Christmas is a wonderful time for family, friends and coworkers to get together for some spirited fun. Christmas carnivals provide entertainment suitable for those of all ages. Since every good carnival has good games, setting up a Christmas carnival requires a host to come up with some activities that everyone can enjoy. These games don't need to be complex as long as they embody the atmosphere of the holiday.
Snowblower is a game from partypop.com anybody can play. Partypop.com recommends having just four players at a time, but if you want to have more people playing, you can just set up multiple stations. The host tapes four plastic cups to the edge of a table and puts small prizes like Christmas candies in each cup. Players (one for each cup) take old toilet paper or paper towel tubes and try to blow ping pong balls ("snow") across the table into the cups. The first person to get their ball into their cup wins and gets to take a prize from the cup.
Christmas Wheel of Fortune
Most carnivals have some kind of spin-the-wheel game. Christmas Wheel of Fortune is a holiday version of such a game. Only one person can play at a time, but game play is very quick. The host sets up a spinning wheel divided into sections. Each section is labeled with Christmas-related prizes such as candy cane, small present and holiday hug. Players get to spin the wheel one time to get a prize. The host may charge a small fee to play if the carnival is intended as a holiday fundraiser. If the host wants to be tricky, they can add a "lump of coal" section to the wheel--if the player lands on this section, they don't get a prize. There really are no limitations on what prizes the host includes.
Santa Hat is a Christmas carnival and party game suggested by theholidayspot.com. Any number of people can play this game and it's suitable for all ages. The host provides Santa hats to all guests. Alternately, the host can provide simple party hats with Christmas themes, since these are much cheaper. The host puts on one of the hats along with the guests. The idea in the original version of the game is for the host to remove their hat discretely during the evening and wait for the guests to follow suit--the guests are supposed to avoid being the last person wearing a hat. For a carnival version, this process may be reversed, with the objective to be the first one to notice that the host has removed their hat. The first person to notice and come to the host gets a prize, and then the host can start a new game. Additionally, the host can create variations by taking off elf ears or a Christmas scarf. This means that the guests really don't need to wear the items, but the host may require it for game play to create a festive mood.