It’s time to bust out those antlers and red noses for this fun-filled collection of Christmas reindeer games. These twelve fast-paced games are perfect for any Christmas party whether you’re partying with your family, friends, or even colleagues!
Every year my family gets together to do some sort of themed Christmas games competition. So far we’ve done a 12 days of Christmas games competition, candy cane games, and last year was nutcracker games.
In the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (one of the most classic Christmas songs there is), there’s a line about how all the other reindeer never let Rudolph join in any reindeer games.
So this year we decided it was time to have ourselves a little reindeer games day. And these may be some of my favorite Christmas party games we’ve ever done!
Background Info for Reindeer Games
I asked my dad for help with creating the games (he’s kind of a game master) and I’m going to give you a little background before we jump into the games but just a little.
So the story behind these reindeer games is basically that the original reindeer games (the ones that the reindeer wouldn’t let Rudolph play in) were all themed based on Santa’s other named reindeer – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen.
So we’ve included one game for each of those reindeer.
But then of course once Rudolph became Santa’s shining star, Rudolph was included in the games and games were added that were inspired by Rudolph and his nose. So there are five games dedicated to Rudolph’s shining nose for a total of 12 reindeer games you can play!
If you want the entire story that my dad wrote that you can use for your reindeer games, I’ve included it at the very bottom of this post. It’s amazing and totally worth including in your own reindeer games party!
Original Reindeer Games
Okay so let’s start with the original reindeer games – the ones inspired by the other reindeer! I’ve included these in order but that doesn’t mean you have to play them in this order!
Dasher was always the most athletic, so much so that he even had a sport named after him, dash ball.
To play dash ball each player has to score goals just like Dasher would, reindeer style. That means on all fours and kicking backwards!
Each player will need five balls of one color. So if you have three players you will have five green, five red, and five yellow balls. Place the goals on opposite sides of the room.
To start the game, all players will start on the edge of the room. The balls will be dropped into the center of the room and the game will begin.
The player’s goal is to get all of their colored balls into either goal first. They must remain on all fours and can only kick the balls backward, just like Dasher would.
Once one person has gotten all their balls into the goal, they win!
As you can imagine, Dancer got his name from his endless dancing around the North Pole. In this game, each player must let loose like Dancer while still trying to win the game!
Randomly place one less dot than the number of players in a large playing area. For example, if you have ten people playing you will put out nine dots, kind of like if you were playing musical chairs.
The goal of this game is to get to a dot each round and not get eliminated, last dancer dancing wins.
Someone who isn’t playing will start playing some music. When the music starts, the players will begin to dance like a reindeer, on all fours. When the music stops, each reindeer must sit on a dot as fast as they can to avoid being eliminated.
Dancer was a free spirit, so the players can dance wherever they want but they have to keep moving at all times and can’t just go in circles around a dot.
When a player is eliminated, so is a dot so you aways have one less dot out there than you do dancers. The last person still in the game is the winner and should do their best victory dance to claim their prize!
Prancer has always been light on his feet and always prancing around. In this game, each player must channel their inner Prancer and gracefully navigate an obstacle course, on all fours, of course.
To set this up, you need to randomly place different colored plates in a large open area. You will want to place roughly twelve of each color, making sure there are even amount of each color to make it fair, but they don’t have to be organized neatly.
Then write down the colors of your dots on index cards, one for each color. So if you had red, blue, yellow, and green dots – you would have an index card with the word red, an index card with the word blue, and so on.
This game is played one person at a time and in rounds.
- Round 1 – Each player picks two different color index cards that represent the colored plates they have to use to cross the obstacle course. Players have to cross the obstacle course one by one on all fours, touching just those colors. Time each player and the top half of the times move onto round 2.
- Round 2 – Each player picks just one color index card that represents the color of plate they have to use to get across the obstacle course. Players go individually and you should time each player, the top two move onto round 3.
- Round 3 – Each player picks just one color index card and players go head to head in the final round. Place an object at the end of the obstacle course and the first person to cross on their color and grab the object wins.
Vixen in known to be an elusive reindeer, always sneaking around playing tricks but never getting caught.
The goal of this game is to be as elusive as Vixen by keeping your tail attached. Each player will need a balloon and a piece of tape. The players will need the balloon taped to their back or bum like a tail. Alternately, players can just tuck the string into their pants if you want to go that route.
This game is played on all fours with everyone playing at once. When the game starts the players will simultaneously try to knock off the other players’ balloon tails without losing their own. The only rule is they can’t use their actual hands like a human (but can use them as reindeer hooves/paws) – so basically no fingers, grabbing, etc.
The game ends when there is one player left with a tail still attached. They are declared as agile as Vixen and the winner!
Comet loved the sky, especially when it was lit up with stars and galaxies. When he was young he used to run outside at night and try to catch comets, hence his name.
This game requires a little setting up, but I promise it is worth it. You will need a broomstick (or other long pole), a straw, baking twine (or other food safe string), and a pack of Cosmic Brownies.
