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Nothing quite gets you into the Christmas spirit like playing a festive board game with your friends or family. Huddling around the table, sharing some laughs, and spending quality time together are what the holiday season is all about. And with the festive season fast approaching, our top pick to play is Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer Board Game for its easy yet exciting gameplay.

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To help you get into the Christmas spirit, we’ve curated a list of some of the best Christmas board games you can find in the market. From family-friendly classics to more strategic games that are perfect for adults, there’s something on this list for everyone. If you want to know how we created this list, read our process behind picking and testing these games.

1. Best Overall: Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer Board Game

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  • Player count: 2 or more players
  • Duration: 15 - 30 minutes
  • Ages: 12+

Our favorite red-nosed reindeer tops our list of best Christmas board games in this family-friendly game that’s perfect for kids ages 12 and up. This Christmas-themed twist on the classic game of Chutes and Ladders is sure to bring everyone together for some good old-fashioned fun.

Why we love it

What makes this game a clear winner in our book is everyone’s familiarity with its concept - Chutes and Ladders - making it easy to pick up and play. And, since it’s based on the classic story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, it’s sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

We love that the gameplay is easy to understand, but there’s enough challenge to keep everyone entertained. You can bet that with the new twists and features, there will be plenty of laughter (and maybe a few arguments) around the table as you plot and scheme your way to the finish line.

For this game, you’re playing solo, but you might want to team up with another player to increase your chances of winning. You’ll not win on your own, and you’ll need to utilize some strategy (or mind games) against your opponents to come out victorious.

The game also has a feature that can grant you a unique ability or power, which can be used to your advantage. But beware, they can also put you at risk of losing your progress. So, it’s definitely a game of luck that will keep you on your toes.

With the element of frustration (ahem, we mean fun) present in the game, it’s easy to see why this one can easily be the next family favorite. And while there are only 4 playable characters and tokens in the game (which are pretty flimsy), we recommend that you DIY it and have everyone create their token to use if you have more than four players.

If you’re looking for a Christmas Board Game that is easy to pick up, fun for the whole family, and can be played by anyone aged 12 and up, this is the one for you!

How to play

Begin by choosing a character or a token to represent you in the game, and roll the dice to see who goes first. The player with the highest number starts the game and play then proceeds clockwise around the table.

On your turn, you’ll move your token along the path by rolling the dice and counting out the number of spaces you’ll move. If you land on a tile with a north pole on it, you’ll move your token either up or down the slide.

If you land on a space with Rudolph on it, you’ll get to draw a card. These cards can make you roll again, lose a turn, or even move you ahead to the next north pole.

When you land on a tile with another player’s token on it, you’ll have to engage in what’s called a reindeer game. These duels are resolved by each player rolling the dice, and whoever has the higher number will win the duel and stay on that space.

The losing player will have to count the difference between the two numbers and move their token back to that number of spaces.

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Once you reach the finish tile, you’ll need another player to reach the finish with you for anyone to win the game. You and the other player will have to fight in three rounds of reindeer games to determine who is the ultimate champion!

But beware! If another player lands on a swap tile while you’re waiting for someone to reach the finish with you, they can take your place, and you’ll have to start all over again.

The player to win three or two out of the three reindeer games with the other player who reached the finish tile first is the winner!


2. Best Strategy: Clue: Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 30 to 45 minutes or more
  • Ages: 8+

Ever think about how the classic Clue game could get any better? Well, add in some Tim Burton magic and you’ve got a whole new ball game! This Disney-licensed edition of the classic mystery board game features all your favorite characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas movie.

In this edition of the game, players must use their detective skills to figure out who kidnapped Sandy Claws, what weapon they used to subdue him, and where they did it. The game board features iconic locations from the movie like Oogie’s Lair, Jack’s House, Dr. Finkelstein’s Laboratory, and many more!

Why we love it

Popular strategy game meets favorite cult film in a Christmas-themed board game; what else could we ever ask for? This is an excellent game for fans of the movie, and it’s also a good choice if you’re looking for a board game that’s a little bit different from the usual fare.

We love that the playable characters have special abilities, and it’s always a bonus when a game comes with detailed miniatures. To make this version even more special, this game includes unique Intrigue cards which can help you win or even make you lose the game.

The simply stunning illustrations and artwork make this game a standout, and it’s sure to be a hit with anyone who loves the movie. The well-made metal pieces representing the weapons and characters are also a nice touch, adding an extra level of quality to the game.

