It can be the most wonderful time of the year for many. It's time to grab your festive hot chocolate, cosy up with layers of blankets to save on your heating bill, spend quality time with loved ones, and prepare for some of the most wholesome December traditions.
Whether you dedicate a weekend to making it through as many Christmas classics as possible, treat yourself to an evening at the Theatre, or show off your competitive side in the ultimate games day, these seven festive things to do over the Christmas break offer a much-needed dose of escapism which are merry to the max.
Old or young, most people love a good games day. Whilst Monopoly may cause a family feud to last for a decade, and your Mum probably still hasn't forgiven you for hitting her with that +4 in UNO, a good old games day (or night) is a great way to bring the family together. So dust off your board games or treat yourself to a new one and have a good laugh at how competitive your loved ones are.
Below are our selection of games you need to play this festive season. (And don't forget plenty of snacks to feed your competitive side!).
- Monopoly - an absolute classic that has divided families for years
- Cluedo - showcase your detective skills (and it's probably your Mum's favourite)
- Rummikub - don't knock it till you try it, it provides hours of amusement
- Colour Brain - this one is great for all ages and even has different versions to suit your loved ones, e.g., Disney
- Blokus - a brilliant strategy game for 4 players
- UNO - can't beat a game of UNO with your nearest and dearest and there are new versions to play including UNO Flip & DOS
- Linkee - shout-out family trivia fun for all ages
- Codenames - top secret word game as two teams go head to head
You can't go wrong with a classic Christmas film at this time of year, especially when you've consumed so much chocolate and festive treats that you just can't move! It's a great way to keep the kids entertained when they want to watch TV anyway and it means the whole family can be together.
Binge a few Christmas classics or invite each person to choose their favourite and settle into the sofa with a festive beverage and plenty of snacks for a fun festive day together.
Don't know which film to watch? Here's a compilation of just some festive favourites available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ this Christmas:
Christmas offers so many opportunities to grab your walking boots and venture outside. Whether it's to take in the crisp winter air, let off some steam, or to burn off your Christmas dinner, there's nothing quite like a festive stroll. They're the perfect way to get the family together and bond whilst getting in some leisurely exercise.
There are so many places in the UK that are perfect for a Wintery walk: parks, countryside, around lakes and reservoirs, and even up some peaks (if not too icy!). But a great start is taking a look at some local National Trust sites. They can offer something for the whole family with tearooms, trails, and even beautiful mansions to explore and melt away the icicles for a while.
You can explore which National Trust sites are closest to you here.
Buffet/Bring a Board
Christmastime is the perfect opportunity for indulging in all the buffet food - who doesn't love a Boxing Day buffet!? It's an easy way to enjoy a variety of food with minimal effort and a great way to get everyone involved with bringing their own favourite foods. You can even use your air fryer to crisp up some food and save space in your oven.
Or you could try a bring a board night that we've seen all over TikTok and what a genius idea! If you have a group of you gathering for an evening, get each person to bring their own food board for some festive fun.
Here's some delicious inspiration:
- Cheese and cracker board – self-explanatory but go all out with a variety of cheeses and crackers
- Healthy board – all the fruits and veggies you can think of, and you could even make it crudité style with a selection of dips
- Crisps and dips – speaking of dips, there’s nothing better than snacking on crisps with a good dip whilst enjoying a cosy film
- Beige board – the ultimate fried snacks of onion rings, chips, sausage rolls, nuggets, mozzarella dippers…
- Go for a specific cuisine – think Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Italian, American…
- Dessert board – think chocolate fondue (fruit and marshmallows), mini doughnuts, brownies, cakes etc.
- Christmas Leftovers - if you're planning a buffet day after your Christmas dinner, grab a board full of yummy leftovers and even get creative with how you use them up! TikTok is a great place for inspiration.
Gingerbread men, Christmas pudding, Yule logs, and mince pies - there are just so many tasty festive bakes to choose from! Christmas is the perfect time to get baking and get the kids involved in making some delicious treats for yourself and any visitors you have over the festive period. You don't have to be Mary Berry herself or make it look perfect! Just follow a simple recipe online and enjoy the making and baking process as much as the joy of eating them at the end!
To get you started, why not try some of these delicious Christmas cookie recipes to leave out for Father Christmas (and yourselves!) that you can enjoy decorating together.
Is it even Christmas without a trip to your local theatre to watch the pantomime? Oh no it isn't! Pantomimes are a great way to entertain the kids at Christmas and they never shy away from dropping a few jokes for the adults too!
It's a great way to support your local theatre group after cancellations in previous years.
If you're not already in the Christmas spirit, going to your local Church, Theatre or Community Centre for a Christmas sing-along will boost your festive spirits in no time. And if you'd prefer to stay in the comfort of your own home, why not put on your cosiest Christmas pyjamas and host your own Christmas sing-along for all to enjoy!? It's a great opportunity to also get your boogie on and keep those toes warm this cold December.
We’d love to know what you get up to over the festive season, and if you have any ideas of your own let us know on social media!
Finally, from everyone here at Swan, we hope you have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year!