11 Christmas in July Ideas to Make Summer Festive

It is not just the Australians who like to celebrate Christmas in July–we do too! Something about the summer heat gets us all excited for the winter months building up to Christmas. In fact, it is becoming quite common to hear of someone celebrating the holiday in July as well as December. Walking downtown, you may well see those sneaky decorations donning the windows or sidewalk sales.

I think we can all agree we need two Christmases each year, so here are a few Christmas in July ideas that can set you up for the festivities!

Christmas in July Ideas to Try With Your Family

Snowball Fight!

The Indiana weather can be filled with extreme heat and what better way to cool off than with a snowball fight? However, instead of using snowballs, use water balloons! Grab some white water balloons and fill them with ice-cold water and go, go, go!!!

Christmas Movie Trivia

Think you’ve watched all the Christmas movies so much that you know the words by heart? Well, Christmas in July is the ultimate time to put that knowledge to the test. Get your relatives and friends in on the game and see who THE Christmas movie buff is.

Christmas Carol Charades

What a fantastic way to get that Christmas cheer flowing. Split into teams and blindly pick out a Christmas song to act out. Battle it out to discover that closet Christmas actor.

Read a Christmas Story at Bedtime

Try this Christmas in July idea to get the ball rolling. Read Twas the Night Before Christmas at bedtime on June 30.

Advent Calendar

Like most, your advent calendar will be safely tucked away until December. So why not make a fun game out of it? Each morning have someone hide a chocolate in the house, and the first person to find it, EATS IT!

Hot Chocolate

Mmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm hot chocolate! How do you have yours? Flavored, whipped cream, cinnamon, chocolate shavings, thick, frothy, marshmallows, plain? The possibilities are endless but they each taste delicious. Even in July, this is always a favorite beverage for both little kids and big kids. Maybe try it with a dollop of ice cream!

Decorate Christmas Cookies

Go traditional or do something different for Christmas in July with these cute Santa Beach Vacation Cookies.

Christmas in July Ideas: Decorate holiday cookies

Plant Instead of Cut

I love the smell of a natural Christmas tree at Christmas time. How about in July, you plant a Christmas tree instead of cutting one down? It could be a tree for Christmas in years to come or it could be any species of beautiful sapling.

Dull’s Tree Farm is one of the best places in Indy to cut your own Christmas Tree and this July 7-8, they are doing a special Christmas in July event. Enjoy their famous apple cider donuts and apple cider slushies, and jump-start your Christmas shopping by visiting 150 vendors. There are farm activities for all ages, including the big slide, so bring your family for a day on the Christmas Tree Farm

Teach Giving, Rather Than Receiving

There are so many organizations in Indianapolis that will happily receive donations of new or gently used toys for families—even in July. Bring the Christmas joy to a family a little earlier this year.

Christmas Caroling

Now, this takes a bit of bravery! Christmas caroling in July — are you up for it? Personally, I would be thrilled to open the door to my neighbors singing Christmas carols to me. Will you do it?

BBQ Christmas Dinner

Summer dinners are filled with BBQ so why not mix it with Christmas dinner. How, I hear you ask?! You can have the Christmas trimmings like ham, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, mixed with BBQ favorites like corn on the cob, salads, ribs, pulled pork, and cheeseburgers. Involve everyone by hosting a dessert swap.

However, the food doesn’t have to be on this grand scale. The food could just be fun Christmas snacks like strawberry Santas, Watermelon Christmas trees, or eggnog-areas!

Ugly T-Shirt Contest

Thinking of the ugly sweater concept? It’s too hot for that, so the ugly t-shirt contest has been born. Gather your family and friends, some glitter glue, tinsel, bells, and anything else you can think of, and get creative. The winner gets a Christmas present!

Hallmark Movie Marathon

Have you noticed that Christmas movies are back on television for the month of July? Block out a rainy afternoon, grab your Christmas pajamas, and nestle down to some Christmas joy.

Christmas in July 5k and Half Marathon

Grab your running shoes, make some room for your Christmas dinner, and earn yourself a snow globe medal. On July 29, 2023, you can run with Santa in the Christmas in July 5k and half marathon.

Polar Express Train Rides

It’s never too soon to start planning your holiday favorites! Holiday train rides often start selling tickets as early as July and some sell out well before the holidays. The Polar Express is the highlight of our Christmas holiday countdown. Every year we don our matching pajamas and hop on board to experience the magic and make that iconic book come to life. Some of our favorites are the Polar Express at French Lick and also in Connersville.

Christmas in July Ideas: Book your Polar Express tickets for winter.

Ice Skating

What better way to escape the Indiana heat than to go hit your local ice rink? Dress up in your Christmas outfit and take your family to play on the ice. It’s a great way to reminisce about your favorite Christmas movie and try your hand (or skate) at the same moves as the stars. Use this time to forget about summer and immerse yourself. Carmel and Columbus both have year-round ice skating rinks.

Decorate Now

Christmas in July wouldn’t be Christmas in July without decorations. Instead of using the same decorations as you would for December, you could make new decorations such as beach-themed trimmings? Try sprucing up your home with festive pool toys. Beach balls could easily be spray painted to look like baubles, and pool noodles could be taped to mimic a candy cane. The possibilities are endless.

Visit Santa Claus…Indiana

This place just screams Christmas any month of the year but we’re talking about July right now! Santa Claus is home to Holiday World and Splashing Safari. While there, do not forget to stop by the big man himself and get those Christmas wishes in early.

Christmas in July Ideas: Visit Santa Claus Indiana

Paint Some Holiday Pottery

Kiln Creations often has some Christmas pottery adorning their shelves for the month of July—including everyone’s favorite light-up Christmas trees and vintage trucks with trees! Can’t find a U-paint pottery studio offering Christmas-specific items? There’s nothing to stop you from stenciling, stamping, or freehand painting your own holiday designs on a generic piece. They also offer take-home kits for people who prefer to paint in their jammies at home.

If you or your kids are struggling to make it through the non-Christmas season? Fill the month of July with all the festivities you can! We hope this list of Christmas in July ideas gets you off to a great start. Happy Holidays!

For more summer activities, join us for 101 Days of Summer.

Find out where to see fireworks around Indianapolis this July 4.  

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