Here’s everything you need to know about events and how to register (from someone who enjoyed her share of in-person IKEA events).
Ikea holiday events
From Portland, Oregon, to Miami, Florida, there are over 50 IKEA locations across the country, and they’re gearing up for amazing holiday events including:
Making a gingerbread house and decorating cookies
I’m listing this event first because it’s one of my favorites. We attended pre-COVID, had an absolute blast, and are so excited IKEA is remaking their Gingerbread House this year. Some sites offer to decorate gingerbread cookies as well.
Pro tip: Some IKEA sites offer “Take & Make” gingerbread house kits, but we’re not sure what’s stopping your family from holding on to your favorite restaurant spot, sipping on your favorite hot beverage, and decorating your own gingerbread house afterwards.
Food sampling and Julbords
Christmas table is a Swedish word for “Christmas table”. Expect an epic spread as IKEA across the country invites IKEA FAMILY members and the general public to sample the flavors of the season during their Julbord events. Note that most of these have a registration fee (less than $20 per person).
On the other hand, IKEA holiday food samples are free and also available to IKEA Family members and the general public. Think of this as a progressive snack as you wander from one sampling station to the next prepared throughout the store.
Kids crafts and story times
What’s more delightful than watching our precious little ones immerse themselves in holiday making or a winter fairy tale? IKEA hosts beadwork crafting, such as story readings Lilabu Expressand more.
A number of shops offer winter-style scavenger hunts for families with children. Details are limited; Show up on time and be ready for fun in Småland – the children’s play area at IKEA – or throughout the store.
Breakfast with Santa
Select stores offer children the chance to visit Santa during breakfast. Note that you’ll need to buy your child — and the rest of the family, if you want to — a meal at the Swedish restaurant before digging into Kris Kringle (for example, Santa will be on hand, but breakfast isn’t).
Photo booths and vacation photos
Gather your loved ones to take your holiday picture against a festive backdrop. Families registered for portrait experiences and photo booths can look forward to professional photographers and/or have their photos printed and receive souvenir frames.
Pro tip: We recommend matching jams or bomber jackets — and having your photo taken Before Eat meatballs with gooseberry jam!
Adult crafting and DIY workshops
From paper snowflake making to Julbord-inspired crafts and gift-wrapping tutorials, IKEA is hosting holiday workshops around the country that are perfect for older kids and adults alike.
This is just a sampling of the Scandinavian Christmas events IKEA has to offer this holiday season. Here’s how to find out exactly what’s available at your hometown IKEA (or whichever one you want to visit over the holidays) and how to sign up.
How to register
The majority of IKEA Holiday events are for IKEA Family members, and you need to register in advance. If you are not yet a family member, sign up here, then follow these steps:
1. Log in to your IKEA FAMILY account
Once you become an IKEA FAMILY member, you can log into your account here.
Pro tip: If you’re having any trouble logging in (I did!), search your email inbox for the latest message from IKEA. Odds are you get it if you’re an IKEA family member. Check the address your IKEA emails will go to, then use that email address to sign in via the alternate login/one time code option. A code will be sent to the same email address, and you’ll be logged in in no time.
2. Go to the Events page in your IKEA store
- From this store map, select the IKEA closest to you
- Next, click “Visit Store Page” above the map
- When your store page opens, click on “Watch what’s happening in the store!”
- Wait for the events to load
Pro tip: It is important to wait for events to load! Most store events pages initially read “There are no events at the moment”, but after a few seconds all events will populate. Don’t assume your store isn’t hosting events until you’ve given the page some time to load!
3. Select the event you’re interested in (and don’t ignore seemingly “hidden” dates and times)
Once you’ve uploaded your store events, take a look at what’s on offer and what interests you. Note that many events are presented multiple times and/or days, But only the first offers appear on the event page.
For example, IKEA’s event page in Salt Lake shows them giving gifts from neighbors make and take workshop “Saturday, Dec 10 01:00PM-01:45PM CST + 3 more.” Click on the event, and you’ll see three additional times available.
4. Sign up!
As long as you are logged in and there are points available, from the individual event page you will be able to set your time and register with a few clicks. Note that you can register for several different events but you cannot register for the same show twice.
Also, some experiences do not require registration. Just show up on time and enjoy!
Note that the registration process may differ for events at IKEA outside the US
- Many IKEA events are held at the Swedish restaurant or Småland, and you can head straight to either. There is no pressure to shop or walk down the (seemingly endless) showroom.
- Need a snack but not a full meal? Try the bistro, where more affordable options are available.
- IKEA FAMILY members enjoy a free cup of coffee (or tea) every time they visit. Don’t forget to take advantage of the hot drinks offer!
- Lost your IKEA FAMILY card or don’t have one because you registered online? Don’t worry: your virtual card can be accessed from the bottom of any IKEA promotional email in your inbox.
Planning the best holiday season yet? Don’t miss all of our vacation travel coverage here.