Holiday Activities for Adults with Disabilities

’Tis the season for holiday cheer! At Shining Star Residential, we love this time of year, but as we celebrate all of our favorite holidays, its important to keep our friends with disabilities in mind as this time may also offer certain challenges. Our goal is to ensure that all of our friends at all ability levels have a safe, comfortable, and fun time with family and friends. Listed below are just a few examples of activities you can participate in with your friends and loved ones with special needs to get them into the holiday spirit!

Arts and Crafts

Being creative and hands-on is a great way for disabled adults to engage in the holiday season without being overwhelmed by busy holiday events. These activities can vary depending on the complexity of certain projects, but there are a ton of simple things you can create with your loved one. These crafts can also be given to friends and families as gifts. Here are a few examples:

Handprint Turkeys

Paper Loops Christmas Tree

Holiday Music

Music therapy is an excellent activity for adults with disabilities. The benefits of music therapy are tremendous. Listening to and singing along with music is proven to stimulate and engage those with developmental disabilities, lower blood pressure, and promote social interactions and connection through shared experiences. Holiday music is great for getting them involved in the holiday season.


Adults with disabilities can participate in the holiday season by helping to decorate their home or facility. From decorating the Christmas tree to hanging decorations on the wall, everyone can find a way to add some holiday spirit with their own personal touch. Allowing them to choose style and placement of decorations allows them to be creative and eggomatic have a sense of accomplishment, which makes anyone feel good!

Here is a list of simple DIY decoration ideas:

Attend Season Events

There are a ton of holiday events taking place locally from now through December. Keep in mind that some of these events may be too loud or too busy for your loved one with special needs, so choose events that you think would be suitable for their specific needs. On December 2nd and 9th, 2018, Franklin Park Mall is teaming up with Autism Speaks and Cherry Hill Programs to provide a sensory-friendly Santa at Franklin Park Mall. Here is a link to reserve a spot:

Visit Your Local Library

A quiet library can be the ideal environment for some of those with disabilities. You can get in the holiday spirit by reading Christmas stories, borrowing music, and checking out the holiday decorations. Some libraries offer games which are appropriate for those with special needs and host holiday specific events. Click here to find events


See a full list of Shining Star’ess “expertise programming”, here.