The great replayability of this game comes from the fact that each game will be different based on which cards are in the envelope. No two games will be alike, so you can play repeatedly and always have a new mystery to solve.

We didn’t like that the stands in which you slide in the character pieces need a little adjusting to fit snugly — try cutting it with a knife if the pieces still fall out. We also wish that the game made the Intrigue Cards a little thicker since they’re a bit flimsy and easy to bend.

So, if you’re looking for a board game that’s equal parts fun, challenging, and can be a great opportunity for kids to learn the process of elimination, then you need to look no further than Clue: Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas! Just be warned, it can get pretty spooky in Halloween Town…

How to play

In this game, you get to play as one of six iconic characters from the movie: Jack Skellington, Sally, Oogie Boogie, Dr. Finkelstein, Mayor of Halloween Town, or Lock, Shock, and Barrel. The players pick who they want to be and then hand out the corresponding personality card (which contains the special ability for that character).

The game board is laid out in a grid, with each square representing a different location from the movie. On one side of the board is a card tray that holds all the cards needed to play the game: character cards, weapon cards, and location cards.

1. Step: Set up the game: To begin the game, first shuffle all the cards (character, weapon, and location) together and take one from each category to place in the corresponding envelope - these are who/what/where Sandy Claws was kidnapped by. Then, shuffle the remaining cards and deal them out to the players so that everyone has an equal number of cards.

Each player takes a clue sheet with the name of every card listed on it. You will use this clue sheet as your detective notebook to keep track of the cards you have in your hand, as well as which cards have been ruled out.

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To begin the play, everyone rolls the dice to see who goes first. The player with the highest roll starts the game and play then proceeds clockwise around the table.

2. Step: Start your turn: You will roll the dice and move your character piece that number of spaces. If you land on a tile with a question mark on it, you draw an intrigue card!

As mentioned before, intrigue cards can grant your character special abilities, like looking at another player’s hand or moving to any space on the board. But be careful of the Pumpkin King cards - if you draw the eighth card, you’re out of the game!

3. Step: Starting a Rumor: If you land in a location, you can start a Rumor - or name a suspect/weapon/location card that you think was used to kidnap Sandy Claws.

For example, you could say, “I think Jack Skellington kidnapped Sandy Claws in Dr. Finkelstein’s Laboratory using the bear trap.”

4. Step: Disproving a Rumor: The player to your left has to disprove your Rumor by showing you a card that matches what you named. In our example, if the player to your left has Jack in their hand of cards, they would show you that card.

If the player to your left doesn’t have any of the character, item, or location cards you named, the next player to their left takes their turn.

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This continues until one player is able to show you a card that disproves your Rumor, at which point you take that card and add it to your clue sheet in the appropriate section.

If you had named Jack as the kidnapper and the player to your left showed you the Jack card, you would put a checkmark next to his name on your clue sheet under the “suspects” heading - meaning he is unlikely to be the kidnapper since you just found his card.

5. Step: Making an accusation: If none of the players can disprove your Rumor, you get to make an accusation. Move your character to the center of the board, and name a suspect/weapon/location card that you think was used to kidnap Sandy Claws. Then, look at the cards in the envelope.

Was your accusation correct? If yes, congratulations! You win the game. If not, sorry - you are out of the game, and the other players continue playing until someone else makes a correct accusation and wins.


3. Best Classic: Monopoly Elf

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 60 minutes or more
  • Ages: 8+

This next board game is a classic that’s been given a festive makeover - Monopoly, but with an Elf theme! Fans of the movie Elf will love this version of the game, which features all their favorite characters from the film.

This Elf edition of Monopoly includes all the iconic characters, locations, and even some quotes for movie fans. Journey through the North Pole with your fellow players, and pass through candy canes, corn, candies, syrup, and more!

Why we love it

This game ticks all the boxes - it’s fun, festive, and perfect for movie fans. Plus, who doesn’t love Monopoly? It’s the ideal game to play with family and friends during the holidays.

Monopoly Elf doesn’t just provide entertainment - we love that this game can be used as a teaching moment for kids. They can learn about budgeting and money management while playing, all wrapped up in a fun package. And since it’s Elf-themed, they’re sure to love it.

The new features added to fit the theme are also great - from the locations to the characters, it’s all been done so well. The six playable Elf characters, Santa’s Sleigh, Polar Bear Cub, Jack-in-the-Box, Mailroom Coffee Mug, Santa’s Bag, and Maple Syrup, are represented as well-sculpted tokens that provide players of all ages an immersive gaming experience.

