If you are looking for some fun and festive ways to celebrate the holiday season as a family, I’ve got 50+ Christmas advent calendar activity ideas to share with you!
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Getting Started with an Activity Based Advent Calendar
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, taking time to spend quality family time together is so important. One creative way to do that is through a Christmas advent calendar.
Here’s a few ways you can set up your activity-based advent calendar (which can all be saved and reused again next year!):
- Popsicle sticks: Write activities on popsicle sticks and pull from a jar.
- Envelope system: Craft your own system with mini recycled envelopes, twine & wooden clothespins. Place printed activity ideas inside each envelope.
- Wooden or felt advent calendar: Invest in a nice wooden advent calendar or a felt advent calendar to hold your printed paper slips.
Now, let’s get to those holly, jolly Christmas advent activity ideas!
50+ Christmas Advent Calendar Activity Ideas
Outdoor Winter Activities
While you may or may not have snow in December, bundle up and make some family memories in the great outdoors!
- Take a winter hike
- Go sledding
- Have a winter campfire
- Build a snowman
- Go skiing
- Go ice skating
- Spend the evening stargazing
- Go on a gratitude nature scavenger hunt
- Make a grapefruit bird feeder
- Craft paper snowflakes
- Make handmade ornaments
- Make a Christmas wreath
- Have a family coloring night
- Decorate handmade Christmas cards
- Create a family gratitude jar
- Watch a holiday movie
- Have a family game night
- Sing Christmas carols
- Drive around to look at holiday lights
- Go to a family Christmas party
- Have a holiday music dance party
- Read holiday stories
- Wear pajamas all day
- Decorate the Christmas tree
- Call a family member & wish them a Merry Christmas
- Take a family photo
- Have a family subscription box night (order ahead of time!)
- Look through family photos of previous holidays
- Put up Christmas lights
- Read the Nativity story
- Put together a holiday puzzle
- Choose your own adventure (put each child’s name on a separate slip and they can choose the fun activity for the day)
Local Traditions & Activities
- Attend a Christmas parade
- Visit Santa
- See a local Christmas play
- Attend a Christmas concert
- Visit a reindeer farm
- Attend a local tree lighting ceremony
- Ride a Santa train
- Go to the library & check out holiday books
Food & Drink Traditions
- Make hot cocoa
- Bake Christmas cookies
- Build a gingerbread house
- Eat peppermint ice cream
- Make a Christmas tree veggie tray
- Bake homemade bread
- Have breakfast for dinner
- Dine in an outdoor igloo
- Make cinnamon covered almonds
- Donate to a food pantry
- Donate gently used toys & clothes
- Give Christmas cookies to neighbors
- Donate to a favorite charity
- Send Christmas cards (Paper Culture has some beautiful & sustainable cards!)
- Clean up a local park
- Buy new gifts to donate to a family in need
Christmas Advent Calendar Activity Ideas – Free Printables
3 Tips for a Low Stress Approach to an Activity Advent Calendar
- Make it easy on yourself! If you have specific plans already (like a family Christmas party or a school holiday concert) – use those as your advent calendar activity that day.
- Shorten your advent calendar to the 12 days of Christmas if planning activities for 24 days seems overwhelming.
- Mix it up between activities and other simple advent calendar fillers like mini treats.
Related: Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers for Kids Under $15
Enjoy a Fun & Festive Holiday Together
I hope this list of Christmas advent activity ideas leaves you inspired and ready to carve out some quality family time during this busy holiday season.
If you have additional ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!