12 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

Last updated: November 30, 2023, at 1:50 p.m. PT

Originally published: December 8, 2020, at 4:39 p.m. PT

Three images showing holiday fun with kids

The holiday season is a time to find joy and warmth connecting with family and friends. To help jump-start your seasonable spirit, we hope to inspire you with some fun ideas to make the most of your time, both with the Y or at home! 

Activities and Events at the Y

1. Family Nights

Celebrate the season with a family night at your local Y! Sign up for Winter Wonderland at the Auburn Valley, Coal Creek Family, and Northshore Ys or Holiday Traditions at the West Seattle Family Y. Enjoy snacks, games, and crafts along with quality time together and connection with your community. Family Nights are free for Y members. 

2. Arts & Crafts Classes

Inspire creativity and imagination with Kids Create art classes. Choose from themes that include gingerbread, ornaments, holiday fun, gifts, and winter wonderland.

Activities for Home

3. Decorate Cookies

Baking cookies is a great daytime activity to make your home smell delicious. Before you start, make sure you have some fun cookie cutters, frostings, and decorations. Here’s a massive list of any cookie recipe you could dream of.

4. Decorate Your Home

Whether you're going to be home or you're traveling, what better way to spruce up the joint than to decorate your space to be a winter wonderland! Set a budget and pick up some new decorations, or tap into some craft supplies and make some DIY ones. Looking for some inspiration? Check out these great ideas.

5. Put Together a Puzzle 

Looking for something a little more low-key and relaxing? Doing a puzzle is a very chill way to spend the day or night. While you work, set the mood with a fire or candle.

6. Make a Commemorative Ornament

This holiday season is bound to be unique — so why not make an ornament to commemorate it? Mix a salt dough recipe (all you need is flour, salt, and water) and make a handprint or cookie-cutter ornament. Don't forget to write the year in paint. Here’s one of our favorite recipes.

7. Read a Holiday Book

Reading a book on the sofa is a cozy way to get in the holiday spirit. If you have little ones around, let the kids pick out a book and read it to them while eating some holiday snacks. If you're with a crowd that's a little older, let John Malkovich read you 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Double down by wearing matching family jammies! Here’s a great list of holiday books for kids of all ages.

8. Cook a Festive Meal

Dinner is often the main holiday event when everyone jockeys for the perfect seat, and you hope and wish your favorite sides are there. Whether you're serving a large or small group, there's no need to skimp and give it less effort. Get turned up and get everyone involved in planning a menu ahead of time. You might discover some new favorites as you prepare all the ingredients necessary to assemble a proper feast!

9. Watch a Classic Holiday Movie

Watching a movie is the perfect way to spend the time between presents and dinner or to unwind after the festivities end. Remember the popcorn and M&Ms!

10. Make a Holiday Playlist

Set the mood by putting on a festive soundtrack, or take it up a notch and have fun belting out holiday tunes while doing some karaoke.

11. Go Sledding

We are just a short drive to some great sledding hills in the Pacific Northwest. Similarly, you could make a snowman or find a nearby ice-skating rink. Here are a few ideas of places to visit for some cold memory-making.

12. Look at Holiday lights

If the weather is nice, you can walk around the neighborhood to look at everyone's holiday lights. If it's a bit chillier, go on a drive instead. Make sure to vote on your favorites!