When the holiday season hits, one of the best ways to celebrate the most wonderful time of year with friends and family is with a Christmas party! Snacks, drinks, and gifts aren’t the only things you should have at your party, though. More than anything, you should consider having plenty of games to play to keep everyone in the festive spirit.
For some exciting and fun Christmas party game ideas, check out the list below.
Christmas Party Games for School
Teachers and room parents looking for Christmas party game ideas for school should look no further than the following ideas and suggestions. Undoubtedly, students will have fun with these games. They might even learn something new along the way!
I’m officially in charge of choosing and planning the game for my daughter’s class Christmas party this year! So, I want to start with party games for school. But, I will say, most of the games listed in this post can be adapted for the classroom or for a smaller, family setting.
Snowman Bowling Game
This game allows kids to be creative and sporty at the same time and has two components. First, give each student an empty metal can or plastic cup to decorate as a snowman or Christmas character construction paper, markers, or other classroom supplies. Then, hold a merry bowling game with the decorated cans or cups and a small or medium-sized ball!
I love this idea because it’s a craft and game in one. Plus, since all students are creating “pins” for the game, the class can be split up to bowl together in several groups. Each group can get creative and stack the cups or cans in different ways depending on how many students are in their group!
Nicole at Coffee and Carpool stacks her snowman cups for bowling in these cute little pyramids:
Teachers or room parents can set up each bowling “alley” along the existing aisles in between student desks.
Human Christmas Tree
This is a simple, yet hilarious game we played at my daughter’s second-grade class Christmas party. The children took turns wrapping each other up to look like a Christmas tree with green streamers and shiny gift bows.
To play, students are divided into pairs. One student will be the “tree” and the other student decorates the tree by wrapping the green streamers and adding the bows to their classmate.
We decided to set up this activity as a race (this is totally optional though). To make sure it was fair, each pair received an equal length of streamers and 5 gift bows.
Three pairs competed at a time while another parent watched with a stopwatch. The students loved participating and watching. The classroom was filled with giggles!
We always give out goodie bags to each student, but the winners did receive a small prize in addition to their treat bag.
Toilet Paper Snowman Game
This concept is very similar to the Christmas tree game, but with a snowman twist!
Divide students into teams and provide them with 2-3 rolls of inexpensive toilet paper. Have them designate one student on the team to be the snowman. Then, set the timer to see which team can get their snowman rolled up in as much “snow” (toilet paper) as possible before the time is up!
To make this game more affordable, limit each team to 1 roll of toilet paper and use a stopwatch to see who can roll their snowman up the quickest. Obviously, we enjoy any Christmas party game ideas that involve wrapping players into holiday characters!
Snow Shovel Spoon Game
I’m personally a little obsessed with this next game. This is the game I want students to play this year at our class party! The full instructions are a little different, but for our Christmas party, I’m going to fill one bowl with cotton balls (or pom poms) and place an empty bowl nearby. Each student will then take a spoon in their mouth, and without using their hands, will have to transfer as many cotton balls in one minute.
We will be testing this one out this week to see if it’s the best choice for our 5th-grade holiday party.
Jingle Bell Toss
This is a great Christmas party game idea for tighter budgets. All you need are plastic cups and little jingle bells, which can be purchased at a local dollar store. Set the cups up in a triangle and have students stand a reasonable distance away. Then, instruct them to get as many bells in the cups in under a minute and see which student gets the most at the end!
To make the game more interesting for older students, assign a point value to each cup and consider spacing them out for increased difficulty. Then, add up the point value for each player at the end of one minute and create a leaderboard to determine the winner.
For small spaces, Meghan has a fantastic tutorial on how to make this mini jingle bell toss here. You can scale it up using standard-sized plastic cups, too!
Reindeer Games Ring Toss
This ring toss party game is a fun and easy way to get students into the Christmas spirit. It involves throwing rings onto reindeer antlers that can be set up one of two ways:
Option #1: On a student’s head, like this DIY version made with pipe cleaners.
Option #2: Build a simple reindeer with antlers out of cardboard like this one by Red Ted Art.
The aim is to try and get as many rings on the antlers as possible. Instruct kids to individually toss rings onto the antlers and award points for all of the rings they successfully land on the reindeer.
Candy Cane Fishing Game
Fashion candy cane fishing rods for the student ahead of time by using a popsicle stick as the rod, a ribbon as the fishing line, and a candy cane as the hook. Then, have the students “fish” for treats in a bowl with the candy cane fishing rod and see how many festive goodies they can gather.
