Tips for stress-free family fun this holiday season

The holiday season is nothing if not busy. Between all the shopping, cooking, and gift-giving — all undoubtedly important parts of celebrating the holidays — it’s easy to overlook the most important thing: spending quality time with the people you love.

This year, make quality time a priority with our suggestions for games and activities. We know that tensions can run high during the stressful holiday season, and family fun can quickly turn to family fighting. Our number one tip to avoid any arguments, especially in a big group? Have everyone vote on a few different activities to see what most people are interested in. Then, if you have more time, you can do some of the other activities, too.

Check out our favorite holiday activities below. There’s something for everyone on our list!

Work it out
Outdoor games and sports are a great way to get some exercise, bond, and blow off a little steam during the stressful holiday times — weather permitting, of course!

When you think about outdoor activities around Thanksgiving and Christmas, football is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But here are some other games and outdoor activities that require a lot less athletic prowess and coordination:

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood to see all of the holiday lights.
  • Organize a big game of tag or hide and seek.
  • Try a Christmastime twist on an easter egg hunt with a more seasonally-appropriate ornament hunt (this activity can be done inside, too).
  • Have a snowman-building competition.
  • Get everyone in on a (friendly) snowball fight!
  • Go for a hike or bike ride to get some extra exercise in.


Game on!
Maybe you don’t want to brave the cold weather, or you’re just not an “outdoor activities” kind of family. Enter: indoor games! There are so many fun group games you can play right from the comfort and warmth of your home, such as:

  • Board games. Set up a tournament for hours of fun and friendly competition!
  • Charades. This is a great option because it doesn’t require set up or cleanup.
  • Trivia. Bonus points if you customize it to your group’s interests.
  • Card games. Try a big game of low-stakes poker — losers have to clean up after dinner!

All together now
If sports or games aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other group activities you can do. While friendly competition can be a great way to bond, sometimes it’s more important to just relax and spend some time together.

  • Curl up together for a cozy movie marathon.
  • Build gingerbread houses. Turn it into a lighthearted contest if you want!
  • Bake and decorate cookies.
  • Make holiday-themed crafts like personalized ornaments or paper snowflakes.
  • Decorate the house for the holidays or dress up the tree together!


We’ve given you a lot of great options for fun holiday activities (if we do say so ourselves!). But ultimately, what you choose to do isn’t the most important thing — doing it together is.

If you’re looking for a unique holiday activity that everyone can agree on, try a Hornblower holiday cruise! With delicious food, festive decor, and breathtaking views, a dining cruise is the perfect way to spend time with friends and family this holiday season. Gather your loved ones, come on board, and start your new favorite holiday tradition.

Book your Hornblower holiday cruise here.

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