerbread house decorating contest that brings both fun and flavour to your Christmas party games. You can grab a kit from most supermarkets or department stores (or make one yourself if you’ve got the skills), and add in decorations like Smarties, Snakes, or Chocolate Freckles. Split people into mixed-age teams and let their imaginations take the lead. In true Masterchef fashion, you can add a time pressure element and make everyone say “yes Chef.”
When in doubt, charades it out. Would it even be a Christmas party if people weren’t jumping around, waving frantically, and yelling over each other? Charades is the ultimate fun game to engage the whole family. Using prompts like “building a snowman” or “the Grinch”, you can add a festive twist to this tried-and-true favourite. If you want to go the extra step, wear Christmas costumes for dramatic flair and give holiday themed prizes like an extra round of hot chocolate or a jar stocked with candy canes.
Get everyone’s gears moving with a Christmas themed round of trivia. For the little ones, you can start simple with questions like “who is Santa married to?”, or “which reindeer has a red nose?”. And for grown-ups, you could get more specific with Christmas movie questions like “In Home Alone, where does Kevin’s family go for Christmas?”, or historical references. Did you know that the custom of Christmas trees started in Germany? Or that jingle bells actually started as a song for thanksgiving? And believe it or not, KFC is actually a popular Christmas meal in Japan. These fun facts also make for great conversation starters.
The best Christmas games result in a delicious, sugary, and festively-shaped treat. So embrace the sweetness of the holiday season with a baking competition that whisks your kitchen into a powdery heaven. There are a few ways you can go about this Christmas game: set one creation that everyone will make, let everyone choose their own baked good, or have them judged on how they decorate the same style cookies. No matter what you choose, make sure you’ve got a freed up pantry to store the incoming snacks.
If charades is feeling a bit overdone, switch things around with a game of heads-up. The living room will turn into a theatre performance as guests try to act out everything from Santa’s sleigh to Love Actually, and cover their faces with frustration when their team member keeps guessing incorrectly.
You can find a ready-made set in the Christmas Festive Family Games Pack from Big W, which comes with 4 cone hats and 50 name cards to guess. Handily, it also comes with trivia cards and charades cards if you want to undertake a Christmas games marathon.
Reindeer ring toss
This one requires a little more setup, but the fun you’ll have totally makes up for it. Pick up a reindeer antler headpiece, or DIY it if you’re feeling crafty, with some dive rings. One lucky (or unlucky, depending on how it goes) volunteer wears the antlers while others toss rings and try to hook them on the antlers.
You could also try the same idea with a Santa hat. Those with better hand-eye coordination skills are more favoured in this game, but it’s bound to be a fun time even for the clumsier folk.
How low can Santa go? You can find that out with this fun Christmas party game that brings as many back cracks as it does laughter. Step one, get dressed up in a Santa costume. That can just be a pillow stuffed under a red jumper, a Santa hat, or the whole shebang (beard and all).
Add in some sort of garland, string of lights, or ribbon for your limbo mechanism, and you’ve got yourself one crazy activity. Follow the usual rules of limbo with the extra limitation of needing the Santa costume to stay on – so strap that pillow in tightly.
Play “Monopoly Christmas Edition”
It wouldn’t be a list of Christmas party games if we didn’t shoutout the Christmas version of Monopoly. With all the competitive chaos of the classic game and the best festive vibes, you can play as one of six special Christmas tokens (yes, even Santa) as you blitz across the board of seasonal references. Depending on your luck, you can land on Christmas baubles, Mistletoe, or end up in a cell for Christmas eve.
Human Christmas tree
Admittedly, this one sounds a bit terrifying… but bear with us. Just like summer means making people into mermaids with sand, the festive season means it’s time to turn someone into a Christmas tree.
Each team will decorate one of their own members as a human Christmas tree using paper streamers, garlands, ornaments, and whatever else they fancy. They could even balance a Christmas star on top of their head. The team that achieves the most impressive transformation, wins!
Christmas themed Pictionary
Another great game to create a holiday version for is Pictionary – just pick your own festive words, set up some pen and paper, and start the timer. Get ready to see some shady sketches of elves, seriously warped sleighs, and a whole lot of “what is that?“. With all sorts of wacky creations and completely off track guesses, you’ll be wanting to get out a camera for this one.
Guess the Christmas song
If you’ve been plagued by Christmas songs to the point that you hear them in your sleep, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. For this game, each team needs to choose a buzzer for themselves and have someone play a tiny snippet of a Christmas song. Whoever’s first to make their buzzer noise and guess the right song title gets a point. Tally it up at the end to reveal the Christmas music master.
Christmas carol karaoke
Keeping on with the musical theme, it’s time for some Christmas carols by the fireplace (or if you’re in Australia, the aircon). A karaoke machine can help with this one, but there’s nothing wrong with just getting up a Youtube lyric video and belting it out mic-free. Line up your favourite ballads, whether that’s an old-school classic or a bit of Mariah Carey. Just apologise to your neighbours in advance.
Play “Festive 5 Second Shout Out”
This quick and easy game is perfect for some family bonding after you’ve smashed out a delicious and far too filling Christmas dinner. Race against the 5 second timer to call out three answers to each festive question, and see whose Christmas expertise puts them in the lead. You can grab the game at Big W.
Christmas family feud
Host your own holiday party game show with a Christmas edition of Family Feud. With questions like “when should you begin decorating for Christmas?” or “what song would be Santa’s ringtone?”, this fun game will stir up some hilarious debates that you’ll all be laughing about for years to come.
Christmas movie bingo
Feeling like a chill night in with buttery popcorn and cheesy movies? Not all Christmas games need to be teeming with energy and have a massive cleanup. Pop on a classic festive film and a game of Christmas bingo instead, where you and your guests tick off items they see in the movie. Watch out for a Christmas tree, Reindeer, Santa, mistletoe and carolling, and see who completes a row first! Winner gets a second helping of Christmas pavlova.
Oven mitts challenge
For all the time you spend meticulously wrapping presents, it can be a bit disheartening to see your family rip it open in a matter of seconds. Give them an extra hurdle by having everyone wear oven mitts while they unwrap their gifts. The first to crack through the wrapping paper wins. This activity can be done with small gifts for friends and family, or the real deal on Christmas morning if your family loves some friendly competition.
Find the ornament
Inspired by the German-American tradition “find the pickle,” this Christmas game involves hiding a quirky ornament somewhere in your Christmas tree for guests to find. You can keep the game going as each kid chooses a new spot to hide the ornament. It’s sure to keep the kids entertained, plus provides plenty of fun for adults watching on with amusement and phone cameras.
Hit two birds with one stone and get some memorable family photos out of your family Christmas games. Stock up on festive outfits and costumes (Santa hats, reindeer antlers, and striped tights) and find a good backdrop to take photos in front of. You’ll want to play around with different arrangements, facial expressions, and funny snapshots to make this year’s Christmas cards better than ever.
The Christmas season is about connecting with the people who matter the most, and doing the things that warm your soul. You don’t always need an elaborate line up of Christmas party games, but they can be good conduits for making rich memories that fuel us into the new year and deepen our relationships. That might involve fun Christmas games like bingo and a candy cane hunt, or just splashing around in the pool and cutting funny shapes into watermelon. Just laugh with your favourite people, be silly with your kids, and have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Lise Bosch Follow +
Lise is a South African born and Aussie raised writer who recently upgraded from the fairy-tales she wrote when she was little to stuff with a little more “oomph.” With a journalism degree and experience in the beauty industry, she has a passion for family and lifestyle content. On her days off, she’s finding the latest and greatest brunch spots and trying to work...
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