28 Christmas Party Games for the Whole Family (Plus a Few That Are Adults-Only)
Everyone loves a lively holiday bash but hosting one can be stressful (even if it’s just you and your quarantine pod). What if people get bored? What if no one talks to each other? If you’ve ever thrown a party before, there’s a good chance you’ve asked yourself these questions...and that, friends, is why party games exist. Good news: You don’t even have to do your own research because our roundup of Christmas party games features crowd-pleasers for any kind of holiday celebration—naughty or nice.
1. Happy Holidays! The Christmas Carols and Songs Game
No need to venture out into the cold for a caroling activity this holiday season. Instead, bring the classic tunes indoors with an entertaining game that will put everyone’s Christmas carol knowledge to the test. The play is fast-paced and family-friendly and the board game format (which includes playing pieces and dice) makes for an interactive experience that all will enjoy.
2. Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are always a blast—but let’s be honest, it takes a lot of effort to design one. Spare yourself the chore and scoop up this festive, ready-made scavenger hunt for an indoor/outdoor adventure without the onerous workload. Seriously, all you have to do is deal some cards from the deck and watch the holiday play unfold.
3. Pin the Nose on the Reindeer
In case you missed it, this birthday party staple has been reinvented to suit basically every holiday. Why? Probably because it’s so much fun that people (including uncle Ron) want to play it more often. Yep, guests both young and old will get a kick out of this Christmas-themed version on the classic party game...but if you’re singing “you spin me right round” to yourself while blindfolded and dizzy, you officially belong to the latter group.
4. Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
If your neighborhood puts on a good light show over the holiday season, you should definitely make use of your neighbor’s efforts with a Christmas light scavenger hunt. This simple, printable activity is an excellent way to get everyone outdoors for some fresh air and interactive fun. Kids will enjoy using their powers of observation to check off items on their scavenger hunt card and adults will appreciate the festive decorations all the more thanks to this ‘stop and smell the roses’ game.
5. ‘Tis the Season Christmas Trivia Game
Unless you have a little kid with an unusual command of 20th century pop culture, this one, like all trivia games, is best suited for tweens and adults. That said, the under ten set should certainly stand by because there’s plenty of education to be had from this entertaining party game, which includes movie trivia challenges that reference Christmas classics (Miracle on 34th Street), cult films (A Christmas Story) and modern holiday favorites (Elf). Not a film buff? Fear not: This game also includes questions relating to holiday traditions, carols and more.
6. Christmas Bean Bag Toss
No one outgrows a good bean bag toss and young children will relish the opportunity to throw things without losing their prized place on Santa’s ‘nice list’. Bottom line: Everyone will be glad to get in on this family-friendly game—but if your hand-eye coordination isn’t up to snuff, prepare to have the secret exposed.
7. Candy Cane Hook ‘em
Equal parts challenging and goofy, this candy cane game is as amusing to play as it is to watch. Stock up on this sweet and stripy holiday staple and you’ll have everything you need for this 60-second (i.e., Minute to Win It) race, which promises to keep the whole fam on the edge of their seats.
8. Christmas Mad Libs
This beloved road trip and rainy day activity just got a holiday makeover, and no one will be mad about it. This uproariously funny, family-friendly activity comes to you in free, printable form—you know, so you can keep the mood light at your Christmas party without a heavy workload.
9. Christmas Elf Charades
If you’re a proud owner of this all-powerful Christmas prop, we’ve got good news: You can put that Elf on a Shelf to use for party games, too. Try this game of elf charades, in which players use Santa’s little helper to act out Christmas themes. The amateur puppet work will garner some good laughs—and thanks to the magic of holiday printables, you only need a pair of scissors to get the good times rolling.
10. Pass the Christmas Parcel
Pass the parcel is an ideal way to give your party guests a taste of the present-opening thrills that are typically reserved for Christmas day. This holiday twist on the classic game is played the same way as the traditional version, except this time, the gifts are covered in festive wrapping paper and there’s festive music involved. Best of all, this game can be easily adapted to entertain any crowd because you can choose an inoffensive present for a family-friendly event or a gag gift for a grown-up gathering. Either way, the winner takes all.
11. Christmas Word Search
Like a crossword puzzle, but easier, this Christmas word search is refreshingly thoughtful and lowkey compared to other party games. That said, if you want to introduce some extra excitement to the activity, just set a timer—whoever finds the most words before the buzzer goes off wins the game.
12. Punch a Present
This Price Is Right-inspired gift giving idea, which involves punching through holes in a cardboard box to reveal presents inside, has major party game potential. For a bigger group, you’ll need more than one box to extend the game, and we suggest leaving several holes empty to add to the excitement. (Will you score a gift or walk away empty-handed?) With these few minor adjustments, you’ve got a gift giving game that will entertain guests of all ages.
