This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure
Advent calendars are a unique way to count down the days until Christmas. For kids, they’re a magical time of year where you get to open one surprise each day and anticipate December 25th, although those surprises do not need to be treats or gifts! Why not create an activity Advent Calendar instead this year? These advent calendar activities are fun for the whole family to get into the Christmas spirit!
An Advent activity calendar is a perfect way to spend quality time together during the busiest month of the year, making new favourite memories on the countdown to Christmas morning.
We are sharing fun advent calendar activity ideas for kids and families as well as printable advent activity cards so you can print off your favourites and save time during this busy festive time of year!
What Is An Activity Advent Calendar
There are so many different types of advent calendars available for the holiday season – from chocolate advents to small gift advent calendars and even those you can make yourself – that there is something for everyone.
Instead of the treat-filled advent calendars, you may be most familiar with, the focus of an activity advent is to instead give daily tasks or Christmas activities to complete.
This is a special way to create new family memories and Christmas traditions each December with tasks you can complete as a family, or by giving your kids their own special activities each day.
Best of all, your activity advent doesn’t need to be fancy!
You can use a reusable advent calendar to pop your daily advent activities in or you can keep it really simple and use numbered envelopes or any of these simple DIY advent calendars!
Activity Advent Calendars
If you do not already have an advent activity calendar and would prefer to purchase one rather than make your own, here are some wonderful options for pre-made advent calendars that are perfect for use with Christmas countdown activities.
These advent calendars also make a wonderful extra festive decor in your home as they look beautiful while still serving their fun function throughout December!
You can add your advent activities on slips of paper or use the printable advent cards instead. It’s up to you if you decide to add small gifts each day along with your activities or keep them just to activities.
Check out these advent calendar options:
JOYIN Wooden Advent Calendar – This simple wooden advent calendar is a beautiful reusable Christmas countdown that is perfect for fitting your activity cards and a little treat too!
Juegoal Countdown to Christmas Calendar – This Christmas tree-shaped advent calendar is made from wood making it durable for use year after year.
Christmas Tree Fabric Advent Calendar – This fabric advent calendar is a compact hanging option if you don’t have a lot of space. It’s just the right size for pieces of paper with your daily activities.
Advent Activity Ideas For Families
It’s always fun to do something new and different every year, and advent activities can be a great way to not only try new things but also fit in your favourite December traditions as well!
We like to change up our ideas each year with a few new ones while keeping some the same, such as putting up the Christmas tree on the 1st and making our favourite Christmas treats sometime during the month.
It can also help to have a few backup activities for when the weather doesn’t cooperate or your schedules change.
That is why you will love this huge list of advent activities for your Christmas countdown, with plenty of fun activities to choose from that suit different ages – from young kids to older kid activities and activities for the whole family!
