Activities to Do with Older Loved Ones During the Holidays

Family at the holidays
November 30th, 2022

Keeping everyone entertained at your home during the holidays can be a chore. The kids are usually easily entertained, but what about your parents or grandparents?

Your holiday celebration will go a lot easier if you already have a few plans in mind before everyone arrives. You already have enough to do, so worrying about how everyone is doing is a worry you don’t need.

Holiday Activities

Play Familiar Games

Playing a board game or a card game that you often do during the holidays can feel as much like a holiday tradition as anything else. It can be fun, familiar, and keep everyone happy and entertained.

This is a good way to get people to engage and be entertained. With everyone there, your parents or grandparents can get help if they need it while still feeling like they are a part of the festivities.

Holiday Movies

Another great way to bring back memories and keep people happy is to watch movies that you always watch. There are always plenty of them airing during the holidays, so make a point of watching one together.

Even when we could mouth the words of every scene in these movies, there is something warm and familiar about them. These are available on a regular schedule, on demand, or on a disc.


Making cookies or other traditional baked goods can be fun but it also allows them to help out and get engaged. It’s a way to let everyone participate and feel like they have contributed.

Ask mom or grandma to make their special dish so they feel needed. It’s great to pass these family recipes on so ask your parent or grandparent to show you how they make it.

Photo Albums

Put together a family photo album or video. You can make several copies and give them out to family members. It’s a great way to bring back great memories and see how far everyone has come.

This is perfect for parents who may be living with dementia. They may not recognize you now, but they may see you in the old family pictures and relive some great holiday memories.

Make Decorations

Making simple decorations can be a great project for the whole family. Get the kids involved and the grandparents. It’s a great way to keep everyone busy and allow you to get everything else in place.

These can be as simple as drawing something, folding paper, or coloring something. It’s a great way to let people feel like they are contributing and you can use them again next year or let people take them home.

Go For a Walk

It is always nice to get out and get some fresh air. Take a walk through the park or around the neighborhood and check out falling leaves and your neighbor’s decorations.

You can always stop someplace that is familiar and fun for a hot drink or a bite to eat. Go before dinner or after you eat to either work up an appetite or work off your big dinner.

Take a Drive

If your neighborhood or the area you live in has a lot of vibrant colors when the leaves turn color, take advantage of that. You can pack a lunch or pack up some leftovers and make the afternoon of it.

It’s a great way to get out of the house and have everyone together. Take your camera and get some great family photos for your next photo album. You can gather leaves and make a scrapbook.

If you are doing this at Christmas time, make it a light tour. Check out all the lights and make sure you find out in advance which neighborhoods you should visit for the best displays.

Celebrate Together

It’s great when the whole family is together for a holiday celebration, but you may worry about your aging parent. If you suspect they are struggling on their own, you can hire a caregiver to check in on them.

You can make a point of dropping by more regularly and think about a medical alert system. This type of alert will allow them to live more independently, but still have access to care if needed.