8 Hanukkah Celebration Ideas to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

The Everymom’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

We all know holiday celebrations are about to take over our lives (if they haven’t already). Everywhere I look, I feel bombarded with ways to celebrate Christmas. My Instagram feed is full of families dressed in matching holiday pajamas, swoon-worthy images of picture-perfect Christmas trees, and mantels sporting custom stockings.

As a Jewish person, this can all make me feel a bit left out of the holiday spirit. While my family celebrated Hanukkah growing up, the festivities never lived up to the hype of my Christmas-celebrating friends. As I got older, we kind of skipped over Hanukkah. Though it’s a wintertime celebration, it didn’t seem to compare.

Now that my husband and I have our own kids, the magic of Hanukkah and winter celebrations are making a comeback in our home. My daughter attends preschool at a temple, so during class she learns and gets excited about Hanukkah and brings that excitement back to all of us. I want to make the holiday season special for our kids and create engaging Hanukkah traditions of our own. There are plenty of fun ways to celebrate this special holiday, and lucky us, we get eight nights to cram in all the fun.

Here are eight ways to celebrate Hanukkah, hopefully inspiring new family traditions to look forward to year after year.



1. Latke Tasting or Latke Competition

Growing up, we always had a night of latkes (otherwise known as fried potato pancakes). They were pretty standard, made with your typical russet potato. Now I’ve learned you can get creative with your latkes. Spend a few minutes on Pinterest, and you’ll find endless latke recipes, like ones made with sweet potatoes, ones that are baked versus fried, ones that include a unique blend of spices, cheesy latkes, latkes including other veggies (like celery root, butternut squash, or zucchini), and the list goes on.

Turn these fun recipes into a new tradition, either making a variety and doing a mini latke tasting or turning it into a family competition. Each family member selects (or makes up!) his or her own recipe and submits them for a tasting competition.



2. Hanukkah Donut Decorating

The theme of fried food is strong during Hanukkah, and in addition to fried potato pancakes, donuts are another traditional holiday treat. Much like you might decorate holiday cookies, spend some time decorating Hanukkah donuts with frosting and special sprinkles. Either grab some plain donuts from a nearby shop or get extra fancy and make them yourself. Enjoy the donuts while lighting the candles and opening gifts.


Wilton Holiday Sprinkles

With blue and white colors and fun shapes and sizes, these sprinkles will make your Hanukkah donuts delicious and Insta-worthy.

Crate & Barrel

Dash Express Mini Donut Maker

At only $30, this donut maker will surely have a big return on investment year after year.


3. Candle Lighting

Lighting the menorah is a central part of celebrating Hanukkah, and it doesn’t have to stop at just one. In our home we have a couple menorahs to light, plus other fun ways to mark each night of the holiday.

Crate & Barrel

Chasing Paper Menorah Decal

Set up this fun decal in your home and each night add a decal flame to "light the menorah." This is the perfect way for little kids to add flames in a fire-safe way.

menorah craft kit

Light-Up Menorah Project Kit

Another kid-safe way to light the menorah, this project kit using LED light is a Hanukkah gift, kid activity, and decor item all in one.

4. Make and Decorate Gelt

Sure, you can buy Hanukkah gelt, but you can make your own if you want to get really creative. Buy coin-shaped molds and melt chocolate to create your own chocolate coins. Include toppings like dried fruit, nuts, sprinkles, and whatever else appeals to your little ones.


Silicone Chocolate Molds

These silicone molds will help with your DIY gelt recipe.


5. Family Dreidel Night

Now you can use your homemade gelt for a family-friendly competition. Each participant spins the dreidel and depending on which side faces up when it stops spinning, the player either gives or takes a piece of gelt from the pot, does nothing, or gets all the gelt from the pot. It’s a quick and fun game that involves lots of chocolate—what’s not to like?



6. Matching Pajamas and Movie Night

I’m happy to report that each year, I see more and more Hanukkah-themed pajamas. This year we’re obsessed with our Little Sleepies family set! Grab a set for your entire family (dog included!) and cozy up together with your matching pajamas and a movie. Either go with a Hanukkah print or opt for a seasonal plaid or snowflake design. Admittedly, I wish there were more Hanukkah-themed movies to choose from, but any cozy, snowy movie will do.

Little Sleepies

Hanukkah Sweets Matching PJS

These organic cotton holiday pajamas come in blue to wear for Hanukkah and all winter long. Baby, toddler, and adult sizes available!


7. Eight Nights of Mini Gifts

The most brag-worthy part of Hanukkah as a child is explaining that our holiday lasts for eight nights and includes gifts each night. Not every family goes for gifts on all eight nights, but if you can swing it, it’s pretty fun. These gifts don’t need to be huge. Each night can be the equivalent of a stocking stuffer type gift: little items that are fun to receive but don’t break the bank. Consider gifts your kids already need (new socks, anyone?), and it’s still fun for everyone!


8. Hanukkah Book of the Night

There are so many fun kids Hanukkah books to learn about the holiday. Set aside eight books (one for each night) and read them with your kids before bedtime. If you haven’t yet purchased eight books about Hanukkah, this is the perfect item to give as one of your nightly gifts.

The Best Hanukkah Gifts for Babies, Kids & Adults for 8 Nights of Joy
Shop Here!