5 Movie-themed Holiday Parties for Grandchildren

Ever thought about hosting holiday parties for your grandchildren? A fun tradition to with your grandchildren is to start planning some movie-themed holiday parties for your grandchildren, using their favorite holiday movies as inspiration. Sound like fun? You bet it is!

I love the idea of having something fun to look forward to as the weather turns colder. The days get shorter and outdoor fun is at a minimum. However, having some fun holiday parties on the horizon can help your grandchildren be excited about spending time indoors with you. That is. . .unless you want to move the party outside!!

These parties are easy enough for grandparents to do with minimal fuss. . .unless of course, you want to go all out! These holiday parties for your grandchildren can become part of your seasonal traditions and will make memories for years to come!

Now that we’ve told you that, we’re going to explore some ideas for 5 fun movie-themed holiday parties that your grandchildren will love! I’ll just give you some ideas and you can take it from there.

Although these are all billed as family-friendly movies, I would encourage you to view any movie before you show it to your grandchildren as you will know what is appropriate for each of them. Here are my top 5 movie picks:

  • Coco
  • Hocus Pocus
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Polar Express
  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

*Keep in mind that I have included some activities for each movie, but the best activity will be to actually watch the movie.

Movie-themed Holiday Parties Idea #1 – Coco

Coco is a fun movie that introduces the Day of the Dead which is celebrated in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Anyone can celebrate this fun, special holiday that honors and remembers deceased loved ones.

  • Decor Ideas: Sugar skulls (calaveras), photos of deceased loved ones, colorful tissue paper banners (papel picado), candles, Day of the Dead door wreath
  • Food Ideas: Have a Day of the Dead Feast – tortilla soup, tamales, pan de muerto, nachos, rice and beans, caramel flan, and other Latino dishes – YUM!!
  • Activity Ideas: Watch the movie – Coco, have a piñata, make sugar skulls, face painting, tell stories about deceased loved ones, plant Marigolds in pots (the kids can transplant them into a flower garden in the spring)
Download Fun Sugar Skull Coloring Pages

Movie-themed Holiday Parties Idea #2 – Hocus Pocus

This movie is simply a fun Halloween story about the Sanderson Sisters who come back from the dead and stir up mischief in their town. These witches are on a mission to do what it takes to become immortal before Halloween Day is over.

  • Décor Ideas: Anything Halloween works here, the spell book from the movie, and tombstones.
  • Food Ideas: Again, all things Halloween works, homemade root beer made with dry ice in a cauldron, candy apples
  • Activity Ideas: Since this movie is a race against time, it would be fun to do “minute-to-win-it type Halloween challenges. You could also play “pin the ________(body part) on the Zombie” – use arms, legs, etc.

Movie-themed Holiday Parties Idea #3 – The Nightmare Before Christmas

This movie is a timeless classic that is fun to party with anytime from Halloween until Christmas. You can use this movie for either holiday  with Jack Skellington moving from Halloweentown to Christmastown.

  • Décor Ideas: Banner that says: “This is Halloween”, decorate with Jack’s iconic stripes and over-sized bow tie or Sally’s stitched together look. You can use the Oogie Boogie wheel to decorate a game or activity table, the octopus-like wreath with teeth, the striped snake, Sally’s potion bottles, and of course, the ghost dog Zero.
  • Food Ideas: Green-colored popcorn, ice cream or pudding with gummy worms and gummy bugs, pretzel rods dipped in melted white vanilla bark and drizzled with thin chocolate (to look like stripes), black & white frosted cupcakes with Jack and Sally toppers, punch labeled “Deadly Night Shade”
  • Activity Ideas: Paint pumpkins white (use black Sharpie markers to draw Jack Skellington face on pumpkin), draw Jack Skellington face on white mug, draw Oogie Boogie face on burlap sack (use to send home handout treats), hanging Jack Skellington heads, make little tombstones out of play dough or salt dough

Movie-themed Holiday Parties Idea #4 – The Polar Express

Okay, so this is one of my all-time favorite holiday movies. I think it’s the most fun for my Littles at the age they are now. We love the energy from the movie when the servers are dancing on the train. It also gets the kids really excited for Christmas!

  • Décor Ideas: Anything that says: B-E-L-I-E-V-E is great, any Christmas décor works, train tracks on the floor, North Pole sign, wrapped boxes (presents) in a large Santa sack, use your Elf on the Shelf, Santa hats, single large jingle bells
  • Food Ideas: Hot Cocoa with a lot of mix-ins is a MUST, Winter White Popcorn, snowman donuts or snowball donut holes (using mini powdered donuts), any kind of Christmas cookies, Twinkie trains, candy canes
  • Activity Ideas: Make trains from graham crackers, candies, and frosting (like gingerbread houses), have a dance party, sleepover with matching PJs, cut snowflakes, virtual tour of the North Pole

*Note: I have a whole “done-for-you” theme packet that is inspired by the Polar Express movie. If you would like to make things a whole lot easier, this is for YOU! You can check it out here:

Polar Express Fun Night!

Movie-themed Holiday Parties Idea #5 – The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

There are two ways to watch this movie – live-action or animated. We watch both each year. My personal favorite is the animated one (maybe because it reminds me of my childhood), but my Littles love the live-action one. I love the song, “Where Are You Christmas?” that Cindy sings in the live-action movie.

  • Décor Ideas: This requires any crazy Dr. Seuss-inspired décor available, Pin the Heart on the Grinch, oddly stacked presents, direction sign (Whoville, Grinch’s Cave, Mount Crumpit), green anything, hearts in 3 sizes, ornaments hung with “springy” pipe cleaners, special Grinch movie tickets, large mylar balloon of the Grinch, big sign: Welcome to the Who-bilation!
  • Food Ideas: Red & green dipped pretzels, green rice crispy treats with red heart candy, Grinch Jello Cups, green Grinch punch (use green Sherbet with Sprite – easy peasy), green pancakes, marshmallow pops dipped in melted vanilla bark colored green with red heart sprinkles, red and green M&Ms, if you’re adventurous you could try Who-hash
  • Activity Ideas: Grinch bean bag toss, make wonky Whoville houses out of graham crackers, make Grinch Magic Dust, Whoville costume contest (hair and all!), stand and hold hands while singing “Welcome Christmas”, fill clear ornaments with green shredded paper and draw a Grinch face on the front

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