The last month of the year is upon us, and December is the perfect time for fun family activities. From Christmas cookies to decking the halls and more, we’ve got 30 family activities that are all about family bonding during the holidays. Read on for our favorite festive things to do this month. 

1. Hang your advent calendar and start the Christmas countdown. Here are a few creative Advent calendars your family will love.

2. It wouldn’t be the holiday season without baking. How about baking a pie? From razzleberry to vegan chocolate, we’ve got your pie recipes.

3. Get creative with your Elf on the Shelf. Here are over 43 fun ways to set up your Christmas elf.

4. Start a new tradition where you play a Christmas game each day. Here are 22 games to entertain your family.

5. Make any day Giving Tuesday. Encourage your kiddos to gather spare change around the house and then decide, as a family, to give it to a local nonprofit organization.

photo: iStock

6. Have a holiday book night. Grab seasonal books, make hot cocoa and pop popcorn for a family night in. Here are a few of our favorite holiday books for kids.

7. Get ready to cook for the holidays using everyone’s favorite kitchen appliance–the InstantPot. From appetizers to desserts, here are all the holiday recipes you’ll need.

8. Get artsy and crafty with these 11 holiday-inspired paper crafts.

9. Take a road trip or long drive exploring back roads and listen to our favorite Christmas songs and albums in the car.


10. Get out the pens and paper and write holiday greetings on Dec. 7, National Letter Writing Day. Write to Santa, grandparents or create your own holiday cards.

11. Make and decorate a gingerbread house on National Gingerbread House Day on Dec. 12. Here are a few gingerbread-making tips and tricks to keep the holiday cheer simple and fun.

12. Decorate your Christmas tree with handmade ornaments. Here are 22 easy ornament crafts you can make at home.

photo: iStock

13. Play winter games. From I Spy, Winter Edition to paper snowflakes and paint by number, here are 38 free and easy winter activities to do anytime.

14. Hanukkah begins the night of Dec. 10. Celebrate the Festival of Lights by spinning the dreidel and making potato latkes.

15. National Ugly Sweater Day is Dec. 20. Host an ugly Christmas sweater party for kids and parents in honor of the day. Need some ugly inspiration? We’ve got you covered with these hideous sweaters.

16. Bake Christmas cookies and give cookie trays to friends and neighbors. Here are 52 cookie recipes that will make mouths water.

17. Deck your halls for the holidays. Twinkle lights and garlands make great ways to decorate. Here are 18 holiday garlands and 20 DIY wreaths you can make with kids.

18. Watch a virtual holiday musical or performance cozied up in family pajamas. 

19. Visit your city’s neighborhood holiday light displays. Bundle up and bring along some hot chocolate for added spirit.

20. Get out the holiday favorites like Frosty the Snowman, Home Alone and Elf for family movie night.

photo: istock

21. Celebrate Hanukkah by making your own menorah. Here are three easy menorahs you can make at home.

22. Make snack time a winter wonderland with these super cute snowman snacks.

23. Take the family outside the house for a photo session. Capture a few memories in the snow or in a pine tree farm.

24. Adopt a family and raise money or donate toys to them. Here are other ways to volunteer without leaving the house

25. Start a fancy new tradition by having a holiday tea at home.

photo: iStock

26. Have a fire and tell a family story in honor of the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, on Dec. 21. And then play some flashlight games

27, If you live in a snowy area, get outside and go sledding, build a snowman and make snow angels.

28. Have a family dance party.

29. Get ready to light candles and celebrate Kwanzaa, which starts on Dec. 26.

30. Host a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party. Here are a few creative ideas for a fun bash to ring in the new year. 

—Gabby Cullen with Leah Singer

Featured image: iStock 



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