A Hanukkah Celebration That Your Whole Family Can Enjoy

1. Make Your Own Menorah: Create a hand-made menorah for your family to light this Hanukkah. Search the Internet for menorah kits or mold a menorah out of clay. Have fun decorating the menorah with paint and glitter.

 

2. Make an Edible Menorah: Bake one batch of brownies. Give each family member a long, rectangular brownie. Invite the “Hanukkah chefs” to create their own unique edible menorah using various treats such as licorice pieces to serve as candles, butterscotch chips to serve as flames, marshmallow filling to glue everything together, and any other candy or treat of your choice. Try a healthier version using half of a celery stalk as a base, baby carrots as candles, raisins as flames, and peanut butter to glue everything together. B’tei’avon! Good appetite!

3. Fry Up Some Latkes: Search online or ask friends and family for latke recipes. Stir up the batter, fry the latkes, and enjoy. Spice up your holiday by searching for latke recipes that use a main ingredient other than potato. How about zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, or even cheese latkes? Try making a few recipes and let your family judge which recipe is the most delicious.

4. Host a Dreidel Spinoff: After lighting the Hanukkah candles, gather together as a family for a dreidel spinoff. Let each family member spin a dreidel. Using a stop watch, record the time each dreidel spins. If your dreidel spins the longest, you win. Consider adding the “Dreidel Spinoff” to the more traditional dreidel game. For example, if your dreidel spins the longest, you win the “pot.”

5. Fill Your Home with the Sights and Sounds of Hanukkah: Invite your children to create drawings of the Hanukkah story and make Hanukkah decorations. Use these or store-bought items to decorate your home. Create an annual tradition of taking a family photograph at Hanukkah. Hang the photographs in chronological order so that everyone can see how the family has grown and matured. Fill your home with song. A broad array of Hanukkah music can be purchased at Judaica stores, book stores, and on the Internet. Add to the festive spirit of the holiday by playing and singing your favorites—at home and in the car.
6. Say Goodnight with a Hanukkah Story: Each night of Hanukkah before bedtime, gather together as a family to read a Hanukkah story. If you have young children, you might read Latkes, Latkes Good to Eat by Naomi Howland (Clarion), When Mindy Saved Hanukkah by Eric Kimmel (Scholastic), or The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate by Janice Cohn (Albert Whitman & Company). If you have older children, consider “The Maccabees’ Sister” as told by Rabbi Ed Feinstein in Capturing the Moon (Behrman House). Be on the lookout for Hanukkah tales published in Jewish magazines or your local Jewish newspaper.

7. Give a Gift to Those in Need: Take your child shopping for a gift to give to someone less fortunate. Encourage your child to pick out a gift that he or she would like to receive. Then, let your child donate that gift to a local hospital or charitable organization. You might also plan with your extended family to each put aside a weekly donation in a family tzedakah box. (Before Shabbat on Friday afternoons would be the perfect time!) Then, at Hanukkah, pool the money and donate it to a children’s aid organization. Gather together the children and provide them with a list of charities. Let them choose where they want to donate their collective Hanukkah gift.

 

8. Tell the story of Hanukkah in a new way: Draw a cartoon of the Hanukkah story. Compose a song for the whole family to sing together. Act out the story, or perform a puppet show. Be sure to have costumes for the actors or puppets. You could also write the story in newspaper format, with bold headlines and a variety of articles, interviews, and features.

9. Design a family coat of arms: The Maccabees were proud to be Jews. Their shields identified them as Jews. Create your own coat of arms, displaying your family pride. Draw a shield on a large piece of paper. Decorate it with pictures of your family, your favorite Jewish symbols and Jewish objects from your home. Include a rebus, pictograph or symbol for your last name.

10. Talk about miracles: Instead of ending the second blessing for Hanukkah candles with “she-asah nisim l’avoteinu ba’yamim ha-hem ba-z’man ha-zeh” (Who made miracles for our ancestors long ago at this time), some people say “ba-yamim ha-hem u-va-z’man ha-zeh” (long ago and in this time).  Discuss the miracles in the Hanukkah story and the miracles in our lives today.