First, grab a pack of brownies, split each brownie pack in half, and punch out a small hole in the center with a straw. Then thread those brownies with your baking twine leaving it untied at the top.
If you’re doing this with teens or kids, you can make the brownies smaller so they’ll fit into their mouths a bit better. Do this by either cutting a little bit off each side to create a smaller square or you can use a circle cookie cutter to cut them into a circle instead.
Next, tie the brownies to a horizontal broomstick. Do your best to adjust for various heights, making some longer than others so it’s fair. We had three going at the same time and it worked just fine. You can also tape the string from the ceiling and have more people going at one time if that works with your space.
To play, have each player get down on all fours like a reindeer and kneel side by side. Next, have two people hold the broom with comet treats attached above the players, making sure it is out of their reach.
The goal of the game is to eat the brownie first. To do this, players must leap off all fours and take bites of their treat. There are no hands allowed. The first person to completely eat their brownie wins.
You can do this in rounds in you have more people that need to get through this game than just three. Just take the winner from each of your rounds and do one final round at the end with your winners to get the ultimate winner.
Cupid like the Valentine’s Day mascot, loves shooting things. While one shoots love-doused arrows, this Cupid just enjoys hitting his targets. In this game, players try their hand at sharp shooting just like Cupid.
The first thing you will need to do is make these balloon shooters. I suggest making two or three so you have a few as a backup. It took me less than five minutes to make five of them, so they are really easy to do.
Once you have those, you’ll need to find five ping-pong balls, three containers, and three blown-up balloons.
Set up the game by placing three containers side by side with the balloons resting inside of them onto a flat surface or the floor.
Next, have the first player stand roughly five feet back from the target with the balloon shooter and five ping pong balls.
The first player will shoot their five ping pong balls and do their best to hit the balloons and knock them off the container. After they are done, reset the balloons and have the next player go. This continues until all the players have taken a turn.
The person with the most balloons knocked down wins! If there’s a tie, the person who knocked down their balloons with the least amount of ping pong balls wins.
If there is still a tie, give each person three more ping pong balls and have a final round like in soccer, alternating taking shots until someone misses one and someone hits one – the person who hit it wins.
Did you know that the donner in German means thunder? According to legend (my dad’s legend that is), Donner was a notoriously loud reindeer. Naturally, Donner’s game is a loud one.
All you need for this game is some not easy to guess eight-word sentences. I’ve included the ones we used below to give you some examples.
- Wizards and submarines tunnel around giant velvet moles.
- Elf tailors submit taxes under the Valentine moon.
- Snowmen carry purses while doing karaoke and jujitsu.
- Mrs. Claus licks fuzzy astronaut stamps at teatime.
- Never consume pistachios and jalapenos spiced with kerosene.
- Flowers bloom florals with thousands of Chinese cacti.
- Please wear spectacles while spectating impressive ice castles.
- Caribou spring over utility apparatus without apparent difficuty.
This game is played in pairs (as is Blitzen) so have people pair off before playing.
The first team will start by standing on opposite ends of the room with all the other players (or if you have a large group, 4-5 players is sufficient) standing in between them. One teammate is the reader, the other is the guesser.
Give the reader a gibberish sentence. Their job is to accurately relay the sentence to their partner across the room in thirty seconds. They can say the sentence as many times as they want, but they only have 30 seconds to transfer the sentence to their partner.
The catch is that all those players in the middle are Donners, meaning their job is to make the most distracting and loud reindeer noises they can to keep the team from relaying the message. If the team passing the message can easily hear, then the reindeer are not doing their job correctly.
After the thirty seconds is up, the guesser has to try and guess the eight word sentence. Every word correct is one point. Then another pair becomes the shouter and the guesser and the original team joins the Donner group in the middle.
The game continues until all the teams have gone. The team with the most points wins!
Blitzen was obsessed with doing things quickly and in short blitzes. In this game, you’l have a short blitz of time to land as many rings on your partner’s antlers!
The only thing you need for this game is a pair of inflatable antlers that also comes with inflatable rings. Blow those up and you’re ready to play!
Have each teammate put on the antlers and kneel about five feet apart. Set a timer for 30 seconds and when the timer starts, the players will toss rings trying to get as many to land as possible before time runs out.
Count the rings landed on the antlers (or on their head if you want that to count) and move onto the next pair. The pair with the highest score wins!
Rudolph Inspired Reindeer Games
Okay, so now that we have finished the original reindeer games, let’s talk about Rudolph. All of the Rudolph reindeer party games are specifically designed to use Rudolph’s most impressive feature – his nose!
To play most of these games, you’ll need red noses for everyone. Or you can just have people use their regular noses but what’s the fun in that? I grabbed this set of red noses from Amazon, and they worked great! I’ve also seen them at Dollar Tree and various other places as well!
While I recommend playing all of the original reindeer games (since there’s only one person reindeer), you could totally pick one or two of the Rudolph games to complete your reindeer games set instead of playing all of them! I think they’re all super fun but understand if you’d prefer just one game per reindeer – that’s totally okay!
By A Nose
In this game that’s a variation of one of my favorite minute to win it games, players have to use their nose (or their feet since Rudolph did have feet) to keep balloons in the air.
