SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — So you all get together as a family for Christmas — for some, you may have more time on your hands than you know what to do with.

Here are a few games you can play with the family during the holidays.

Christmas Mad Libs

“The world’s greatest word game” seems a perfect fit to break up any family tension and get a few laughs going. As for the game, write in the missing words on each page to create your own stories.

With 21 fill-in-the-blank stories about “Christmas vacation, visiting Santa in the North Pole, and playful reindeer,” Christmas Fun Mad Libs will add “hearty Santa-style laughs” to your holiday. Mad Libs are a fun, family-friendly activity for you to consider this Christmas.

Sled Races

If you’re looking to get outside and shake things up a bit, sled races are an affordable and exciting way to celebrate the holidays. Find a hill that works — you can build obstacles and pathways, and put yourself to the test.

But be careful! Icy areas and rocks can be dangerous, so be sure that the safety of you and your loved ones is top priority.


Most have played this classic, but if you haven’t, the rules are simple. You have to act out a phrase without speaking, and your team members try to guess what the phrase is. Time is of the essence! The quicker you guess the right answer, the better.

All you need is someone to keep a time limit and some paper and pencil for writing down phrases and scorekeeping. Choose the number of rounds you’re going to play, write down some ideas, trade your slips of paper with the opposing team, and see who wins.

Scavenger Hunt

This is a good one for kids and adults alike, but if you find yourself needing a break, make a scavenger hunt and let the kids occupy themselves trying to find your hidden treasure.

But make sure the prizes are something kids will get excited about — money, candy, and toys are all good options. Find a good hiding place so that the hunt lasts, or else you’ll be back to entertaining in no time.

Build a Snowman

While we imagine snowmen to have carrots as noses, you can get as creative as you want with this game. Each person, or team of two, gets to build a snowman — at the end of the allotted time to build, the judges get to vote on the best one.

If you’re not into the competition, everyone wins! Building a snowman can be a fun activity for all ages, and each snowman will remain on display for some holiday spirit.

Gingerbread House Competition

Gingerbread houses and fun to make and eat! This lost art is worth passing on to the younger generations. You can do it as simple or as elaborate as you’d like.

Take a trip to your local grocery store and grab all the candy decorations you want. But first, you’ll need some supplies. According to Simply Recipes, to make a base for the house, you’ll need cookie sheets, parchment paper, rolling pin, sharp knife, electric mixer, and a pastry bag with tips (or plastic freezer bag). Pattern pieces and templates are available here.

According to Simply Recipes, red hots, small gumdrops, and candy canes are great options for decorations. Chocolate truffles can be used to make a stone wall around the house, and waffle-patterned cookies can be used as roof tiles! You can use royal icing to glue pieces of candy to the house.

Remember, gingerbread houses are a process. You’ll need to make the dough and the pattern pieces, roll out the dough and bake the pieces, then assemble the pieces and decorate. So take your time, and have fun with making this edible art piece.

Cookie Decorating Contest

If making a gingerbread house feels a bit overwhelming, bake and decorate some cookies instead! Christmas cookies are both fun and delicious, as well as something the kids can get excited about.

The Food Network has a list of their 100 all-time best Christmas cookie recipes to draw inspiration from, with ideas like using a candy cane to hang a gingerbread man from a mug, poinsettia pinwheel cookies, reindeer mask cookies, Christmas tree cookies, classic sugar cookies, and more.

White Elephant

This gift-giving activity may cause some jealousy. Nonetheless, it is a creative way for the family to do presents this year.

White Elephant gift exchange is simple. Each person must bring one wrapped gift to put under the Christmas tree. Once everyone is together, everybody draws a number. The person with number one gets the first opportunity to pick a present to unwrap. The next person, with the number two, either gets to choose a new, wrapped present, or they may take the present from the first person. If they choose to take the already unwrapped present from the first person, the person whose present was taken gets to choose another present to unwrap. The third person may choose any unwrapped present or a new, wrapped one.

Once all presents are unwrapped and everyone has a gift, the game is finished.

Stay tuned, Utahns. ABC4 will be adding to this list as the holidays grow closer.