See the full tutorial and more ways to play Candy Cane Fishing here.
Bingo is, and always will be, one of my favorite Christmas party game ideas because it’s so easy and fun to play!
Bingo is great for students of all ages, as long as they can recognize letters and numbers. Last year, we played a few rounds of Christmas Bingo at my daughter’s class Christmas celebration.
The students really enjoyed the thrill of yelling out, “Bingo!” when they got 5 in a row.
For their class party, I created this set of Free Printable Christmas Bingo Cards you can print and use for your next Christmas celebration! We used red and green Christmas-themed M&M’s as markers for the game.
For younger students, you can provide bingo cards with pictures of candy canes, Christmas trees, and shining stars instead of numbers so that lower elementary and Pre-K children can play with ease.
Follow the traditional rules for “Simon Says” but change the phrasing to Santa to play a classic game with an entertaining holiday spin to it.
Use Kim’s printable list of prompts to help you get started.
Christmas Would You Rather
Would You Rather questions are some of our favorite icebreakers around here! Simple to understand and play, give students a choice between two Christmas-themed options and have them choose which they would rather do or experience!
Use this free printable list of Christmas would you rather questions by Jen to get started.
Christmas Word Scramble
A Christmas word scramble is also a fantastic way for kids to get better at spelling and critical thinking. Provide them with scrambled-up versions of popular Christmas-themed words or phrases and see how quickly they can unmix them and put all the letters in the right place.
Jen also created these two Christmas word scramble worksheets with 2 levels of difficulty!
Christmas Bow Parachute Game
To play the competitive variation of this game, use a plastic or cloth tablecloth to start. Split up the class into two or more groups. Have the students work together to get all of the bows to fly off of the parachute. The team to get the bows to hit the ground fastest wins!
Christmas Word Search
A word search is a great way for kids to practice their spelling and their attention to detail. Provide them with a fun mix of holiday words to search for and reward them for a job well done once they’ve found them all.
Jennifer at Mom vs. The Boys has this adorable, free Christmas word search printable available here.
Available as printable cards, this game is super exciting and a great way for younger students to practice their letters. Have students sit in a circle around the cards and ask them one at a time to flip over a card in the stack. If they can name or reproduce the sound of the letter on the card, they win it.
However, if the card says freeze, they have to pass all their winnings to the student on their left. The student with the most cards at the end wins!
Christmas Estimation Jars
Estimation jars have always been one of my favorite party games. The concept is simple: fill a jar with Christmas-themed items, making note of exactly how many are in the jar.
For a class Christmas party, you can have each student fill one jar (or plastic container) with items and tell you the exact amount in secret. Then, all students can guess how many items are in each jar. The student with the most correct answers wins first place!
Kim used Christmas-colored pom poms and candies in her post, but you can also use peppermints, jingle bells, mini ornaments, or other Christmas candies to fill the jars.
Christmas Party Game Ideas for Kids
Some Christmas parties are just for kids, so the Christmas party game ideas need to be kid-friendly and easy to understand. Check out the ideas below for tips and inspiration for your next event. Now, have students guess how many are in the jar. The person who guesses closest to the total amount wins.
Candy Cane Hook ‘Em
This hilarious Christmas game by Heidi is a fun Minute to Win It-style game. To play, fill a bowl with candy canes and then instruct one kid at a time to place a candy cane in their mouth, hook sticking down. Tell them to keep their hands behind their back and try to hook as many candy canes out of the bowl in front of them as possible using the one in their mouth.
Be sure to bring enough candy canes for each student to have a fresh “hook” for their turn. We don’t want to share germs on Christmas, y’all!
Indoor Snowball Fight
Funnily enough, indoor snowballs can be purchased either in-store or online for this game, and are usually plush and harmless. Enlist the rules of dodgeball or adjust them to fit your students’ ages and activity levels, and then watch them have fun with an indoor snowball fight that doesn’t involve the cold or the mess!
Reindeer Scavenger Hunt
Oh, no! Santa lost all of his reindeer! Hide adorable print-outs of Santa’s nine reindeer in the room and send kids on a fun and pun-filled scavenger hunt to discover them all. But, hurry… they have to get back to Santa in time to deliver the presents!
