Fun, Socially-Distanced Holiday Activities with Teens

The holidays are normally full of fun social engagements. From New Year’s Eve parties to holiday gatherings with family to outings with friends, this time of year is normally a busy season of close encounters with those we love. Sadly, the 2020 pandemic has made almost all of those activities unsafe. While we could let these circumstances rob the joy of this holiday season, we are instead thinking outside the box. There are still fun ways for your teen to have a joyous holiday!

Hold a contest. Encourage your teen to invite the extended family or their friends to participate in a holiday-themed contest! It could be an ugly Christmas sweater contest, where everyone logs on to a video call wearing their worst holiday garb. It could be a Pinterest contest, where everyone agrees to try a Pinterest recipe at the same time and take photos of their final results. It could be a gingerbread-decorating contest, where everyone shares photos of their creation. Your teen can assemble all of the photos anonymously on one page for everyone to vote for their favorite. The gingerbreads don’t even need to be traditional – your teen could suggest that everyone must decorate their house for any holiday that is NOT Christmas.

Socially-distanced cookie swap. Organize willing participants for a cookie swap! Ask everyone to drop off their goodies on your front doorstep on a particular day. Your teen can reassemble the cookies on everyone’s platters and deliver them to their doorsteps the following day.

Drive through light displays. Make some hot cocoa, pour a cup for each member of the family, and head out in the car in search of the best Christmas light displays. Some cities and towns offer a professionally made light display with admission, or you may know of a couple of neighborhoods that always go above and beyond each winter. This is a great way to observe social distancing while getting out of the house.

Create video gatherings. Whether it’s to catch up with relatives or play games with friends down the street, use video calls to experience the face-to-face interactions you would normally have over the holidays. You can even make it more creative by inviting lots of friends or family for an online talent show.

Make your own holiday decorations. Whether it’s a wreath or a table centerpiece or a mantel display, ask your teen to use their creativity to make festive decorations for your home.

Try new holiday desserts. Most of the time, we have a lot of company during the holidays so we tend to make the same desserts that we know taste good. With no guests coming, your family can feel free to try new baking delights!

Host a virtual paint night. There are plenty of online video tutorials you could play on your smart television or computer that will guide you through creating your own masterpiece. Look for a tutorial that focuses on a holiday themed picture.

Cozy movie marathons. Pull out the pillows, pop the corn and decide which holiday classics to watch.

Create a holiday playlist. Ask your teen to create a playlist of holiday-themed music that you can play during their school break.

Game night. Whether you choose a holiday-themed board game or not, make the game night evening festive with some holiday drinks!

Bonfire. It might be cold outside, but it’s a safer place to gather! Get a warm bonfire going in your firepit, add some cozy blankets, and allow your teen to have a few friends over to roast s’mores and talk.

Ice skating. Many towns across America create seasonal ice skating rinks outdoors for the public to enjoy over the Christmas season. This is a perfect outdoor activity for your teen to enjoy with family or friends.

Host a virtual party. For New Year’s Eve, encourage your teen to host a virtual meetup with friends. There should be some planned activities. For example, your teen might suggest an ugly sweater contest, a 2020 trivia game (you would need to prepare a bunch of 2020-themed questions that virtual attendees could answer in a trivia challenge), or have a dance party where they act as a DJ and play popular songs for everyone to dance to.

Whatever you decide to do, be safe and well! From all of the staff, youth, board, and volunteers at Middle Earth, we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year!

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