25 Christmas Countdown Activities | Plus 5 Bonus Ideas

I love celebrating the holidays. Often it can be stressful and overwhelming but I try to focus on spending time with family and creating family memories and family traditions. I do this by using my Christmas Countdown Calendar. This is a calendar full of Christmas countdown activities. Before you stop reading and think another thing to add to your “to-do list”, check out how easy and fun the Christmas countdown ideas really are. You will be surprised at how simple they can be and will start enjoying the holiday season with your family.

For the last 6 years we have been doing a Christmas Countdown. I really love it!! It is similar to an Advent calendar but it has my own little twists in it.  It is also super easy!! You can make it as elaborate or as simple as you want. It will take a little bit of energy in the beginning to list all of the activities but from there it is a great way to connect with your family through this busy season.

How to Set Up Your Christmas Countdown Activities

We use a Christmas countdown calendar with numbers in it that I received years ago as a Christmas present.  In the last few years I have seen some really amazing ones at Target and other stores.

Christmas Countdown Activities

If you don’t have one – make your own. Use white poster board have the kids draw out 24 shapes.  It can be squares, circles or even Christmas Trees and Ornaments.  Make it a fun project!  When you are ready put Post-It notes on top of the 24 spots. Each day you can remove one and have a new activity.  I would suggest writing the activity on the back with pencil and the numbers on the front in marker.  If you do not want to purchase supplies be creative and use what you have at home.

Where to Find Christmas Countdown Ideas:

This is where a little bit of research comes in.  Each town is different and has so many different activities and events.  I would start searching the list below.

  • Local Library
  • Town Parks and Recreation Department
  • Barnes & Noble
  • City Tourism Website
  • Check Holiday TV show guide at ABC Family as well as on the local networks.
  • Pick up a few things from the dollar store/bin.

Start writing down any Christmas/Holiday activities that sound interesting to do with your family.  Include the dates and times. After you have completed the list sit down with your family calendar. I have my calendar all set up in our Family Command Center and I sit down with my husband and go through the month.

Need Inspiration? Check out 52 Ways to Connect with Your Family

Christmas Countdown Activities

On a sheet of paper number 1-24 and start filing in things you want to do.  I take into account kids after school activities, cost of things, and what works best on weekdays and weekends. Some of the activities we do are not very elaborate. We watch a holiday movie(I usually do a few of these) or color a holiday picture.  It is more about making family time.

Christmas Countdown Activities

The activities you choose do not have to be big crazy things. I will do a few larger activities that may cost money but I try to keep this list budget friendly.

To get you started here is our list from last year. Plus a bonus 5 activities if some do not work for your family.

  1. Surprise Gift(Holiday Coloring Book $1 at Target) + Watch Rudolph at 8:00pm
  2. Make Christmas List
  3. Write Letter to Santa
  4. Library Event
  5. Holiday Party at Recreation Center
  6. Dinner at Grandparents House
  7. Trampoline Park
  8. Dinner Out
  9. Grinch Night (Activities, Read, Watch)
  10. Christmas Tree Craft
  11. Drive around looking at lights/decorations. Play holiday music.  Wear pajamas and bring a fun snack.
  12. Draw our house and decorate it. (We love driving around looking at lights. We are always inspired!)
  13. Holiday Party at School
  14. Holiday Cooking Class at Local Grocery Store
  15. Drive to see lights and go out to dinner.
  16. Watch Lightfight on TV.
  17. Snowman Craft
  18. Build a Gingerbread House
  19. Watch Charlie Brown Christmas
  20. Go shopping for our yearly donation gift and sibling gifts.
  21. Watch Prep + Landing. (Activities)
  22. Make Christmas Cookies and Peppermint Bark
  23. Visit Childrens Museum
  24. Watch Polar Express (Activities)
  25. Have a Christmas music dance party
  26. Meet Santa
  27. Volunteer or Make a Donation
  28. Decorate the Tree
  29. Put Tree up or Go pick one out
  30. Family Game Night

We have done all of these with variations throughout the years.  Be flexible with your plan. There are times when something changes and I switch the activities out.  I do what works for us.  I have also left days blank and filled it in the day or week before.

The goal of this is to connect your family. To take a break from the everyday and enjoy each other. I hope with this list of Christmas countdown ideas you find more time to spend with your family this year and start a new family tradition.

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Christmas Countdown Activities




  1. Laura | 22nd Nov 16

    I love this! I am always wanting to find ways to do fun simple family activities during Christmas and this is a great list. I’m thinking I’m going to have to incorporate a countdown this year. 🙂 I love that your list is simple with a few bigger activities added in.

    • Leah | 23rd Nov 16

      Thanks! I really try to make it easy. There have been times the paper is blank and I fill it in the night before. I really love the tradition!

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