Christmas Parties and Other Holiday Celebrations for Kids

Recipes, games and other ideas for a holiday bash the children will love

There are plenty of reasons why they say winter is the most magical time of year for kids. From Santa Claus to ringing in a new year, what's not to love?

But when you're planning Christmas parties or other holiday celebrations for children, you might feel overwhelmed. Should it be a gingerbread house-making party or a cookie exchange? What kid-friendly foods have a holiday theme? Are there holiday-themed games for children to play?

These articles will help answer those questions and more....MORE For other holiday ideas, please check out the creative tips and useful resources in our About Family Holiday Survival Guide.

  • 01 of 18

    Holiday Party Games for Kids

    gift game, present game, Christmas games, holiday games, Christmas party games, games for kids
    Looking for holiday party games for kids? How about a present-stacking contest?. Plush Studios

    Fun, active, holiday-themed games your kids can play at a Christmas, Hanukkah or other winter party.

  • 02 of 18
    Christmas, holiday, cookies, recipes, food, parties, kids, children, menus, eat, sweets
    Need a Christmas party theme? How about hosting a cookie exchange?. Megan Cooley

    Not sure where to begin when planning a Christmas party? Choosing a theme, such as gingerbread making, cookie exchange or charity work, will help narrow your focus.

  • 03 of 18
    Christmas Recipes, kids, children, holidays, healthy, savory, pizza, cookie cutters, Christmas tree,
    These Christmas-tree mini pizzas are easy to make and have broad appeal with kids. Megan Cooley

    Baby, it's cold outside, but children will warm up to these kid-friendly culinary Christmas creations. From breadsticks shaped like candy canes to "Jack Frosty" mint shakes, you'll find enough here to build a whole holiday menu.

  • 04 of 18

    New Year's Parties and College Kid Reunions

    noisemaker, New Year's Eve, New Year's, New Years, new year, new year's parties, new years teens
    Toast the New Year and toot your noisemaker. Here are some ways for teens and young adults to celebrate Jan. 1 and get back in touch with high school friends. Photo by Melissa Balkon, Stock.Xchng Photos

    Winter break doubles as a mini reunion for college-age kids. Get the gang back together again for a New Year's Day brunch, holiday open house or other gathering.

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  • 05 of 18

    How to Plan a Kids' Christmas Party

    Reindeer, Christmas parties, Christmas parties for kids
    Play some reindeer games at a kids' Christmas party. Getty Images

    Ideas for Christmas-themed games, snacks, crafts and more for a festive holiday party.

  • 06 of 18
    Potluck recipes, potluck, potlucks, Christmas parties, holiday parties, food for holiday parties
    Looking for potluck recipes to make for a last-minute holiday party? These ideas are quick and kid friendly. Getty Images/Javier Pierini

    On your way to a holiday potluck but don't have time to make an elaborate dish? Recipes that please a crowd of kids and can be cooked quickly. 

  • 07 of 18
    Christmas Party Games, Christmas games, holiday party games, kids games, games kids, holiday games
    Wondering what to do with a house full of kids during a holiday party? Play Christmas party games, of course. Karin Dreyer/Getty Images

    You've created the menu, frosted the cookies, decorated the tree and wrapped the party favors. But what in the world will the kids actually do during your holiday party? These clever Christmas-themed games answer that question.

  • 08 of 18

    Before You Throw a Holiday Party

    In the excitement of hosting a holiday party, you might forget your own children's emotional needs. Tips (such as asking your child to be "in charge" of younger kids and allowing your child to hide certain toys) to avoid tantrums, meltdowns and unnecessary stress for little ones.

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  • 09 of 18

    New Year's Eve Party Planner for Teens

    New Year's Eve can be a fun, but dangerous night for teens. A guide to throwing an end-of-the-year bash that's safe and memorable.

  • 10 of 18
    Christmas Party Decoration, Christmas party decoration ideas, pinecone crafts, pinecones
    Need an easy idea for a Christmas party decoration? How about painting pinecones with white paint to mimic snow? Add some glitter to the paint for a sparkly effect. Megan Cooley

    You might think that kids fail to notice how a party space looks, but Christmas party decorations can put children in the holiday spirit. Making the extra effort to create a scene will be worth it, even if Junior and his friends don’t explicitly say, “Lovely party decorations, Mrs. Smith.”

  • 11 of 18

    Party Favors for Christmas Goody Bags

    Christmas party favors, Christmas goody bag, Christmas goody bags, holiday goody bags, stocking
    Christmas party favors. Stockxpert

    Tired of stuffing goody bags with the same old, well ... stuff? Here are Christmas party favors you might not have considered yet.

  • 12 of 18
    easy gingerbread houses, graham cracker gingerbread house, pattern, design, construction, small, cra
    Looking for a way to make easy gingerbread houses? Follow these directions for a house that uses graham crackers instead of gingerbread. Megan Cooley

    Hosting a gingerbread house-making party for kids? Don't spend a week baking gingerbread. These instructions for building graham cracker houses will save you time and money.

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  • 13 of 18

    Celebrate Hanukkah with Kids

    Hanukkah, Chanukah, parties, girl, menorah, game, fabric, candles, toy
    Children can learn how to light the Hanukkah menorah by playing with a cloth toy that represents it. Photo courtesy of Teckelcar

    Make the "Festival of Lights" fun for kids with these party, gift and food ideas.

  • 14 of 18
    Kwanzaa, kwanza, kids, children, celebrate, party, girl, kinara, candelabra, mkeka, black, African A
    A young girl named Niani celebrates Kwanzaa, a holiday that helps African American children connect with their heritage and community. Photo courtesy of Greensboro Public Library.

    In the African-American culture, Kwanzaa is a holiday that honors tradition and deepens children's understanding of their heritage. It's also a lot of fun--seven days of food, music, dancing, creativity and other family activities!

  • 15 of 18
    New Years Hats, New Year's Eve, party, kids, children, hat, new years, Marie Antoinette, birthday
    One of the most fun things about December 31 is wearing festive New Years hats, like this Marie Antionette hat by Joosy Card Co. Photo courtesy of Joosy Card Co., Las Vegas, N.V.

    Traditionally, New Year's Eve is considered a holiday for grownups. True, midnight is past most kids' bedtimes, but there are still a lot of fun ways to usher in the new year with children.

  • 16 of 18

    The Best Martha Stewart Christmas Ideas for Kids' Parties

    Martha Stewart's treasure trove of great ideas can be overwhelming. Check out this carefully chosen collection of her best Christmas ideas for kids' parties.

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  • 17 of 18

    DIY Christmas Party Supplies

    DIY Christmas party supplies let you flex your creative muscles and can save you money. Here are some projects you can make yourself for a unique, personal party that shows kids not everything has to come from a store.
  • 18 of 18

    Share Your Holiday Party Ideas

    Did you throw a holiday party for kids? Have some Christmas party ideas to share? Use this easy form to show off your bash.