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12 holiday activities for those with limited mobility

Gingerbread, beads, and twine on a table.

Kara Miller |

The holiday season is a magical time filled with joy, warmth, and the spirit of giving. For individuals with limited mobility, navigating through the hustle and bustle of the season can present unique challenges. However, this doesn't mean they should miss out on the festive fun! In this blog, we’ll cover 12 festive, accessible holiday activities the whole family can enjoy! 

Gingerbread men.

1: Holiday Cookie Decorating

Engaging in cookie decorating with family during the holiday season goes far beyond creating delicious treats; it's a heartwarming activity that fosters a sense of togetherness and joy. The benefits extend well beyond the final product, as the process itself becomes a canvas for shared memories and laughter. Moreover, it provides a platform for generations to connect, as grandparents share baking tips with grandchildren and parents reminisce about their own childhood traditions. 

We recommend starting with a good sugar cookie recipe for flat, easily shaped cookies that hold icing well. 

2. Holiday Movie Marathon

Indulging in the festive season wouldn't be complete without a beloved holiday movie, as everyone has their personal favorite. Elevate the seasonal spirit by orchestrating a holiday movie marathon—a foolproof method to instill joy in everyone's hearts. Picture this: steaming mugs of hot chocolate, snugly wrapped in cozy blankets, transforming an ordinary day into a delightfully warm and comforting celebration of holiday cheer. It's the perfect recipe for creating lasting memories and immersing yourself in the magic of the season.

holiday lights illuminating a tree and building.

3. Check out the Lights

Experience the enchantment of the holiday season as streets come alive with a kaleidoscope of vibrant lights and festive decorations. Make it an unforgettable night by organizing a car ride around town, allowing you and your loved ones to immerse yourselves in the breathtaking beauty of the holiday displays. The twinkling lights and artistic arrangements will create a magical atmosphere, transforming your drive into a festive journey filled with wonder and joy.

A holiday market booth.

4. Make Note of Local Events

Whether you reside in a small town or a big city, there will be celebrations all around you. From grand, immersive light displays in zoos or parks in bustling cities to the intimate charm of holiday markets and themed dinners in quaint towns, there's a festive event for everyone. These gatherings often include additional provisions for individuals with limited mobility, such as dedicated handicap parking and wheelchair-accessible facilities. Enjoy a night out on the town and embrace the season's festivities, knowing that these events are crafted to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all, allowing everyone to partake in the joyous celebrations. 

A young girl holds a gingerbread wall in front of her face.

5. Hold a Gingerbread House Making Contest

Gather your loved ones and embark on a whimsical journey of creativity with a gingerbread house-making contest. As the gingerbread houses take shape, the friendly competition adds an extra layer of excitement. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-time builder, this festive contest is a delightful way to bond, share in the holiday spirit, and, of course, indulge in the sweet rewards of your collective creativity.

A woman cuts felt for an ornament.

6. Make Ornaments Together

Crafting holiday ornaments is a delightful stress reliever, offering a therapeutic escape for individuals of all ages. What makes this activity even more appealing is its inclusivity. The simplicity of ornament-making caters to a wide range of mobility levels and is accessible to everyone, providing a shared experience for the whole family. Whether seated at a table or comfortably settled in a cozy chair, each family member can actively participate in the holiday crafting tradition. 

Try experimenting with embroidery for a unique, custom ornament! 

7. Hold a White Elephant Exchange

The term “white elephant” was first published in a newspaper in 1907. The newspaper published a joke referencing a tradition of “swap parties” that had started in 1901. The joke read: “A shocking thing happened in one of our nearby towns. One of the popular society women announced a ‘white elephant party.’ Every guest was to bring something she could not find any use for and yet too good to throw away ... Nine out of the 11 women invited brought their husbands.”

Today White Elephant Exchanges refer to gift exchanges where guests are encouraged to bring the wackiest gift they can find. The element of surprise is central to the game, as meticulously wrapped presents conceal a range of treasures and oddities. The joy of a White Elephant party lies not only in the anticipation of what's inside the wrapped packages but also in the shared laughter and camaraderie that ensue as participants navigate the often hilarious and unexpected twists of the gift exchange. Plus, it’s accessible for everyone.

A family singing karaoke.

8. Holiday Song Karaoke

Unleash your inner Mariah Carey and let your favorite holiday tunes take center stage. Invite friends and family to join you for a night of festive fun with holiday music-themed karaoke, offering a contemporary spin on the timeless tradition of caroling. It's the perfect way to create lasting memories and infuse your holiday gatherings with the spirit of song and celebration.

A family cooks a meal together.

9. Cook a Holiday Meal Together

Cooking a holiday meal has a magical way of bringing people together, turning the kitchen into a hub of warmth and shared excitement. The collaborative effort of preparing a holiday feast transforms the act of cooking into a shared experience, fostering a sense of togetherness and unity. From chopping vegetables to basting the turkey, there is a task for everyone big or small.

10. Play Holiday Pictionary

Get your loved ones together for a fun twist on the classic game “Pictionary”. To play Pictionary, all you need is:

  1. Paper for drawing
  2. Pens/Pencils/Markers for your sketches
  3. Scraps of paper for your word selections

To set up the game, write down as many holiday themed words as you can. Want someone to do the work for you? Check out this site for a list of holiday themed words and songs to use. You can also use this generator for more general terms. 

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to get the game rolling:

  1. Divide players into 2 teams
  2. Have Team 1 choose a “drawer” for the first round
  3. The “drawer” will select a card from your previously created list and illustrated the word or phrase without using any letters, numbers, or verbal clues. They have 2 minutes
  4. Team 1 tries to guess what their team member is drawing. If they guess correctly, they get a point
  5. Rotate teams, repeat

Gameplay:

  • Each team takes turns sending a "drawer" to the drawing pad.
  • Rotate drawing duties among team members after each round.
  • Continue taking turns until all the words on the cards have been used or until a predetermined number of rounds.
  • Teams earn points for each correct guess

11. Complete a Festive Puzzle

Completing a puzzle together is a wonderfully inclusive activity that caters to the diverse abilities and ages within a family. The beauty of puzzling lies in its accessibility; whether young or old, everyone can participate at their own pace. Regardless of physical abilities, the act of piecing together a picture promotes a sense of accomplishment that provides a universally enjoyable and accessible pastime for the whole family.

A grandmother reads to two grandchildren.

12. Read a Few Holiday Classics Together

Gathering as a family to read holiday classics aloud is a cherished tradition that weaves the magic of storytelling into the fabric of our festive celebrations. As the fire crackles and the scent of seasonal treats fills the air, each family member takes turns reading passages from beloved holiday tales. The timeless narratives, whether it's Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" or Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," creates a shared world of imagination and warmth.