The holidays are here and with them comes an opportunity to make lasting memories with your family through the myriad of fun activities unique to the season. Whether these are classics for you or perhaps a chance to begin an all new tradition, consider the following if you are looking for ideas for fun holiday activities:

Advent Calendar

An advent calendar is a special calendar counting down the days until Christmas. These often resonate with children, as there tends to be a lot of anticipation built up around Christmas normally, but advent calendars provide a neat visual element to accompany this. Many advent calendars have compartments for each day, which can be stored with smaller holiday gifts or treats to commemorate the moments leading up to Christmas. Or each day can even contain plans to do a holiday activity. Whether you plan these out as a family or keep these a surprise, this is an excellent way to have a bit of fun every day of December


Christmas Light Displays

Christmas lights are another signature part of the holidays. Decorating with lights is a great activity that also beautifies your home in the spirit of the holidays. In some cases, people will go to great lengths to set up elaborate displays of light and even sound. If you’re not quite into doing that for your own home, you can still enjoy the light displays of others. In fact, many businesses or other private organizations invest in truly expansive light displays open for the public view. You can check if there are any in your area, and make a family activity of walking through them, enjoying the show.

Ice Skating

While it is true you can skate at a rink most any time, some prefer doing this outdoors as a unique winter activity. If you are not an avid skater, learning as a family can be a fun way not just to have fun but get some exercise as well. And since many people rely on holding onto someone else while skating, it can be a way for the children and adults in the group to support each other. Of course, make sure that the ice being used is safe and rated for skating as an activity.

Holiday Reading

Over time, many stories and books have been written that specifically use the holidays or Christmas as a setting. Some even have a list of Christmas literature that they read annually. While A Christmas Carol might be a bit much as a family activity, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express have established themselves as holiday classics and traditions that all ages can enjoy a reading of. And those are just common examples. Your family history may have a wholly unique Christmas story that’s worth retelling every year.

Cooking and Dining

A holiday dinner or feast is a relatively common tradition in many homes. And there’s little wonder why. Nothing brings a family or group of friends together, quite like a festive holiday dinner. Sometimes it is the activity of cooking as a family that makes the tradition. Or, at times, it might be a treasured family recipe or dish. It could even be eating out at a favorite or memorable restaurant. Whichever the case may be, food is the bedrock for many a valued holiday tradition or memory.

Decorating the Tree

The tree is yet another bastion of holiday tradition. For some, the ritual begins as early as choosing a live tree every year. The act of going to a farm as a family, viewing all the trees, then picking one to take home has an appeal, much like choosing pumpkins in autumn. Live trees have that signature pine smell and are naturally much more biodegradable than artificial ones. However, going live does require some attention and upkeep, as the tree needs to be watered regularly to maintain its lush color and keep it somewhat fire-resistant. And even then, you will need to respect the tree as a potential fire hazard at all times. If you go the artificial tree route, you still need to be careful about electric fire risks.

Whichever tree you choose, decorations can be a great source of holiday activities. Making decorations can make for great crafts, and all ages may participate. Or there may be decorations that have been in the family for a long time that can have stories or deeper meaning attached to them. However you adorn the tree, it makes for a natural gathering place for the entire family.


The holidays are a time of giving. At the community, school, and often even the corporate level, there is a myriad of ways you can help out the less fortunate this season. Toy and food drives are very easy ways to participate and get vital supplies where they are needed most. Some of these programs include the distribution of toys to needy children, often at a school or similar place. If you have never seen Christmas gifts being given to a child in need, it is a singularly moving experience.

Soup kitchens are often in need of help and are very important during this colder time of the year. Even something like visiting a nursing home or convalescent center can bring invaluable cheer to those in need. Material needs are one thing, but being alone during this time of year can be very daunting. In some cases, sharing just your time may mean everything to someone else.

For many, the holidays are a time of tradition. There are inspiration and comfort to be had during this time of year by sharing these experiences with loved ones in your life. If you do any of the things on this list, be sure to be safe and have the happiest of holidays while doing so.