25 Festive Things To Do at Christmas Time
It's a Holly Jolly Countdown with 25 Things To Do at Christmas Time!
by Celeste González, Contributing Writer
Hey there, festive friends!
With the holiday season just around the corner, we're buzzing with excitement and ready to dive into the Christmas countdown. So, I've put together a list of 25 merry-making activities that'll sprinkle your days with joy, warmth, and a dash of that special holiday magic. From beloved traditions to some new and delightful discoveries, let's embark on this jolly journey together!
Get ready to embrace the holiday cheer as I share some favorite things to do at Christmas time. 🎄🎁✨
Let's Get the Party Started with 25 Fun Things To Do at Christmas Time
1. Christmas movies/shows marathon
A movie night with loved ones is a trusted favorite. That is, as long as there’s good company and yummy snacks. And, while there are seemingly endless options, make sure you've seen A Christmas Story at least once. It's a must!
2. A festive dinner party
Come one, come all in your holiday best, to gather round the dinner table and bask in the joy of holiday spirit. Why should Friendsgiving get all of the attention? Friendmas?
3. Tour of the Christmas lights
For those who appreciate art instead of making it, a holiday lights drive with hot cocoa is the perfect way to relax. You can go "official" with a drive-thru display or pick a neighborhood and see which house has the most holiday spirit.
4. Attend a Christmas show IRL
The Nutcracker, Manheim Steamroller, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, the list goes on, as amateur and professional theater companies pull out all the stops in December. A live show is a memory-maker!
Oh, and if you or someone you love is a theater fan, consider the gift of seat-filling this year. OTL Seat Fillers has a line-up of instantly issued gifts that keep the fun going for months. Who wouldn't love the gift of being a Free Ticket VIP, right?
5. Read a Christmas story
This option is reserved for the best storyteller in the family. Or, get everyone to act it out - you could even create a new story every year!
6. Have a holiday-themed pajama game night
Bust out the board games and pj’s and you’re left with a cozy and competitive night of antics! I suggest you combine this one with #17!
7. Karaoke night - holiday edition
You could think of it as "stay-at-home" Christmas caroling for your closest friends and family. And, give it a holiday twist! Let’s hear those herald angels sing!
8. Family photos
Places like JCPenney and Macy’s offer family portrait packages that can allow you and your loved ones to take family photos as a way to commemorate the holiday season. And, if you've got a best furry friend, PetSmart does a free photo with Santa. Be sure to reserve early, though, as slots fill up quickly!
9. Visit a Christmas tree farm
Now is the best time to pick out the perfect holiday tree to decorate. It's a great activity for the whole family and the real trees will always smell better. And, if you've already got a tree (or don't want one!), many tree farms sell wreaths or have little gift shops and things to do like hay rides and games.
10. Head to the zoo
One activity you might not have anticipated being on your list this year is a trip to the zoo. Many zoos will decorate for the holidays with Christmas lights while offering hot chocolate, kettle corn, and other fun goodies.
11. Go ice skating
While this option requires some balance, ice skating is a great way to live out your winter wonderland dreams. Just be sure to dress warm and bring mittens!
12. Building and decorating a gingerbread house contest
For the architectural digest lover, now is the time to put those skills to the test. Useful decor includes but is not limited to: cookies, candies, sprinkles, edible glitter, gummies, frosting and so much more. Fun to build and fun to eat!
Build a gingerbread house for fun or get yourself in the game and enter a local contest.
13. Make tamales
This activity is very special to me as I have fond memories of making tamales with my family every year around Christmas time. The fillings and combinations are endless and each one is like an individually wrapped gift made with love.
14. Sip and paint ornaments
Bust out the red and white…wine that is, for a paint and sip party with friends. All you need are some ceramic, single-colored ornaments, acrylic paint, and your drink of choice. You could also check out some local painting party providers as they may have some holiday events, too.
15. Make a festive basket for your significant other
For the thoughtful friend, get a pair of matching Christmas sweaters or pajama set and some festive socks, maybe a plushie, their favorite festive snacks, and a hot chocolate mix for the perfect gift. A gift basket lets you be super-creative - anything goes!
16. Build a Lego Christmas tree
The true kids at heart will understand this suggestion as it brings them back to better days. Building with legos not only gets you in the holiday spirit but stimulates the mind, and the Christmas tree lego set is super cute!
17. Set up a hot chocolate bar
This option is fun for people of all ages, and simple to create. All you’ll need is a cart or table, hot kettles for milk and water, and different variations of hot chocolate whether it be powder, melts, or cocoa bombs. While the toppings are endless, a few ideas include whipped cream, marshmallows, caramel and chocolate drizzle, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
18. Ugly sweater contest
An ugly sweater contest is a great idea for the competitive people in your life. There's no better way to begin the holiday season than by buying bulky sweaters and decorating them with tinsel, ribbon, bows, string lights, steamers, and beads. Let’s see who is the most creative (and who's brave enough to wear it in public!).
19. A trip to the snow
If time allows you to travel, one memorable experience is taking a trip to the snow. Whether you’re renting a cabin or staying for the day, make sure you dress warmly and take some beautiful pics!
20. Christmas shopping
For those whose favorite part of the holiday season is the holiday deals, stores always offer discounts and promotions during this time of year. And, hey, what better way to spend than to know you’re saving money when doing so?
21. Secret Santa (gag edition)
A popular activity during the holidays is hosting a Secret Santa where you draw names out of a hat to purchase a gift for someone else without the party knowing who has whom.
22. Christmas choir or orchestra
For those who appreciate the arts in all forms, a great option is going to see a Christmas choir or orchestra. Whether it be high school or major productions, this alternative is sure to please.
23. Listen to Christmas music and decorate the house
One possibility that always puts me in the Christmas spirit is putting a holiday music mix on your favorite streaming service. It's the perfect backdrop when decorating your home for the season with lights, garlands, putting up a Christmas tree, festive trinkets, etc.
Dance like no one's watching!
24. Write a heartfelt letter
For some people, the holidays can be a difficult time. It can evoke bittersweet memories, and people need a reminder that they are not alone. Writing a letter to a loved one can be the perfect way to show you're thinking of them.
25. The gift of giving
And, last but not least. Volunteering at soup kitchens, donating to charitable causes, and offering your time, money, or efforts to someone in need is a perfect way to give back to your community. The act of giving is one of the best feel-goods of the season.
Things To Do Beyond Christmas Time
These are only some of the many options you can plan for this holiday season. I hope this list was helpful and has given you ideas to make your festivities that much more memorable.
Along with these options, don’t forget to consider OTL Seat Fillers to help make the rest of your year just as memorable with free tickets to other live theaters and shows.
About the Author
Celeste González is a Latina creative writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Feminist Studies from UC Santa Barbara. From Bakersfield California, much of her writing relates to the Chicanx/Latinx experience and women’s shared experiences in the environment.