Budget Friendly Christmas Activities to Do with the Kids This Year

Finding some budget-friendly Christmas activities to do with the kids is a great way to save money and have fun. If you are looking for some kid-friendly Christmas activities to do with the family this year, you are going to love these fun ideas.

What’s even better is that many of these kid-friendly Christmas activities are cheap or even free. That’s great because then you don’t have to worry about spending a lot to have some fun with the kids.

Money can be tight during the holidays so finding some free or inexpensive ways to spend time with the family is a blessing. These activities are fun, entertaining, and sure to leave everyone smiling as they make some holiday memories.

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities

Make Holiday Crafts

One of the first things we think of when it comes to budget friendly Christmas activities to do with the kids is making holiday crafts. There are a ton of different crafts that can be made for the holidays.

A few holiday craft ideas and budget friendly Christmas activities for the family:

  • Toilet paper roll crafts (like this cute Christmas wreath)
  • Photo crafts
  • Pine cone crafts
  • Paper crafts (paper snowflakes and stars are always cheap, easy, and fun)
  • Holiday yarn crafts like these Santa Hats
  • Holiday themed popsicle stick crafts
  • Make Christmas Gift Tags
  • Winter or holiday mason jar crafts

The possibilities are endless when it comes to holiday crafts. You can use just about anything you find around the house to create a craft or something new. If you don’t have supplies on hand, a simple inexpensive trip to the Dollar Tree can get you everything you need.

Create Christmas Character Masks

This is a fun creative activity everyone can do together. Use paper plates, paint, and pipe cleaners to make Christmas-themed character masks.

Create masks that look like reindeers, Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and other neat characters. Or, you can go all wild and create your own custom Christmas masks that have nothing to do with characters.

Make Christmas Ornaments

There is nothing quite as special as preparing homemade ornaments with your children. It’s also fun to look back over the years at the holiday ornaments they made when they were little. Talk about a flood of memories coming your way when you decorate the Christmas tree!

If you are into crafting or if you make any of the above holiday crafts, turn them into Christmas ornaments! You can also create custom Christmas ornaments and let the kids get creative.

To give you a few ideas, here are a few tutorials on making your own Christmas ornaments:

Bake Christmas Cookies

Baking holiday sweets, especially cookies, is always fun during the holidays. The kids will love helping you create the recipes and decorating the cookies.

You can make holiday cookies, such as chocolate chip cookies, and use red and green M&M’s for the chocolate pieces. See some of our favorite Christmas cookies here!

Bonus! Make a big batch of Christmas cookies so you can give them to friends and family as gifts. You can find some pretty cool boxes and wrapping paper at the Dollar Tree for pretty cheap.

Drive Around to See the Christmas Lights & Decorations

One of the best things about the holidays is seeing the Christmas lights that everyone has put out.

Some houses can get pretty creative when it comes to their Christmas decorations you’ll always find something unique. Hopefully, on your drive, you come across a house that has set the lights to some holiday music. Those are so much fun to see and the kids really enjoy them.

Many towns also let you experience the lights by driving through areas that have been set up just for a Christmas light show. Local parks and event areas are often where you will find the best drive-through Christmas displays.

Design Your Own Ugly Christmas Sweaters

You know those fun but ugly Christmas sweaters that make their way out during the holidays. Not only are they fun to wear, but they are also fun to create.

To make the ugly Christmas sweaters, you can get out any old sweaters that the kids have outgrown or no longer wear. Then, it’s all about getting creative and having fun!

Remember, it’s called the ugly Christmas sweater for a reason, so go all out with the tackiness and wild designs! Add holiday ornaments, glue things to the sweaters, create your own custom designs, and anything else you can think of!

Once you have made your sweaters, you can have a competition to see who made the best ugly Christmas sweater.

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities – Make Your Own Christmas Cards

Another fun and creative activity that you can do with the kids is to make your own Christmas cards. The cards can then be given to friends and families during the holidays. You can even put the homemade cards with the treats and give them as a packaged gift.

For family members who live farther away, just put a card in an envelope and mail it to them.

You may like these printable Christmas coloring cards for kids.

Set Up a Christmas Karaoke Night

Definitely fun, having a Christmas karaoke night to holiday music will have everyone laughing. Let everyone sing (or try to) their favorite Christmas song.

Don’t worry, if you don’t have a fancy microphone on hand, use anything you want. Wooden spoons, whisks, or sticks all make great microphones when you are singing!

Wondering where to find the holiday music? Just use the music apps on your phone, YouTube, or even the radio.

Decorate for Christmas

Get everyone in the Christmas spirit by decorating the home together as a family. Let the children help with adding ornaments to the tree and hanging decorations in the windows.

If it isn’t too cold outside, everyone can head out and decorate the yard or the house for the holidays.

Visit Local Holiday Events

If you are looking to get out and enjoy the holiday weather and show some holiday spirit, go see the holiday events in the area. Most festivals and events will have some fun activities for everyone to participate in.

As the kids take part in visiting Santa, make Christmas crafts, and participate in the activities, lots of memories will be made. Most events will even offer tasty food treats that you can enjoy while you are there. Those are typically free or inexpensive.

This is a great opportunity to get the whole family together for the holidays.

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities: Visit Santa

Be sure to take your children to see Santa! This is something fun that most kids can enjoy.

Not only can they tell him what they’d like to get for Christmas, but they can also take a picture with him to have as a keepsake for years to come.

