15 Inexpensive Family Activities You’ll Love This Christmas
Christmas break always takes F. O. R. E. V. E. R. to arrive and then flies by way too quickly! Who else can whole-heartedly agree?! I have found that while spontaneity is fun, some intentional planning also helps us really make the most of our holiday break.
Today, I thought it would be fun to share a round-up of ideas that we have either tried and enjoyed, plan to try this year, or want to include in the future!
If you are a parent or grandparent, you know how quickly all those fun, little activities can add up and end up being expensive! Especially if you have a few kiddos involved!
We make it a point each year to set some money aside for a fun family activity. Living in Florida, we have fun options like SeaWorld and Disney. We have also enjoyed The Polar Express experience and little weekend trips.
Those kinds of experiences leave me needing to be a little more creative with the rest of our break! And sometimes, it is super helpful to not have to be the one to “create” the ideas!
So, here is a round up of fun ideas from myself and other bloggers too.
Hopefully this helps you create some of those intentional, memory-making moments with your family this year too!
Crafts are an Inexpensive Christmas Idea!
My kids love doing little crafts! And even though there is a range of 6 years from oldest to youngest, simple crafts are an activity that they all enjoy together. You can find 4 different craft ideas HERE.
These have become fun little keepsakes but none of them cost very much at all! In fact, almost all of them are things we dug out from the odds and ends of the arts and crafts bin or found on sale!
My kids had a lot of fun with them and I think your children or grandchildren will enjoy them too!
Cookies are always a fun idea!
Here’s our special family recipe:
You can’t go wrong with making cookies, right?! Our family has a little tradition that my husband, Robb, used to do with his dad. It usually ends with a big mess, but the best kinds of memories.
This is a fun thing that Robb does with our kids, so I usually try to escape for a little last-minute shopping or just enjoy a Hallmark movie in the other room. It’s a win-win for us all!!!
Here is the special recipe:
"Chocolate Chipper" Cookies
- 2 Cups Shortening
- 2 Cups White Sugar
- 2 Cups Brown Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Tsp Vanilla
- 4 Cups Flour
- 4 Cups Oatmeal
- 1 Package Chocolate Chips
- Combine shortening, brown & white sugars & eggs with a mixer
- Add in salt, baking powder, baking soda, & vanilla. Mix together
- Add in flour, oatmeal & chocolate chips & combine with spatula until well-mixed.
- Roll batter into balls, place on cookie sheet, & bake for 350 for 12-14 minutes
You Can’t Go Wrong With DIY Paper Snowflakes!
DIY paper bag snowflakes are such a fun trend! And what a perfect way to entertain kiddos…plus create some fun decor that can transition into winter! (Find more winter decorating ideas HERE!). At Home With the Barkers shares an easy way to make these paper snowflakes a fun (and super inexpensive!) activity to try this year!
Plus, I think they would make the cutest New Year’s Eve decor too!
5 Minute Snow Ice Cream?
The perfect inexpensive family idea for winter break!
Okay, this takes me way back to my childhood days in Kansas! We didn’t usually get much snow until January or February, but snow ice cream is the BEST!
This recipe from Our Tiny Nest gives you a 5-minute recipe and priceless memories…without costing anything! It’s making my mouth water and maybe, just maybe, we can try this when we visit family in Indiana this year! Fingers crossed for fresh snow!
DIY Window Wreaths Can Spark Some Creativity!
This simple DIY window wreath tutorial from Home With Marieza is such a fun idea! You could even gather supplies and do a “wreath contest” with a group of friends or family! A fun spin on gingerbread house contests, right?
I love that this project could be tweaked a little to make pretty winter wreaths to transition after Christmas too! You could also gather FREE elements like fresh evergreen cuttings from the tree farm, pinecones, and twigs to make this super budget-friendly!
DIY Christmas Stars are a Great Inexpensive Family Activities!
This is the sweetest Christmas craft and definitely an inexpensive family activity! Fifth Sparrow No More shares a free printable on her blog post. You could make these Christmas stars as simple as a coloring activity or go all out with paint and glitter! I’m going to print this out to use in my classroom next year too.
25 Inexpensive Family Activities to do with Teens!
My friend Melanie from Parenting High Schoolers put together a wonderful list of 25 activities that are fun for teens! I love the idea of keeping them busy, but in fun and meaningful ways. There are a lot of ideas on this list that you can do as a family, too, so we are going to see what we can fit in ourselves in the next few weeks! You won’t want to miss this list!
You Can’t Go Wrong with Gingerbread Activities!
These kits are inexpensive, so it should make for a fun Christmas break activity without costing a lot!
This game looks like a “ball”!
Sorry, couldn’t help myself with that pun!
Local Churches Often Have Inexpensive (or Free) Family Activities!
One thing that our family often does is to check with our friends who attend different churches or even do a quick google search for local churches. During the Christmas season, there are often special events offered to the community, such as special concerts, drama productions, and live Nativities.
We like to be involved in the large production our own church does and then it is fun to visit other community events. We especially love the Live Nativity that one of our local churches does each year!
Getting Crafty with Food is Always a Family Favorite!
Especially if it involves chocolate!
Liberty from B 4 and Afters shared this fun idea for chocolate covered pretzel snowmen. I love that this uses such easy ingredients and leaves lots of room for imagination and creativity! That is always a win for my kids and keeps them occupied a lot longer!
These look delicious AND fun! A perfect inexpensive family activity for the winter break!
Don’t forget about these FREE family activities!
Maybe you’re the family that schedules in this tradition and makes sure it happens. Somehow, we are not that family! In fact, I realized the other day that we hadn’t really seen any lights yet!
So in case you need a reminder too, get everyone in their Christmas pjs, fix some thermoses of hot chocolate, turn up the Christmas music, and enjoy a free evening together!
If you’re not sure where to go in your area that will definitely have big light displays, check with local Facebook mom groups or community happenings. You’ll probably find out about more inexpensive family activities than you can possible fit in! They will definitely be able to point you in the direction of some free and fun light displays!
Driving around to see lights and singing Christmas songs is basically free. Time…it’s priceless. Enjoy it!
Making Christmas Candy? Don’t miss this recipe!
There’s Christmas baking, which is always fun, but my favorite is really the Christmas candy making! We aren’t fancy about it so it’s really just all about dipping alllllll the things in chocolate and covering them in sprinkles.
And, the easier the recipe, the better for us!
My friend Suzanne from Shop at Blu shared this classic Christmas candy recipe that I had forgotten about! These will be fun and easy for the kids, but also add a little something different to our candy trays this year! Does anyone else make Rolo Pretzel Turtles? This recipe is so easy and so super yummy!
Inexpensive family activities with what you already have on hand…
The kids are going to love this one!
If you have younger kids or grandkids, this is a must-do! My younger kids still enjoy being creative with play dough, though this edible recipe looks so yummy that it may not last very long! Find Nicolle’s homemade edible play dough recipe HERE at Our Tiny Nest!
DIY ornaments make great activities to keep everyone busy and having fun!
My friend Rachel from The Ponds Farmhouse shared this super cute DIY ornament idea! These are perfect for older kids or just a little assistance for the younger kids. You could even take it a step further and use the DIY ornaments on your tablescape like I did on this post!
DIY ornaments are perfect for inexpensive family activities and something you can use on gifts, tables, or simply hang on your tree! I love activities that get everyone involved and keep all the kids having fun for awhile together!
Hopefully you can use some of the things on this list to help make your holiday break memorable and intentional and maybe it even sparks some of your own creative ideas! Be sure to share those in the comments below. We always need more ideas!!!
Most of all, the time spent together is the best gift of all this Christmas!