Skip to content
Free Shipping on $75+ Orders →
Free Shipping on $75+ Orders →
A Mom is reading a book to her baby. Fun, educational, holiday activities for kids.

15 Fun Ideas and Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy During the Holidays

Holiday traditions, extravagant suppers, laughing till you cry and having everybody in your life that matters under one roof is a list of the top reasons the holidays are a priority in our home. Life can get crazy, and it is easy to get swept up in the day-to-day tasks of life, so setting aside time each year to get together and enjoy each other’s company is important. For my family, the holidays are some of the most anticipated weeks of the year.

How Do Holidays Bring Us Together?

Two kids are reading picture books next to a fireplace. Fun, educational, holiday activities for kids.

I have found that as my family gets older, it becomes easier and easier to justify spending less time together. We have responsibilities to take care of and goals to accomplish, kids to parent and hobbies to pursue. This is why it is critical for us to be together during the holidays, whether that be Thanksgiving or Christmas, or any other holiday.

It reminds me that while we are never perfect, the holidays give us time to be ourselves with our family and grow our relationships with each other. It gives us the chance to see how our family is changing as well as be together for our most cherished celebrations.

What Do You Do During the Holidays?

A boy is reading picture books next to a fireplace. Fun, educational, holiday activities for kids.

All families have their own cherished traditions and holiday events. Typically, if you live where there is snow, sledding and snowball fights are the norm. If it gets really cold, we personally love to throw boiling water into the air and watch it explode into a cloud of steam.

Christmas crafts, gingerbread houses and baking are normally part of the holidays for many families, regardless of the weather and your location… and who can forget listening to holiday music?

What Do You and Your Family Do Together on the Holidays?

Parents and their two children are walking in the forest. Fun, educational, holiday activities for kids.

With all of the amazing activities and events that happen over the holidays, it can be hard to pick one as a favorite. For me, the act of coming up with a list of fun things to do and getting the chance to do them with my siblings, my kids and extended family is the best.

Most people aren’t working over that time and the kids are on school holidays so we can do any number of fun activities that we can come up with. Whether we were at a family’s farmhouse or in the city, we keep the kids (and adults) busy with games and other holiday traditions. It gives us the opportunity to and build memories while keeping them busy. Need some suggestions to keep your kids active and excited over the holidays? Here are 15 ways to keep you and your kids busy this season!

Organize Holiday-Themed Movie Nights

Every family has a favorite movie marathon to try and accomplish at Christmas. Bring on the popcorn and cracker/cheese platters and enjoy a movie marathon with the family!

Make Ornaments Together

Making ornaments together is a great way to make some amazing memories while getting the creative juices flowing over the holidays. My favorite part? You get to make new ones every year and give them away as gifts!

Try Origami

Origami can take your Christmas to a whole new level! Paper trees, elves, ornaments and more can appear, as if from magic, out of origami paper.

Write Letters to Santa

A classic holiday tradition that allows the littlest ones in your home to petition the big man himself for their most desired toy or gift. This is also a great way to find out what people want if you are doing some last-minute shopping!

Read Books Together

Stories have a way of turning a night at the house into an adventure! Reading books together, especially if there are young kids involved, can be magical. Today, you can buy amazing interactive books, like those from Cali’s Books, that take a regular story and make it even more exciting for the kids. You can use recordable books to record stories with family members to go over next year or even to send as gifts to those who couldn’t make it! The interactive sound books are always a hit with the youngest children too.

Have a Cooking Competition

Whether the competition is around cookies or French onion soup, a holiday cooking competition can bring out the best (or worst depending on the results) in a family. This is why we love doing these over the holidays!

Give your Room a Makeover

Get permission before attempting this activity! Room makeovers can be a fun way of getting out some energy while doing something productive and it may turn out that the room looks better after you are done.

Complete a Puzzle

A classic holiday tradition, puzzles are a low-energy, yet engaging activity that everyone can take part in and typically takes a few days. Puzzles provide a great space to chat and catch up as well.

Draw your Fantasy

Do you want to be Santa? How about a runaway Elf? Or perhaps Santa uses Unicorns for this year’s Christmas? Whatever your fantasy, everyone can draw it and show each other when they are done.

Play Outside

It's easy to stay cooped up inside if it's cold out but it turns out that you should be spending more of your time outside. Being outside in cold weather (for appropriate periods) in the cold is good for your health and gives you the chance to do fun activities like sledding, snowshoeing, carolling, going to the park and much more.

Fun Outdoor Activities

A Dad and his daughter are choosing a christmas tree. Fun, educational, holiday activities for kids.

When the house gets too cramped or it's time for fresh air, don’t be afraid of the outdoors! Here are some fun outdoor activities for you and your family.

Go to the Local Library

Libraries oftentimes have holiday events throughout the season. They also tend to be very well decorated. This is a great excursion for the kids as well as the parents.

Go to a Museum

The holidays are as good a time as any to learn! Get down to your local museum and see what they have to offer for you and your family. They might even have a deal on tickets!

Go on a Holiday Lights Tour

There are new options for this activity every year! You can go to “that one street” in town where everyone does their homes up with lights or you could do one of the increasingly popular “drive-through” holiday lights tours. Either choice is a ton of fun!

Play Tourist in your Neighborhood

It's easy to forgo the tourist attractions where you live because you live there. Take this time to go see the sights and sounds as if you were a tourist!

Go See Santa at your Local Mall

Santa is always a pleasure to see and even though he is busy, he always seems to make time to be at a mall near you (no matter where you are)! Go see him and make sure that your kids get to deliver their holiday wishes directly to the “bearded wonder” himself.

Celebrate and Be Joyous

No matter your faith or the reasons you gather to celebrate the holidays, remember to appreciate your blessings. The people in our lives are what make life worth living and taking the time to create memories through activities will strengthen your bonds with those you love. Happy Holidays!

Previous article The Ultimate Guide to a Fun Toddler Birthday Party (On a Budget)
Next article 15 Fun Road Trip Activities and Entertainment for Kids (Without Screens)
Cali's Books, founder, about us, why I love books, children's books

Hi! I'm Cali, Founder of Cali's Books

“I’ve loved books since childhood and wanted to transmit this enthusiasm to my children”

I'm a mom of two young children who trained as an engineer and worked in investment banking and at Disney. A French of Caribbean origin (Martinique to be precise!), I grew up in Paris. Los Angeles is now the place I call home!

Check out Cali's Books

Read more from Cali's Blog