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Holiday entertaining ideas

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Expecting out-of-town guests for the holidays? Have a few activity ideas on hand — it’ll help everyone stay entertained.

See local attractions

Show your guests the attractions your area is known for. Think of monuments, parks, restaurants or historical points-of-interest. Also consider your local “hidden secrets,” like the best place to look at the stars or your favorite place to get ice cream. Check out your area’s Chamber of Commerce website for unique ideas.

Go light-seeing

There’s one holiday favorite that will only cost you a tank of gas: a holiday-light tour. Find a neighborhood known for elaborate holiday displays, get friends and family into the car and take a drive to see the festive lights. Bring your camera and take pictures of your favorite displays.

Picnic outdoors

Unless you live in a cold, snowy region, prepare a picnic meal and head to a local nature center, park or beach. It’ll help prevent cabin fever and keep guests refreshed.

Catch a flick

You don’t have to search high and low to find holiday fun — just head to the movies. Can’t fit a theater trip into the budget? Recreate the experience at home — rent or purchase a movie and pop a few bowls of popcorn. A holiday movie will help get your guest in a festive mood.

Cook up local fare

Looking for a less expensive option than dining out? Plan a menu that treats your guests to local dishes. If you live in Philadelphia, serve homemade Philly cheesesteaks. How about some Cincinnati-style chili, Chicago deep-dish pizza or Louisiana gumbo? You can also serve up special family recipes.

Have some healthy competition

Host a game night for your guest with popular board games. Switch it up with different games each round or play a marathon session of one particular favorite. Plan ahead — ask your visitors to bring along their favorite games from home, too.

Get crafty

Keep guests entertained and create a lasting keepsake of their visit — have everyone make their own Christmas ornament. Have guests personalize their ornament with a name or photo. Other crafts options include making candy wreaths, popcorn garland and gingerbread houses. If your guests will be arriving before you get the Christmas tree, include them in the trimming festivities.

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