13 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

Last updated: November 10, 2022, at 12:02 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 find joy and warmth in 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 Event at the Y

1. Family Nights

Celebrate the season with a wonderful winter festival at the Coal Creek Family Y on December 30, Kent Y on December 16, and West Seattle Family Y on December 16! Enjoy snacks, games, and crafts, all with a frosty theme. Enjoy quality time together and connect with your community. Family Nights are free for Y members. 

2. Art & Cooking Classes

Inspire creativity and imagination with Kids Create art workshops. Choose from:

Learn about ingredients and nutrition, practice techniques, and build culinary repertoire in our Kids in the Kitchen or Future Chef classes. Choose from Winter Favorites at the Auburn Valley Y or Holiday Treats at the Kent or Northshore Ys.

3. Community Events

The Northshore Y is hosting a Holiday Breakfast and a Winter Wonderland event at the Carol Edwards Center on December 3, in partnership with the City of Woodinville's Winterfest. At the holiday breakfast, families will enjoy delicious food, crafts, and holiday photos.  At the Winter Wonderland event, families can participate in activities such as games, face painting, and crafts with prizes. It is free for both Y members and community members. 

Join the Bellevue Family Y for a Winter Wonderland celebration on December 10. Learn about the holiday traditions that our community celebrates with treats, games, songs, and more! This community event is free for both Y members and community members. 



Activities for Home

4. Decorate Cookies

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

5. Decorate Your Home

Weather 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.

6. 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, be sure to set the mood with a fire or candle.

7. Make a Commemorative Ornament

This holiday season is bound to be unique — so why not make an ornament to remember it by? 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.

8. 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.

9. Cook a Festive Meal

Dinner is often main event for the holidays, when everyone jockeys for the perfect seat and you hope and wish your favorite sides are there. Weather you're serving a large group or small, there's no need to skimp and give it any less effort. Get turnt 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 put together a proper feast together!

10. 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. Don't forget the popcorn and M&Ms!

11. 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 doing some karaoke.

12. Go Sledding

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

13. Look at Holiday lights

If the weather is nice, you can go on a 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!