Eight Ideas for Hanukkah Nights and None of Them are Presents

Posted November 28, 2018  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

Hanukkah is one of the most beloved Jewish holidays. But it can be hard to get your tweens focused less on "eight nights of presents" and more on eight nights celebration. Here are some themes that can help make your family's Hanukkah a bit brighter this year.


Jewish Star Ribbon

On the first night, decorate your home for Hanukkah. Hit your local craft for some blue and silver inspiration, and let your tween be creative. Check out some tween-tested ideas here.


Film camera

Begin a “scrapbook” to document your family Hanukkah experiences. Add photos and drawings along with quotes from every family member to begin a tradition that can be added to every year.


Family Tree

Trace the roots of your family tree. Start by telling stories and asking each other questions. Use a big sheet of paper or dry erase markers on a glass door to list the members of your family and create the branches. Encourage your tweens to list whoever comes to mind--whether they're biological or chosen family.


City Lights

Celebrate the festival of lights by spending time looking at the lights all around you. Go outside and look at the stars or hop in the car and take a ride through town to notice the lights on signs, decorations, and streetlights.


Parents with Child at Piano

Focus one night on giving to others. Spend family time cleaning out a playroom or closets to take stock of the items that feel important to your kids and recognize what could benefit others. You can also start a family practice of giving something away to a friend, loved one, or person in need any time something new comes in to your home.



Everyone loves latkes! Fry up a batch and have fun with toppings. Tweens tell us their favorites are pizza latkes and s’mores latkes. Can’t decide what to do? Make a latke bar with lots of toppings and check out lots of latke ideas.


Friends and Family Sitting Around a Table Eating

Take time to just "be" as a family. Talk about the things you're grateful for--each other, your home, games you play, favorite treats to eat, quirks, traditions, anything. You can have a conversation or spend the night coming up with ideas for an ongoing family gratitude activity such as a gratitude jar or a gratitude wall.


Jewish Star Cookies

Put a Hanukkah twist on your favorite sugar cookie recipe by cutting out Jewish stars and dreidels and decorating them. If you want to just focus on decorating, go the "semi-homemade" route with a tube of premade cookie dough. Just cut, bake, and decorate!

Find Hanukkah crafts, activities, recipes, and more on the PJ Our Way Hanukkah Hub.
We pick a charity for each of the 8 nights and make a donation as a family. The kids enjoy picking the charities, and that helps them learn about needs within our community.
12/18/2018 3:23:45 PM
loads of fun for all!
12/4/2018 1:39:41 PM
That looks cool!
12/1/2018 10:23:16 AM
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