The family’s gathered around, you’ve caught up with folks you haven’t seen in a while and exchanged all the latest news and gossip. But, they’re here for another four or five days. Now what? Build some fun activities into your plan for entertaining holiday guests and you’ll have a houseful of happy campers. Here are a few ideas.


Holiday lights on tree in front of lite house

Take an evening drive to look at holiday lights. You might want to scope this out in advance so you’re not aimlessly driving around with your guests.


assorted decorated christmas sugar cookies

Photo by on Unsplash

Decorate cookies. Bake up a big batch of sugar cookies in advance, set out icings and sprinkles—sugar crystals, nonpareils, jimmies, confetti—and let everyone show their artistic side.


sheet music

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

Go caroling as a group through your neighborhood. Print up song sheets beforehand and try a little practice then, bundle up and head out. Serve some hot cocoa and those holiday cookies afterwards.


white church with red roof with sea in the background and a snowy foreground

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Attend a Christmas Eve church service. Not only does this give everyone a chance to wear their Sunday best and interact with more people, it’s a way to emphasize the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.


little snowman

Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash

If the weather cooperates, have a snowball fight or build a snowman. This helps get people (especially kids) with pent-up energy out of the house for a while and allows those left behind a little quiet time to relax.


two women walking in snow amongst small pine trees with a larger forest in the background

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Get some exercise together and enjoy the fresh air with a trek along a walking trail.


people on an the NY Ice rink

Photo by Marc Ruaix on Unsplash

Or opt for an outing to an indoor or outdoor skating rink. You’ll immediately discover who is the least and most graceful among the group.


sugarplum fairy ballerinas

Photo courtesy of NYC Ballet

Take your guests to a local performance of “The Nutcracker.”


Radio City Music Hall lite at night

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

Or opt for a holiday movie, play or concert.


people toasting and sharing red wine

Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

If your group is comprised exclusively of adults, visit a local winery or brewery for a tasting.


Elaborately conceived Partridge in a gilded stylistic pear tree

Treat your guests to a holiday-themed event in your community. Museums, botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums may host a Christmas display that’s worth a group visit (like the 12 Days of Christmas display at the Dallas Arboretum above).


Regents street London at Christmas

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

Shop the after-Christmas sales. Pick up some gift wrap supplies, stocking stuffers for next year, and gift closet items on the cheap.


Men and women taking photos of each other on a river walk in London

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Take a trip to a historic site, home, or attraction. Make sure everyone takes lots of photos of each other (put those smartphones to good use) and share them afterwards.


bowling shoes in front of bowling lane

Photo by Benjamin Faust on Unsplash

Go bowling. It’s fun no matter your skill level (or complete absence thereof). And believe it or not, this sport is a great workout. If you haven’t done it in a while (or ever), you’ll be surprised at which muscle groups feel the exertion the next day!

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

© Caruth Studio

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