It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it should be a lot of fun too – especially for children. So, keep them entertained this December with some of the best Christmas ideas for kids.

From craft to baking, walking to decorating, we’ve pulled together a list of the 25 best fun Christmas ideas for kids. You can obviously do them whenever you like but getting into the Christmas spirit through December is a great way of cranking up the excitements and making festive memories for the whole family to enjoy. 

We also know that all over the world, the cost-of-living crisis means that finances are tighter for many of us, and so we’ve tried to keep the majority of these ideas cheap. Also check out our best cheap Christmas decorations article.

So, without further ado, grab a mug of hot chocolate (or mulled wine, if you prefer) and get stuck into our list of fun Christmas ideas for kids below. Start drawing up those plans for December and planning your festive schedule. 

  1. Bake some Christmas biscuits
    There are a few great recipes out there for baking simple biscuits, even if they’re as simple as using some ready-made sweet pastry sheets and cutting them out with cookie cutters. Obviously, you can try some more complex recipes and let the little ones join in, get messy and learn a few baking techniques.

    If baking isn’t for you and you have £1-£2 spare, why not head to your local shop and pick up some ready-made biscuits. Many supermarkets here in the UK make gingerbread and other biscuits in festive shapes which are ready to decorate, complete with decorating kits. Alternatively, buy your favourite ones and head to the baking aisle to pick up some little decorating bits. You’ll need some icing pens and whatever else you feel like dropping on!
  2. Visit Santa’s grotto
    Nothing says ‘Christmas is coming’ without a visit to Santa’s grotto. Some of these are really quite expensive these days, depending on where you go. Those boutique garden centres are among the most expensive, but still could offer a lovely experience. So if your budget stretches, then find your local grotto within your price range and take your little one along to meet Santa. 
  3. Go for a festive walk 
    There are a number of Christmas ideas for kids on this list which are free of charge, and this is one of them. While the weather may be a lot colder here in the UK (and many parts of US, Europe, etc), it doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had on a walk. Head to your local park, put some wellington boots on and get jumping in those puddles. You could even gather some pinecones for another activity (see next point), play a game of eye-spy or anything else you love to do. It’s fun, it’s fresh air and it’s free of charge. A chance for the whole family to take some time out. 

    What’s more, lots of parks and woodland areas either have, or are near to, little cafes and coffee shops, so why not find the nearest one and go for a festive hot chocolate or a hot coffee afterwards! 
  4. Make your own Christmas decorations
    There is something really magical about making your own Christmas decorations when you’re young. Of course, you can buy kits from craft stores or cheap shops to help with this – paper chains, garlands, hats and Christmas crackers aplenty! 

    But if you’d prefer to get creative and save some money, then you don’t need to buy any kits. Have a look around the house for what you have – paper, glue, scissors and some colouring pencils will give you everything you need, whether you want to make some lovely fold-out snowflakes, draw some Christmas trees or make hats from scratch! 
  5. Check out the Christmas lights in your nearest town/city
    If you live within easy reach of a city or a town, then why not wait for nightfall and head in to look at the Christmas lights? Increasingly, towns are investing in Christmas lights to cheer the place up and get involved with some festivities.  It can make a lovely idea to get into the Christmas spirit and can be done free of charge.

    If you’re near to a big city, then the lights will be much more impressive and expansive. Many have Christmas events going on in the lead-up to Christmas as well, be it parades, ice skating, etc. 
  6. Go to a Christmas pantomime
    This may be a fiercely British tradition, but why not get out and enjoy (or endure) the great British panto? These usually start in late November and run right through until Christmas, sometimes even New Year. So why not gather the family and head to the local theatre or hall to take in a panto – hopefully you don’t get picked to go on stage!
  7. Watch a Christmas movie – you even do so for free!
    One of the favourite pastimes here in the UK has to be watching a Christmas movie (or film). There are so many to choose from – you could even have a vote among your family what to watch. Or give the whole family a chance to select a film, put them all into a hat and pick one out at random to watch each week. It adds more excitement! 

