Festive Holiday Party Ideas

Hosting a holiday party is one of the best traditions because it lets you celebrate the season with family, friends, coworkers, etc. If  you’re at a loss for a theme or activity to spruce up your gathering, we’ve got you covered. Here, you’ll find all the inspiration you need with a list of the best holiday party ideas, including themes, activities, food and drinks! 

Festive Holiday Party Themes and Activities 

Not only will choosing a party theme or main activity help you plan, it’ll set your holiday bash apart from others. Consider a color scheme, plaid, gingham or ugly sweater party, and ask your guests to dress accordingly. Host a beach-themed party, complete with mojitos, pineapples and beach balls or turn your gathering into a crafty DIY extravaganza. No matter your choice, it’s sure to be a fun and memorable event. Here are tons of ideas to help you get started!


  • Holiday Themed Trivia + Games create a lineup of classic games with fun holiday twists like Christmas Bingo using popcorn to cover your board or create a unique trivia experience incorporating questions about holiday movies, songs, traditions, and folklore. 
  • Craft Party handmade gifts are extra special, and so is crafting together! Join forces with ideas and materials for a do-it-yourself ornament, wreath, garland, gift tag, holiday card or stocking party. Provide some pre-made materials, turn on a holiday playlist or movie in the background and get crafty. 
  • Gift Wrapping Party wrapping presents can be a chore, but you can make it fun by turning the task into a party. Pool your resources like wrapping paper, gift bags and tags, ribbon and bows, and gather your friends so you can wrap together.
  • Holiday Movie Marathon create a cozy home theater space with lots of pillows and blankets then cue up favorites like Elf, The Polar Express, Home Alone, or Miracle on 34th Street, and serve some festive snacks and drinks. 
  • White Elephant Exchanges are a classic approach to a party filled with laughter at the randomness and ridiculousness of each gift. Be sure to invite a group of six or more and set a cap for how much each present should cost. 
  • Murder Mystery Holiday Party choose a festive mystery like a New Year’s Eve party murder, who killed Santa, or murder at an ugly sweater party. Encourage guests to dress accordingly, or bring props. Hand out roles, read the script, listen and hunt for clues and try to be the first to unravel the mystery.
  • Donation Drive spread holiday cheer by donating canned goods, coats or unwrapped toys to children in need through charities such as Toys for Tots
  • Reindeer Games are a holiday-themed Olympics-style competition. Split into teams, choose holiday-themed team names and uniforms, then compete in a series of festive challenges. For example:
    • Present pass off: a relay race where runners hand off a wrapped present in place of a baton.
    • Santa’s sack race: a potato sack race with Santa’s gift bag
    • Tree toss: toss ornaments towards a tree, and try to get as many as possible to stick.
    • Tug of gar: a traditional tug of war, with garland wrapped around the rope.


Easily turn your party into a festive gathering by choosing a color scheme or print. Encourage your guests to dress the part, silly or serious and deck out your house accordingly. Themes can also revolve around food, drinks, movies, etc. Here are a few classics and unique holiday themed party ideas. 

  • Secret Santa Parties are a classic way to exchange gifts with a big group. Guests or co-workers draw names anonymously and then get a present for the person they select. 
  • Christmas Pajama + Movie Party pancakes and pajamas anyone? Put on your favorite holiday onesie and sink your teeth into fluffy pancakes. Encourage family and friends to wear their wackiest pajamas and see who can outdo each other. 
  • Ugly Sweater Party is another classic, instruct your guests to wear the tackiest holiday sweaters they can find, and then have a contest where everyone can vote on the best. 
  • Rad Plaid Party nothing says holiday like festive tartan prints. Have everyone wear their favorite flannels and deck out your place with plaid blankets, tablecloths and pillows for all the cozy vibes.
  • Santa Convention Party ever heard of SantaCon? Have your own Santa Claus convention by inviting everyone to dress up as their own version of Santa (or at least a Santa hat) or other holiday figure.

Festive Holiday Food and Drinks 

Mocktails, cocktails and food are some of the best parts of the holiday season, and you can also easily use them as the theme for your event! From snack swaps to cocktails or cocoa, there’s so much you can do to plan a party around delicious holiday food and drinks. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

  • Holiday Cookie or Snack Swap it’s hard to bake all of your favorites, but an exchange is a fun way to try everyone’s favorite recipes. Some you may even be able to package up as gifts. Think fudge, shortbread wreath cookies, chocolate bark, peppermint kiss thumbprint cookies, gingerbread, cutout sugar cookies, etc. 
  • Festive Fondue Party who doesn’t love a hot pot of fondue? Melt chocolate and cheese, and set out plenty of bread and fruit for your guests to dip and snack on as they please.
  • Holiday Cocktail Party create a signature cocktail or drink by taking a classic recipe and making it unique by changing out a few ingredients. 
  • Hot Cocoa Party include toppings like cinnamon sticks, ground nutmeg, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and more. Let your cocoa brew in a slow cooker so it’ll stay warm all afternoon.
  • High Tea Christmas Party turn your home into a tea parlor, put out holiday-flavored tea and finger sandwiches, and serve up treats for guests to snack on while they sip.

If you’re gearing up for a seasonal event for work, family, or friends, consider including a few of these holiday party ideas to make your gathering extra special. If you’re looking for a venue to host your party, consider the lovely property of Historic Acres of Hershey, which features multiple venue spaces to accommodate groups of all sizes and is beautiful year-round. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a tour.