Spark your holiday spirit with these 10 festive activities


As the global pandemic continues to impact the way we work, play, travel and gather, many of us are having to rethink our holiday plans this season. Fortunately, if you’re looking for some safe and festive family-friendly activities to spark your holiday spirit, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of free activities packed with holiday fun and creativity for you to enjoy with family and friends:

  • Sit back and enjoy a holiday classic. This year, several ballets are bringing the magical tale of The Nutcracker straight into your living room. Check out this list of upcoming performances, including a free showing courtesy of the New Paltz Ballet Theatre. And if you’ll be enjoying Netflix this season, make sure to check out Debbie Allen’s new Netflix series, “Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.”
  • Make some music this season with “do it yourself” (DIY) musical instruments. Learn how to transform household items into a variety of instruments, from maracas to drums to bell shakers. Check out this list of 52 homemade musical instruments to make with your family and friends and get ready to elevate your holiday music-making game. 
  • Decorate gingerbread houses this holiday season and enjoy the added bonus of filling your home with the warm and sweet scent of this classic holiday pastry. Coordinate with your family and friends a day to decorate houses with a homemade recipe or purchased kits and let your creative holiday spirt run wild. And for more holiday recipes, check out Delish’s list of holiday sweets.
  • Arrange a fun Holiday Trivia Night for family and/or friends! Whether you play in-person with your family or over Zoom this is a great activity to boost holiday spirit. If you need some inspiration, check out IceBreakerIdeas or this Family Hannakuh quiz for a list of holiday-themed trivia questions.
  • Invite family members of all ages to take the stage with a family talent show! Take turns acting out favorite holiday stories or sing along to your favorite holiday songs.
  • Sit back, relax and enjoy a night of holiday music with viewers across the nation. Experience the timeless vocal talents of the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra Christmas concert featuring Kelli O’Hara and Richard Thomas on PBS, December 14 and 24 at 9PM EST.
  • Tap into your artistic side and organize a fun paint party with family and friends! Check Bob Ross’ plethora of winter landscape tutorials on YouTube, like this one here, or (for under $5) check out these virtual Painting Parties for holiday painting videos geared toward painters of all ages.
  • Show off your holiday song knowledge with a fun game of “Name That Tune: Holiday Edition.” Create a playlist, divide participants up into groups and see which team can guess each tune. Check out Levitt’s Holiday Playlist for inspiration. 
  • Tune into the CW on Sunday, December 13 for the 89th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. Gather your family and friends, and enjoy a collection of magical moments from past Hollywood Christmas parades.
  • Plan a ‘Christmas Crafternoon’ with your family or friends and create holiday-themed arts and crafts. Check out these popular Christmas and Hanukkah DIY crafts that will put you in the holiday spirit and inspire your own festive creations. 

For more ideas on holiday activities and events, check out these festive Hanukkah family activities or these 50 fun Christmas activities that will keep you busy this season. We hope our list inspires your holiday creativity, all from the safety of your home this winter. Wishing you and your families, friends and neighbors a happy and healthy holiday season!

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