- Decorate the Christmas tree
- Decorate the house
- Hang Christmas lights
- Bake Christmas cookies
- Make rum balls
- Do a random act of kindness for a neighbour
- Write a letter to someone
- Write a letter to Santa Claus
- Do a Christmas craft
- Watch a Christmas movie
- Go for an evening walk to look at holiday lights in your neighbourhood
- Go ice skating
- Go for a family hike
- Play Christmas carols
- Play a card game
- Read a Christmas book together
- Have a game night
- Make gingerbread cookies
- Visit Santa Claus at your local mall
- Go Christmas carolling or attend a local carol night
- Bake and decorate sugar cookies
- Make a new Christmas ornament
- Go on a festive nature walk to collect greenery for your holiday decorating
- Make a hot chocolate with extra treats
- Do some Christmas colouring pages
- Make a handmade gift for a friend
- Write out Christmas cards
- Have a family Christmas photo shoot
- Watch a Christmas concert
- Build a gingerbread house together
- Make a special breakfast
- Start a Christmas scrapbook (or add to an existing one)
- Create handmade gift tags
- Write a list of everything you are grateful for this year
- Donate a gift to a Christmas charity
- Declutter toys & donate to charity
- Tell funny Christmas jokes
- Make up your own Christmas story
- Take a drive to look at Christmas displays
- Learn a new Christmas carol
- Make a Christmas dish from another country
- Learn about Christmas traditions in another country
- Call a distant friend or family member to chat
- Buy a special new ornament for your tree
- Have a candy cane scavenger hunt
- Organise a play date with friends
- Host a brunch or lunch
- Try a new festive drink
- Make eggnog
- Do a puzzle together
- Give someone a compliment
- Play Christmas minute to win it games
- Plan your festive menu
- Donate old towels and bedding to an animal shelter
- Volunteer in your local community
- Make hot cocoa bombs
- Have a festive family dance party with Christmas songs
- Have a picnic under your Christmas tree
- Get a photo with Santa
- Decorate Christmas t-shirts
- Make Christmas crackers
- Help wrap gifts
- Take a gift to an elderly neighbour or relative
- Write each family member a letter with reasons why you love them
- Make a bird feeder or leave out water for wildlife
- Have a YES day
- Make cards for the school support staff
- Attend a Christmas parade
- Give the house a deep clean
- Create Christmas-themed crazy hair styles
- Tidy your bedroom
- Hang Christmas stockings
- Watch Christmas TV episodes
- Make cookies for the neighbours
- Make Santa & reindeer food for Christmas Eve
- Do a science experiment
- Go for a family bike ride
- Throw a frisbee at the park
- Do a Secret Santa gift exchange
- Give out candy canes with positive messages on them to school friends
- Have a backyard picnic
- Go stargazing in the backyard
- Learn a new skill
- Do something you’ve “been meaning to try”
- Make a traditional dessert
- Donate food to a local charity drive
- Leave a gift for your postman or parcel delivery person
- Visit a festive market in your area (such as craft markets)
- Make friendship bracelets
- Build a Christmas scene with LEGO
- Enjoy some self-care doing something you love
- Have a pamper session
- Get new Christmas pjs
- Make (or open) a Christmas Eve box
- Learn a Christmas song on an instrument
- Write your own list of favourite traditions
- Start a new family Christmas tradition
- Have a Christmas movie marathon
- Plan an amazing New Year’s Eve party
- Host a festive dinner with friends
- Organise your home for the holidays
- Do something that makes you feel cozy and warm (or cool and refreshed)
- Make frozen hot chocolate
- Host a holiday book club
- Build a snowman or a sandcastle (depending where you live)
- Do your Christmas shopping
- Host an ornament exchange with friends or family
- Organise gift wrapping party for friends and family members
- Host a cookie decorating party
- Play Christmas charades
These activities for advent calendars are so much fun either on their own or paired with a daily treat or funny Christmas joke.
In fact, on the days that your activity involves certain ingredients or materials, you can wrap those up along with the daily activity!
Choosing Ideas For Advent Calendar Activities
The best way to choose the advent activities to include for your daily tasks is to pull out your planner or family calendar for the month if you have one and check what you already have scheduled through December.
If you have a busy day planned, choose advent family activities that are quick and simple to fit into your day. If you have a day that is a little more open, these are good days to plan more elaborate tasks or outings.
Make sure you’ve got everything you need for the daily activities as well! The last thing you want is to have a festive pancake breakfast planned yet not have the ingredients needed.
Free Printable Advent Calendar Activities
We know how busy this time of year is for everyone! To save you time we have created this free printable advent calendar activities sheet for you to print and off and choose which activities you want to do.
Pop them into envelopes or into your family advent calendar and you are ready for a December full of fun and special memories!
The printable sheet also includes some blank advent activity cards so you can add your own ideas.
The great thing about an Advent calendar is that you can make it age-appropriate and fun! This list has plenty of advent activities perfect for kids, no matter how young or old they are. There’s something for everyone, so go ahead and pick your favourites!
Need more Christmas inspiration? Check these out: