3 Entertaining and Engaging Games to Try at Your Holiday Party

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3 Entertaining and Engaging Games to Try at Your Holiday Party

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family-playing-gameThe holidays are here and, for many of us, that means attending or hosting parties. We all know that the holidays are a time gather together with family members and friends, to talk, dine and catch up on life. But once the dinner is cleared away and the punch bowl is half-empty, what then?

With some winter cheer in your belly, one of the best ways to keep the festivities going and your guests laughing is to break out the party games.

Games are an excellent way to foster interaction between all the generations of a family— from the oldest members to the youngest— and they can provide memories that will last you far longer than that new blender, gift certificate, package of socks you were given as a present.

Here are a few exciting holiday activities that your guests— adults, seniors and kids— can enjoy this season. Have fun!

Christmas Carol Pictionary

What you'll need:

  • An easel
  • A large, display drawing pad
  • Markers
  • A pack of index cards
  • A timer
  • A piano, keyboard, or guitar (optional)

You're probably already familiar with the rules of Pictionary— participants break into teams, one team member draws secret word or phrase card from a pile, then must draw a picture that illustrates that phrase. His or her team members must guess, only from the person's drawing, what that word or phrase is in order to obtain a point. If the team cannot guess the word or phrase within 90 seconds, the other team is given a chance to guess and steal the point.

For Christmas Carol Pictionary, write the names of as many popular Christmas carols, winter-themed pop songs and other holiday songs as you can think of on the index cards. Make sure the writing doesn't show through the other side. Set up a large, flip-over drawing pad on an easel in the middle of the room. You might arrange chairs or sofas in a semi-circle or V-formation, facing in toward the easel.

As in regular Pictionary, team members take turns drawing, while their team members guess which song title the person is attempting to depict. But here's the catch: once a team guesses correctly, they must sing the holiday song (through at least the first verse) in order to obtain the point.

If a family member or friend present knows how to play piano or guitar and an instrument is handy, accompaniment is optional. And if the team is able to sing through the first verse, everyone can feel free to join in on the second verse and sing it out.

Holiday Movie Trivia

What you'll need:

  • Index cards with questions and answers written out
  • An intimate knowledge of holiday cinema and pop culture
  • The Internet (for research)
  • Paper slips and writing instruments
  • A timer

Write out a series of trivia questions about holiday favorites, like A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, etc.

One person serves as trivia master. Participants can either play individually or as teams. The trivia master asks a question, then sets the timer for 30 to 60 seconds. At the end of the guessing period, each player or team must turn in a slip of paper with the answer written on it. The trivia master then tallies up points for each round.

To spice things up, the trivia master can ask bonus points or devise a series of progressively harder questions which are worth more points as the rounds go on. Or, the trivia master can tell the participants which movie a question will pertain to, and allow teams to bet 1 to 10 points on their ability answer that question correctly, before asking the question.

Blind Holiday Construction Paper Art

What you'll need:

  • A few stacks of heavy construction paper (white, red, green, blue and yellow, depending on the theme of your holiday party)
  • A timer

For this game, an object associated with a given holiday— say, a Menorah for Chanukah or a star for Christmas— is called out. The timer is set for 90 seconds. Participants must then each take a piece of construction paper, close their eyes and attempt to rip out the shape of that object within the allotted time. The person who has the best looking piece of art gets a point, as determined by group vote.

Holiday party games are great icebreakers.

And they can be fun activities for seniors, younger adults and grandkids alike. This holiday season, gather your guests together after dinner and try out a few games. You'll enjoy the memories throughout the year.

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Bryan Reynolds
December 18, 2014
Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

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