How to Plan Family Friendly Holiday Activities

Sharing fun holiday ideas for kids to create memorable moments as a family this season.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

And yet... how is it that it can be so special and yet stressful at the same time? Schedules are off due to lack of school and an influx of parties. Diets are wacky thanks to sugary sweetness and nostalgic comfort food. Couple those with lack of sleep and you are in the market for some cranky kids. There's a million things on the to do list between recipes to make, events to attend and gifts to buy. Before you know it, it's January and you're not quite sure what memorable moments you have to hold onto. That's where we come in! 

Here are some kids holiday activities, holiday games, and activity ideas to combat your children’s boredom this holiday season. 

11 Family Friendly Holiday Activities and Tips 

  • Make a Holiday Countdown Calendar.  Use your Hearth Display or family calendar to let your kids mark off each day toward any holiday you celebrate as the excitement grows. If you don’t have a wall calendar, Advent calendars and similar offerings are available at most stores around this time. This gives them something to look forward to and provides a visual reminder for questions like, “how long until we go to Grandma’s house?” or “how many sleeps until Hanukkah?” so you don’t have to answer 7 times a day. :) 
  • Make Interactive Holiday Recipes. Some of our favorite kid-friendly recipes are by Inspiralized. Turn her spinach-banana-oat muffins into wreaths or her broccoli grilled cheese into “Grinch cheeses.” Cooking and baking with your kids not only teaches an important life skill, but incorporates the concept of following instructions, the scientific elements of cooking, and more. Don’t forget to include your family’s holiday recipes like latkes, Challah bread, and even your great aunt’s sugar cookies. Your kids will have so much fun learning about family recipes and likely get much more enjoyment from eating foods they help prepare. Decorating cookies is always a good idea, but especially during this time of year. Incorporating family traditions through food is especially fun! There’s also loads of kid friendly holiday treats on Pinterest if you can’t think of any to prepare.
  • Color Pages. Even adults color these days. Print off some free holiday themed coloring pages from Crayola and your kids will be set (well, at least for a little while). Maybe pair them with some new, holiday edition markers or colored pencils. Paints and crayons are fun too!
  • Think Seasonal. There are so many new things to do with the changing of the seasons. Send them on a crunchy leaf hunt in the backyard. Are there any harvest events you can attend whether it’s pumpkins, holiday trees, or fall / winter seasonals? You may even get some hot chocolate and a fun hayride out of it!
  • Get Outside. Try taking a walk in the neighborhood or a local park. Bring a list of seasonal items to try and find together, play Eye Spy, or just chat about your favorite holiday traditions. Just be sure to dress accordingly!
  • Find Special Community Events. From “boo at the zoo” to holiday book readings at the local library, there are a lot of seasonal events going on. Connect with your community, church or temple, or even your local mall, as there is sure to be something your children can enjoy.
  • Make Music. This season comes with so many special songs. You can have a dance party in your home to your favorite jingles. Free and fun! There are bound to be local sing alongs, holiday concerts, ballets and more, to get you and your kids into the holiday spirit. 
  • Send Mail. No, not just letters to Santa. Find a local charity or outreach program and have your kids write or draw cards to other kids. This will teach them to give back to their community, especially around this time of year.  
  • Give Back. Every day of the year is a great opportunity to incorporate volunteering into your family’s lives, but the holidays often bring about even more opportunities to give back to your local community. There are often food drives, children’s gift drives, and more throughout the holidays – getting your kids involved is a great way to get their minds off of their own presents, and encourage them to think about others as well. 
  • Host a Holiday Movie Night. Plan to watch a Christmas movie and have themed food around it. Think “Elf food groups” or “Polar Express hot chocolate.” You can even theme crafts around this! If movies aren’t your thing, try doing the same thing, but around a holiday themed book. It works just as well and takes less time.
  • Dive into the Dollar Section. When in doubt, raid the dollar section at your favorite superstore. There are so many fun crafts and holiday activities for kids around this time of year that don’t break the bank and create hours of fun.

We hope you have so much fun with this list! Don’t stress and keep in mind that your kids will remember the time you shared with them this season, not how much money you spent. Enjoy these holiday activity ideas and make the most of what is left of this year!

Enjoyed this post? Check out other posts in our "How To" series: 
How To Develop Time Management Skills with Kids
How To Show Appreciation for Your Kids' Teachers
How to Have Fun Activities for Kids at Home