Each player is given two balloons to keep up. I recommend giving each player a different color balloon so it’s easier to know who is whose.
When you say go, players have to toss the balloons into the air (one after another is fine), and then keep them up by only using their nose and feet.
When one balloon drops, that player is out. The others continue until there is only one reindeer remaining, and they are the winner.
For this game, everyone playing will need a spoon, a large red pom (like you’d use in crafts), a spoon, some vaseline on the spoon, and a Rudolph print out with space to put the pom pom for his nose.
Give each player a red pom pom and a spoonful of vaseline. Players have to race to be the first person to put a red pom pom on Rudolph’s nose (make sure to put a bit of vaseline on his nose as well) on the other side of the room.
To play, players must dip their nose into the spoonful of vaseline then get the red pom pom to stick to the vaseline on their nose. Once the red pom is on their nose, they must move across the room and stick it to Rudolph’s nose.
The catch? They can’t use their hands at any time. They are reindeer after all.
In this game, you will be playing Rudolph’s version of one of his favorite board games, Scrabble – but in this cause we call it Scramble. You guessed it, you’ll be building words with your nose!
You’ll need one set of Scrabble Tiles, either from a Scrabble game or you can order just a set of tiles instead. I bought this one and use it all the time for different games!
The basic idea of this game is that each player will have to use their nose to move Scrabble tiles from a pile into two intersecting words (one horizontal and one vertical). You’ll give them the set of two words then they will be racing to be the first to complete their pair!
If you need word pair ideas, here are the ones we used. The most important part is that the two people competing have the same number of letters in their two words combined, even if the two words themselves have different numbers of letters.
- Reindeer & Sleigh (14 letters)
- Antlers & Caribou (14 letters)
- Santa & Cookies (12 letters)
- Dasher & Dancer (12 letters)
- Merry & Christmas (14 letters)
- Famous & Rudolph (14 letters)
- Frosty & Snowman (13 letters)
- Elves & Presents (13 letters)
Before the game, separate your Scrabble tiles into two sets – making sure the letters for the first pair of words is in the first set and making sure the letters for the second pair of words is in the second set.
Give one set of letters to each player along with their word pair. Then when you say go, the race is on to be the first one to use just their nose to get the two words created and linked together. They don’t have to be perfectly placed or even right side up, they just have to be in the correct places!
The first person to get their pair of words complete wins!
One of the best parts about being a famous reindeer is getting to show off some. Rudolph’s favorite parlor trick was catching treats off his nose.
In this game, you’ll be trying your hand at Rudolph’s silly trick. To do this everyone needs a cup, ten marshmallows, and a big red nose just like him.
Have players put their noses on and hold all their marshmallows in one hand with the cup in the other. When the game starts, players will toss one marshmallow at a time and hit it with their nose then catch that marshmallow in their cup – at least that’s the goal.
The game ends when everyone has tossed all ten of their marshmallows. Whoever ends up with the most marshmallows wins! Or you could make it a speed thing and whoever gets all ten in first wins (just pick them up off the ground).
Reindeer Chow Time
Everyone knows that reindeer love reindeer chow, especially Rudolph! This game requires players to move Rudolph food into a food bowl (aka a circle) with just their nose. Each player again needs a big red nose, an equal pile of red candies (M&Ms work great), and a sheet of paper with the same-sized circles drawn on it or printed out.
Give each player a paper and the same number of candies at a table, making sure the candies are by the circle but outside of it.
When the game starts, players use their noses to push those candies into the center of the circle. The game finishes when the first person has all of their candies in the circle without any on the line. The first person to get all of the reindeer treats into the circle wins!
Prizes for Reindeer Games
There are a lot of different ways you can score and give out prizes for these reindeer games. You could keep track of how many games people win and give out a prize to the overall winner (and possibly 2nd and 3rd place).
Or you could do what we did and give out a prize for the winner of each individual game! I actually created a Christmas punch game that looked like a reindeer with fun reindeer themed prizes (and cash and gift cards) inside it!
Then any time someone won a game, they got to punch out a cup and take whatever prize was inside! I’ve never found someone who doesn’t love a good punch game, so this worked out perfectly for our group!
If that’s not a good fit for you, here are some fun reindeer themed prizes you could give out as well!
- Reindeer Squishmallow – kids will love this!
- Bag of reindeer farts – these are one of my favorite white elephant gift ideas but would great for this too!
- Reindeer tin – add a gift card or cash to this one for a definite winner!
- Reindeer throw blanket – who doesn’t love a nice comfy throw blanket?
- Reindeer poop or one of these other reindeer treats – or you can just use the reindeer treat tags and put whatever you want!
- Reindeer cake – gift them the whole thing to take home and enjoy for the holidays!
Download the Full Reindeer Story
Okay so I told you that my dad wrote an entire story – like literally wrote an entire story. It’s good if you want to read it – makes all of these games a little more cohesive. If you’d like to download a printable copy of the story to get your reindeer games started, click the button below and it’ll take you right to it!