The holiday season is a time for families to come together, create cherished memories, and celebrate traditions. One beloved tradition that brings joy and excitement is the Advent calendar. Instead of simply counting down the days until Christmas, why not make it more interactive and engaging with Advent calendar activities? Let’s explore some family advent calendar activities that will inspire you to make each day leading up to Christmas special. From fun at home to outings, serving others to crafting, and everything in between, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
- Fun at Home
- Serving Others
- In the Kitchen
- Faith-Based Activities
- Winter-Specific Activities
- Summer-Specific Activities
- Are you ready for Advent?
Fun at Home
Creating a cosy and festive atmosphere at home is the perfect way to immerse your family in the holiday spirit. Here are some fun advent calendar activities you can do without leaving the comfort of your own home:
1. Decorate the Christmas Tree Together
Gather the family and make decorating the Christmas tree a memorable experience. Put on some holiday music, sip on hot cocoa, and let each family member hang their favourite ornaments on the tree. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reminisce about cherished memories associated with each ornament.
2. Have a Family Movie Night
Choose a Christmas movie that the whole family can enjoy and make it a special movie night. Create a cosy movie-watching area with blankets, pillows, and snacks. Whether it’s a classic like “Home Alone” or a heartwarming animated film like “The Polar Express,” spending quality time together watching a festive movie is sure to create lasting memories.
3. Bake and Decorate Christmas Cookies
Get creative in the kitchen by baking and decorating Christmas cookies as a family. Whip up a batch of sugar cookies and let everyone’s imagination run wild with icing, sprinkles, and edible decorations. The sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies will fill the house and add to the holiday ambience.
4. Write Letters to Santa
Encourage your children to write letters to Santa Claus. Provide them with colourful pens, stickers, and festive stationery to make the experience even more exciting. They can share their Christmas wishes, express gratitude, and sprinkle in some holiday cheer. Don’t forget to help them address and send the letters to the North Pole!
Venturing outside the confines of your home can be a great way to explore the holiday spirit in your community. Here are some advent calendar activities that involve outings:
1. Visit a Local Christmas Market
Check if there’s a local Christmas market in your area and take your family on a magical outing. Stroll through the festive stalls, admire beautiful crafts, and indulge in delicious seasonal treats. Let your children pick out a special ornament or gift to commemorate the experience.
2. Attend a Christmas Concert or Play
Get int the enchanting world of music and theatre by attending a Christmas concert or play. Many schools, churches, and community centres host festive performances during the holiday season. From choir concerts to theatrical productions of beloved Christmas tales, there’s something for everyone’s taste.
3. Go Ice Skating
Strap on your skates and hit the ice rink with the whole family. Ice skating is not only a fun activity but also a quintessential winter experience. Hold hands, glide across the ice, and laugh together as you create memories that will warm your hearts for years to come.
4. Take a Drive to See Christmas Lights
Go on a festive drive to explore the dazzling Christmas light displays in your neighbourhood or nearby areas. Bundle up in cosy blankets, play holiday tunes, and marvel at the twinkling lights and festive decorations adorning houses and streets. It’s a simple yet magical way to embrace the joyous spirit of the season.
Christmas is a season of giving and spreading love. Engaging in activities that serve others is a wonderful way to teach your children about the importance of kindness and compassion. Here are some advent calendar activities focused on serving others:
1. Volunteer at a Local Shelter or Food Bank
Give back to your community by volunteering at a local shelter or food bank. Involve your children in sorting donations, serving meals, or packing food hampers for those in need. This activity not only helps others but also instils a sense of gratitude and empathy in your children.
2. Send Care Packages to Elderly or Sick Individuals
Spread holiday cheer by assembling care packages for elderly or sick individuals in your community. Include items such as cosy socks, puzzle books, homemade treats, and handwritten notes. Delivering these packages to nursing homes or hospitals can brighten someone’s day and remind your family of the true spirit of Christmas.
3. Donate Toys or Clothes to a Charity
Encourage your children to select toys or clothes they no longer use and donate them to a local charity. Involve them in the process of sorting and packing the items, and explain how their generosity can bring joy to other children who may be less fortunate. It’s a valuable lesson in empathy and generosity.
4. Write Thank-You Cards for Essential Workers
Express gratitude to the essential workers who have been working tirelessly throughout the year. Have your family write heartfelt thank-you cards to healthcare professionals, postal workers, firefighters, teachers, and others who have made a difference in your community. These small acts of appreciation can make a big impact on those who receive them.
