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30+ Festive Ways to Enjoy a Virtual Christmas

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Isolation ruining your Christmas Again?

Is your Christmas planning feeling a bit different (again!) this year? Don’t worry, we’ve got loads of ideas for virtual Christmas fun once again in 2021!

While we’re all happy that so many in-person events are back for Christmas 2021, there are plenty of opportunities for enjoying virtual Christmas activities again this year. Perfect if you’re isolating, can’t travel, or just want to stay home in your cozy PJs!

So if you’re gearing up for more virtual Christmas activities again this year, here’s your guide to feeling that festive cheer from anywhere.

Let’s go.

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How to Have a Virtual Christmas

Hopefully, Christmas 2021 will be a lot less virtual that last year, but there’s still a lot going on in the online Christmas world.

So here is what I’ve found so far. From virtual Santa visits to virtual Christmas markets to virtual pantomimes, it’s all here. You’re welcome!

Virtual Santa Visits

Going to Santa’s Grotto to meet Father Christmas is a festive staple for so many families, and while most visits are back face-to-face this year, there are still quite a few online options where you can meet Santa virtually from anywhere.

(The service I used last year doesn’t seem to be running online in 2021, so I have no personal experience of any of the services listed below. Please shop around and make sure they’re suitable for your own child.)

Santa’s Grotto Live

Santa’s Calling You

Virtual Santa Visits

Santa HQ

There are also some great Santa messaging apps that have been around for a few years that will help kids to believe Santa is still coming this year. We’ve used Portable North Pole for the past few years, and even the free service can be tailored to the child to produce a lovely video message.

Picture of Santa Claus on phone

Track Santa’s Route Online

Track Santa Claus live as he takes to the skies on Christmas Eve. These sites have been around for a while and are great fun for kids.

The NORAD Santa Tracker is the most famous of them all. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks the North American skies all year, but on Christmas Eve they’re also in charge of tracking Santa Claus as he travels the world. This year’s website goes live on 1st December 2020.

You can also track Father Christmas via the Google Santa Tracker which has games for the kids to enjoy throughout December too.

Online Christmas Activities: Pinterest Pin

Santa Village Webcams in Lapland

Trips to Lapland won’t be an option for most people this year, but you can visit virtually via the Santa Village webcam which streams live from Rovaniemi in Lapland. I haven’t seen much happen there yet but I’m presuming the residents of Santa Village will appear more as we get closer to Christmas.

There’s also a great YouTube channel featuring lots more footage of Lapland at Santatelevision.

Virtual Christmas Markets 2021

I do love a Christmas market. Wandering about all bundled up with a hot chocolate or a mulled wine looking at the stalls and trying out the snacks – what’s not to like? After the success of so many online Christmas markets last year, lots of vendors have decided to stay online for 2021 as well. Here are a few to check out (mulled wine in hand of course).

World’s Biggest Christmas Market – loads of vendors shipping to different countries.

UK Online Christmas Markets

Online Christmas Fair

Bath Virtual Christmas Market

Newcastle Gateshead Virtual Christmas Market

Dales Virtual Christmas Market

Virtual Christmas Carol Services

While Christmas carol concerts are also mostly back in-person this year, the success of live-streaming events means that you can enjoy some services from anywhere once again this year. Here are a couple to check out.

Marie Curie: Carols in the City At Home – Wednesday 8th December 2021, 7pm GMT

Virtual Carols by the Alzheimer’s Society – Wednesday 15th December 2021, 7:45pm GMT

O Come Let Us Adore Him on letterboard

Virtual Christmas Pantomimes

If you don’t live in the UK and have never seen a pantomime, then this year is your chance to enjoy an online version!

The wonderful Panto Live: Cinderella is back in 2021 if you fancy some online pantomime fun.

Panto is so integral to the British Christmas experience and yet it’s quite hard to describe… Part theatre, part musical, part cabaret, terrible costumes, even worse jokes, men in drag, camp baddies, and a whole lot of fun. It’s definitely unique!

And of course…having a virtual Christmas at home

If restrictions in your area mean you can’t have family get-togethers this year, here are a few ideas for virtual Christmas fun. Organise your own virtual Christmas activities with some of these ideas.

Stream Christmas Movies with Friends and Family

Get the kids and their friends or cousins together to watch a movie virtually. Amazon Prime Video, BBC, and Disney + are now offering streaming together services via Amazon Watch Party, BBC Together, and Disney GroupWatch. Some of these services are still in Beta but they’re definitely worth checking out.

Virtual Christmas Board Games

Old-skool fun made virtual! Jump on a video call and get the board games out.  Obviously some games are more suited to this than others, but anything like Trivial Pursuit (or Trival Pur-fight as it’s known in our family) will work, with one household in charge of the board.

Virtual Christmas Karaoke

Another excellent use for a video call. You could even set up a room on Sync Video, a free, no-sign up service that lets you sync videos so that every attendant of your virtual Christmas party can watch them at the same time.

Virtual Secret Santa

This one needs to be organised in advance, but is great for families or groups of friends who can’t be together.  Use an online service such as Draw Name to pick names from a virtual hat and deliver your anonymous gift ahead of Christmas. Then have fun opening them up together on a video call.

Name That Tune – Virtual Christmas Edition

Whoever is hosting this one can queue up a selection of short clips from a classic songs (Christmas tune or otherwise), and see who can guess it first.

Enjoy Your Virtual Christmas

While things may still be different for a while, let’s all hope together that things look much better next year. However you’re celebrating, I hope you have a great holiday season.

Let me know in the comments if you’re planning any special virtual activities!

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  1. had to send this to my bestie,and she loved it,good job. i love it too,it’s so well written and interesting,keep up with the good work xoxo

  2. I’m doing my first virtual secret Santa! Should be fun! Great ideas!

  3. You’ve gathered a great list here! Makes the thought of a virtual Christmas a little warmer knowing these resources are available.

    1. Glad you liked it! I was really pleasantly surprised when I began to find out how much there was going on!

  4. Your post just made me realize that this year I will be able to experience Christmas worldwide. With things going virtual, I now have access to things I would never have even known about or been able to attend. Thanks for all of these resources.

    1. I think that is one of the benefits of so many things having to go virtual this year. It’s nice to know we can experience things from other places. Hope you find some things to enjoy!

  5. Such wonderful ideas! I successfully talked my parents through setting up facebook messenger, so we can chat virtually and spend time with them during the holidays without risking anyone’s health.

    1. Great! It’s so good to be able to talk to people virtually whenever we like, and keeping families connected at this time of year is so important!

  6. It’s so hard to imagine a virtual Christmas. Usually, my family attends multiple Christmas dinners, and I have gatherings with all my friends as well. My city is about to go into another lockdown so none of that will be happening. We’ll definitely be watching Christmas movies over zoom together to stay connected.

    1. I agree, it’s so weird. But I guess we’re all getting used to weird this year. It’s not forever though. Hopefully normal life is on its way back in the coming months!

  7. This sounds very interesting and fun. I’ve never done something like this before. I’d love to try it.

  8. Great list! Tracking Santa sounds great! We’ll be doing a lot of these this year! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Organisations have really pulled out all the stops this year to still make something of the festivities.

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