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40+ MAGICAL Backyard Christmas and Holiday Party Ideas

Hello and welcome to this post where I share all my ideas and inspiration prompts for an amazing backyard Christmas party!

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or the holiday season in general, I have created a list of ideas, decoration inspiration, games, entertainment and food suggestions to hopefully help you create some real holiday cheers and plan a super special day for your friends.

I’m Zoe, and after years of working in the party industry, I set up this blog to share practical actionable tips for creative, and affordable parties. I love creating an amazing party atmosphere in the simplest, most affordable way. If that sounds good, then you’re in the right place!

So I hope you enjoy these backyard Christmas party ideas and get some inspiration for fun game ideas, outdoor party decorations, excellent food, themes and entertainment for a wonderful holiday celebration.

Backyard Christmas Party Decor

Christmas lights: the perfect way to set people up in the mindset of holiday spirit, Christmas lights brighten every space with light and festivity and are a staple Christmas decoration for a reason! 

Christmas tree: If you’re celebrating a Christmas party, beautifully decorated trees are a straightforward way to combine a wintery feeling, with your colour scheme, a natural life element, and some sparkle.

People often have an emotional connection to Christmas, and the decorated Christmas tree is a prominent symbol of that meaning it will make people feel Christmassy, as well as looking Christmassy.

Hanging candy canes: hang candy canes off tree branches and off the end of garden structures such as front porch canopies or pergolas. Guests are welcome to take them and enjoy!

Magical Christmas grottos: Christmas parties are best when they are a big magical. Set up some special corners of your backyard with theme nooks and secretive spots, for instance, you could create a:

  • North Pole Grotto — set up a little tent with tacky colourful lights, play cheesy Christmas songs and have loads of faux gifts using bright wrapping paper to cover large cardboard boxes. You could even add an inflatable reindeer slight here if you’re able!
  • Snowflake paradise — a magical winter wonderland hideout. If you can set up a shelter and string snowflake garment ornament hanging from the ceiling all over. Combine this with tiny bright, white and/or blue lights and maybe add a mirror disco ball to make the bright, light sparkles dance! Play delicate snowflake music, perhaps even the famous nutcracker dance of the snowflakes.
  • Nutcracker Hideaway — the Nutcrackers is a classic Christmas story and is set in a beautiful Victorian Christmas, and then in magical Candy Land. Have a nutcracker corner, with giant magical land ornaments such as sweets and inflatable snowflakes, and add nutcracker and sugarplum fairy ornaments. You could even have the ballet playing on a projector in the background for people to pass by and watch a clip of.

Front door costume bar: If it’s not a costume party, you could set up a station at the front door with super silly, Christmas theme decorations, such as flashing snowman ears, Santa hat hairclips and Christmas tree headbanks!

Let the party guests become part of the decoration by wearing theme-themed costume pieces. This is an easy way to welcome people and get them into the party spirit! You can also ask for mandatory door photos, a little like an entire photo booth!

Christmas garlands: Integrate the greenery of your backyard with a white christmas look without damaging the main plant by cutting off some branches and creating christmas garlands.

Spray these with white, spray paint snow and maybe add some christmas ribbons or pops of colour into the garlands with christmas tree ornaments.

Christmas projector: A really great modern decoration for an outdoor christmas party is a projector film, for instance, of falling snowflakes, or of shooting stars or something magical! if it’s dark outside, this will look beautiful, projected against a garden fence, or the wall of a shed. 

Christmas scents: have a Christmassy warn drink stewing on the hob, such as mulled wine or cider to fill the space with a delicious, rich Christmassy aroma! This helps add magic to the party atmosphere!

Backyard Christmas party entertainment

Fire Pit: Create a cozy firepit but scattering cushions and throw blankets onto seats arranged around the pit. If you can, try and find cozy blankets that suit the colour theme of the party.

Hot Chocolate Bar: A hot chocolate or hot cocoa bar is a perfect addition to a Christmas party. Fill a table with a huge pot of cocoa and invite friends to customise their drink with peppermint and gingerbread flavoured syrups, cream, marshmallows, crushed candy canes and chocolate sprinkles for the top!

This is a great idea if there will be children at the party, they will love it, and I’m sure adults will enjoy it in equal measure.

Gingerbread house decorating – this is a fun activity to have going during the party. create squares of gingerbread cookies and let people create their own houses out of the squares. Give them piping icing, sweets, chocolates and sprinkles to decorate the house however they fancy.

We suggest adding a table to display the product, which can become part of the living party decoration, and at the need, you could turn it into a competition and award a prize to your favourite!

