50 Fun Christmas Ideas for Families – Free & Cheap!

The holiday season is such a busy time of year. It’s easy to find our schedules jam-packed, but it’s important to make time for creating special family memories, too. At Christmas, fun ideas with family are more important than ever.

Whether you prefer cozy nights inside at home or getting out and about, there are plenty of meaningful and entertaining ways to enjoy the wonder of the season. Kids of all ages are sure to love activities that can create lasting memories to treasure year after year.

Most of these ideas are safe to enjoy this year! This holiday season may look a little (or a lot) different than we’re used to, but we can still make wonderful memories with the ones we love.

Make the most of the time with your family this year and find new traditions to start with kids of all ages. These free and incredibly inexpensive activities can become treasured parts of Christmas seasons to come!

Here are 50 fun Christmas ideas for families:

Set up a hot cocoa bar and let kids choose their favorite candies/toppings to include.

Make salt-dough tree ornaments.

Read a Christmas or winter-themed book a day for 24 days.

Drive around town to look at Christmas lights and decorations.

Bundle up and fill to-go cups with hot cocoa, and then walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.

Help kids make their own Christmas cards for friends and family.

Make garlands out of popcorn or dried orange slices.

Invite friends over for a Christmas cookie decorating party.

Have a gift-wrapping get-together to decorate and design DIY gift wraps and wrap presents.

Go thrift-store shopping for “Ugly” Christmas sweaters.

Host a cookie exchange with friends, family, and neighbors.

Make an advent calendar with Dollar Tree supplies.

Enjoy egg nog “mocktails”.

Write and mail letters to Santa!

Buy canned goods and deliver them to a local food pantry.

Make DIY candy jars for teachers.

Attend a local tree lighting ceremony.

Plan a weekly movie night to watch favorite family Christmas movies.

Let kids choose a toy from the store to donate to Toys for Tots.

Host a game night with Christmas minute to win it games.

Make cards and/or cookies and deliver to a local nursing home or senior center.

Drop off sweet treats to the local firehouse for first responders.

Send kids off on a Christmas themed scavenger hunt.

Create an activity-themed advent calendar.

Make and decorate popsicle stick photo frames and include a family photo.

Take pictures with Santa for free or cheap – check local craft fairs, church holiday sales, indoor farmer’s markets, etc.

“Camp” out under the glow of the Christmas tree lights.

Stroll around a Christmas tree farm, even if you aren’t cutting down a tree.

Whip up tasty Christmas candy and delicious fudge.

Make a toilet paper roll snowman, Santa, or elf or a sock snowmen.

Have the kids make homemade gift tags.

Help kids put on their very own Christmas performance in the living room.

Stop by a live nativity outside of a local church.

Bundle up and take a nature walk to explore how the outdoors changes during the winter.

Make and play with gingerbread playdough.

Design and cut out paper snowflakes.

Use craft paper rolls to make one-of-a-kind, DIY wrapping paper designs.

Make easy DIY wrapped yarn ornaments.

Visit a senior center or nursing home to bring holiday cheer to senior citizens.

Have the kids make homemade Christmas cards to give to a children’s hospital.

Spend an evening making easy DIY Christmas gifts for everyone on your list!

Surprise the kids with a special message from Santa – check out all the options for a free Santa message!

Go through your pantry and donate canned goods to a local food bank.

Spend an evening before Christmas talking about the best memories of the year and sharing hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

Make paper chain garland to hang in the kid’s bedrooms for extra charm and cheer.

Light a candle in memory of loved ones who are no longer with us and share favorite memories of them.

Let the kids choose Christmas-themed recipes and prepare them together.

Follow Santa’s Journey on Christmas Eve with the NORAD Santa Tracker.

On Christmas Day when the family gets together, have the kids interview family members, and record their answers.

Create a family journal and add new memories each year of the fun things you’ve done over the holidays.

Fun Christmas ideas for families don’t have to cost much or anything at all! These 50 ideas can become new traditions or can simply be great ways to spend quality time together.

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