50 Activities to Entertain your Houseguests

Don't Let the Excitement of Being Together Wear Off

Couple enjoying a wine tasting.
Take your houseguests to a winery for an afternoon of tasting. Getty Images/Stone

The reason we invite guests to stay with us in our homes during the holidays, or any other season for that matter, is that these are family and friends who don't live close by and with whom we'd like to enjoy an extended visit. But after you catch up on the latest news and gossip, after you've admired how much their children have grown, then what do you do? The best way to keep the visit from becoming tiring after the excitement of the first day has passed is to build activities into your plan for entertaining houseguests - activities that will get everyone who needs a bit of diversion out of the house, and leave behind those who perhaps need a little quiet time to recharge.

Here is a list of 50 activities you can do with your houseguests, organized by season if appropriate, or listed as a year-round activity if not limited to one season. Some of these activities will be best with children, some will be adult only, but you can choose those that best suit your guests. Most of these activities cost very little money, which is something you'll want to consider, especially if your guests have incurred large expenses traveling to your home. If you do propose an activity that is expensive, be sure to clear it first with your guests before you purchase any tickets and give them less expensive alternatives so they can decline the expense gracefully.

All Season Activities

  1. Go to the dog park with your Fido-friendly guests.
  2. Take all the kids to the playground.
  3. Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  4. Catch a newly released movie.
  5. Shop at a nearby outlet mall.
  6. Check out the local children's museum.
  7. See the current exhibit at your town's art museum.
  8. Visit a local winery for a tasting.
  9. Go to the zoo.
  10. Go to the aquarium.
  11. Visit a rescued animal center.
  12. Go to the bookstore for coffee and browsing.
  13. Go bowling.
  14. Take everyone to the roller rink.

Holiday/Winter Activities

  1. Take a nighttime drive to look at holiday lights.
  2. See a local choral group perform.
  3. Go to a township production of "The Nutcracker".
  4. Go to your town's Christmas tree lighting.
  5. Go ice skating indoor or outside.
  6. Shop the after-Christmas sales.
  7. Take a trip to a historic site.
  8. Build a snowman.
  9. Have a snowball fight.

Spring Actitivies

  1. Go for a picnic in the park.
  2. Take a hike in a nature preserve.
  3. Play tennis at the courts at your town's middle or high school.
  4. Go on a pub crawl for St. Patrick's Day.
  5. Play bocce or shuffle board at the courts in the park.
  6. Visit the Easter bunny at the mall.
  7. Visit an arboretum to see the bulbs and trees in bloom.
  8. Go fly a kite.

Summer Activities

  1. Take a picnic to the beach.
  2. Go to the neighborhood pool.
  3. Catch a free concert in the park.
  4. Go for a drive down a scenic country or mountain road. Stop at all of the little tourist shops along the way.
  5. Attend a professional car race.
  6. Take a trip to the best ice cream shop within 15 miles.
  7. Bring the kids to a petting zoo.
  8. Go fishing and cook up a summer seafood feast with your catch.
  9. Go crabbing and have a crab boil when you return home.
  10. Go on an outing to the local farmer's market.
  11. Stroll along the boardwalk and play the games.
  12. Go to a country fair.

Fall Activities

  1. Head out to the closest orchard for an apple picking picnic.
  2. Take a hayride to pick pumpkins.
  3. Visit Santa right after Thanksgiving.
  4. Go to a harvest festival.
  5. Take a tailgate picnic to a professional or college football game in your area.
  6. Go on a leaf-peeping drive.
  7. Play a game of touch football.