This is one of the easiest out of all the Christmas party game ideas listed. Simply use this Free Reindeer Scavenger Hunt Printable to play the game with your kids. Children can even take turns hiding the reindeer cards for hours of fun!
North Pole Pop Game
Get everyone laughing with the North Pole Pop Christmas game! This game is perfect for groups of all ages and is sure to get everyone smiling. All you need is mittens and at least one balloon for each player.
With mittens on, popping the balloon is harder than it looks! The first person to pop their balloon (without cheating) wins. Learn the rules of the games here.
Prepare ahead of time by cutting out individual letters of each of the nine reindeer’s names and sticking them into envelopes. Divide the kids into even teams and have each team unscramble the letters. The first team to spell all of the reindeer names correctly wins.
Create your own cut-out letters or get the free printable from Melissa here.
Pin the Heart on the Grinch
Similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey, this Christmas party game idea is more in line with the Christmas theme. It also emphasizes the importance of having a big heart, not just at Christmas time, but all year round!
Get the free Pin the Heart on the Grinch printable game by Heather.
Rudolph Race Off
This super silly Minute to Win It game is similar to the Snow Shovel game mentioned above. But instead of using spoons to transfer pom poms, kids use their noses!
Get the full setup, materials needed, and game instructions here.
Christmas Mad Libs
My daughter and I have been working through a classic Mad Libs book this month, and it’s been so much fun! I recall playing these with my siblings on long car trips as kids. So, I’m excited to add a holiday-themed version to our list of Christmas party game ideas.
This party game can cause a lot of giggles. Create a fun holiday story, delete a few words, and ask the kids to fill in the blanks with nouns, adjectives, and verbs to make the story totally unique to them. The result will usually be totally silly and will no doubt put smiles on all their faces.
Fill in this Merry Christmas Mads Libs printable with your kids and get inspired to write your own!
Roll a Snowman Game
Split kids into teams and give them one die. For each value on the die, assign one of six snowmen accessories (i.e. hat, mittens, carrot nose, etc.), and instruct the kids to roll until they land on each number and collect all the snowman’s parts. The first team to roll a complete snowman wins the game.
Use a pre-made template like this one from KIddy Charts to get the game started.
How Many Mini Marshmallows You Can Pick Up With Chopsticks
This Christmas party game idea is fairly self-explanatory. Give each kid a paper plate with marshmallows on it and a pair of chopsticks. Tell them they can only use one hand and that they must pick up as many marshmallows off the paper plate as possible and put them in a paper cup before the timer is up.
Candy Cane Hunt Christmas Party Game
Think: Easter egg hunt, but holiday themed! Hide miniature candy canes around the house, room, classroom, school building, or outside area (depending on where your Christmas party is), and let the kids loose! Provide them with a time limit and give the kids who find the most candy canes a special extra prize.
The name of this game essentially explains it all! Place a Christmas cookie onto the kid’s forehead and tell them to wiggle all their little facial muscles to get the cookie into their mouth without using their hands.
Jodi’s little one demonstrates this game perfectly with an Oreo:
Christmas Party Games for Families
Christmas parties come in a lot of different forms and, depending on what type of guests are present, you’ll need to tailor the type of Christmas party game ideas that you come up with accordingly. Keep reading for the perfect Christmas games to play with the whole family.
Christmas Party Bow Game
This post details several games you can play with a bag of Christmas bows, but my favorite game is more of a contact sport. In this competitive game, players will go one-on-one to see who can get the most gift bows on the other person’s back within 1 minute.
Cassie shares a few variations on how to play the game, but her best tip is to add your own tape to the bows. I’d use packing tape since the sticky part of gift bows doesn’t always hold very well!
Holiday Family Feud
Perfectly themed for a family get-together, a holiday version of the classic game show Family Feud can get everyone in the holiday spirit and engaged in some friendly competition. Keep the questions Christmas-themed and see which team of family members wins the lighthearted feud.
Reindeer Antler Game
This is probably the most hilarious game idea you can play at your Christmas party.
In this game, everyone has to make “antlers” that stand up using pantyhose and balloons. You can have players compete individually or as teams. One player will need to wear the balloon antlers to win! Get all the details and game instructions here.
Unwrap Gift Relay
Split family members up into 2-3 teams and present each team with a stack of empty boxes (“gifts”) that have been pre-wrapped. Then, when you say go, one member from each team will race forward to unwrap a gift, place the wrapping paper on the ground, and then race back to the next team member to tag them for their turn. The first team to unwrap all the gifts wins!
