Searching for a fun, festive way to kick-off the holiday countdown? Look no further. We’ve gathered 26 of the best advent calendars for 2018. You’ll find easy, affordable DIY options, calendars featuring your little elf’s favorite toys, and off-the-shelf options you can have delivered to your door faster than Rudolph can fly. Pick out your fave advent calendar, and let the Christmas countdown begin!

The Kind Calendar

Looking to shift your family's focus from receiving to giving? Look no further than Lovely Indeed's Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar. This free printable includes simple, actionable ideas like sending a Christmas card. The open-ended cards that say "Volunteer" or "Donate gently used toys" give you a chance to put your family's spin on the countdown by picking local nonprofit partners that are close to your heart. To create this beautiful, meaningful calendar, visit Lovely Indeed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pint-Sized Tree

Give your little ones their very own Christmas tree to decorate as they count down the days until Christmas. Melissa and Doug's Magnetic Christmas Tree comes with 25 bright, festive ornaments ready to put up on the tree one by one. It's a sturdy, kid-friendly advent calendar.

Available at worldmarket.com, $19.99.

Candy Cane Calendar

Advent calendars don't get much easier than this cheerful candy cane countdown. We love that it's a simple, festive way to deck the halls. Kids love that it's simply delicious. Pick up a few packages of your sidekick's favorite flavored candy canes, and you're well on your way to building your own. A Pretty Happy Home will tell you how you can get started.

Playmobil's 2018 Advent Calendar

Choose between the new horse farm, the NHL hockey set, a new version of the classic North Pole set or other various types of Playmobil advent calendars this year. Each one comes with all the tiny details you know and love about Playmobil! 

Available on amazon.com, $24.95.

Candy Countdown

Make use of all those snack-sized candy bars in your pantry with Hey Let's Make Stuff's Leftover Halloween Candy advent calendar. Pick up treat cups and chalkboard clothespins, and you can create your own version. Click here to find out all the holiday how-to.

DIY Bag Calendar

Little ones' eyes will be aglow when they see the toys and candy you put inside each bag in this advent calendar. We love that Alice and Lois's simple DIY Muslin Bag Advent Calendar can be used year after year—simply stuff your bags with new goodies or activities each November. Sled on over to Alice and Lois to learn how to make your own. 

STEM-Mas

Little scientists will get a kick out of the STEM Countdown Calendar from Little Bins for Little Hands. We love that the printable includes Christmas challenge cards with all sorts of things to build, test, mix, and create. From festive homemade slime to gumdrop structures and a powerful Christmas catapult, you'll find loads of hands-on fun for dark winter nights. Find out how to create your own STEM countdown at Little Bins for Little Hands.

Music and Treats

The Windel Musical Chocolate Advent Calendar is exactly as advertised. Each door opens to reveal a delicious German chocolate, and a cheerful, tinkling tune plays with the push of a button. At under $10, you can even pick up more than one—meaning no sibling fights over who gets to open each cardboard door!

Available at worldmarket.com, $8.99.

Hatchimal Christmas

Catch the Hatchimal craze with this adorable Hatchimals advent calendar. Packed full of exclusive toys and accessories, it's perfect for your little Hatchimal lover. The little extras, like stickers and paper craft decorations, make the calendar interactive—kiddos can decorate the calendar itself. Plus, at under $20, it leaves enough money leftover for the elves to pick up an extra stocking stuffer.

Available at amazon.com, $19.97.

Woodland Winter Wonderland

Pick up Favor Favour's adorable Woodland Folk Art Advent Calendar, and you'll be well on your way to creating a warm, cheerful start to the holidays. The small boxes are sized just right for a few chocolates or tiny toys. After emptying out the boxes, they double as delightful ornaments.

Available at etsy.com, $32 for 25 boxes.

A Very Disney Christmas

Get in the Christmas spirit with this new Disney advent calendarr. The festive Christmas tree-shaped box reveals 24 figures and accessories from your kiddo's fave Disney movies, like Frozen and Lilo and Stitch. The fun doesn't stop when the doors open—the cardboard cover features pop-up scenes ready for playtime.

Available at disney.com, $49.99.

12 Days of Socks

Looking for a quick countdown? Disney's 12 Days of Socks calendar offers a mix of cozy crew socks and toasty ankle socks sure to please the Disney superfan in your life. Bonus: this festive Christmas countdown is practical, too, since the socks will be worn long after you've packed up your stockings and ornaments.

Available at amazon.com, $26.98.

12 Days of Wine

We love Vinebox's grown-ups only Christmas countdown. While your little ones tear open a calendar full of toys or chocolates, you can savor a few sips of wine from your personal advent calendar—Vinebox's 12 Nights of Wine includes delicious varietals from around the world. Bonus: 10 lucky wine lovers will find a golden bottle in their countdown box, giving them a year-long Vinebox subscription through all of 2019!

available at vinebox.com, $129.

Twinkling Christmas Village

Add an extra dose of holiday magic to your holiday decor with Pottery Barn's Glitter Lit Houses Advent Calendar. The sparkling village lights up for an extra special touch. You can stock the houses with treasures and reuse this calendar year after year.

