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12 Days Of Christmas Things To Do With Kids

From crafts to donating gifts to baking cookies, there are so many Christmas things to do with kids on this list to inspire you.

For more ways to make this the best holiday, check out all of our Christmas posts.

Boy in an elf cut out photo prop with the words "12 Days Of Christmas Things To Do With Kids" digitally written on top.

This year really feels like the Christmas. I think because we went to Charleston for a long weekend and celebrated Christmas there. If you’re trying to get into the Christmas spirit, check everything on our 12 days of Christmas things to do with kids off our list.

When you’re done, you might just start feeling jolly after all.

12 Days Of Christmas Things To Do With Kids

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Christmas tree on the roof of a car.

Pick out a Christmas tree

It doesn’t matter if you pick out a real tree or an artificial tree, there’s something special about getting your Christmas tree (even if you’re only getting it down from the attic).

We go to a local tree farm every year to get ours. The trees are all cut and in rows. All we have to do is walk around and pick out a good one. There’s something so special about looking at them and deciding which one to bring home.

Let your kids find the one they like best. And bring that one home, even if it looks like the Charlie Brown tree. Who cares. As long as your kids are happy, that’s the best part of this activity.

DIY Paint Swirl Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Decorate the tree

Of course, after you pick out the tree, head home and start decorating. You can block out a whole afternoon to do this or you can leave out a box of ornaments and tell everyone to put one on the tree every time they walk past the box.

Now is a good time to add the ornament of the year, if you follow that tradition like we do. We ordered a very 2020 ornament last year so we can forever remember this time. Every other year, we order an ornament that’s really specific and sentimental to us and what we did that year.

Santa waving from the back of a Charleston Fire Department fire truck.

See Santa

There are so many events in our area where Santa shows up and it’s so great.

If you can’t make those, you could order a package from Santa. Those come personalized with letters from Santa to your kids. It’s definitely a fun way to keep Santa a part of this season.

Speaking of Santa, if you’re local to us, check out our list of Where To See Santa In Wilmington, NC.

Playmobil toys in front of wrapped presents.

Donate toys to the less fortunate

Christmastime is always a great time to really explain how fortunate you are to have your health, your family, a job, and food. Explain how there are so many people who lost many of those things.

Teach your kids that Christmastime is a good time to help the less fortunate. Sometimes we donate our time and talents, and sometimes we donate gifts.

Take your kids to a local store and have them pick out a toy for someone in need. It’s a great teaching experience for sure.

Christmas tree meringue cookies on a green napkin.

Bake Christmas cookies

One of my fondest memories is my mom baking Christmas cookies. She would let us help, although I’m honestly not sure how much help we were.

This year, she actually asked for my help baking Christmas cookies for our neighbors, so I guess adulting does have its perks.

When you bake with kids, the cookies aren’t going to be perfect, but the memories will be. So definitely bake holiday treats with your kids sometime this year.

Christmas cookies recipes:

If you’re looking for some Christmas cookie recipes, we have a bunch of fun ones for you:

Hummingbird and flower Christmas light set hanging at Enchanted Airlie at Airlie Gardens.

Drive around to see Christmas lights

Driving around and looking at everyone’s Christmas lights was my favorite thing to do when I was little — and I still love to do it now. I was actually just telling Pete about it yesterday.

This is a free thing to do (except, of course, for the bit of gas you’ll spend driving) that’s super memorable.

If you’re not sure where to go in your neighborhood, check out your town’s local Nextdoor page or if you have a community Facebook page. People might be posting the best addresses (ours is).

Two boys watching The Mitchells vs. The Machines.

Watch Christmas movies

During the winter, we all spend a lot of time indoors, most likely streaming all the movies and television shows we missed when we were able to leave the house.

So it’s a good time to stay home, make popcorn, snuggle up, and watch Christmas movies.

If you don’t own any, you can check out Freeform’s 25 Days Of Christmas movies list and see what’s on tonight.

Color Christmas cards for family members

For my birthday this year, I got four hand drawn Christmas cards from kids under 12 and it was the best. I hung them all on the fridge immediately.

So, if you have a night with nothing to do, break out the drawing paper and crayons, and have your kids color Christmas cards for family members. The family members who receive them will absolutely love them.

A boy playing with a Christmas sensory bin.

Create A Christmas Sensory Bin

If you’re looking for something fun for your young kids this season, definitely make a sensory bin that’s filled with Christmas trinkets. That’s so much fun.

We have an easy Christmas Sensory Bin tutorial that you can follow to figure out exactly how we made the sensory bin above so you can make it with your own kids.

More winter crafts for kids:

We have a few other winter crafts for kids that would be great to make this time of year:

Make a gingerbread house

I won’t tell anyone if you purchase a gingerbread house kit instead of actually baking gingerbread cookies to make a gingerbread house.


Have you seen the Charcuterie Chalets out there that are replacing gingerbread houses? It’s a holiday house, made of cheese and meats instead of gingerbread cookies and icing. And I’m here for it.

Read a Christmas story

There are a ton of Christmas books out there that you can read with your kids, classics like The Polar Express and classics-to-be like Fritz the Farting Reindeer.

Or, if you don’t have any Christmas storybooks, you could just make one up. Tell the tale of a family that went Chrismas tree hunting, came home, decorated it, and watched a Christmas movie together. Oh, you see where I’m going with this?

Sing Christmas carols

My favorite is O Holy Night, in case you want to serenade me.

You can go door to door or just FaceTime your family and friends and sing to them that way. Whatever is best.

Enchanted Airlie is Airlie Gardens' beautiful, after hours, walking tour where the gardens are lit up for Christmas. Find out more in this Enchanted Airlie review on

Christmas Things To Do In The South:

If you live in the south, we have a few great Christmas things to do lists that will help you plan some great christmas things to do with kids.

And, if you’re on the west coast, check out these fun Christmas things to do in Union Gap, WA.

What are your favorite Christmas things to do with kids? Let us know in the comments.