13. Siamese Gift Wrap Game
Think you’re so good at gift-wrapping you can get the job done with one hand tied behind your back? Well, here’s your chance. Partner up for a gift wrapping race with a twist: Each member of the two-person team can only use one hand. The first team to finish the task wins the game, but this one is more about the laugh-out-loud spectacle than keeping score.
14. ‘Would You Rather?’ Adult Christmas Version
Wait until the kids are in bed to play this party game because the hilarious ‘would you rather?’ content is for adult ears only. This Christmas version of the popular ice breaker comes with a free printable of questions to ensure a fast-paced game that will crack everyone up (and make more than a few people blush).
15. Christmas Carol Musical Chairs
Just like regular musical chairs, except played to the tune of popular Christmas carols. Party-goers of all ages will have a blast scrambling for a seat (or providing back-up vocals from the sidelines if there’s no place left to sit when the music stops).
16. Who Killed Santa? Christmas Murder Mystery Game
This whodunnit game serves up squeaky clean and family-friendly entertainment. The rules of play might be a bit too complicated for kids younger than 8, but littles one can still participate in the detective work provided they pair up with a grown-up. Needless to say, this murder mystery is definitely not snoozy.
17. Santa vs. Jesus: The Epic Party Game
Team Santa and Team Jesus duke it out in this irreverent holiday party game for grown-ups that features puzzles, riddles and controversial jokes. The rules are easy to learn and the play is wildly entertaining. Best of all, although the content is mature, there’s nothing too raunchy, so you can comfortably play with aunt Jean.
18. Gingerbread House Bake-off
Turn this time-honored holiday tradition into a party game by adding an element of competition to the activity. Divide guests into teams so they can race to build the best gingerbread house before the clock runs out. Bonus: This party game doubles as dessert.
19. Christmas Carol Karaoke
This family-friendly party game is pretty straightforward: Gather everyone together and let the karaoke caroling begin. This one does go down easier after a couple of adult drinks, but guests of all ages will have a blast belting it out—and the worse the singing, the sillier the entertainment.
20. A Christmas Story: The Party Game
This movie trivia board game is sure to be a hit with fans of the cult classic movie that it’s based upon. The game is intended for teen and adult players—since little kids probably don’t know the movie that well—and it can only accommodate four players, so this one is best-suited for a small holiday celebration (or played in pairs).
21. Don’t Ring the Bell Obstacle Course
Little kids and limber adults (maybe?) will enjoy navigating this festive obstacle course with challenges that include jumping through hoops (literally) and tiptoeing across a balance beam, to name a few. Bottom line: This is a fun way to get the party started for the under ten set.
22. Never Have I Ever...
It wouldn’t be a grown-up party with a good drinking game to break the ice: Confess your sins and throw a few back with a round of ‘Never Have I Ever’. The catch? Each statement must be Christmas related. Check out the tutorial for a few examples to get the game going.
23. White Elephant
A popular gift exchange game that involves unwrapping presents and trying to steal from friends, white elephant is easy to play and amusing for partygoers of all ages. Just be sure to give guests a heads up since everyone will need to arrive at the party with a gift.
24. Jingle Bell Toss
Like beer pong, but with jingle bells to fit the Christmas theme. This test of hand-eye coordination is considerably more challenging if there are alcoholic beverages involved, but the booze is optional, so feel free to omit it for a kid-friendly party game.
25. Gingerbread Christmas I Spy Game
This free printable I Spy sheet with a holiday theme makes a good party game for young guests to play while the grown-ups get to relax. This one’s entertaining and challenging enough to keep underage partygoers occupied for a decent length of time.
26. Snow Shovel Race
This Minute to Win It snow shovel race is as enjoyable to watch as it is to play. Best of all, you only need a few inexpensive supplies—cotton balls, plastic spoons and a bowl—to get the fast-paced competition started. The objective? Shovel as many snowballs as you can into the bowl without using your hands.
27. Floof Indoor Snowball Fight
Looking for a fun game for your family-friendly holiday celebration that doesn’t involve trekking snow into the house? Scoop up some Floof and start a dry snowball fight for some seasonal fun that won’t freeze your hands. This party game will take everyone by surprise, but it’s sure to be particularly thrilling for the younger crowd.
28. Springbok Christmas 550 piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles might not exactly scream ‘party-time’ but hear us out on this one because they’re actually a good fit for a relaxed (but fun) bash. For starters, jigsaw puzzles are a great way to bring people together, since kids and grown-ups can get in on the game, and because they’re so mellow, puzzles are highly conducive to conversation, too.