Advent Calendar Ideas


I know what you are probably thinking, I don’t need another reminder that Christmas is coming, can I just enjoy November! I get it, but if you are anything like me and enjoy doing an Advent Calendar with your kids, to make things less stressful, the key for me is putting some thought into it before December 1st rolls around. Lets just say there’s been many years where we missed the first few days of the Advent calendar. Right now since my kids are younger I don’t like to make things too complicated, so please be reassured my list is pretty doable and many activities we¬†would do regardless during the month of December are included on this calendar. I tend to lean towards participation in local events, activities, and crafts vs. presents and candy, so please keep in mind that this list represents that.

Dec. 1st: To ease into the Holiday, talk to your kids about special chores they can do from now until Christmas to earn money to donate on Christmas Eve to a local charity or church

Dec 2nd: Go and cut down your Christmas tree with the family

Dec 3rd: Decorate the Christmas tree and during the evening make hot chocolate and drive through Olin Park to see the Christmas lights

Dec 4th: Go see Olbrich’s Holiday Express

Dec 5th: Make salt dough ornaments for the Christmas tree (pick up a set of Christmas cookie cutters or just use a cup and make cute circle ornaments)

Dec 6th: Paint the salt dough ornaments

Dec 7th: Make snowman pancakes for dinner with berries and whipped cream

Dec 8th: Call your local food pantry to see what they are in need of and go shopping with your kids and deliver the items

Dec 9th: Make gingerbread houses

Dec 10th: Day trip to Chicago to see Santa at the downtown Macy’s and to Christkindlmarket

Dec 11th: Make a pine cone craft

Dec 12th: Make a family video interviewing each member of the family stating what their favorite memory of the year was

Dec 13th: Have hot chocolate with different toppings (marshmallows, sprinkles, candy canes, cinnamon sticks, whipped cream to just name a few) and watch a Christmas movie

Dec 14th: Go shopping and pick out toys to donate to a local charity and for other members of the family (talk to your kids how much fun it is to give to others)

Dec 15th: Make a Christmas tree craft

Dec 16th: Date to see the Nutcracker

Dec 17th: Go iceskating at the Edgewater or a local park (surprisingly there are quite a few Madison parks that offer it!)

Dec 18th: Make Christmas cookies (I swear by this recipe!)

Dec 19th: Frost and decorate the Christmas cookies

Dec 20th: Make a list of special people that you know would enjoy the cookies you made and deliver them

Dec 21st: Family date to see the Zoo Lights

Dec 22nd: Have a picnic dinner under the lit up Christmas tree

Dec 23rd: Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn

Dec 24th: Have a special fondue dinner with the family

***I have the weekends in italics just because it’s nice to know when planning bigger events***

Depending on how much time and ambition I have I may just print out of this list, otherwise I may use one of the following ideas to display and hang up the advent calendar:







Even if you don’t participate in an Advent Calendar, I hope this gives you ideas on what you can do with your kids during the Holiday Season.

Melissa Gammon
Melissa is a mom of a 2 year old and expecting her second child any day now! She's a foodie, loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoys reading a good book, designing, crafting and taking as many family adventures as possible. Fitting that in of course is a juggling act between being a busy stay at home mom, but she wouldn't want it any other way. Before having kids she studied and worked in architecture. She and her husband have lived in Chicago, Norfolk, Va, San Francisco and just recently moved back to Madison. You can also read about her adventures on her personal blog


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