Holiday Countdown: 31 Activities for the Whole Family

Consider this your December bucket list.

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Happy Holidays!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it also feels like the busiest. So, to make sure you and your kids don’t miss a minute of the holiday magic this month, start a new tradition and create a holiday countdown for your family.

A countdown chart or calendar is the perfect way to spread out all of the activities and holiday traditions you want to share with your kids, and it makes everything manageable. To get the most out of the calendar, remember to assign activities on the days that work for you and your family, and make it flexible so you can make changes if needed.

Not sure where to start? Here are 31 ideas to fill out your holiday countdown that are fun, easy, festive and will keep kids and adults entertained all month long.

Watch the Video: Hacks for Surviving the Holidays with Kids

Ornament DIY

Make memory ornaments. Check out this DIY video so you can create these simple but meaningful ornaments that your whole family will love.

Bake Holiday Treats

Bake cookies and try out new kid-friendly recipes. Here’s some of our favorites.

Share the Sweetness

Deliver some of those cookies to friends and neighbors.

Read Together

Make a special trip to the library or bookstore to get a few new holiday books and read them before bed.

Give Back

The holiday season is all about giving. Choose a simple way your family can give back. From donating or volunteering at animal shelters to collecting food and gifts for families in need, make it a family affair.

Try Indoor Camping

Have a Christmas campout! Celebrate with each other by breaking out the snacks, holiday movies and lots of pillows and blankets. Snuggle up and enjoy some family time.

See the Lights

Drive through neighborhoods and look at houses decorated for the holidays.

Remember Those Far Away

Call or make a short video for friends and family who you won’t see over the holidays.

Put Together Something Personal

Make homemade gifts. Here are a few great ideas!

Send a Letter to Santa

Write and mail letters to Santa.

Be Kind

Make someone’s day merry and bright with a random act of kindness.

Get in Some One-on-One Time

Go on a holiday date with each of your kids. Take them out to lunch, go shopping and just spend some one-on-one time with your kids during this special season.

Host a Wrapping Session

Wrap presents together.

Get Everyone Involved in Cooking

Make dinner together and be sure to include a special holiday dessert.

Have a Gift Exchange Party

Host a secret snowflake party for friends where you exchange inexpensive gifts.

Create DIY Decorations

Make your own decorations, like these glitter lanterns.

Indulge Yourself with Hot Chocolate

Sip on hot cocoa and be sure to add some of your favorite toppings like marshmallows, sprinkles and candy canes.

Jam Out to Holiday Classics

Dance and sing along to your favorite holiday tunes.

Snowball Fight!

Play in the snow. No snow where you live? No problem, here’s how you can make DIY snow for your kids.

See a Tree Lighting

Attend a Christmas festival or tree lighting in your town.

Show Off Your Vocals

Go caroling–even if it’s just at your neighbor’s house.

Win an Ugly Sweater Contest

Make ugly Christmas sweaters or socks. Here’s some inspiration.

Rock Matching PJs

Wear matching pajamas while you decorate your home or watch holiday movies.

Snap a Few Pics

Take lots of family photos in matching pajama or ugly sweaters.

Get Your Gumdrop Buttons Ready

Decorate gingerbread houses.

See Your Favorite Holiday Production

Watch the Nutcracker or find a production near you.

Play with Your Little Reindeer

Play a few reindeer games for a family game night.

Enjoy Your Favorite Outdoor Winter Activities

Go ice skating or on a sleigh ride.

Open Up with Your Family

As you decorate, share the stories behind your ornaments so your kids know why your decorations are special to you.

Get Ready for the New Year

Turn some extra holiday décor into New Year’s Eve party decorations. Ring in the New Year with twinkling lights and garlands.

Set Goals Together

Make family resolutions for the New Year. Be sure to write them down and display them in your home.

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