6 Holiday Games, Activities, and Challenges You Can Totally Do Remotely

published Nov 16, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Shutterstock, Graphic: Apartment Therapy

Okay, true, not all holiday activities are pandemic-possible this year. But if you’re looking for joyful and safe ways to eat, drink, and be merry through the end of December, we’ve got that covered. Read on for six holiday-themed activities that’ll ensure this remains the most wonderful time of the year. 

Schedule: An Online Happy Hour 

You’ve nearly reached the end of 2020, so yeah, you deserve a drink. And so does the rest of your crew. Lifestyle and entertaining blogger Harmony Lynn Goodson suggests reuniting with friends and family over Zoom this holiday season for a virtual cocktail contest or lesson. “Judge each other’s creations based on looks or trade recipes beforehand and try a new drink,” she says. Bonus points for instating a cocktail attire dress code, too. 

After whipping up the festive beverage of your choice, hang out and enjoy your sips in the (virtual) company of loved ones. You might put a game on the agenda, as well, like holiday-themed trivia or Never Have I Ever, where rounds might challenge those who have watched five or more Netflix holiday movies or taken an early peek at their presents, for instance, to take a drink.

In need of a unique cocktail idea? Try out this recipe from Goodson, which features cranberry juice, vodka, and snowflake-shaped ice cubes. 

Craft: A DIY Wreath

You may not be able to host an in-person craft night this year, but you can schedule a DIY wreath sesh over Zoom with a group of pals. Consider making this adorable Christmas village project from Janine Waite of Happy Happy Nester. “I’ve always been mesmerized by mini paper houses, and so I loved creating this putz house. This cute village scene is what makes this wreath unique and beautiful,” Waite says. 

Waite writes in her blog post that she made the wreath with her friend. You could do so virtually, or you could spread some holiday cheer to a local friend, family member, or neighbor by making a wreath on your own and then dropping it off at their front door. For an extra-sneaky twist, do it by ringing the bell and fleeing the scene so they don’t know who delivered the creation, but leave a note challenging them to make a wreath of their own and drop it off at someone else’s door too.

Play: A Holiday Treasure Hunt

It might take a bit of planning and creativity, but a scavenger hunt doesn’t actually need to happen in person—or even outside of each participant’s home. It’s actually pretty easy to throw one virtually and give it a holiday spin. Simply follow some tips from Tara Berger of One Stylish Party. First, “the host of the Zoom party creates a list of scavenger hunt activities where participants are asked to find holiday items or fulfill challenges to earn points,” she says. Then, “each item on the scavenger hunt list is announced separately, and players will be given a certain amount of time to complete each task.” Some ideas include asking players to take a selfie in a holiday sweater and send it to the host, or to come back to the screen holding a wrapped gift found somewhere in their house.

Create: A Gingerbread House

When it comes to holiday activities, building a gingerbread house is a tough one to skip, Berger says. Plus, you can easily do it with others over Zoom. You can bake and build your houses together from start to finish—Dini Kodippili of The Flavor Bender offers her household’s gingerbread house how-to here—or buy kits for decorating with a variety of candies and edible decor.

For an added element of excitement, Berger suggests giving the decorating portion a time limit, and appointing a judging panel to crown a winner once the clock runs out.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Bake: Holiday Cookies

Another classic project you can easily still partake in during this time of year? Baking and decorating holiday cookies. It is cookie season, after all. This year, The Every Hostess’s Kaitlin Moss recommends planning a month-long virtual recipe swap. Simply have a new person in your group send out a favorite holiday cookie recipe each week leading up to December 31, and get together once a week to bake the recipe together on Zoom. It’s a great way to catch up with friends or family on a regular basis, while also getting to enjoy a new cookie flavor each week. To get started, you could give this sweet treat from Moss a try.

Plan: A 12 Days of Christmas Virtual Challenge

If you’re looking to keep busy and maximize the holiday fun this season, Moss has another idea for you: “Get a group together to do 12 days of challenges leading up to Christmas,” she says. Decorating your dwellings while Zooming (feel free to use Moss’s home from last year as inspiration), donating gifts, and having a holiday movie night are just a few bright ideas. Then, each member of the group must take a photo of themselves completing each day’s challenge and share it with the rest of the squad. The best part about this one? You can all delight in the festivities together even if you’re miles apart.

The Home for the Holidays vertical was written and edited independently by the Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn editorial teams and generously underwritten by Cointreau.