Game to Play with Teens while Looking at Christmas Lights

This Christmas game to play with teens is similar to the popular “Shotgun!” Road Trip Game but is meant to be played while driving around looking at Christmas Lights.  

One of our families favorite Christmas traditions every year is the Minivan Express.  We have the kids get ready for bed as usual (albeit often a bit earlier than normal).  While they are bathing/showering, we place a golden ticket on their beds.  Once they find their ticket, we load up the minivan and drive around town, looking at all the best Christmas light displays for a couple hours.  We also typically make a stop for hot cocoa and snacks.

Now that my two oldest kids are teenagers, I thought it might be time to make some minor changes to this tradition.  The majority of the light displays that we look at are the same every year, and although there is comfort in traditions that do not change, I still want this to be something that the kids look forward to every year.

Christmas Game to Play with Teens

Enter the idea for Christmas Lights Shotgun!  We played the popular “Shotgun!” Road Trip Game on our trip to Colorado this past summer and my kids loved it.  So I thought we would do something similar while we were in the car for a while looking at lights.

The instructions for this game are simple:  The person riding “shotgun” will be the score keeper and card reader.  Keep score on the notes app on your phone.  As far as how often to read a card, that is up to you.  Set a timer, read a card every time you hit a stoplight, or just read them as often as you want to. This game is flexible.  When we played the original “Shotgun!” game this summer, our kids begged us to read cards so we followed their lead.

Types of Cards for Christmas Lights Shotgun Game:

  • Pause:  These activities require you to stop and do something
  • Discussion:  Points aren’t earned on these cards, they are just to get everyone in the car talking
  • Dashboard:  The first person to do the activity written on the card gets the point
  • Trivia:  Questions revolving around Christmas trivia


Important:  Please make sure to read through each card prior to playing this game to ensure that each activity is something your family can do safely.  Depending on the friendliness of the people in your community and crime rate in your area, activities like rolling down your windows to sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” might not be safe.  Remove cards that might not be a good fit for your location and circumstances.


  • Print the cards double-sided (download below).
  • Print off some pictures of Buddy from the movie Elf.
  • Read through all the cards to determine whether you want to include them all (if they would be safe for your area, etc).
  • Make sure you have a $5 bill on hand.
  • Get a small prize for the winner of the game.

Download the Game for free Here:


Please Note:  By downloading the printable version of this game, the User assumes all risk.  I Can Teach My Child, LLC accepts no liability.

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