When it comes to the holidays, a lot of the attention is put on making the season as magical as possible for kids, but grown-ups deserve to have a little fun, too. Thankfully, there are a lot of fun activities for adult
holiday parties that will bring plenty of cheer (or “cheers,” depending on the game). It’s a good thing, too, because after putting so much effort into making things as perfect as possible for the kids, grown-ups deserve a little joy for themselves.
For party hosts, planning out ways to entertain guests can be a bit of a challenge. If there will be a mix of kids and adults, you have to find games that can either be played by people of all ages or are totally separate from each other. Depending on the crowd, you may still be able to sneak in some fun activities meant for adult holiday parties even though there are kids invited, but games like “Christmas Punch Pong” might be better for adult-only gatherings, or until after the kids have fallen asleep or are tucked away watching Christmas movies (but, hey, it’s your party, so you do you).
Regardless of what the crowd looks like, there are plenty of fun activities for adult holiday parties that are sure to entertain your grown up guests. Here are a few ideas to help you get started on your party planning.
1 Don’t Say The Word Drinking Game The Good Brigade, Getty Images
You’ve probably played something like this at a baby shower (don’t say baby), but this just puts a holiday spin on it. Every time someone says the forbidden word, they have to take a drink. If you want to make it even more challenging (or fun) add in a few common phrases, too, like “how’s work?” or “do you have any fun plans for Christmas?”
2 Guess The Holiday Song
This game can be played a couple of different ways. First, have a playlist set up and then play just a snippet of a song over the speakers and have guests either shout out or write down what they think the song is. Or, give everyone a card with different lyrics typed up and have them guess the song that way. Whoever gets the most correct, wins.
3 Gift Wrap Challenge
Instead of tossing all of those random scraps of wrapping paper you have left over from wrapping your family’s gifts, use them for a gift wrap challenge game. Give each player (or team) an obscure item, some scraps of paper and tape, and five minutes and see who can do it best. The results are sure to be funny.
4 Holiday-Themed Pictionary
This is played just like regular Pictionary, but with a holiday twist. Write up a bunch of different holiday-themed pictures for people to draw and split everyone up into teams. Go as easy or as difficult as you want, with everything from candy cane or Christmas tree to Santa’s sleigh or “Silent Night.”
5 Gingerbread Cookie Decorating Contest Sally Anscombe, Getty Images
Bake up a bunch of gingerbread cookies ahead of time and supply guests with everything they need to decorate them. Have different categories they can all compete to win like “best overall,” “funniest,” “best effort,” and (if the crowd is right) “most inappropriate.”
6 Holiday “Spirits” Contest
Have your guests either bring a cocktail recipe of their own or challenge them to create the perfect holiday cocktail using an array of ingredients you provide them (meaning you can make this as easy or as difficult as you’d like). Everyone mixes up their own signature cocktail and has to vote on whose is best.
7 Ornament & Spoon Relay Game
Just like the egg in a spoon relay game, but with an ornament instead. Split guests up into teams of two and have them run back and forth without dropping the ornament. Make the course as easy or as difficult as you’d like, but definitely opt for shatter-proof ornaments since some are bound to be dropped.
8 Christmas Movie Trivia
Elf, Home Alone, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas are classics that almost everyone has seen (multiple times), so a trivia game just makes sense. You can either come up with your own list of trivia questions or find a game online to use, like this one from LaffGaff. 9 What’s In The Stocking? Aleksandar Jankovic, Getty Images
Fill a stocking up with a bunch of different objects and have your guests guess what’s in it. You can either wrap the items up in tissue paper so they can pull them out for easier guessing, or make them feel around inside blind. Either way, it’s sure to be a good time (and probably pretty entertaining).
10 Holiday “Never Have I Ever”
Take it back to your college days and play “Never Have I Ever,” but with a holiday twist. Say things like, “never have I ever re-gifted something” or “never have I ever waited until the last minute to get someone a gift.” Any time you’ve done something someone else says they’ve never done, take a drink.
11 Christmas “Who Am I” Game
This can be played a few different ways:
Each guest is told who they are when they enter, and they have to act like their character all night until someone correctly guesses who they are. Each guest gets a card attached to their back that lets other guests know who they are, and they have to guess their character based on what other people say. Turn it into a CatchPhrase-like game where everyone pulls a name from a hat and has to describe the character to their team until they guess correctly. 12 Holiday Costume Contest
Who says costumes are just for Halloween? Turn the party into a holiday dress-up event and have guests come as either characters or objects that are on theme. Or, have everyone dress up as someone from a holiday movie like
Elf or Christmas Vacation. Then, have each guest vote on who their favorite costume is to declare a winner. 13 Dirty Santa Gift Exchange
This is a pretty classic activity for adult holiday parties. Have every guest bring a gift and then, one by one, let people open gifts from the pile while they steal from each other (you can read
the official Dirty Santa rules here or come up with your own). Let guests know if the gifts have a spending limit and whether they should be silly, re-gifts, or legit presents someone would actually like. 14 Present Stacking Challenge
Before the party, wrap up a bunch of oddly-shaped objects and have guests try to stack them as high as they can without toppling the tower over, and whoever gets the most presents stacked wins. Or, play it like Jenga where one person stacks at a time, and whoever knocks everything down loses.
15 Holiday Candle Naming Challenge Anna Blazhuk, Getty Images
Give your guests five minutes to come up with as many holiday candle names as they can. If you want to add some structure, give them different categories to focus on like “Christmas Cookie Themed” or “Most Disgusting.” Then, of course, once the time is up, everyone needs to share their best candle names with the rest of the group.
16 Guess How Many
You’ve probably played this game in a number of ways in the past. Fill up a jar with candy or the tree with ornaments and have guests guess how many of the objects there are. At the end of the night, look at everyone’s guesses and whoever is closest to the correct number wins.
17 Holiday Scavenger Hunt
Set up a holiday scavenger hunt for your party guests to play. Have them find 10 candy canes, six red ornaments, three Rudolph noses, and so on. Whoever finds all of the items first is the winner. It’ll be a lot of fun, and you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want.
18 Holiday Charades
This is another classic party game but with a holiday twist. Fill a bowl up with different holiday-themed characters, movie names, songs, etc. that guests then have to act out. Change up the rules as much as you want to fit your party style, just as long as the person who is acting out doesn’t speak.
Adults deserve to have a little fun during the holidays just as much as kids do, and these games are sure to add a little extra joy to your festivities. So, turn on your favorite holiday tunes, pour up a drink of whatever makes you feel jolly, and invite your guests to join in your reindeer games.