Your Guests Won’t Fall Asleep at the Table with these Fun Passover Seder Ideas
While the traditions and rituals performed at a Passover seder are truly remarkable, we’ve all been to a Passover seder that drags on a little bit or a lot a bit too long. My family has sought to elevate our Passover seder by incorporating at least one new memorable activity each year to enliven our Pesach meal. I thought it would be fun to share the fun Passover seder ideas we’ve come up with over the years as well as a few others that I plan to add to our upcoming seder this Spring.
1. Chocolate Seder
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Since Passover seders are traditionally held on the first two nights, why not sweeten up the second night with a Chocolate seder. All you need to do is purchase the chocolate needed for the seder as there is already a Chocolate Seder Haggadah created by ReformJudaism.org that is available free online for you to print out copies. I have led this exact Chocolate Seder when I taught 2nd grade, so I know that it is a HUGE hit with kids. But, I also think it would be a fun second night alternative with the adults as well. Some of the Chocolate Seder highlights include chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate matzah, and charoset made from a mixture of chocolate pudding, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.
2. Inflatable Matzah Balls
These have been a family favorite at our Passover seders throughout the years. Props to my mom for finding inflatable Matzah balls on Amazon and incorporating them into our Passover seder. During the reading of the Haggadah, my mom will pull out the inflatable Matzah ball and ask everyone to answer a question. A great time to do this is after the Four Questions have been recited. The Matzah ball is passed around the seder table and everyone has the opportunity to share their answer. Switch up the question each year to keep it interesting.
3. Red Sea Table Setting
This fun Passover seder idea is for my interior decorators, artists, and creatives out there. Instead of using a traditional Passover tablecloth, you decorate your Passover seder table by depicting the scene from the Passover story when Moses parts the red sea. Pinterest has some incredible seder table inspo that I encourage you to check out. My suggestion would be to use a blue tablecloth for the water and place a beige-colored table runner on top to symbolize the path of sand that the Israelites walked across when once the sea was parted. Add some small action figures or Lego figurines to the table to represent the Israelites and you’ve got one innovative seder table that your guests will talk about for years to come.
4. Origami Jumping Frogs
My favorite annual Passover tradition is to make origami frogs that jump when you touch them. Not only is it a fun way to decorate the seder table, but it’s also a fun art activity for all ages. I have made these frogs with my 2nd grade and 5th grade students for the past eight years, so it is definitely kid-approved, but even when I’m not teaching, I enjoy making them for my own seder. You’ll only need a few items to create your jumping origami frog — some green paper, a scissors, and a couple of markers or colored pencils if you would like to decorate. You can see some of my 2nd graders creations in the photo above as well as my own origami frog in the center of the image.
5. Whipping Scallions While Singing Dayenu
I’m embarrassed to admit that I was unaware of this Sephardic tradition until I taught a student who is of Iranian Jewish descent and he informed me of it. Each guest at the seder is given oversized scallions. During the singing of the Passover classic, Dayenu, everyone stands and runs around the room lightly whipping each other with the green onions. This symbolizes the slaves being whipped by their taskmasters in Egypt.
6. Themed Haggadah
If you want to add a little extra flare to your Passover seder this year, you can do so by surprising everyone with a themed Haggadah. Whether it be the Midge’s Haggadah from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The (unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah from Harry Potter, or a Make Your Own Haggadah, there are a variety of options to choose from that would undoubtedly please both you the host and your seder guests.
7. Pick a Plague out of a Hat
One of the highlights of the Passover seder is pouring a glass of wine and spilling ten drops on your plate while enumerating the Ten Plagues by name. You can elevate this experience even further by purchasing a bag of toy plagues, putting them in a hat prior to the seder starting, and having each seder guest secretly choose one. As you recite the names of the Ten Plagues in order during the seder, each person leads the rest of the group by announcing the plague they chose from the hat and putting their plague on display on the seder table. The rest of the guests repeat the name of the plague in English and in Hebrew before dipping the end of their utensil or index finger into their cup of wine.
8. Would You Rather? Passover Edition
Bring some levity to the seder with a quick game of Would You Rather? Passover Edition. I’ve linked to a whole list of questions. Some of my favorites on that list include:
- Eat only maror (bitter herbs) for the rest of your life OR drink only saltwater?
- Have a 9-hour seder with gourmet food at end OR a 1-hour seder with just OK food?
- Eat only matzah brei all year OR eat only charoset?
- Live always in darkness but be rich OR live always in light but be poor?
Let us know in the comments if you have any creative Would You Rather’s for Passover and we will go ahead and include them here. And, if you have played any other Passover seder games please share those too!
9. Afikoman Scavenger Hunt
Hiding the afikoman for the children to find during the seder is an integral part of Passover. If you’d like to keep the kids occupied for a while longer as the adults continue with the seder, you can set up an Afikoman scavenger hunt within the house. Instead of having the kids just go and search the house for the afikoman, give them a clue which will lead them to a spot in the house with another clue and so on. You can even leave little Passover treats with each of the clues. This way, all of the children will be winners and they can work together to find it. Once the kids find the final clue, they will find the Afikoman’s hiding spot and bring the middle matzah back to the seder table so it’s ready to eat for “dessert.” The Afikoman scavenger hunt is perfect for a kid friendly Passover seder.
10. Host a Matzah Bark Bar
Speaking of dessert, you can upgrade your flourless cake options with a Matzah Bark bar akin to an ice cream sundae bar. Supply your matzah station with a whole variety of toppings like melted milk chocolate, peanut butter, colored sprinkles, nuts, strawberries, and nonpareils. It’s a hands on approach to dessert that is sure to be a huge hit with the kids. And, I imagine the adults won’t be too disappointed with this fun Passover seder idea either.
11. Four Cups of Kosher for Passover Wine Tasting
We drink four cups of wine on Passover which typically means that there is a hodgepodge of red and white options placed across the table along with a few of our trusty Manischewitz Concord Grape bottles. At every seder, there is bound to be a debate between the Manischewitz haters — how could anyone like anything so sugary — and the Manischewitz fans, myself included, who eagerly await this annual consumption. But what if you held a wine tasting for each of the four cups of wine instead? Start with a white for the first cup, then a rosé for the second, and two reds for the third and fourth cup. The host will bring out a few bottles of each type of wine when the Haggadah states that it is time to drink that cup. The host can then introduce the wine, share where it’s from, and tell the seder guests what notes you should expect to taste while drinking. This way, you’ll keep the guests on their toes and they’ll be surprised to find which kind of wine they will be tasting next! How’s that for some Passover seder fun?!
Have any fun Passover seder ideas? Let me know in the comments below and I will try my best to create them for you before Pesach this year! And, if you are looking for more Passover content, make sure to check out these other BMA blog posts!