Has hopping in the car with your family to go see the Holiday light displays in your town become a little “ho-hum” for your kids? Well, then it might be time for an upgrade to this tradition with a fun Family Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt game and snacks (free printable)!
Nothing will get you in the holiday spirit like a night of driving around with your family looking at outdoor Christmas decor and listening to holiday music!
It’s a holiday family tradition for about everyone I know to take the yearly trip out in the month of December to look at Christmas light displays and festive decorations, but now that we have older kids, they are less keen on this idea because they’ve done it so many years in a row #beentheredonethat #lifewithteens
So this year we decided to up our Christmas lights viewing game by adding in both a food and drink component and a game to make it a competition (all in fun).
I mean, if that doesn’t persuade our kids to indulge us in another year of cheesy Christmas family outings, then I don’t know what possibly could… besides money, but listen, I’m not that desperate!
I’ll just load up our dog in the passenger seat and drive around alone looking at the twinkling lights if it ever comes to that!
Are you ready for a new Holiday family tradition for your crew too that will be epic fun for the entire family?
Well, I’ve got you covered, mama…here’s how to plan an epic family Christmas light scavenger hunt night with your kids (and if you are feeling really brave, you can invite their friends too!)
1. Food for Family Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt:
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but little did I know before my kids were teenagers, that a similar premise is true for teens…a way to their brains is with food!
To take your Christmas lights family joyride up a notch, add a little treat to the agenda with these super cute Holiday light cookies that your kids will love! (and parents too)
I mean seriously, aren’t they so darn cute and so much fun (and so darn easy to make too – which you can read about here)
My daughter and I made these Christmas Light Cookies together last year and we each opted to use different sized M&Ms on each of our cookies…which certainly spurred a family debate…
And since we could not settle this dispute civilly in my family, I’m counting on you, the unbiased, brilliant reader to let us know what you think…which edible pretty light cookies do you like best?
Cookie with small mini M&M’s to make the pretty lights
Cookie with regular M&M’s cut in half making “old school” looking Christmas lights
So, what say you? Which do you think looks more legit in the Christmas light category?
Please let me know in the comments…cause I can’t wait to rub it into my daughter’s face that mine is better! LOL!
In all seriousness, I’d love to hear what you think cause I’m on the fence with this one!
2. Drinks for Family Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt:
Choosing a drink for the Christmas light viewing extravaganza is a no-brainer…HOT COCOA, of course!
And if you’ve gotten your fill from “Hot, Hot Chocolate” cause you’ve been watching The Polar Express movie on replay…you can opt for a little egg nog (want an easy recipe, check this one out!) or a peppermint milkshake…
heck, even a warm apple cider can add an upgrade to your family holiday event!
3. Game for Family Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt:
Now we are heading into the good stuff…the Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt – bring on the crazy fun game!
Once you’ve filled your kids’ bellies with a little Noel nourishment, it’s time to get this festive competition for the entire family going!
All you need to do to plan this easy add-on scavenger hunt Christmas game to your festive family night (or you can even include your friends too!) is to download the free printable here and print them – one printable worksheet per person who is participating: (adults can play too – why should kids have all the fun?)
Here are the decorations that your family will have fun finding:
- Candy Canes
- Rudolf the Reindeer
- Snowflake Lights
- The Grinch
- A Penguin
- A Wreath
- Inflatable Santa
- A Word in Lights
- An Angel
- A Giant Present
- Mrs. Claus
- Projected Lights
- A Sleigh
- Big Ornaments
- A Snowman
- The Gingerbread Man
- A Candle in a Window
- A Peanuts Character
- An Elf
- A Snowglobe
- A Star Wars Character
- An Animal Ice Skating
- All White Lights
- A Christmas Tree
- Icicle Lights
- A Train
It’s a pretty extensive list of symbols of the holidays and Christmas items, so there should be plenty of things to search for amongst all the Christmas decor!
Once you’ve downloaded and printed the appropriate amount of printable Christmas lights worksheets, you have one of two options:
ONE TIME USE: If you are only planning to do a family Christmas light scavenger hunt one time, you just need to grab some clipboards (or old magazines to write on if you don’t have that many clipboards) and some pens/markers.
MULTI-YEAR USE: If you are planning to do this activity again in future years, you can place the scavenger hunt printable sheets in a plastic sleeve and grab some dry erase markers. (also bring along those clipboards/magazines). This way you can wipe them off after you’ve played the game and use the printables again for future fun next Holiday Season!
HOW TO PLAY:
If your family (or friends) is anything like mine (highly competitive and eager to argue about fairness), then you will want to set some ground rules and possibly choose an official “judge”. Here are a few practical tips and helpful hints before your little competition begins!
- One great idea that has helped us is that everyone gets the printable hunt sheets at the same time…heaven forbid anyone gets extra seconds to mentally prepare more than their siblings before we get in the car. And we normally give the kids a few minutes to look through the list of Christmas decorations that are searching to find before we load up and roll out!
- Place their search sheets on clipboards/magazines/whatever hard surface you have to write on and they each get a writing tool (pen, marker, dry erase)
- Get in the car as a family and as soon as the engine starts (no sooner!) you may begin hunting!
- Throughout the car ride around town, the players mark off as many items as they see!
- The game officially ends when the engine is turned off back at home (or when the official judge deems it over). Feel free to set a time limit if that helps your gameplay too! Maybe spend only 15 minutes in the search mode and then spend the remaining time in the care just enjoying the Christmas lights and holiday decorations! You decide what will work best for your family!
- Once you return home the judge will count how many items each person found and declare a WINNER! (Giving prizes is an option…for my household that causes unpleasant disagreements so we just play the game for bragging rights only!) Remind them the real purpose is to spend together as a family and to have FUN finding the various Christmas items!
And there you have it…the Ultimate Family Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt Night!
What do you think?
Does your family have a unique holiday tradition that your kids love?
Do you play any special games on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
We are always looking for a new and fun idea for the Holiday Season especially during the week of Christmas!
Until next time, cheers to festive fun with your family and friends, and cheers to you!
Need more family fun night ideas to make this an extra Merry Christmas?
Check out our Family Grinch Night Here
Also, our Elf Movie & Dinner Night is a sure-fire hit with the whole family too!
P.S.S If free printable scavenger hunts are your things, I’ve got an Easter one here and a St.Patrick’s Day one here over on the blog!!