The most wonderful time of the year is here, and even your iPhone and iPad can get in on the fun with jolly apps made just for your favorite winter holidays. There is a wealth of festive apps to choose from, and these 11 are handpicked as some of the best apps to get you and your kids in the holiday spirit.
From classic Christmas digital storybooks to Hanukkah coloring books and games, take along these Christmas and Hanukkah apps on your upcoming road trips to celebrate the holidays and entertain the entire family.
Merry Christmas Mom and Dad – If you were a fan of Mercer Mayer’s books as a child, here’s your chance to introduce your kids to the delightful Little Critter. In this storybook with word-by-word highlighting to help budding readers, Little Critter tries his best to help his family get ready for the holidays. iPhone/iPad, $1.99
The Berenstain Bears and the Nutcracker – More of your childhood friends return in this Christmas story as the Berenstain Bears take a break from their newfangled toys to reenact the timeless tale of the Nutcracker. The storybook even features some of the Tchaikovsky’s classic music. iPhone/iPad, $3.99
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – No Christmas is complete without the Grinch. The original tale returns in this interactive, full-length storybook that even allows readers young and old to add their own narration and do their best impression of the wily Grinch. iPhone/iPad, $4.99
A Charlie Brown Christmas – One of the most beloved tales of the season also comes in a digital storybook version that’s an iPad must-have for every Christmas. The app includes the original music of the timeless TV special, and the opening notes of “Christmas Time is Here” immediately puts anyone in the holiday spirit. iPhone/iPad, $4.99
DC Super Friends: Race to Save Christmas – Superman meets Santa in this digital storybook from DC Comics. The Super Friends must race to Santa Claus’s rescue in an interactive story that also includes word-by-word highlighting for young readers, puzzles, stickers, and coloring activities. iPad, $4.99
Christmas games and activities
ABC Christmas – Toddlers and preschoolers will love discovering the sights and sounds of Christmas as they explore an alphabet of holiday merriment. Each word comes with fun facts, colorful photos, and a video or activity like swiping to reveal a hidden picture. iPhone/iPad, $2.99
Toca Hair Salon – Christmas Gift – Toca Boca is the master of games for young kids, and the Christmas version of Toca Hair Salon is endless holiday dress-up fun. You’ll never look at a Christmas tree the same way again after you’ve given one a shave. For a non-Christmas but still wintry alternative, Toca Tailor Fairy Tales is another fun, free dress-up app from the same developer. iPhone/Pad, Free
Rudolph Run – based on the perennial cartoon classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, this simple game puts kids in control of Rudolph as he leads Santa’s sleigh. Dodge obstacles and light Santa’s way to deliver presents to the homes below to rack up the highest score in your family. iPhone/iPad, $0.99
The Nutcracker and the Mystery of the Missing Cheese – This visually unique game revisits the classic Nutcracker story with the accompaniment of a number of songs from Tchaikovsky’s suite. There are also six interactive rooms with hidden objects and seven educational games, including completing patterns and alphabet tracing. iPad, $3.99
Hanukkah games and activities
Matisyahu's Happy Hanukkah Jam-Along – With a “Happy Hanukkah” song that is certain to keep your kids singing for days, this musical app gets kids dancing and playing along time and time again as they try out various instruments and explore the different components of the song. iPad, $2.99
123 Color: Hanukkah Coloring Book – This coloring app includes four themed coloring books for young kids to learn numbers and letters, try their hand at painting by number, or just flex their artistic muscle by painting freestyle – all without worrying about going outside the lines. iPhone/Pad, $1.99
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Kelly Knox is a freelance writer and content editor at GeekMom.com.