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Awesome Advent: How to create an advent calendar of things to do this Christmas

Laura Side Street Style

29 November 2017

Every year I put together a little homemade advent calendar, some years are more extravagant than others depending on how much time I have and others are put together with some small brown envelopes, string and a little creativity. Either way, it’s become a tradition in our household and is something we really enjoy doing, plus its a great alternative or addition to the traditional chocolate advents.

Fabric bags hang on rope as part of a homemade advent calendar

I also find that our homemade advent also doubles up as a calendar of events and things I want us to do as a family in the run-up to Christmas. For example, I know the kids love to bake gingerbread and we usually always make a trip to Winter Wonderland to ice skate, so why not keep the dates of these a surprise and let your children find out what fun activity they have planned each morning? Don’t worry, some of my suggestions are also incredibly frugal as I find there has to be a balance as well as encouraging children to give a little bit back with some acts of kindness and thoughtfulness to others.

So here are 30 fun festive suggestions to put into your own homemade advent calendars. They're in no particular order and the great thing about a homemade advent is that you can customise them to suit your own family!

A kid baking at home for Christmas

A little boy rides on a reindeer attraction at Christmas


30 advent calendar adventures:

  1. Visit a local Christmas fair
  2. Enjoy a warming cup of hot chocolate
  3. Post your letter to Santa
  4. Make homemade mince pies
  5. Craft some paper chains or homemade decorations
  6. Donate some treats to a food bank
  7. Make some homemade Christmas Cards
  8. Read a festive story together as a family
  9. Visit Winter Wonderland
  10. Watch Polar Express or Elf (or both)
  11. Listen to Christmas Carols
  12. Give a toy to someone in need
  13. Buy a tree and decorate it (or go and pick a real Christmas tree!)
  14. Make and decorate gingerbread
  15. Visit your local Christmas light display one evening
  16. Make a festive bird feeder to help keep the birds happy this winter
  17. Make reindeer food
  18. Go on a wintery walk and try spot some Elves
  19. Go to see a Panto or Christmas Theatre show
  20. Make some fudge to give as Christmas presents
  21. Hang up some mistletoe and wait for a kiss
  22. Read The Snowman and Snowdog
  23. Make paper snowflakes
  24. Write a Christmas wish and hang it on your tree
  25. Put on some Christmas music and have a silly dance party
  26. Have a go at making a wreath
  27. Enjoy a family games night
  28. Have a surprise visit to your grandparents
  29. Spend the day wearing silly Christmas jumpers
  30. Visit Santa in a grotto

A homemade Christmas wreath

A little boy meets Santa in his grotto

Another idea is to alternate a classic chocolate or small gift with these activity ideas, just pick your favourite 15! What you want to aim to do is keep the run-up to Christmas exciting and family focused, so these activities are all something that the whole family can get involved with.

Let us know your ideas for an active advent calendar in a comment below, or be sure to check out even more Christmas inspiration on our blog.




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Laura Side Street Style

29 November 2017

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Laura runs a popular family lifestyle and travel blog Side Street Style where she showcases her passion for travel, style, ethical living and photography. Laura is one of our much loved Trusted Explorers, which means all content has been written exclusively for in exchange for a contribution to their family piggy bank. All posts are first hand, honest and based on real experiences.

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