Christmas is coming, and with that, your youth group is probably super excited about enjoying the best time of the year. But Christmas doesn’t have to be all about presents and food. Instead, teach your youth group to enjoy the whole Christmas experience with some of these best outdoor Christmas activities.
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Christmas By The Campfire
Often, it’s the simple things in life that we remember most. That’s why we thought a Christmas by the fire would be a great place to start. First, create a nice, warm bonfire and festive activities, such as roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. Then, take turns with each youth group member to read a part of the nativity story.
Alternatively, you can read the story while everyone listens and enjoys their food. Then, ask the youth group questions that relate to the nativity, such as:
- If you were one of the wise men, what gifts might you have brought? This would be an excellent opportunity to explain the significance of the gifts they brought.
- What do you think the inns must have been like when they were packed so full of people?
- If you were the shepherds to who the angel appeared, what would you have been thinking?
Nativity Scene Contest
A nativity scene is a favorite during the holiday season. Split your youth group up into teams and let each one make a nativity scene of their own. You can provide materials or use things from nature for a more rustic and artistic interpretation.
If your church doesn’t have a lot of natural materials, then you can go to local parks to find items such as twigs, sticks, rocks, pinecones, pine needles, and any other materials the kids might find helpful.
Once the teams are done, have people judge their favorites and declare the winner. If you want to take it a step further, you can also have the winning team read the nativity story and act it out with the scene they created. If you have a good selection of Christmas music, put together a Spotify playlist for the nativity scene. You can also use YouTube to find some great Christmas music.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are an excellent activity for kids. Create a list of Christmas-related things to find and let your youth group run wild trying to check the items off their list before all the other kids.
A Christmas scavenger hunt can be fun to get kids in the holiday spirit. You can also have the youth group separate into teams. Have each person on the team find a different Christmas item from the list. For example, one person could find a Christmas ornament, while another looks for the manger.
Capture The Candy Cane
This is a play on the game “capture the flag,” where you try to capture the other team’s candy cane and get back to base before they tag you. To play, divide your youth group into two teams. Your team’s goal is to collect the opposing team’s candy cane and return it to base safely before your opponent can tag you, or worse: take your candy cane back to their base!
Delightful Christmas Caroling
Caroling is a tradition where people sing songs and go door to door to bring happiness to their neighbors. It’s not as common anymore, but it’s a great tradition to do with your youth group. This can be done door-to-door, but more commonly is done in public squares. This is a delightful way to spread Christmas joy, and the novelty of it will bring joy to any who pass by.
This particular activity does require a fair amount of practice beforehand, so make sure you know which songs your youth group will perform and have the words printed out on sheets for reference. In addition, some kids in the youth group might be too shy to do this activity, so make sure you’re aware of who does and doesn’t want to participate.
Decorate The Pastor’s Car For Christmas
If your church has a pastor with a good sense of humor, then you can have the youth group decorate his car in a fun and festive way. Alternatively, you could have the youth group decorate your vehicle. This is a fun way to get the church’s youth interacting with the senior members in a fun and playful way.
Safety notice: It’s crucial that any window decorations not obstruct the driver’s view, the mirrors on the car, back up cameras, and don’t use any materials that could get tangled up in the moving parts of the vehicle or fall off while driving. It’s best to use items that have already been designed to decorate a car.
Outdoor Christmas Movie Night With Hot Cocoa
Having an outdoor movie night during winter with hot cocoa for the kids is a great idea. This will be a fun experience for all of your youth group members.
You can use an inexpensive projector from Amazon.com to project a Christmas movie on a wall by plugging the projector into a computer and setting it up on a table or somewhere sturdy. Of course, you could also purchase a screen to go along with it, like a white sheet of material that the projector can project onto. Walls work fine, though, if a screen isn’t in the budget.
Personally, we plug a Google Chromecast into our projector, but you can also use devices like Amazon Firesticks, Rokus, and pretty much any other streaming boxes/sticks.
Christmas Lights Hayride
What’s better than Christmas lights? Going on a hayride through town to see all of the best lights your city has to offer! Hayrides are an enjoyable way to get into the Christmas spirit. This can often be accomplished with a trailer, some hay bales, and Christmas lights on the trailer. Add in a speaker playing your favorite Christmas music, and you have a recipe for a great time! It might be worth scouting out the best houses beforehand so you can come up with the perfect hay ride driving route.
Make sure you check on local laws to find out the safety requirements. For example, if you can’t drive people around in a trailer, then perhaps build a drive-through light display for your hayride.
Getting out in the snow is just the beginning of the winter activities kids can do together. But, of course, bundled up and inside isn’t the only option for making the most of winter weather. There are so many activities you can do outside with your youth group this winter, and I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot about how much fun this all was. Hopefully, you love these inexpensive, fun ideas for your youth group during Christmastime. Tell us what you think!