70 activity ideas for your Christmas Advent Calendar

Have you started preparing for Christmas yet? The thought of it being only 6 weeks away may be filling you with a combination of excitement and dread - I know it does for me! There is always so much to organise around this time of year. Shopping, cleaning, cooking, coming up with present ideas... but also lots of fun stuff! I have found that since having kids, I actually enjoy Christmas so much more, even if it is busier. Last year, I shared my Christmas series of preparing early (read part 1, part 2 and part 3 here) with a few ideas. Today it's all about getting the Advent Calendar prepared nice and early with some fantastic activity ideas.

One of the things I did last year was to make my own Advent Calendar for the kids. It was a relatively quick DIY project, and one that I enjoyed doing because I got to be creative. Here's a little flashback... 

I filled each envelope with a fun Christmas activity card. My son (who was 3 years old last year) absolutely loved it and was so excited to open a new envelope each day.

The trick with having activities (rather than chocolates!) was to map out the month of December as much as possible. So, things like seeing the Christmas lights or going to see Santa at the shops, were planned in advance so when the card was selected, it could actually be achieved that day. On the days where I was at work, we just had a simple activity like 'read a Christmas story', 'colour a Christmas picture' or 'snuggle in Mummy's bed with a favourite story'. This year, some of the baking activities will be a bit tricker as we're no longer eating sugar, so I'll have to do some brainstorming! (I've still included these baking ideas on the list below).

I've created a list of 70 Advent Calendar activities for you to choose from that best suit your family and work/home situation. Some are Christmas-related, and some are just fun things to do. If you need little envelopes to put the activities in, you could make your own (via this tutorial like I did), or if you're strapped for time, you could buy them herehere or Etsy (which has an awesome range). Order now! 

Click below for the FREE printable of all the activities, so you can pick and choose which ones you would like, or mix it up each year. Just print, cut and go! I've divided them into the following categories:

  • In the kitchen
  • Outings
  • For others
  • Crafty
  • Family

In the kitchen

1. Make gingerbread men

2. Melt chocolate into Christmas molds

3. Make some 'magic' food to leave out for the reindeer  

4. Make hot chocolate

5. Decorate a gingerbread house

6. Bake cookies to leave out for Santa

7. Make popcorn garlands to string on the tree

8. Have a red and green-themed dinner

9. Make snowman and Santa-shaped pancakes

10. Help make the Christmas pudding


11. Go get ice-cream after dinner

12. Go see the Christmas lights

13. Visit Santa

14. Have dinner in the park with friends

15. Go to the zoo

16. Go for a swim 

17. Go into the city to see the Christmas windows

18. Go to the beach

19. Go to local Christmas carols

20. Buy/choose an outfit to wear on Christmas Day

21. Borrow some Christmas-themed books from the library

22. Attend a Christmas concert

23. Go to the movies

24. Shop for a new Christmas ornament - each child can choose one

25. Ride a Santa train

For Others

26. Buy a present for someone else and place it under the Wishing Tree (or similar charity)

27. Do something nice for someone else

28. Clean out the toy boxes and donate good-quality items to charity

29. Make gifts and special cards for teachers/baby-sitters

30. Host a Christmas morning tea party with friends

31. Visit the elderly and hand out some home-baked treats

32. Give gifts to the neighbours

33. Invite a few friends over for a cookie decorating party

34. Put some of your pocket money coins in a charity collection bucket 


35. Make homemade presents for others

36. Write a letter to Santa

37. Colour a Chrismas picture

38. Create Christmas cards

39. Mail a Christmas card to a friend or relative who lives overseas

40. Make homemade play dough in Christmas colours (this is my favourite recipe!)

41. Create a paper chain for the tree

42. Make presents for a pet

43. Snow-spray the windows

44. Go on a pinecone hunt and spray-paint them gold to decorate with

45. Make salt dough ornaments (try this recipe)

46. Make a fun Christmas craft (cute ideas here)

47. Make paper snowflakes (try these great templates)

48. Make and decorate an ornament for the tree


49. Have a family Christmas photo taken

50. Christmafy the house!

51. Read a Christmas story

52. Choose a Christmas tree and decorate it

53. Have a family Christmas-themed movie night

54. Make a silly Christmas video (like this or this - the kids will love it!)

55. Put fairy lights on a tree in the garden

56. Snuggle in Mummy's bed with a favourite story

57. Have a dance party to some Christmas tunes

58. Unwrap and read a new Christmas book

59. Make Christmas wrapping paper

60. Help wrap the Christmas presents 

61. Watch home movies from throughout the year

62. Help choose your favourite photos and make a photo book of the year

63. Have a bubble bath with candles and Christmas songs

64. Spread out some blankets in the backyard and do some star-gazing

65. Have a games night

66. Do a Christmas puzzle

67. Read 'The night before Christmas'

68. Make a pillow bed in the lounge room and watch some Christmas cartoons

69. Have a shopping day with mum or dad to buy a present for a sibling/grandparent

70. Watch a personalised video from Santa! 

What are your favourite Christmas activities to do with the kids? Got any more ideas to add to the activity list?

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