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Food, Favors, And Festivities.

A festive holiday atmosphere can really increase the fun and excitement at your Hanukkah Party. Here are a few Hanukkah decorations suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Welcome your guests to your Hanukkah party with a Personalized Hanukkah Banner.
  • Wrap empty boxes with colorful wrapping paper and set them on shelves around the party area. Set them on the food table to hold bowls of goodies.
  • Decorate in blue, white and silver. Drape crepe paper streamers from the ceiling and anchor groups of balloons around the party area.
  • Set up a menorah in an area where it can be seen, but will protect the candles from being blown out. Alternatively, use an electrical menorah.
  • Cut snowflakes and Stars of David out of construction paper and hang them from the ceiling with blue, white or silver curling ribbon.
  • Scatter gelt on all the tables in the party area.
  • Cut out menorahs from large sheets of construction paper and use them as placemats.
  • Make a menorah out of felt and attach it to the wall in the par

Here are some of our favorite Hanukkah party foods for your guests to enjoy!

  • Mix blue M&Ms with rice Chex mix.
  • For an easy dessert, serve cupcakes with peppermint ice cream.
  • Make latkes (potato pancakes) and serve them with sour cream, applesauce, or jam.
  • Make your own applesauce by combining apples, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a saucepan and cooking until smooth.
  • Make edible menorahs by cutting a banana lengthwise. Insert 8 pretzel sticks along the banana and press mini marshmallows or raisins on the other end to represent candle flames.
  • Serve sufganivah (traditional jelly doughnuts).
  • Make sugar cookies in the shape of dreidels and menorahs. Make this an activity by allowing the children to frost the cookies in blue and white frosting.
  • Make marshmallow dreidels. Stick a toothpick or pretzel stick through a marshmallow and attach a chocolate kiss to the top with some icing, so it comes to a point.

Hanukkah Party Favors

The holidays are a season of giving. Send your guests home from your Hanukkah party smiling with festive Hanukkah party favors! Here are a few Hanukkah party favor favorites:

  • Personalized Hanukkah favors
  • Dreidels
  • Bubblegum or chocolate Hanukkah gelt
  • A Hanukkah story book
  • A stuffed animal
  • Pajamas
  • A box of colorful Hanukkah candles

Planning A Hanukkah Party? Follow These Key Tips!

What Do I Need For my Hanukkah Party?

In addition to basic winter-themed or blue and white tableware, like plates, cups, napkins and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing, borrowing or renting the following items for your Hannukah party:

  • Supplies for making sugar cookies like our shaped cookie cutters
  • A Menorah
  • White & Blue Latex Balloons and/or Blue & Silver Star Mylar Balloons
  • White & Blue Streamers
  • Table decorations, like blue or white table covers, personalized Hanukkah party placemats, and gold coins to scatter on the party table
  • Winter and Hanukkah movies such as A Rugrats Chanukah, Balto, Happy Feet, and Frosty the Snowman
  • Holiday music
  • Yarmulkes for Your Guests

Creative invitations build excitement and set the mood before the party even starts! If you have time to make your own, consider these suggestions for your Hanukkah party invitations.

  • Attach a card-style invitation to a bag of gelt or personalized Hanukkah items and hand-deliver them to your guests. Our personalized Hanukkah invitations work great with this idea! Just punch a small hole in one corner of the invitation and attach it to the bag or favor with matching curling ribbon.
  • Seal your Hanukkah party invitation envelopes with our personalized winter stickers or personalized Hanukkah stickers for a special touch!
  • Create a card-style invitation out of white cardstock. Paste a die-cut menorah on the front, or draw one on with blue marker. Draw flames coming off each of the candle sticks, color them in with glue, and sprinkle them with gold glitter. Write “You’re Invited” on the front and all the party details inside.
  • Write the words to the dreidel song on the front of a card-style invitation and decorate with stickers. Write all the party details inside.