Senior-Friendly Family Activities for the Holidays


The holidays are a truly magical time of the year. If the endless supply of songs and holiday-themed movies are any indication, the winter holiday season is a time to put family first. Around the country families partake in timeless traditions and invent new activities to add to their annual holiday checklist. Between decorating, cooking, caroling, gift-wrapping, and frolicking in the snow, you’ll never run out of ideas for wholesome family fun.

But holiday activities for families with seniors require a bit more planning. That said, the extra effort or foresight pays off in dividends – including every member of the family creates lasting memories and wonderful moments that can be cherished for a lifetime. If you have a parent in a senior care facility or if you’re hosting your grandchildren for the holidays and want a game plan to keep them entertained, this list of activities should have you covered.

Build Gingerbread Houses

Combine cooking with arts and crafts for a delightful Christmas tradition the entire family can enjoy. If you plan on baking the gingerbread from scratch, consider hiring a professional or neighborhood baker to show you the ropes. For beginners, you can always purchase an easy kit so you and your loved ones can focus on decorating without becoming overwhelmed with the process. Play some holiday tunes while you work and be sure to take plenty of pictures before you chow down!

Snap Family Photos

“Cheesy” holiday sweaters are experience a surge in popularity. Embracing the sentimental aspects of the holidays goes hand in hand with laughing and having a good time, and one way to blend genuine moments with humor is to stage a silly family photo shoot. Bonus points if you send the results out as a Christmas card! Try to change the theme each year. Maybe this Christmas you’ll dress up as elves, and next year you’ll all have the red nose of Rudolph.

Wrap Your Gifts

Every family structures gift giving differently. If you want to include everyone on the fun of elaborate presentation, purchase inexpensive and useful gifts (one for each person in the extended family) and have a wrapping party where everyone has a job. Whether you’re better at wrapping, tying ribbon, or filling out the name cards, each member of the family will feel vital to the process. Afterwards, play a game of White Elephant to distribute and enjoy the gifts!

Attend a Classic Show

Most communities will have at least one performance of The Nutcracker, and several various holiday concerts and shows going up in theatres and churches in your area. Scout out which show your family would most enjoy and make a tradition out of it. Holiday activities change over time as families grow and children transition into adult and have kids of their own, but a family outing to see The Nutcracker can provide stability and routine in an otherwise ever-changing holiday season.

With any of these activities you can include every generation in your family and partake in the festive holiday spirit. The GrandPad makes it easier than ever for seniors to capture and share memories, ensuring that your traditions will never be forgotten. Try one of these activities and make some holiday magic with your entire family!