However, the text on the cards and board is tiny and can be hard to read, so if you’re introducing someone to Monopoly using this game, be prepared to help them out. Another thing to keep in mind is that the material for the apartments and skyscrapers looks and feels cheap, so you need to be extra careful when handling them.

Overall, this is a fun game for the whole family, and it is a great gift too! This game is fantastic for players of all ages, but it can take a bit longer to play than some of the other games on this list. But if you’re up for a longer game with lots of fun and educational value, then we highly recommend Monopoly Elf.

How to play

To start the game, each player chooses one of the six Elf tokens and puts it on Go. Choose a banker who will look out for the Bank’s money and property deeds. This player should keep their funds separate from the Bank.

To decide who goes first, have each player roll both dice. The person with the highest number goes first. Play then passes clockwise to the left. On your turn, roll the dice and move your Elf token to the number of spaces indicated on each die.

You might land on or past the Go tile; you receive 200 dollars from the Bank. If you land on any other space, you will be asked to take specific actions depending on the space you landed on.

1. Landing on an unowned space: You can buy the property for its listed purchase price. Pay the Bank the amount shown on the space, get the Title Deed card for that property, and place it near you, face up.

The property remains unowned and is up for auction if you don’t want to buy it.

2. Landing on a space owned by another player: You might need to pay that player rent if they ask you for it. The amount of rent you owe them is listed on the property deeds.

If the property is mortgaged (if the Title Deed card is face down), then you don’t have to pay rent.

Remember that you only pay rent if the owner asks you for it during your turn! If they forget to ask, then you don’t have to pay.

3. Landing on a Christmas Cheer or a Christmas Spirit space: Draw a card and follow the instructions written on it immediately. Return the card to the bottom of the deck when you’re done.

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4. Go to jail: If you land on this space, do not pass Go, and do not collect 200 dollars. Instead, go directly to Jail and move your Elf token to the Jail space.

You are not allowed to move during the next three turns, but you can either pay 50 dollars or use a “Get Out of Jail Free” card if you have one to get out of Jail early.

5. Printing error/Office coffee: Landing on this space means you must pay the Bank the amount shown on the space.

If you can’t pay, you must auction off assets (property and/or money) to the other players until you have raised enough money to cover the debt.

6. Jail (Just visiting)/Free parking: Take a break because nothing happens when you land on these spaces.

The game is over when only one player is left with money, while the rest have gone bankrupt. You can easily do this by buying all the properties of one color, building apartments or skyscrapers on all of them, and then charging high rents.


4. Best Icebreaker: Tis The Season Christmas Trivia Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2 - 6 players (teams allowed)
  • Duration: Can vary
  • Ages: 12+

Forget the old-fashioned icebreakers where you have to go around the room and introduce yourself; this next game is bound to get everyone in the Christmas spirit! Tis The Season is a Christmas trivia game that will test your knowledge of all things holiday, ranging from easy questions like “What is Santa’s favorite cookie?” to more challenging questions like “How many total reindeer does Santa have?”

A Christmas-themed twist on the classic game of Trivial Pursuit, Tis The Season is a great way to break the ice and get everyone in the festive mood. With over 1800 trivia questions, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

And if you get stumped, not to worry - you can always use this game to learn something new about Christmas!

Why we love it

We love this game because it’s perfect for when you have players of different ages and knowledge levels. The questions are divided into six categories, so everyone can showcase their Christmas knowledge. And if you get stuck on a question, you can always use it as an opportunity to learn something new about the holiday!

Film buffs who love holiday classics will also enjoy this game, as it features questions about popular Christmas movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Grinch, and many more. The game chalks up the nostalgia factor, too - players will be reminded of their favorite Christmas memories as they answer questions about popular holiday traditions.

Teamwork is necessary to win this game - players will need to work together to answer the questions correctly. As the questions can be difficult, especially for young children, it’s a great way to teach the value of teamwork and cooperation!

The game design is portable, and there’s just something about being able to bring the holiday spirit with you wherever you go that we absolutely love. So, whether you’re bringing it to work for a Christmas party or taking it on vacation with you, this game is sure to get everyone in the holiday mood!

We do not recommend this game to players who are not fans of trivia, as it may be a bit tedious. Nor if the players are majority in one age group as the difficulty in some questions may be too high or low for certain age brackets.

In addition, the questions on the card can be repetitive and the print on them is too tiny. Our solution for this is to have a designated person be in charge of reading the questions out loud so that everyone can see.

