5 Fun and Kid-Friendly Holiday Party Ideas

Christmas comes but once a year, so make it a magical one with these kid-friendly holiday party ideas.
Lilly BlomquistContributor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for the little ones! The holiday season is a magical time when kids are making wish lists, singing carols, building snowmen and drinking hot chocolate by the fire. To make the magic last for a lifetime, throw a kid-friendly holiday party with memorable activities and entertainment. We’ve compiled a list of our top kid-approved holiday party ideas that will bring joy to all of the young guests. From tasty treats to meeting jolly old St. Nicholas himself, these ideas will get the season started. Let’s get into the holiday spirit by giving kids, friends and family the gift of an unforgettable holiday party. 

1. Assemble a Cookie Decorating Station 

Nothing says “the holidays” like baking! It makes for a great winter break activity on chilly days, so a cookie decorating station is the perfect addition to any kids’ holiday party. Bake gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies ahead of time, and use cookie cutters to cut them into different shapes, like snowmen, snowflakes, mistletoe for Christmas or dreidels for Hanukkah. Place tubs of icing, holiday sprinkles and plastic knives on the tables so that the kids can create their delicious masterpieces. Everyone can take home a goody bag full of their cookie creations to savor the taste of the holidays a little longer. 

2. Invite a Surprise Guest

Turn up the holiday cheer with a surprise visitor. Bringing in a costumed character will make the party extra magical. If you’re planning a Christmas gathering and want to transform your home into the snowy North Pole, book Santa Claus as your VIP guest. The kids will be excited to tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and they can take a picture with him as a token of remembrance. You can also ask Santa to sing, tell jokes or recite poems for an even more lively performance. 

If you’re throwing a party that's bringing different traditions and holidays together, like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, you can hire professional entertainnent to astonish every young guest with their phenomenal performances. Consider choosing one of our most-booked holiday party vendors, such as balloon twisters, hypnotists, fire dancers, magicians and acoustic guitarists.

3. Give the Gift of Community Service 

Since kids usually spend the holidays unwrapping piles of presents, they can learn the importance of giving to others by partaking in a charity project. Send out invitations for the holiday party with a request that the young guests bring a gift for Toys for Tots. Before the event, set up a gift wrapping station with festive wrapping paper and ribbons (or gift bags and tissue paper) and let it double as a craft station where kids and adults can wrap the donated presents. You can also keep an eye out for local food drives at a nearby church or school, and ask the kiddos to bring cans of nonperishable food to the get-together instead of a hostess gift. At the party, stack the cans on the kitchen table, pass out paper grocery bags and ask the children to fill the bags with the canned goods. The kids will enjoy working together on a project, and they’ll feel proud for making a difference. 

4. Open Presents Early

The holiday season is a time of giving and receiving gifts, but why not liven up the process with a little competition? Kids love a fun game, so throwing a holiday party with a White Elephant gift exchange, or a Yankee Swap, will be a great party activity. Ask the kids to bring a wrapped present to the party. After all of the guests arrive, arrange the gifts in a pile on the floor. The players will sit in a circle around the gifts, and each of them will pick a name out of a hat to determine the order. The first player will pick a present and open it, and the next player can either choose an unwrapped gift from the pile or steal the gift from the previous player. The competitive edge will make the party entertaining, and the kids will get to enjoy a brand new item. 

5. Craft Holiday Cards 

There’s no better way to capture magical moments and share the holiday cheer than by sending out holiday greeting cards. For an unforgettable holiday party, book a photo booth. Ask the vendors to bring holiday props, such as scarves, hats, antlers or Santa hats, to create a wintery wonderland setting. Arrange a DIY holiday card craft station with markers, stickers and craft paper. After the kids print out their photos, they can make their way over to the craft table and transform their photos into festive cards. They can share these cards with their loved ones, or they can hang them up as holiday decoration.