Everyone enjoys being included in holiday activities
The holidays can be lots of fun for older adults even if they have physical or cognitive limitations. It’s all about spending time together, feeling included, and enjoying good company.
The activities you do don’t have to be exciting to be special and meaningful. Simply joining in brings joy and helps your older adult enjoy the season.
We’ve rounded up 20 fun holiday activities for seniors that are perfect to enjoy with family and friends. We also share tips on how to modify or pace activities to keep older adults from getting too tired.
20 senior-friendly holiday activity ideas
15 activities for staying in
- Make a holiday wreath – these are fun and festive
- Decorate and fill stockings – try this cute stocking kit
- Make pomanders with oranges and cloves – like this
- Decorate the house – here are some fun ideas and these mini hat ornaments are adorable and easy to make
- Prompt kids to ask about “the olden days” so they can learn about their grandparent’s youth
- Play simple card games or board games
- Enjoy listening to your older adult’s favorite tunes
- Sing holiday songs together – try these holiday classics
- Have a family movie night with popcorn, extra pillows, and warm blankets to cuddle under
- Enjoy tea or coffee together as a group
- Bake cookies – try these yummy gingerbread cookies
- Cook or prepare favorite holiday foods together
- Have a gift wrap party – don’t worry if things aren’t perfectly wrapped, it’s the fun that counts!
- Get your older adult’s help with holiday cards – writing, addressing, or sealing envelopes
- Ask for their opinions or ideas while you’re shopping online for gifts
5 activities for going out
- Stroll around the mall and admire the holiday decorations – go early to avoid the crowds
- Take a family walk around the neighborhood or through a local park
- Enjoy a delicious meal at a favorite restaurant
- Watch a feel-good holiday movie or fun comedy in the theater
- Take in a local play or musical
Pace activities and modify as needed
Encourage older adults to join in the holiday festivities whenever possible, but be careful not to overdo it.
Many of these activities are low-key and can be easily modified to fit your older adult’s energy level and abilities. But it’s still wise to be on the lookout for signs of fatigue and proactively suggest breaks or a mid-day nap.
If your older adult has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may want to modify activities even further to avoid overstimulating or confusing them.