11 fun Christmas party games for the whole family

Playing Christmas party games to close out a day of festivities is something of a tradition for many people during the holidays.

Whether it’s classic board games like charades, a Christmas quiz, or one of the best family board games like Monopoly to spark friendly competition, games are a great way for the whole family to create links.

When it comes to hosting a Christmas party, planning games and entertainment after dinner is a must, especially if you expect people to stay up until midnight at the end of the year.

Use the Christmas party games and ideas below to find inspiration for your festive entertainment this year – from time-tested classics to more modern games that will intrigue and delight. The best piece? You won’t need to buy board games to try out these fun ideas – most can be played using things you already have at home.

The best Christmas party games for December 2021

1. Watch out for Christmas

group of friends playing a game with sticky notes on their foreheads

(Image credit: dusanpetkovic/Gettyimages.co.uk)

A classic board game, but with a holiday twist. Write the name of a Christmas character on sticky notes, then have each player stick one on their forehead without looking at what it says. Then everyone has to help themselves guess which name is on their head by answering yes or no questions. This is a fun Christmas party game to play between classes if you are having a dinner party.

2. Oven mitt set

Gray kitchen gloves on a white background

(Image credit: Panpreeda Mahaly/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Quite simply, the oven mitt game asks you to open your Christmas gifts while wearing a pair of oven mitts. Not only will it get lots of laughs, but it’ll make you relish the gift-opening process. Don’t want to spoil the moment of watching someone open your carefully chosen Christmas presents for him or her with the game? Why not pack some items especially for the game? The tighter you wrap them (and with more tape), the better!

3. Gingerbread House Contest

Decorated gingerbread house in front of a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Karol Franks/Getty Images)

Take this tasty treat to the next level and have a gingerbread house contest. Grab your favorite candies, divide into teams and build your festive masterpiece! For an added element of competition, you can give everyone a set time to complete their gingerbread creation, and then the best house at the end of the time limit wins!

4. The Malteser Challenge

To play this game you will need a bag (or box) of Maltesers, a tape measure and at least two willing participants. The object of the game is to roll a Malteser the length of the tape measure and into someone’s mouth. The length of the tape measure is up to you – although obviously the longer the tape the greater the challenge. The winning team of two is the pair that is able to roll the Malteser the longest length of tape without it falling to the ground before it reaches its mouth.

See a demonstration of how to play here:

5. Christmas Pack Race

christmas wrapping paper and partially unwrapped christmas sweater

(Image credit: Michael Blann/Getty images)

If you have leftover wrapping paper, make a set of them. Find awkwardly shaped objects (we love a pineapple for this) and divide your group into teams. Have one person from each team compete against each other trying to race their items against the clock. Whoever wraps their present fastest (and best) wins. To make the game more challenging if you’re playing with older kids or adults, add extra obstacles – like blindfolding competitors or letting them use only one hand.

6. After Eight Challenge

After eight box on black background

(Image credit: Grayling)

A classic Christmas party game that’s guaranteed to leave everyone in stitches is the After Eight challenge. The rules are simple: Take a chocolate mint out of its wrapper, place it on your forehead, and put it in your mouth without using your hands. Have towels handy to protect your Christmas party dress if things go wrong!

7. Christmas carol charades

Multigenerational family playing a game of charades in the Christmas living room

(Image credit: monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images)

Add some holiday season flair to your charades game. Just think of a list of song titles, write them on separate pieces of paper and place them in a bowl, then take turns choosing one before playing it for the group to guess.

8. Musical cheese board game

Various cheeses on a board

(Image credit: Diana Miller/Getty Images)

One for the foodies among us, HelloFresh has released an online quiz that lists all the popular songs that will affect the taste of various cheeses and chutneys. The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” brings out a salty taste, while the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” will make your chutney sweeter.

To play, gather your guests around the table after serving the cheeses and chutneys. Have them try the cheeses next to the tunes on the list, then guess if the songs make the foods sweeter or saltier.

9. Christmas Bingo

An example of Christmas bingo for Christmas party games

(Image credit: Future/Canva)

Enjoy a game of holiday-themed bingo while you wait for Christmas dinner to get ready. Try packing a stocking or two for prizes and get the whole family involved. Create your own bingo cards or this Christmas bingo set from Amazon can accommodate up to 20 players, and there are even certificates for the winners.

10. Guess the smell of Christmas

Christmas potpourri made of pine cones, red berries, yellow leaves and acorns

(Image credit: Gary Stafford/Getty Images)

You’ll need to gather a tray of festive foods and decorative items for this game, such as cinnamon sticks, pine cones, dried orange peel, and candy canes. Ask your guests to take turns putting on a blindfold, then guessing the range of festive scents.

11. Scatters

Scatter categories for christmas party games 2021

(Image credit: Future/Canva)

Although you can buy the Scattergories game on Amazon, you can also play this quick game at home without buying it. Simply create a list of 12 random categories (eg: school subjects, countries, animals, etc.), then use this free online tool to generate a random letter for each round.

The object of the game is to complete as many categories as possible within a set time limit, with all answers having to start with the same randomly generated letter.

Joseph K. Bennett