Spending time as a family over Christmas is easy when kids are small. They’re basically trapped with you! But what happens when they get older and have options? When they want to hang with friends and they have a million places to be? You’ve got to up your game! Keep reading to see how we took a Christmas classic and turned it into a wild adventure through the neighborhood!

Treat Your Family Like Friends,

And Your Friends Like Family

Every Saturday, I wrangle my husband and two teenage sons and we have movie night. Sometimes the day of the week changes, sometimes friends join us, sometimes one of us is missing, but once a week, we spend an evening being silly and connecting. You can read all about our weekly movie nights here.

In December, I demand Christmas movies! Sometimes the “Christmas” tie in is questionable (Die Hard, I’m looking at you) but, if there’s a tie in, it’s fair game!

This week, we did a Christmas classic!

It’s not an exaggeration to say that my kids have watched Home Alone 50+ times. There was a period when they were small (maybe 4 or 5?) that we renovated a rental property for sale. For the most part, it was just me and the boys working on the house while Jon worked at his job. During that period, they watched Home Alone every. single. day. Usually, they watched it a couple times a day. Was it stellar parenting? No. Did it need to happen? Yep. They don’t appear to have any lasting effects from it and if they do, I guess they can discuss it with their therapist later in life.

This abundance of watch time does not appear to have dulled the shine of Home Alone for the boys. And we drag that bad boy out every year! This year was no exception, but we spiced things up a bit with a neighborhood scavenger hunt.

Here’s The Deets On Our Teen Friendly Movie Night:

The Movie: Home Alone

Home Alone, is a John Hughes classic from 1990. The physical comedy in this one is sure to have kids rolling in the aisles. There’s just something about the “kid outsmarts adult” story line that kids adore. Is it the most realistic movie of all time? Absolutely not! In fact, there are multiple YouTube videos talking about how many of these traps would kill a person (This one is my favorite! An ER doc talks about the damage each trap would do.) But, it’s hysterical!

The Food: Pizza, Ice Cream, And Eggnog

The obvious choice here is a lovely cheese pizza!

Pizza it was! None of us love cheese pizza, so we got toppings!

For dessert, we went with a sundae bar in homage to Kevin “eating junk and watching rubbish” with a huge bowl of ice cream. Throw in some eggnog and you have a delicious, unbalanced meal!

The Activity: Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

Cards from the Christmas Scavenger Hunt game

This is where this particular movie night really went over the top! Months ago, I bought this Christmas Scavenger Hunt Game not knowing exactly when I was going to use it but knowing that I’d find a use for it somewhere. The idea is that every team gets 10 cards, each of which have an item to find on them. Some of them are pretty obvious- things like a snowman- and some of them are more open to interpretation-something white and cold for example. This particular game also has a deck for an indoor hunt and ideas for how to make the indoor hunt more of a race. Our neighborhood gets a little crazy with the decorations, so we opted to head outside for our hunt.

I grabbed the game and we split into teams. We choose to allow driving on our hunt, so we split into one adult and one teen on each team. We decided that whoever finished their hunt and made it back to the house first was the winner. We set a 45 minute time limit in case one of the items was impossible to find. It turns out that wasn’t necessary as both teams were able to finish in about 25 minutes. If we hadn’t finished, we decided that the team with the most completed cards would win.

After checking cards, we got rid of any cards that we couldn’t possibly find in our area (eg: one of the cards was “slush”, but it hasn’t snowed in our area for months, so no slush here!). Then, we ran to the cars and piled in! This was a BLAST! We kept our eyes peeled for the items on our cards and many a quick stop was made to pile out and take a picture of an item. Here’s our “snowflake”:

A snowflake and various other lights being projected on a garage door.

The end result came down to the wire with Team 1 dashing to the door as Team 2 pulled in the driveway. There may or may not have been tackling.

After everyone got in, we checked camera rolls to verify all items were found and Team 1 was declared victorious!

This game was zero prep and would be a blast to play with a large group. If you’re having family over during the holidays, grab a copy and send everyone out!

I know I won’t get to hang with these kids too much longer and I’m making the most of every bit of time I have. If you’re looking to do the same, pull up a movie and order some pizza. Eat junk and watch rubbish and love on those kids!

We’re coming to the end of December and next month we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming of non-Christmas movies. Check in weekly to see what we do and then create memories with your family!