Get the full tutorial from Kim at The Resourceful Mama.
Human Christmas Gift Contest
Divide your family into 2 or more teams and designate one member of the team to be the Christmas gift. Give each team plenty of wrapping paper, tape, and other fun craft supplies to use to “wrap” the human Christmas present. Next, set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Once the time is up, decide which team did a more impressive job of decorating their human Christmas gift.
Saran Wrap Gift Ball Game
All you need is dice, saran wrap (also known as cling wrap or plastic wrap), and little goodies (Christmas candies work best). To prepare for this game, wrap the treats up in a continuous layer of saran wrap until you have a ball of gifts. Sit in a circle and choose the first person to start unwrapping while the next person rolls the dice.
Once the next person rolls doubles, the person unwrapping the saran wrap gift ball has to pass it on to them, but they get to keep the goodies they revealed! The game ends when the ball has been completely unwrapped.
Check out the full instructions along with more variations in Britni’s post here. Get a copy of her printable coal cards while you’re there!
Christmas Carol Pictionary
A festive twist on a classic, this Christmas party game idea uses all of the traditional rules and regulations of regular Pictionary. However, the teams are all battling to guess which Christmas carol is being drawn!
You can find a great list of Christmas carols here to use as prompts for the game.
Christmas Guess Who
This game usually has printable helpers that you can find online, but the overall premise is to create a fun guessing game with well-known Christmas characters and clever clues. The family member who guesses the most correctly wins a holiday prize.
Adventure in a Box has an amazing and detailed Christmas Guess Who game printable:
Holiday Minute to Win It
Minute to Win It is fast-paced and high-energy. Create a series of challenges for each team or family member and give them just one minute to complete each of them. Points are awarded according to how many challenges were successfully completed within one minute by the team or individual.
Similar to an unwrapping relay, split your family into teams and present them with gifts (usually just empty boxes) that must be wrapped. Set the timer and tell them to get wrapping! The first person needs to completely finish wrapping their gift before tapping the next person on their team to start. Award bonus points for neatness and extra flair like bows and ribbons.
Christmas Movie Bingo
This is one of those Christmas party game ideas that is a little more relaxing than the usual fare. Who doesn’t love a game of bingo? However, instead of calling out numbers, create bingo cards (or use these free printables) with classic Christmas movie situations on them so that your game can stay on theme.
The Christmas Cookie Game
There are a lot of different games that you can play with Christmas cookies, so get creative. For example, you can split your family into pairs and have one member be blindfolded and guess what flavor cookie is being fed to them. The pair with the most guesses correct wins!
Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
If you love driving around town with your family to look at Christmas lights, why not turn it into a game?! Use this printable checklist to see who can find all the characters and holiday decorations first.
Christmas Party Games for Adults
For Christmas party game ideas where the primary players will be adults, check out these suggestions!
Ugly Sweater Contest
Ugly sweater contests can get super creative and hilariously inventive. Tell party attendees to show up with the ugliest Christmas-themed sweater in their wardrobe and even encourage them to make their own couture designs. The party-goer with the ugliest sweater gets awarded a prize!
Guess the Christmas Scent
Split the adults into pairs and have them take turns being blindfolded. Whether you use candles or actual holiday items, ask them to guess what Christmas scent is being wafted under their nose. The pair with the most correct guesses wins!
Happiness is Homemade has a great tutorial on how to set up this game along with other Christmas party favorites here.
The rules of this Christmas party game are simple. Pretty much everyone knows how to play charades! Split the attendees up into pairs or teams and announce that they’re playing a game of Christmas-themed charades. All of the words or phrases that they will need to act out will be festive and full of yuletide cheer.
Junk in the Trunk
To prepare for this Christmas party game, gather as many tissue boxes as there will be players and find a way to attach fabric belts to them, whether it is with hot glue or by cutting slits into the bottom of the box. Have each player tie the tissue box around their waist with the box facing behind so that it serves as their trunk.
Fill each tissue box with 8-10 ping pong balls and tell your players to get ready to shake the junk out of their trunks once you say go! Watch everyone jump and dance and wiggle around to get all of the junk out of their trunk the fastest!
Get the full tutorial and detailed instructions at Play Dates Parties.
Christmas Relay Race
Relay races can be a lot of fun, especially for adults! Get creative and think of a number of holiday-specific challenges that adults can compete in relay-style. A few ideas include a Christmas cookie toss, eggnog flip-cup, and so much more!