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is often the heart of the home during the holiday season. Get your family involved in preparing delicious treats and festive meals with these advent calendar activities:
1. Make Gingerbread Houses
Gather the family and embark on a gingerbread house-building adventure. Set up a decorating station with all the necessary supplies, including gingerbread house kits or homemade gingerbread pieces, icing, and an assortment of candies. Let your creativity shine as you construct and decorate your edible masterpieces.
2. Have a Hot Chocolate Bar
Set up a hot chocolate bar in your kitchen and let everyone customize their own cup of cocoa. Provide an array of toppings such as marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and sprinkles. It’s a delightful and cosy activity that will warm both your hearts and taste buds.
3. Cook a Festive Family Meal
Pick a day and have your family cook a special festive meal together. Assign each family member a specific task, whether it’s peeling vegetables, stirring the sauce, or setting the table. Cooking together fosters teamwork and creates a sense of accomplishment when you sit down to enjoy the delicious meal you’ve prepared.
4. Host a Cookie Decorating Party
Invite friends or neighbours over for a cookie decorating party. Bake a variety of cookies in advance and provide an assortment of frostings, coloured sugars, and sprinkles. It’s a joyful and interactive activity that allows everyone to showcase their artistic skills while indulging in sweet treats.
Decking the halls is an integral part of the holiday season. Engage your family in festive decorating activities to transform your home into a winter wonderland. Here are some advent calendar activities focused on decorating:
1. Create Homemade Ornaments
Gather your crafting supplies and create homemade ornaments as a family. Use materials like salt dough, popsicle sticks, felt, and glitter to make unique and personalized decorations. These ornaments can adorn your Christmas tree or be given as heartfelt gifts to friends and family.
2. Design Festive Wreaths
Get creative with wreath-making and design your own festive wreaths. Use natural materials such as pinecones, twigs, and berries, or opt for colourful ribbons and ornaments. Hang the wreaths on your front door or throughout your home to add a touch of holiday cheer.
3. Hang Stockings with Care
Involve your family in hanging stockings in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. Let each family member choose or create their own stocking, and find the perfect spot to display them. It’s a delightful tradition that adds a sense of anticipation and excitement to Christmas morning.
4. Decorate the Front Yard
Transform your front yard into a magical winter wonderland with festive outdoor decorations. String twinkling lights on trees and bushes, setting up inflatable characters, and place lighted pathway markers. Let your family’s creativity shine as you create a display that will delight your neighbours and passersby.
For families who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, incorporating faith-based activities into the Advent calendar can deepen the spiritual significance of the season. Here are some faith-based advent calendar activities:
1. Read the Nativity Story
Gather your family and read the nativity story from the Bible. Reflect on the meaning of Christmas and the significance of Jesus’ birth. You can also act out the story or create a nativity scene using figurines or even household items.
2. Attend Church Services
Participate in church services and Christmas Mass as a family. Attend special candlelight services, carol-singing events, or community gatherings that focus on the religious aspects of Christmas. It’s a time to come together in worship and celebrate the true reason for the season.
3. Light Advent Candles
If your family follows the tradition of lighting Advent candles, incorporate this activity into your Advent calendar. Each week leading up to Christmas, light a new candle on the Advent wreath and discuss its symbolism and significance. It’s a beautiful way to mark the passing of time and reflect on the themes of hope, peace, joy, and love.
4. Say Advent Prayers
Set aside time each day for Advent prayers as a family. Offer prayers of gratitude, pray for loved ones, and reflect on the message of hope and salvation brought by the birth of Jesus. This quiet and contemplative activity can deepen your family’s connection to their faith during the Advent season.
Engaging in crafts allows your family to tap into their creativity and create unique holiday decorations and keepsakes. Here are some crafting advent calendar activities:
1. Make Paper Snowflakes
Get out the scissors and paper and make beautiful paper snowflakes as a family. Hang them from the ceiling or tape them to windows to create a winter wonderland effect. Experiment with different folding techniques and designs to make each snowflake unique.
2. Design Personalized Christmas Cards
Tap into your family’s artistic talents and design personalised Christmas cards to send to friends and family. Use cardstock, markers, glitter, and other craft supplies to create one-of-a-kind holiday greetings. It’s a thoughtful way to spread holiday cheer and show your loved ones that you care.