Many malls will have Santa come to visit during the weekends or certain times throughout the month. If you don’t have a mall close by, you can also check for any local events where Santa will make his appearance.

Go Sledding

One of the best things about winter is the fact that you can slide down those steep hills with a sled. If you don’t have a traditional sled, that’s ok! You can get creative with your sleds and use a snowboard, surfboard, trash can lid, or anything that is light enough to help you make your way down the hill.

Everyone will have a blast with this budget-friendly Christmas activity!

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities: Have a Christmas Movie Marathon

Take a day to relax and be lazy by having a Christmas movie marathon day. Just pick a night during Christmas break to spend on the couch, cuddled up with your favorite movie treats and holiday movies.

These Rudolph celery and peanut butter sticks make great holiday snacks for kids and adults!

Choose your family favorites or find some holiday movies that you haven’t seen yet and lounge around with the kids as you enjoy the movies.

It’s a fantastic way to spend quality time bonding while enjoying an excellent Christmas movie. Plus, it is a great activity to do when it’s too cold to do any outdoor activities.

Play Christmas Games with the Kids

Christmas printables were mentioned before and you can often find things like Christmas bingo cards you can print out and play.

There are also games that you can create on the fly or do while at home. Some ideas that come to mind are:

  • Would You Rather (Christmas Style)
  • Christmas Pictionary
  • See who can create the best ugly Christmas sweater
  • Jingle Bell Toss or Marshmallow Toss
  • Guess that Christmas Tune
  • Christmas Scavenger Hunt
  • Holiday Trivia Games
  • Tic Tac Toe with Small Christmas Candies or Toys
  • Holiday Guessing Games

For most of these Christmas games, there are no rules that you HAVE to follow. You can make them up as you go along or design a special rule set for your family. If the rules are fair, everyone will have fun!

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities: Build A Snowman Together

If the snow has fallen, head outside with the kids to make a snowman in the front or back yard. If there is a lot of snow, you can make your own snowman family!

The kids will have a blast playing in the snow and dressing up their snowman. To dress him up for the holidays, the kids can wrap his neck in a scarf, add some button eyes, and put a carrot in his face for his nose.

Make Christmas Wreaths

Grab some supplies from your local arts and craft store and work together with your children to make Christmas wreaths. You can make one big wreath or have each person make their own.

Once the wreaths have been made, you hang them on the door or somewhere around the home for decorative purposes.

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities: Make a Gingerbread House

You only need a few supplies to make a gingerbread house or you can purchase an inexpensive gingerbread house kit to make.

It’s fun trying to get the pieces of the house to stick together before adding gumdrops and other candies to them for decorative purposes.

Make Breakfast Together

Get the family together to create your favorite breakfast food. You can do breakfast casseroles, holiday-theme specialties, or something as simple as a waffle bowl filled with fruit.

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities: Go Ice Skating

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to go ice skating if you can! Even if you don’t have much experience on the ice, it’s a way to have fun and try something different with your loved ones. It also gives you the opportunity to create some lasting memories together.

Give the Gift of Giving Back

Give the gift of giving back to others by collecting food for the less fortunate with your children. Collecting food and donating it will help teach them to have compassion and empathy for others who are in difficult situations during the holiday season.

Instead of collecting canned foods, they can also donate their time at local events, soup kitchens, and even toy drives.

Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

Make homemade hot chocolate with the kids and let them customize their drinks with their favorite flavors.

For example, you can let them add extra marshmallows, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, and other fun foods and flavors that will taste great.

Go Christmas Caroling

If you want to take a more traditional approach to celebrate Christmas, take the kids out for a night of caroling.

You can even get your neighbors, friends, and family in on the fun as you go around the neighborhood singing your favorite Christmas songs.

In Conclusion: Budget Friendly Christmas Activities

The holidays are all about spending time with the ones we love and creating some magical holiday memories.

These are just a few budget-friendly Christmas activities that you can do with the kids, and everyone will have a great time as you make some special memories.

Budget Friendly Christmas Activities to Do with the Kids This Year


  1. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing I am always looking for more things to do with the kids.

  2. megan beaver says:

    Driving to see Christmas lights are our favorite frugal thing to do during the holidays. These are great suggestions.

  3. Charina Rasing says:

    Christmas is not just about buying gifts and shopping. Let’s not fall into that trap. Spending time with the family and enjoying all these activities are better ways to spend Christmas.

  4. I am always looking for ways to keep the kids busy over the holiday break. These are great ideas, and even better that they are inexpensive!

  5. We love love love making gingerbread houses every Christmas. It’s tradition in our house 🙂

  6. Monica Simpson says:

    These are all so fun! You don’t have to spend a lot of money to spend time together during this season. I still need to bake cookies with the kids and I love that idea of designing our own ugly sweaters.

  7. Briana Baker says:

    Love all of these! Always looking for rainy day activities!

  8. Forever My Little Moon says:

    We just baked gingerbread men cookies! Still waiting for some good snowman snow.

  9. love these ideas and i think now that my teen’s exams are done and holidays officially started as of today, will start working on this list

  10. These are all great ideas! We love to drive and look at Christmas lights.

  11. Jamesetta Diggs says:

    Wonderful! Love this so much. We usually count down to Christmas every year. The Christmas sweater will definitely be on the bucket list for next year.

  12. Cristina Monica says:

    Great ideas! I love that all these activities involve spending quality time together which, in my opinion, is better than any expensive present.

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