Simple and easy to set up, a classic trivia game with Christmas-themed questions can be just the perfect thing to get everyone in the festive mood. Use this printable set of holiday trivia questions to get started.
Guess the Christmas Song
Divide the Christmas party attendees into teams or have them compete as individuals if the party is smaller. Play a few seconds of a popular Christmas song and then award points to the first person or team to guess which song that brief snippet belongs to.
This game is basic limbo with a Christmas twist! In order to play Santa Limbo, you will need a string of Christmas lights or a limbo stick wrapped in lights. Contestants will need to dress up in a Santa suit with a pillow for extra “cushion” and added difficulty. Whoever can go the lowest without touching the lights wins!
Get the full tutorial and party game instructions here.
Christmas Jep-arty Game
Jeopardy is a class and enjoyable game for parties, and there are countless templates available online for setting up your own with ease. Keep the jeopardy categories cheerfully Christmassy so that all the adults can be sure not to say, “Bah, humbug!”
Scattergories is a great Christmas party game idea because the only supplies it requires are pencils and paper. Announce a letter of the alphabet and give individual players 1-2 minutes to think of as many Christmas-specific words that start with that letter. Award points for every unique word that was written down, but remember that no points are awarded if another player also wrote down that word!
Use this wonderful set of templates to play 5 rounds of Christmas Scattergories.
Christmas Party Game Ideas for Work
Christmas parties are also very popular for work, whether it’s a professional office or a blue-collar workplace. For holiday game ideas to keep your employees or coworkers entertained, read on for inspiration.
Guess the Christmas Carol Game
Available as a printable that you can bring to the party, Guess the Christmas Carol is a fun list of riddles that provide just enough clues for participants to guess the Christmas carol that it is referring to. Have players work in teams so that they can socialize and be merry while they puzzle through it all.
Like the classic telephone game, have coworkers sit or stand in a circle and give the first person a Christmassy phrase to repeat quietly in the next person’s ear. Each participant has to whisper what they think they heard to the next person. Once the phrase makes it all the way around the circle, have the last person say it aloud and see if it matches the original.
Christmas Emoji Game
Think of common Christmas words, phrases, or song lyrics that you can translate into emojis. Print them out or display them on a projector and have teams or individuals compete to guess what the Christmassy emoji message is first.
Here’s an example of the emoji game based on Christmas movies to get you started!
Christmas Card Balderdash
One player reads out a holiday-themed question to the players. Using Christmas cards, each participant must write down a fake, but believable answer to the question and hand it to the reader, who will then read out all the answers. Players must then guess which answer was correct!
Paper Plate Game
Give each player a pencil and a paper plate. Read aloud drawing instructions and have them draw what you are describing. Make sure it’s holiday-esque! Whichever player creates the most accurate depiction of your words wins.
Get full instructions and point values here!
Danger Word: Christmas Edition
The premise of this Christmas party game idea is simple. Two teams are trying to guess a word that will let them win, but there is also a “danger word” that will cause them to lose instantly if they guess it. Make the words Christmas-specific for an unbeatable holiday challenge.
Santa’s Delivery Game
Split coworkers into teams and give each group a pile of “gifts” to deliver to a point at the end of the room. One on one, have members of the team carry as many packages as they can to the delivery point to help Santa out! The team that gets all of the packages to the delivery dropoff the fastest wins!
Christmas Escape Room
This Christmas party game idea might involve a lot of planning and preparation ahead of time, but there’s no doubt that it will be fun and will also encourage collaboration among coworkers. Lock all the coworkers up in a holiday haven room and provide them with a series of Christmas clues to escape!
Speak Out Christmas Game
This game involves mouth retractors
Heads Up: Christmas Edition
Available as a phone app or easily played with slips of paper or cards with Christmas characters written on them, have players place a holiday character name (which they can’t see) on their forehead. Instruct them to ask other players questions so that they can guess what name adorns their heads!
Here’s a simple, easy-to-play version of the game to get you started.
Christmas Carol Opposites Game
For a fun opportunity to play with words and test your coworkers’ riddle-solving skills, create a list (or print out a premade version) of “opposite” Christmas carol names and have players guess what actual song is being referred to.
No matter what type of guests your Christmas party will have, there are countless game ideas to explore so that all of your festive partyers can have a jolly good time!