grandmother and granddaughter baking cookies

Family Holiday Activities

Every family has its holiday traditions. Some are almost universal, like watching It’s a Wonderful Life or the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Others are unique to families—traditions and family holiday activities that go back years, if not generations.

Starting your own family activities builds on the traditions of yesteryear, creating a special set of fun activities your children will look forward to year after year. Here are a few simple suggestions that can quickly become integral parts of your holiday cheer.

Visit a Tree Farm

There’s something special about bundling the family up in warm clothes, making a hot thermos of cocoa, and heading out to the local tree farm to hunt for the perfect tree. Many tree farms offer family holiday activities like sleigh rides and hayrides, so families can make a day of it.


While there’s something to be said for the perfectly decorated tree and home, we at I See Me think decorating for the holidays should be a family affair. The Christmas tree covered with handmade decorations and bottom-heavy because little hands can only reach so high beats perfection every time. Choose tough, unbreakable ornaments for little ones to hang, and surprise children with an annual gift of personalized ornaments.

Baking Cookies

The cookie you help bake is the sweetest cookie of all. Gather the family in the kitchen to make those oh-so-delicious seasonal treats. Little ones can help by stirring, pouring pre-measured ingredients, and using cookie cutters. Sure, your gingerbread men might look a little odd, but that’s part of the fun. Decorating gingerbread men and other cookies will keep kids of all ages occupied and laughing.

Night Before Books

The night before a special event is always exciting. Help children relax and get ready for bed with a special book only read that night, such as My Night Before Christmas or A Hanukkah Bear for Me.

Go Caroling—or Stay Home and Sing

Back before television and electronic entertainment, singing was one of the most popular family activities. Why not renew this tradition? You can go a-caroling if you like, or just have a boisterous sing-along at home. Kids love to sing. If they can’t remember all the words, teach them simple choruses so they can join in at the right time.

Give Back as a Family

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, giving back is an important part of the winter holidays. Use the time to introduce children to the notion of charity and giving. Smaller kids can choose gifts for toy drives, while older ones can take more direct volunteering roles.

Play Personalized Board Games

Ultimately, the winter holidays center around family, love, and spending time together, so crank up the holiday music, pour out some hot cocoa, and have a holiday games night. Personalized board games like Our Family’s Race across the USA will have everyone cheering themselves—and other family members—on to victory!