    If you have access to Netflix, Amazon, Disney or any of the mainstream TV channels, then there will be plenty to choose from by the time we get midway through November. If you do not have access to those, try checking out YouTube – there are a few full-length Christmas movies on there that are well worth watching! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer animation movie is on there (at time of writing), as are a stack of Hallmark movies from the US, not to mention Home Alone 2 (not sure that one should actually be on there!).
  8. Go pick a real Christmas tree….even if you don’t buy it
    The smell of Christmas trees is unmistakably festive and can give make memories of Christmas in years gone by come flooding back. Even if you don’t want the mess or expensive of a real Christmas tree, it’s still nice to go and visit a Christmas tree farm and walk among them. Enjoy the smells, the puddles and endless possibilities for hide and seek! You may also be able to pick-up alternative fresh decorations, such as door wreaths made from real plants/trees.
  9. Do a good deed for a friend or neighbour
    You’re never too young to do a good deed, and they can be fun too! If you know of someone who needs a little pick-me-up at Christmas, be it because it’s a tough time financially, they’re lonely or some other reason, then get your kids involved in helping someone else out. It could be something fun, like going to watch a movie with them, taking them some cookies or helping them to put a Christmas tree up!
  10. Put the decorations up at home
    Of course, if you’re in a position to do so, putting up some Christmas decorations at home, as a family, is a timeless tradition that is also magical. Even if budgets are stretched, some of the cheap/thrift stores and supermarkets sell some mini trees and lights so you can add a little sparkle to your home for just a few pounds.

    if you’re able to, why not get some mince pies or special food in and make a little event of it to kick-off December/Christmas?
  11. Write a letter to Santa
    Writing Santa a letter is a staple part of many childhood Christmases. Make sure the tradition isn’t lost by helping your little ones to send a letter to the North Pole. Obviously, you should help them write it so they spell everything on their list correctly!
  12. Play some Christmas games
    Whether you’re into traditional board games or up for something a little more daft and festive, playing games at Christmas is a must. It doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas Day either, whenever you have some time to fill in December why not sit down with the kids and enjoy some games? 
  13. Do a festive taste test – make a game of it!
    The shops are flooded with festive cakes, biscuits and chocolates at Christmas, so why not take advantage. You could make a game out of it – using blindfolds, family members have to guess what they’re tasting!
  14. Visit some Christmas markets
    Christmas markets have increased in popularity here in the UK over the past decade, and now we’re out of COVID restrictions, expect them to be as popular as ever this year! The sights and smells of a Christmas market are really quite special, and while they can be fairly expensive to buy things, you can just walk around and enjoy them without paying a penny in most instances. 
  15. Make a new Christmas tradition
    Every family has Christmas traditions, whether it’s making hot chocolate before watching a specific movie, waiting for Dad to put the star on the Christmas tree or going to see that one family member you seldom see otherwise. Whatever it is, why not create a new tradition this year that will last for many years? Baking. Craft making. Walking. Visit somewhere special. The list can be endless.
  16. Complete some Christmas puzzles
    If you want to keep the kids off the iPads and games consoles and get them engaged into something more traditional, why not grab some cheap Christmas puzzle books – or find free puzzles online, like our free Christmas wordsearches? 

    It’s a simple and easy way to get into the Christmas spirit and try something a little more creative!
  17. Make a Christmas card
    Talking of creativity, whether you’re a master crafter or just want to help the kids have some fun, why not make some of your own family Christmas cards? Or just the one, if it’s as messy as we think it may be. The more glue, glitter and mess, the better! 
  18. Check out the neighbourhood Christmas lights
    We’ve already mentioned going to the local town or city, but what about the area where you live? People are sure to have plenty of Christmas lights and decorations up on the outside of their house again this year, so why not take a walk or drive with the family around the neighbourhood to check them out?
  19. Make mince pies
    This one may be a little trickier, but have you considered making your own mince pies? Either do it totally from scratch, or buy some ready-made pastry and a jar of mincemeat filling! A tasty and practical festive activity that the whole family can enjoy. You can then enjoy them warm!
  20. Attend a Christingle Service
    Depending on your location and religion, popping to a church service at Christmas can be a lovely, festive and traditional activity for all of the children. It helps remember the real reason for Christmas and is just a lovely family thing to do. 
  21. Read a Christmas story
    Just about all of your children’s favourite stories now are likely to have a Christmas version. Even if there isn’t, there will be plenty of Christmas story books to be had in the shops from November onwards, many starting from just a £1 (or less). It encourages reading while also getting into the Christmas spriit – a win, win. 
  22. Visit your favourite attraction
    If you have an attraction you love to visit during the year, be it a theme park, a zoo or an activity centre, then consider visiting during December. Many will have Christmas events, or at the very least some nice Christmas decorations that will make your favourite destination all the more magical in the run-up to Christmas.
  23. Breakfast with Santa
    Depending on your budget, activities such as ‘Breakfast with Santa’ seem to be becoming increasingly common. Everywhere from your local pub and restaurant through to garden centres and even football clubs seem to have these types of events nowadays, so if you’re able to, it may be a lovely way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning. Make sure you book early though!
  24. Make your own snow globe
    Another craft that can become messy, but it will last for years and so create long-lasting memories. Creating a snow globe may not be the first Christmas craft you think of, but it may be worth a go. 
  25. Family time
    Finally, whatever you decide to do this Christmas, take time to enjoy some quality moments as a family and enjoy this truly magical time of the year.