Available at potterybarn.com, $129.

Wine and Cheese Countdown

German store Aldi's beloved wine and cheese Advent calendars are available in the US for the first time this year! The cheese calendar comes in at an affordable $13 and features delicious imported goudas and cheddars. The $70 wine calendar includes with 24 small bottles of wine in white, red, rosé and bubbly varieties. There’s something for everyone, from Pinot Grigio to Merlot. It's a parents-only Advent calendar that you'll enjoy all December long!

Available in Aldi stores

A Hogwarts Holiday

Funko's brand-new Harry Potter advent calendar is the stuff that Hogwarts dreams are made of. Each door reveals a different character, including faves like Hermione, Ron, Harry, and Dumbledore. Once the countdown's complete, the figures will be ready to reenact your favorite quidditch matches while you enjoy some butterbeer.

Available soon at funko.com.

LEGO Calendar

Calling all master builders! Whether your sidekick is a LEGO Friends fan, loves Star Wars, or digs classic LEGO City sets, you'll find a LEGO advent calendar that's perfect for you. Each set includes 24 windows that minifigures, step-by-step builds, and seasonal specialty items. The Star Wars set features a TIE fighter, LEGO Friends come with a wreath and a stocking, and the LEGO City version includes Santa and a snowman. Happy building!

Available at lego.com, $29.99 - $39.99.

Dino-mite Countdown

Roar through December with this dinosaur-themed advent calendar. Your kids will love the Jurassic dose of fun, and parents will love that it's super easy for even the most exhausted elves to put together. Check out all the how-tos over at Boxy Colonial.

Target's Cheese Advent Calendar

Another addition to the adult advent calendar lineup is Target's cheese calendar. The 12-day countdown includes 24 individually wrapped cheese pieces. They come in seven varieties: Jarlsberg, Applewood, Ilchester Mature Cheddar, Ilchester Red Leicester Cheese, Ilchester Wensleydale with cranberries, Ilchester Edam and Limited Edition Ilchester Wensleydale with Gingerbread (yes, gingerbread). Can we just say…yum!

Available at Target stores starting in Nov., $20. 

The Envelope, Please

We love Dandee Designs' simple, modern DIY advent wreath. Plus, you can pick up all of the supplies at the Dollar Store! This version uses red envelopes—but you can pick any color that fits with your holiday decor. Find out how to make your own at Dandee Designs. Happy crafting!

American Girl Advent Calendar

If you've got an American Girl fan at home, a Mega Construx advent calendar filled with AG buildable pieces is just the thing for a holiday countdown. Each of the 24 windows brings a new buildable minifigure or accessory in the winter-themed set that includes a puppy, snowman, sleigh and more—in addition to two American Girl figures. Starting on Nov. 7, Aldi stores will be selling them for $17. If you don't have an Aldi near you, you can opt to purchase one (at a higher price) on Amazon.

Available at Aldi stores (Nov. 7) or on amazon.com for $25.45.  

Scratch-Off Countdown

Who doesn't love scratch-off cards? This activity-packed advent calendar created by Melanie Blodgett for Minted adds extra, festive scratch-off holiday cheer. Make your own with paint and contact paper. Find out how here.

Costco's German Beer Advent Calendar

Looking for that perfect gift for a grown-up? Whether it’s for your S.O., your in-laws, your boss or anyone totally into the taste of hops, this German beer advent calendar from KALEA is the gift of the season—and you can totally get it at Costco, to boot! Count down the 24 days before Christmas with 24 different 16.9-ounce cans of German beer deliciousness. The calendar, which retails for $59.99, also comes with a tasting guide and an integrated evaluation sheet.

Available at Costco, $59.99

Story Time

December is the perfect time to snuggle up by the fire with a good book, and this advent calendar gives you two dozen chances to do just that! Wrap up Christmas-themed books you already own and pick up a few more at your local used bookstore to round out your collection. You'll count down the season with a story each night. Find out how to make your own at Jolly Mom.

Reverse Advent Calendar

Give back this year with a reverse advent calendar. To DIY your own, decorate a cardboard box or basket, then contribute one item to the basket daily until Dec. 25th, when it’s finally ready to be delivered to a homeless shelter or food bank in your area. We suggest prepping your list and stockpiling supplies ahead of time, so it’s easy for you little elves to do their part!

Trader Joe's Dog Advent Calendar

Even your fur baby can get in on the fun this year! Because the product hasn’t yet hit stores, it’s unclear whether the countdown to Christmas will be a 12- or 25-day advent calendar, but we bet it will be packed with prime puppy goodies. If TJ’s dog treats are anything like their super-tasty treats for humans, we bet puppers far and wide will go dog wild for them.

Available soon at Trader Joe's. 

—Oz Spies with Erica Loop & Karly Wood

RELATED STORIES:

Christmas Activity Tree: 25 Innovative Ways to Countdown to the Holidays

These 2018 LEGO Advent Calendars Are 24 Days of Awesome Holiday Fun

12 Days of Disney Socks Is the Advent Calendar You Never Knew You Needed

Hello, 24 Days of Girl Power: Where to Buy The American Girl Advent Calendar