The definitive list of imaginative Xmas road trip games to play with your family on the way to your relative’s house this Christmas.
Picture the scene: the trunk so full it’s dragging on the ground, the kids are over-excited with thoughts of candy and Santa Claus, you’re trapped in the midst of full Christmas traffic, and someone in the back just realized that looking at their screen while on the road was not a good move for their stomach.
You are now mere moments away from motion sickness pandemonium.
For many traveling families, motion sickness is an unfortunate – and inevitable – Christmas side effect; the grinch that tainted the holidays with heaves. Except we’ll let you into a secret: it doesn’t have to be like this. Take precautions against nausea by ditching the screens while on the move, planning alternative ways to keep little minds occupied, and wearing your bands in the car.
That Christmas drive is still going to take hours, but with the right prep you can nix the nausea, connect with the world, and bring the fun back for your family.
Choose adventure over anxiety this Christmas. Choose these imaginative SCREEN-FREE road trip games.
What’s in Santa’s Sleigh (2+ players)What did Santa pack in his sleigh? This creative memory game involves starting with the line, ‘This Christmas Eve, in his sleigh, Santa packed...’ Players take it in turns to invent items that Santa has packed. The youngest starts with something beginning with A. The next player recites the opening line, and the item beginning with A, then adding a B item. This continues all the way through the alphabet, until Santa has 26 items packed in his sleigh.
Christmas Plates (2+ players)See if you can think up a Christmas word that includes all the letters you can see on the license plate in front of you. Fore example, if you saw the license plate 6KSN34635 you could make the word stocking! Fastest wins. If you want an alternative, see who can make the most Christmas words out of the plate.
Hum That Holiday Jingle (2+ players)The youngest in the car starts by humming a holiday jingle. The first to guess it must then hum a holiday jingle for other players to guess. Think that sounds easy? You might be surprised…
Would You Rather – the Christmas edition (2+ players)Would you rather Father Christmas brought you a mound of termites or a bag of reindeer droppings in your stocking? Or would you rather eat frogs or insects for Christmas dinner? Come up with your own Christmassy Would You Rathers and see how weird and whacky you can get.
Red Car, Green Car (2+ players)Decide who’s going to be on the red team or the green team for the next 5 minutes. In that time, players count as many cars in their team’s color as they see. The team with the most of their colored cars by the end of that timeslot wins.
The Night Before Christmas (2+ players)Together you’re going to come up with a festive short story. Somebody starts the story with ‘It was the night before Christmas, and Santa was nervous.’ Players take it in turns to add the next sentence until you reach ‘They lived happily ever after.’
Santa’s Swear Jar (2+ players)A great car game for talkative passengers. Choose a word that no one in the car is allowed to say for the next 60 minutes – one that relates to Christmas. Examples could include ‘Present’, ‘Want’. If anyone cracks and says the banned word, they get a ‘naughty’ point. The passenger who has collected the most naughty points buys a round of Christmas drinks or snacks at the next gas station you see.
Slorac! (or Backwards Carols) (1+ player)As you’ll see, this one can even be a solo game – it’s a great test for your brain. Pick a carol and try to sing it backwards, for example, ‘high on merrily dong ding’. Make it fit with the tune to win bonus points.
Gas Station Gifts (3+ players)Announce that, at the next gas station, everyone is going to get a small amount of money ($3 or £3) to buy a small gift for someone else in the car. How inventive can people get? Be sure to write everyone’s names down on paper first, so players can pick a name to buy for, and everyone gets a present. Make it a secret and see if you can guess who bought what. And for anyone wanting to go the extra mile, challenge players to ‘wrap’ the presents they give in gas station leaflets or toilet paper… Don’t forget to vote as a car for which gift you think was the best!
What Christmas road-trip games do you play in your car? We’d love to hear all about them. Share your ideas with the Sea-Bandit community by commenting on our social media. Oh, and don’t forget let us know what you thought of our own road-trip list!