Going Home For The Holidays? Enjoy These 9 Fun Family Activities!

Written by Angie Arriesgado
Featured image for article on home for the holidays choices

Who said going home for the holidays is boring? There are so many fun activities you can do together with the whole gang! Check out the list below – it’s a good starting point for exciting family holiday activities to do at home. Let’s begin!

1)   Try your hand at healthy cooking

Ordering takeout may be much more convenient than cooking up a holiday feast in the kitchen, but it’s also more expensive (businesses do need to make money).

If you’re watching calories and counting macros, it’s way better to cook from scratch. You know exactly what goes into your food and you save a lot of money, too!

If you’re not much of a cook and need help cooking up healthy recipes, don’t worry, there are plenty of resources online. For low carb or keto-friendly dishes, check out our Intelligent Keto cookbook here.

2)   Get creative with your holiday leftovers

Cooking in excess is normal for the holidays. People are expected to binge and eat all the food on the table, though this rarely happens unless you belong to a family of competitive eaters! 

So, at the end of the meal, there will likely be plenty of food left. In most cases, you can’t just throw all these away.

Now, one benefit of having leftovers is that you don’t need to worry about cooking from scratch the next day. You can simply reheat the food or repurpose it into something even more delicious!

For example, if you’ve got plenty of leftover turkey, you can shred it and use it to make turkey soup. Or you can mix it with fried rice or use it as a turkey sandwich filling! For even more creative leftover ideas, use an app like Supercook. Just enter whatever ingredient you have on hand, and it will come up with interesting recipes for you! 

3)   Practice portion control at the table

Portion control is hard enough on regular days. But on holidays, it’s a battle not too many people win. There are just too many tempting holiday dishes on the dining table. Even the aroma can make your knees go weak.

You’ll probably have family members urging you to throw your diet out the window. According to them, everyone’s supposed to be gluttons on holidays! Of course, you can indulge a bit but not too much, especially if you’re keen on living a healthy lifestyle.

Fortunately, portion control doesn’t mean depriving yourself of your favorite holiday treats. To help you eat less, use a smaller plate. You can also load up on fiber-rich veggies first to help you feel full faster. Also, chew your food slowly and take the time to appreciate the different flavors tickling your palate. This will trick your brain into thinking you’re full!

Related article: Why Is Nutrition Important?

4)   Have meaningful conversations

Digital addiction is real. We spend an alarming number of hours every day staring at our phones. Here are some interesting statistics published by RescueTime, an app that monitors mobile use:

  • Average time spent on phone – 3 hours and 15 minutes
  • Top 20% of smartphone users – more than 4.5 hours on their phone!
  • Number of times people check their phones throughout the day – 58 times

This may sound difficult, but try asking everyone to put their phones down, at least for the duration of the meal. Gently remind everyone why you’re gathered around the table.

Fun, meaningful conversations will help tighten your family’s bond. Get to know each other better – the holidays are the perfect time to do this. You can even start planning future family holiday activities together. Ask everyone where they’d like to go next year – you might get a bunch of interesting answers!

5)   Play games after dinner

Chess, checkers, scrabble, monopoly – there’s a long list of board games you can play after dinner. Charades and word games are also a classic favorite, there are so many fun games you can do together! But you know your family best, so think of something everyone will enjoy.

If you’ve got some modern toys, you can challenge someone to play on the Xbox or the Wii. Don’t leave anybody out. Teach your non-techy parents how to play and maybe let them win a round or two!  

Enjoying a movie marathon is always a good idea

6)   Enjoy a movie marathon

Watching movie marathons is among the most popular family holiday activities! Some days are meant to be enjoyed in front of the television, especially if it’s too cold or it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Get a streaming service subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. It’s not too expensive and there are plenty of choices when it comes to genres and types of shows to watch.

The only downside is that these on-demand streaming services require a speedy Internet connection. If that’s not available in your area, just download the shows on your must-watch list beforehand!

As for snacks, prepare something healthy. It’s tempting to settle for comfort foods like popcorn, pizza, and chips, but we all know they’re not the healthiest. Instead, try making crispy kale chips, homemade potato chips, cucumber hummus bites, carrot sticks, stuffed bell peppers, and more!  

7)   Learn a new hobby or skill

Now that you’ve got a few days off, you can start picking up a new hobby. It doesn’t need to be expensive. For instance, you can try your hand at gardening, practice your musical skills, or solve puzzles.

You can also use the extra time to work on a new skill. Instead of binge-watching Netflix, sign up for courses online. For example, if you’re interested in digital marketing, you can sign up for relevant courses on sites like Udemy, Coursera, and more.

Alternatively, if you’re thinking of sharing your knowledge with loved ones, now’s the time to do so. Of course, don’t expect any payment while you’re at it… Just have fun and enjoy the experience!

8)   Decorate the house

Want to get everyone in a festive holiday mood? Decorate the house! Whether it’s Christmas or Halloween, or some other holiday important to your family, think of something to deck your halls with. It doesn’t have to be glittery and expensive – simple décor is enough.

The trick is not to do it all by yourself. Get everybody involved – from the young kids to the elderly grandparents – give everyone something to do. This is a fun activity that the whole family will surely enjoy!

9)   Get out and about

Spending the holidays at home doesn’t mean being cooped up inside 24/7. If weather permits, get some fresh air by taking the dog out for a walk. Or go on a hike with the entire family.

You can do so many things outside. Take advantage while you’re home for the holidays and visit friends you haven’t seen in ages. Say hi to familiar faces in the neighborhood and catch up for a bit.

If the weather turns bad, don’t take that as a sign to spend the whole day sleeping. Household chores never end! Help around the house, don’t let your poor mom do all the hard work. Help with the laundry or cook something new (see tips #1 and #2). Volunteer to wash the dishes or trim the lawn.

What are your favorite family holiday activities?

Whatever you and your family love to do together, just know that it’s all about the special memories you’re making that truly matters. We only have so much time left in this world. Spend it with the people you love the most!