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  • Tracy Tristram

50 things to do in the Christmas holidays with kids



Christmas will soon be upon us, and with it comes a couple of weeks of not having to set the alarm for the school run: woo hoo to that. So, aside from the Big Event itself, here's a list of 50 things to keep the kiddos busy right through until the mince pies have run out and it's time to get back into the classroom.

  1. Visit Santa! If you're in London then we have a list of places where you'll be able to spot him.

  2. Turn your loo rolls into Xmas angels and reindeers.

  3. Take an evening walk in your 'hood to check out the Christmas lights.

  4. Go through your cupboards with the kids and pop any good quality toys, books or unused, long-life food into a box. Take it to your local food bank, charity shop or Christmas gift collection point for those who might be struggling this festive season.

  5. Bust out the art kit again to make your own Chrimbo cards.

  6. Create your own panto. Oh yes you can!

  7. Then support your local theatre and book a real panto.

  8. Set up a blanket fort. Bonus points for making it a Christmas-themed blanket fort.

  9. Bake cookies for Santa. This one by Cooking Classy ticks all the festive boxes.

  10. Turn rocks into Christmas-themed art and then go and put them in the park for people to find.

  11. Make a picture book about all the escapades your Elf on the Shelf has gotten up to this year.

  12. Make your own playdough.

  13. Whip up a whole heap of festive decor.

  14. Visit a city farm. We've got a guide to ones in and around London.

  15. Make a bug hotel.

  16. Spend an afternoon or two watching festive flicks.

  17. And when you're all Christmassed out, try this list of family classic movies

  18. Speed down the Thames on a Thames Rocket Jingle Bell Blast adventure. We tried this already and it was off-the-scale awesome. Plus, we have a cool Yule discount for you.

  19. Make a Gingerbread House. Supermarkets have some lovely kits or, if you're in London, visit the Gingerbread City and join a workshop.

  20. Set up a sensory play station.

  21. Design and create your own board game. Or play one of these classics.

  22. Make mince pies. We love this recipe by BBC Good Food.

  23. And then make your own candy canes: try these delish ones by The Spruce Eats.

  24. Find your nearest country park and go feed Santa's reindeer. Yes, we know they're 'normal' deer really, but the kids won't care.

  25. Turn a cardboard box into a racing car. Or a sleigh.

  26. Upcycle a pair of old jeans into a bag, and then gift the bag to someone you love for Xmas.

  27. Create a hair and beauty parlour at home. (Mums: hide your good makeup first!).

  28. Try out these amazing hot chocolate recipes.

  29. If you don't have a dog, borrow a dog and take it for a walk. If you do have a dog, take it for a walk. And if dog walking isn't your thing, how about sorting through all your old towels and blankets and taking them to your nearest animal shelter?

  30. Treat yourselves to a festive afternoon tea or create your own version at home. Try these easy baking recipes with the kids for the latter, or this list for delivery options.

  31. Turn old plastic bottles into pencil cases for the new school term

  32. Practise some mindfulness as a family.

  33. Make a smoothie (the perfect healthy snack to cancel out all the candy canes you ate).

  34. Go and visit all the cool toy shops around London, and then to continue the shopping spree fun, check out our guide to small businesses for Xmas gift ideas.

  35. Go geocaching. Outdoor fun at its best.

  36. With so many strikes happening at the mo why not get busy with your own strike: at your local bowling alley!

  37. If you have Horrible Histories fans in the house, take them to see a live performance of Horrible Christmas. It's playing in Birmingham, Manchester and London and all the deets you need are right here.

  38. Draw Christmas pictures and take them to your local old folk's home.

  39. Do a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt.

  40. Design a family coat of arms. And then design one for Mr & Mrs Claus.

  41. Have a Christmas present wrapping competition. Allocate a few gifts to each family member to wrap, and see who is the most creative.

  42. Make your own slime. Glitter slime is always the fave at this time of year!

  43. Learn how to play at least three different games of cards. Snap doesn't count.

  44. Think of ways to be more eco-friendly as a family and write a list of the changes you can make for 2023.

  45. Dig out old photos and research your family tree.

  46. Break out your hat and gloves, get in a winter mood and go ice skating.

  47. Make a collage of the fun stuff you've done during 2022. Despite all the craziness, there have still been plenty of smiles.

  48. Get ready for the new term with these back-to-school crafts.

  49. Make a time capsule. Bury it on New Year's Eve as an adieu to 2022.

  50. Write and decorate a list of New Year resolutions.

Like this story? Here's some more festive fun to keep you busy with:


Essential guide to Elf on the Shelf ideas

Homemade hot choccie recipes we love

Board game ideas to put on the Xmas list

DIY Xmas cards to make with the kids

Guide to the Tower of London for families

Guide to the Clink Prison Museum in London

Guide to Hobbledown Adventure Farm

Best family friendly dining around London

Plan and book a family skiing holiday


Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures and things to do in London with kids over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest


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