3. Create Handmade Gifts
Encourage your family to create handmade gifts for friends and family members. Whether it’s knitting scarves, making bath bombs, or creating custom jewellery, the possibilities are endless. Handmade gifts carry a special touch and show the recipient how much you value them.
4. Construct Advent Calendar Crafts
Combine crafting with the Advent calendar concept by creating your own Advent calendar crafts. Design and construct small boxes, envelopes, or pockets to hold daily surprises or activities leading up to Christmas. Let your family’s imagination run wild as you come up with unique and personalised advent calendar designs.
Cosying up with a holiday movie is a beloved tradition for many families. Incorporating movies into your Advent calendar activities is a great way to relax and enjoy quality time together. Here are some movie-themed advent calendar activities:
1. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon
Dedicate a day or evening to a Christmas movie marathon. Choose a selection of your family’s favourite holiday films and snuggle up on the couch with blankets and popcorn. It’s a delightful way to unwind and bond over shared laughter and heartwarming stories.
2. Create a Movie-Inspired Snack Bar
Elevate your movie night experience by creating a movie-inspired snack bar. Set up a table with an array of snacks such as popcorn, candy canes, hot chocolate, and themed treats based on the movies you’ll be watching. Let each family member choose their favourite movie snack.
3. Watch a Classic Christmas Movie
Introduce your family to classic Christmas movies that have withstood the test of time. From “It’s a Wonderful Life” to “Miracle on 34th Street,” these films offer timeless stories and messages of love, generosity, and the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share cinematic treasures with the next generation.
Related post: The best classic Christmas movies
4. Host a Family Movie Review Night
After watching a Christmas movie, gather your family for a movie review night. Discuss the themes, lessons, and favorite moments from the film. Encourage everyone to share their thoughts and insights, fostering meaningful conversations and connections.
Take advantage of the unique opportunities that winter brings and incorporate winter-specific activities into your advent calendar. Here are some winter-themed advent calendar activities:
1. Go Sledding
When the snow falls, grab your sledges and head to the nearest hill for a day of sledging fun. Let the adrenaline rush as you glide down the slopes together, laughing and creating memories in the winter wonderland.
2. Build a Snowman
Embrace the magic of snow by building a snowman with your family. Roll up snowballs, stack them, and decorate your frosty friend with a carrot nose, buttons, and a cosy scarf. Don’t forget to take a family photo with your masterpiece!
3. Have a Snowball Fight
Engage in a friendly snowball fight with your family. Divide into teams or engage in an all-out battle of snowballs. It’s an exhilarating and laughter-filled activity that will make you feel like kids again.
4. Make Snow Angels
Lie down in the fresh snow and make snow angels together. Spread your arms and legs wide and gently move them up and down to create angelic imprints in the snow. Capture this moment of winter whimsy with photos or videos.
For families in the Southern Hemisphere or those fortunate enough to experience Christmas in warm climates, summer-specific activities can be incorporated into your advent calendar. Here are some summer-themed advent calendar activities:
1. Have a Beach Day
Escape to the beach for a day of sun, sand, and surf. Pack a picnic, build sandcastles, swim in the ocean, and enjoy the warm summer breeze. It’s a refreshing and relaxing way to celebrate the holiday season.
2. Have a Backyard BBQ
Fire up the grill and have a festive backyard barbecue. Decorate the outdoor space with fairy lights and set up games like horseshoes or volleyball. Enjoy a delicious meal together, complete with summer-inspired dishes and refreshing beverages.
3. Watch a Christmas Movie Under the Stars
Create a cosy outdoor movie night by setting up a projector and screen in your backyard. Arrange blankets, pillows, and cushions on the lawn and watch a Christmas movie under the stars. Don’t forget the popcorn and blankets to keep everyone comfortable.
4. Host a Christmas-themed Pool Party
If you have access to a pool, why not host a Christmas-themed pool party? Inflate festive pool floats, play Christmas music, and have fun splashing and swimming together. It’s a unique way to celebrate the holiday season while enjoying the summer weather.
Are you ready for Advent?
The Advent calendar is not just about counting down the days until Christmas; it’s an opportunity to create special moments and traditions as a family. With this ultimate guide to family advent calendar activities, you now have a plethora of ideas to make each day leading up to Christmas memorable. Whether you choose activities at home, outings, serving others, in the kitchen, decorating, faith-based, crafting, movies, or winter-specific activities, the key is to spend quality time together, foster connection, and create lasting memories. Embrace the joy and magic of the holiday season as you embark on this advent calendar journey with your loved ones.