Activity Advent Calendar

I made this video seven years ago and it marks my very first activity advent calendar. I don’t even remember why I switched from chocolate to this but I had just moved to London and the city is magic at Christmastime: the lights, markets, concerts and the ballet… I decided David and I could do a different activity each and every day of December to really feel the magic of the season in a new city.

The first version of this included simple pleasures like drinking a hot cup of cocoa or going ice skating, visiting Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, trimming the tree and staying in for a Home Along movie marathon.

As we had children, we included more and more activities centred around them, and sharing some of our favourite holiday traditions with them. These days, our activity calendars include a chocolate coin every now and then, and also include simple small gifts as well.

This is just one idea on how to make your calendar, and a good way to use up old magazines I might add! One year I made lots of brown paper envelopes with activity cards inside and hung them up in our kitchen.

Activity Advent Calendar ideas

I think it’s a lovely idea to make time to do activities together, whether it takes 10 minutes to do or it’s a whole day out. When I put together our calendars now, I make a note in my diary which days have which activities so I can plan ahead (the secret to everything when you have a 1 and 3 year old!).

Here’s the list of all the activities I use and others I’d love to do as my kids grow older.

  • Home Alone Marathon

  • Bake gingerbread

  • Christmas colouring activity

  • Trim the tree

  • Read a Christmas book

  • Drink hot cocoa

  • Make a holiday craft

  • Go ice skating

  • Fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child (we always did this as kids)

  • Clean out your toy boxes and donate good quality items to an opportunity store

  • Invite a few friends over for a cookie decorating party

  • Attend a Christmas market

  • Bake a festive treat

  • Make a popcorn garland

  • Roast a marshmallow

  • Watch the Nutcracker

  • Do a favour for someone not expecting it

  • Make a stocking

  • Visit a reindeer

  • Make or write holiday cards

  • Watch Love Actually

  • Watch classics by the tree

  • Attend a Christmas concert

  • Write letters to Santa

  • Pull out mattresses and have a family slumber party under the tree

activity advent calendar