Other than that, this game is perfect for anyone who wants to get into the Christmas spirit!

How to play

The game is simple - each player or team takes turns drawing a card and answering the trivia question. First, decide on which player or team goes first. Then, that player or team will choose a category and try to answer the question correctly.

If they get it right, they earn the letter ‘C’ on the scorecard. If they get it wrong, the next player or team gets a chance to answer. The first player or team to form the word ‘CHRISTMAS’ on the scorecard wins the game!

If you want to be creative, you can also come up with your own rules for the game. For example, you could make it a team game and have each player answer one question per turn. Or, you could set a time limit for each question and award points for every correct answer.

There is also no set time limit for the game, so you can play it until all of the questions have been answered or until one team has reached the required number of points.


5. Best for Kids: Best for Kids: Zobmondo!! The Santa Claus Game

Available on
  • Player count: 3-4 players
  • Duration: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Ages: 3+

If there’s one thing that gets kids absolutely excited about Christmas, we’re sure this game knows it - Santa Claus! This game is all about jolly old Saint Nick and everything that comes along with him. From his sleigh to the presents he’ll give if you’ve been a good boy or girl this year, kids will love playing this game and learning all about Santa.

This exciting board game lets kids ages 3 and up pretend to be Santa Claus on his sleigh. You and other Santas will compete on who can deliver gifts the fastest! The competitive play is perfect for kids who love playing games with their friends and family.

Why we love it

This is a simple roll-and-move board game, which makes it easy for kids to understand and play. We love how the game can be finished within a couple of minutes because if you’ve been around kids, you know that they have very short attention spans!

The game is also very lightweight and portable, so it’s perfect for taking on the go. And the cute sleighs made of plastic can very well function as your regular toys because of how sturdy they are.

The Santa figures are also very sturdy, so they can take a beating from kids who are excited about playing the game (not that we’re encouraging that, of course). But you get value for your money with this game, that’s for sure!

This game is perfect for when you want a quick and easy game that the kids will absolutely love. But because of how straightforward it is, this game can be a bit boring and too simple for adults, so we suggest tweaking the rules a little bit for some challenge.

This game also teaches kids about taking turns, following rules, and being a good sport. So, if you’re looking for a fun and educational game for kids this Christmas, we highly recommend the Zobmondo!! The Santa Claus Game.

We just wished that the board was a little bigger so that it would be easier to play on. Following the path was also very difficult at times, as the spaces were very close together. But overall, this is a great game for kids! Just make sure there’s an adult around to help them out if they get stuck.

How to play

To begin, place the Christmas tree below the game board and have each player choose a colored Santa, a sleigh, and a set of five presents. Everyone rolls the dice to see who goes first, and the player with the highest number starts the game.

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On your turn, you will roll the dice and move your Santa that number of spaces. If your die shows a gift, take one gift out of your sleigh and put it under the tree. If you land on a space with a Christmas tree, remove another present from your sleigh and put it under the tree.

If you land on a space with a snowflake, you’re asked to ’twirl like a snowflake’. If you land on the space with the musical notes, you’re asked to ‘sing a few lines of a holiday song’. If you land on the space with Santa’s hat, you’re asked to ‘do your best Santa laugh’.

The first player to get rid of all of their presents wins the game!

This will make the game last a bit longer, and it’ll be more challenging for kids as well! If you’re looking for an easy and quick game to play with your kids this Christmas, we highly recommend Zobmondo!! The Santa Claus Game.


6. Best for Small Groups: Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries Board Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-3 players
  • Duration: 30 to 60 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

Get ready to explore the Nordic countries with the Ticket to Ride Board Game! This Christmas-themed twist on the classic board game Ticket to Ride takes you on a journey through the snowy landscapes of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

Just like in the original game, players will collect cards to claim railway routes and try to connect cities on the map. But in this Nordic Countries edition, players will also have to contend with the harsh winter conditions - with snow-covered tickets and snow trains with holly berry accents!

Why we love it

We love the festive twist with the cozy, snowy Christmas vibes the Nordic countries edition of the Ticket to Ride series offers. It is our top pick for small groups this holiday season because it features beautiful landscapes and cities of Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, and Stockholm!

While exploring the Nordic countries, you need strategy and luck to get the most points by connecting cities with your trains. We love the replayability of this fast-paced game because there are many routes and strategies to choose from.

Another positive factor is that players will improve their geography skills as they try to connect cities in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. That’s a great way to sneak in some educational fun during family game night!

