festive fun: christmas activities for families

We've all experienced that inevitable lull on Christmas day. The presents are unwrapped and all that's left of lunch is a lowly sprout, so... now what?

Before the adults succumb to a food coma and the kids start to get cranky, crack out a family-friendly Christmas activity! From energetic board games to not-so-active options you can take part in from the sofa, there are plenty of things to do at Christmas that help to keep everyone in the festive spirit. Here are a few ideas to start you off.

board games

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned Christmas board game to while away a snowy (or rainy) afternoon. Monopoly is a classic that’s bound to bring out even Uncle Norman’s competitive side, and is suitable for everyone over the age of eight. With simple rules and special cards for kids, Pictionary is great for the little ones. Just remember, no cheating (and that goes for adults, too)!

interactive christmas games

More energetic Christmas activities for families help to avoid that post-lunch slump and get everyone moving. Even the littlest ones can have a go at ‘Pin the Nose on Rudolph’ or ‘Blind(snow)man’s Bluff’, while games like ‘Guess What’s in the Stocking’ (a pine cone! A potato! A...what is that?!) get everyone whooping with laughter.

Mum and son baking together

baking together

'Tis the season to think of creative Christmas baking ideas (and then gobble what you bake with your mini elf). There's a small risk of a too-many-cooks type situation, so give everyone a very specific job. One person can stir the mix, another can roll the icing. The children should be in charge of decoration, of course. Then it's truly a group effort, and everyone can feel proud of their contribution. Try Christmas biscuits (like iced gingerbread men, yum) decorated with sprinkles and buttons, or opt for easy-to-make mince pies (pastry, mincemeat, oven, done!).

carols and christmas songs

What’s more picture-perfect than all the generations gathered around the piano – or, more likely, the karaoke machine – singing carols? Pop on your Santa hats, start playing White Christmas and get crooning. If the little ones don’t know the words, print out some lyric sheets so they can join in with grandma.

christmas films (and popcorn too)

Last but certainly not least is one of the most popular Christmas day activities – watching a festive film! If there's nothing good on the telly, a magical old classic is sure to entertain the family for a little while. A film like Christmas on 34th Street is brimming with heart-warming moments and Home Alone is always a good bet, too (just don't give precocious little ones any ideas). Modern feel-good options include Arthur Christmas and the ever-popular Polar Express.

If you want to make your silver screen event extra-special, throw in a bowl or two of Christmas popcorn (add pretzels, red and green M&Ms and white chocolate). Then all that's left to do is wait for Grandad to fall asleep with his paper crown across his eyes and pose for a picture with him. That's next year's Christmas card sorted!


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