facebook pixel
A group of friends sitting around a table playing dominoes.

Fun holiday game ideas for families and large groups

Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, and simple, easy Christmas party games for kids and adults

Invite a bunch of family or friends over for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year with a plan for keeping the kids entertained and adults chatting with these games for large groups. Everyone will have so much fun they won't notice someone burned the mac and cheese.

Thanksgiving-friendly holiday party games and ideas

Thanksgiving gets forgotten amid traditional holiday party games, but unlike Christmas where everyone gets something in the gift exchange, Thanksgiving requires more effort to entertain people. There's football on the TV that risks drawing everyone's attention for hours at the expense of sharing time together. Use these fun game ideas when traditional board games aren't around:

Thanksgiving trivia that's right on the nose

Create a Thanksgiving-themed trivia game with questions related to the history of Thanksgiving, famous Thanksgiving traditions, and fun facts about the holiday. Divide the group into teams and see which team can answer the most questions correctly. This is a useful activity for the kids to start flexing some history skills or for teens to practice some research skills.

Thanksgiving Pictionary

Put a Thanksgiving twist on the classic game of Pictionary. Create a list of Thanksgiving-themed words or phrases, and have players take turns drawing them while their team tries to guess. To make it festive, Include pilgrim hats, turkey dinner, and autumn leaves. All you need is paper and pencils.

Host a gratitude scavenger hunt

Foster a spirit of gratitude by organizing a scavenger hunt with the kids. Instead of collecting physical items, have everyone search for things that represent what they're grateful for. If someone's thankful for their spouse, they might snap a quick selfie with them, or if they're grateful for the great outdoors, maybe they go out and select a leaf. This also works well with an object that reminds people of a cherished memory.

Because photos are a useful way of capturing the essence of a memory or moment, kids and teens will enjoy the opportunity to gawk at their phones for a bit.

Mexican Train Dominoes

If you're looking for something a little more classic, consider a game of Mexican Train Dominoes. It only requires a standard double-12 domino set, but you can play with other sets. We've got guides on how to:

Plus, you can use these printable score sheets for a 16-person tournament and recipe ideas that theme the whole experience.

Christmas party games and other fun party games

Christmas (or Thanksgiving) Bingo

Create Thanksgiving-themed bingo cards with images or words related to the holiday, such as a turkey, pumpkin pie, or family dinner. Provide small prizes for the winners and make it more interactive by incorporating Thanksgiving-related challenges or tasks for the players to complete to mark off a square, like "Name 3 things you're thankful for this year."

For younger children, you can ask them to name their three favorite foods, or go find three candy canes, or pose next to the Christmas tree for a photo. Christmas "movie bingo" is another idea where everyone can list for specific phrases or spot some aspects in a movie to win.

Christmas party Bunco

The classic dice game Bunco is a great game around Thanksgiving or Christmas. It shines as a Christmas party game because there are many opportunities to award prizes, like for specific rolls, mini-Buncos, full Buncos, and more.

Our sister site at PlayBunco.com has more details, but it's a fun game that's easy to learn, requires only three dice for every 4 players, and scales up quickly to as many as 16 players shuffling around. A good thing for those Friendsgiving parties where party guests may not know everyone else. They also have free printables for scoring, too.

Christmas Cookie Decorating before the big get-together

Set up a Christmas cookie decorating station with plain cookies, various colored icing, and an assortment of festive toppings. It's fun for the kids (and teens, despite what they might say out loud). Allow everyone to decorate their own cookies and share with others.

To add a competitive element, you can have a contest for the best-decorated cookies. Enlist impartial judges or have a voting system to determine the winners in different categories, such as "Most Creative" or "Most Festive."

Christmas and holiday movie trivia

Put together a trivia game featuring questions about popular Christmas movies. Include classics like "It's a Wonderful Life," "Home Alone," and "A Christmas Carol." Divide the group into teams and see who can answer the most movie-related questions correctly.

If you'd rather avoid everyone staring at screens, have everyone compile a list of trivia questions about themselves for Christmas trivia with the family. It's a great way for the entire family or friends to learn about each other. It is an excellent way for kids to learn about the lives of grandparents and older adults, too!

Secret Santa gift exchange with a little thievery

Instead of simply exchanging gifts, turn it into a game. For example, you can have a gift swap where participants can "steal" gifts from each other based on a set of rules or who wins other games, like in dominos, Uno, Yahtzee, and more. You could also incorporate a dice game where the dice roll determines who gets to pick a gift or swap with someone else.

What are your go-to Christmas or Thanksgiving party games?

Join our Facebook Group and share what your favorite, fun Christmas games are. Hundreds of active users are looking for and ready to share fun games for adults and kids. And when you're ready for some downtime this holiday season, you can play Mexican Train Dominoes on your phone.