The only downside may be the player count, as it works only for 2-3 players. However, it’s undoubtedly a hit for small holiday gatherings! If you want to play it with more players, we recommend playing it in teams.

How to play

In the Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries Board Game, all players must score as many points as possible by claiming routes and successfully reaching destinations. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins!

To set up the game, every player picks a color and gets 45 of their matching trains and a score marker. Now you shuffle the train cards, put them face down next to the game board, and everyone draws four cards. Every player can look at their own cards but should keep them a secret from the other players. Then place the first five train cards face up next to the stack in a row.

The next step is giving every player Destination Tickets. First, you shuffle the deck, and then everyone gets three cards. Each player can keep two or three Destination Tickets. Each destination ticket gives you a route you’re trying to complete before the end of the game. But beware: If you fail, it will cost you points! That’s why you can get rid of one. Don’t worry; you’ll be able to collect more of them through the game.

As soon as every player puts their mover on the 100 field on the game board, you’re ready to start. The player who last rode a train starts with their turn, then goes clockwise.

A player’s turn consists of three possible steps: claiming a route, drawing train cards, or drawing more destination tickets. In each turn, you can perform one of these actions:

1. Claim a route: You can claim a route by playing a matching set of train cards. For example, you need to play three black train cards if a route contains three black train spaces. After playing the cards, you put your trains on the route. You can only claim one route per turn.

Claiming a route allows you to move your mover forward on the score tracker. The number of points you score depends on the length of the route. For example, one train space is worth one point, while a six-train space route is worth 15 points.

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You can claim routes of any color, and for gray routes, you can use any set of train cards as long as they’re the same type.

2. Draw train cards: You can either draw two cards from the face-up stack or draw one card from the top of the deck. When you take a face-up card, immediately replace it with a new one from the deck. You then draw the remaining card either from the top of the deck or from the newly revealed cards.

Compared to the previous Ticket to Ride games, the Nordic Countries edition has no limit to how many Locomotive cards you can have in your hand. Locomotive cards are wild and can be used as any other color when claiming a Tunnel or Ferry Route.

3. Draw destination tickets: If you don’t want to or can’t claim a route, you can draw up to three destination tickets. You then have to decide which tickets you want to keep and which ones you want to get rid of by returning them to the pile. You can’t get rid of all of them and must keep at least one.

The game ends when one player has only two trains left. As soon as a player runs out of trains, everyone else gets one final turn, and then the game is over.

Everybody then reveals their destination tickets. For each path you completed (meaning you’ve connected two cities), you score the points as indicated on the card. If you didn’t complete a path, you lose the points. After adding up all their scores, the player with the most points wins the game!


How we picked and tested

PsyCat Games is built by people who know how to have fun! We’ve been researching parties and games since 2018 and have published 400+ articles on our website. That’s why we’re confident that we know what we’re talking about!

We want you to have the best time possible and not waste your money on a subpar product. That’s why we spend over three months testing over 20 different games with groups of kids, teens, and adults. We’ve ranked the games by the fun factor, player experience, and replayability!

Our ranking is subjective, but we’ve tried our best to be as impartial as possible. However, if you stumble upon a Christmas-themed board game that you think deserves a spot on our list, please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.

PsyCat Games is supported by readers clicking on our affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we might earn a commission if you buy something through our links.


FAQ about Christmas Board Games

There is no definitive answer to this question as people’s individual preferences will differ. However, some of the most popular board games that we often see people playing during Christmas time include classics such as Monopoly Elf, Clue: Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Edition, and Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries Board Game.

Other newer games that have become increasingly popular during Christmas time include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Board Game, Tis the Season Christmas Trivia Board Game, and Zobmondo!! The Santa Claus Game - which is why they’re included in our list of top Christmas board games.

2. Are there any Christmas board games?

Yes, there are many Christmas board games that people enjoy playing during the holiday season! Christmas-themed board games are a great way to get into the holiday spirit and have some fun with family and friends.

The winter holiday season is the perfect time to break out some of your favorite board games. The cute and festive themes of many Christmas games make them ideal for family gatherings and parties.

3. What is the game played during Christmas?

During Christmas, people will often play board games that have a festive theme. You might have already guessed that some of the most popular Christmas board games are those that feature Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and other classic board games with Christmas-themed twists.

Ultimately, though, it really depends on what people are in the mood for playing and what type of board games they enjoy. There are so many great options out there, and we hope our list helped you decide which ones you want to play with your family and friends this holiday season!

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