Projector Photo Booths – One up the traditional photo booth, which is great party fun, with a projector booth! this allows you to choose the type of background you’re photographed in, from a wintery blizzard to a Victorian Christmas scene, to a striking holiday red and white candy cane stripe or blue crystal abstract design.

This is a great way to add a little extra fun to the photo-taking and documenting the party!

Sparklers! Bring out firework sparlers for guests to lights and draw shaped with in the crisp, night air! Sparkelers add a certain type of magic, and are also great fun to play with (safely!).

Backyard Christmas party games

Christmas charades: this is a classic Christmas game and it is the best thing to set up to increase the energy of a party and get people involved and interested.

No one has ever played charades and not ended up in fits of laughter at some of the actions, so if you want to make sure your guests are having a great time, this is a great way to achieve that.

White elephant gift exchange: this is a very old, classic game, where guests bring a small gift pre-wrapped that is either fun (nail polish, sweets, some matches), or a gag gift, such as a piece of coal or a potato.

At the party, you play a dice gameand everyone exchanges presents, and the joke is on those who end up with the gag gifts! Here is a link to the instruction page for more details of how the game works. This is better for a slightly smaller party, but can be adapted to suit any group!

Christmas Pinata: A bit of a Christmassy twist on the classic and well-loved pinata game! Why not enjoy pinatas at christmas too. Guest take it in turns to bash the pinata until the streets are released!

Christmas Limbo: Decorate a pole (for example the end of a broom) with candy cane striped paper and play christmas limbo! Guest have to limbo under the game to christmas songs 

Christmas Song Lyric Bingo: Take a famous christmas song and pull out some of the most famous likes from it and place the on a bingo sheet.

The team to win are the first team to get all of their lines crossed off! This works bets even better if you can find a christmas song medley so that guests don’tknow the order the songs will appear in.

Christmas Music Drinking Game: Listen to classic christmas songs and every time you hear the words: presents, reindeer, tree and christmas, everyone at the party has to drink!

Backyard Christmas Party Drink Ideas

Mulled wine or cider – Warm drinks will be great, especially for an outdoor christmas party

Christmas Cocktail Pitchers – Serve some christmas themes cocktails such as a snowflake martini (vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, cream and crushed ice) or a frozen cranberry margarita (with silver tequila, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime with crushed ice and some cranberries and rosemary for garnish)

Pepermint hot chocolate, with optional kick of peppermint liqeuor – Hot chocolate with loads of cream and chocolatey sprinkles is a perfect christmas party drink for a sweet creamy beverage with a bit of a kick!

Tasty Christmas Snacks – Sugared almonds, roasted chestnuts and fresh popcorn are not just delicious party foods but also decorations and atmosphere enhancers in their own rights because of the amazing chrismtassy scents that come along with cooking them.

Backyard Christmas party theme ideas

If you’re hosting a backyard Christmas bash, a great thing to do to make the event a bit more of a unique holiday Christmas celebration is to have a light theme to inform the ideas 

  1. White Winter Wonderland – Use an all-white color scheme with elegant decorations. Have a white dress colour theme and fill the space with bright white fairy lights. It will look stunning!
  2. Santa’s Workshop –  a craft workshop where guests can make Christmas cards and decorate Christmas tree ornaments!
  3. Ugly Sweater Party – Invite everyone to turn up in a tacky Christmas sweater, the kitschier the better!
  4. Candy Cane Carnival – Play candy cane-related fairground game ideas like tossing the candy cane through the hoop, Candy-cane shire (sticking a candy cane in a bottle and tossing a ball at it to knock the bottle down) and guessing how many candy canes are in the jar. Serve cotton candy, popcorn and other carnival treats
  5. North Pole Express – a train theme party with a vintage train cut-out photo backdrop and train-themed props like conductor hats and sweet carts.
  6. Holiday Cookie Exchange – ask guests to bring their favourite homemade cookies to share and exchange. Set out boxes for guests to take home a mix-and-match of Christmas cookie treats.
  7. Vintage Christmas – a gorgeous theme! Decorate like a Victorian Christmas, with big red ribbons and white lace. Serve vintage Christmas foods.
  8. Grinchmas Bash – Embrace the mischievous spirit of the Grinch with green decorations, “Grinch Punch,” and a “Steal the Presents” game.
  9. Nutcracker Extravaganza – Use burgundy drapery like a ballet stage, and get giant inflatable nutcracker figures to make the theme feel larger than life!
  10. Around the World Christmas –  Celebrate Christmas traditions from various countries with international foods, decorations, and customs from around the world.

Goodluck!

The holiday parties season is one of my favourite times of the year. Hopefully this outdoor christmas party ideas post have given you the inspiration you need to get going with planning and is getting you excited!

Best of luck with the party,

Zoe x

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