10 Things to Do on Christmas Eve with the Kids

Christmas Eve is a magical time for kids (and those young at heart). The anticipation of Christmas morning is at an all-time high, and they’re just bursting with excitement. As a parent, you want to make the most of this special night.

In this article, we’ll explore a variety of ideas to make your Christmas Eve memorable, fun, and special for the whole family.


10 Things to Do On Christmas Eve with the Kids

Here are 10 things you can do with your kids on Christmas Eve that will create lasting memories – no matter their age.christmas eve things to do- make gingerbread houses

1. Make gingerbread houses

One of the most classic Christmas Eve traditions is making gingerbread houses. You can either buy a kit or make your own gingerbread from scratch. Either way, this is a great activity to do with the kids. They’ll have a blast decorating their houses and you’ll get to enjoy some quality time together.

What you’ll need for gingerbread houses:

  • Gingerbread house kit (perfect for busy moms) or a recipe
  • Icing and a pipette
  • A variety of candies for decorating
  • Lots of laughter and patience!

2. Go ice skating

Nothing gets you into the holiday spirit like going ice skating. You can find local outdoor rinks or indoor ones that are open late on Christmas Eve. This is a great way to burn off some energy before bedtime.

Bring these items to maximize your skating outing:

  • Ice skates
  • Warm socks
  • The thermos of hot cocoa
  • Hand warmers
  • A warm blanket (for when you need a break from skating)

Not a fan of ice skating? Try these other fun outdoor winter activities.

3. Bake cookies for Santa

Another tradition that kids love is baking cookies for Santa. You can make it even more fun by letting them help measure and mix the ingredients. And don’t forget to leave out a glass of milk! If you’re short on time, grab a tub or roll of cookie dough.

What you need for baking cookies:

  • Cookie dough or favorite recipe
  • A baking sheet
  • Christmas-shaped cookie cutters
  • Frosting and candies (optional)
  • Milk for Santa

4. Read Holiday Stories

Reading holiday stories is the perfect way to wind down on Christmas Eve. Curl up in front of the fireplace (or anywhere cozy if you don’t have one) with your favorite blanket and enjoy some quality time with your little ones.

Some holiday favorites (and new favorites) to try:

  • “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore
  • “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss
  • “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg
  • “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson

5. Make DIY decorations

If you’re looking for a fun activity that will also result in some cute home decorations, try making DIY paper snowflakes or salt dough ornaments with your kids. They’ll have fun crafting and you’ll get to enjoy their creations all season long.

These can also be made for eco-friendly decor or homemade presents to share with family and friends on Christmas too.

Looking to make some memories this holiday season? Here are our top 10 favorite things to do on Christmas Eve with your kids!

DIY crafts to try this season:

DIY gifts to make:

  • Bath bombs
  • Sugar scrubs
  • Candles
  • Handmade lip balm
  • Ornaments (perfect for a cute holiday pregnancy announcement too!)
  • Picture frames
  • Pre-made recipe packs (with dry ingredients)

6. Drive around looking at Christmas lights

One of the best things about Christmas is all of the beautiful lights and decorations. Take a drive around your neighborhood or town and look at all of the festive displays. Your kids will love it and it’s a great way to get out of the house for a bit.

If you want to keep your kids more engaged, you can turn your Christmas light hunt into a scavenger hunt or play your favorite holiday music to sing to while you’re driving.

7. Attend a holiday concert or play

There are usually lots of holiday concerts and plays happening around Christmas Eve. Check your local listings and see what’s happening in your area. This is a great way to get into the festive spirit while supporting your community.

If you have little ones that don’t want to attend a concert, you can put the kids to work creating their own personal play!

8. Have a family movie night

Christmas Eve is the perfect night to cozy up with your family and watch a holiday movie. Make some popcorn, break out the blankets, and get ready to enjoy some quality time together. Bonus points for cozy pajamas!

Some great holiday movies to watch:

  • “Elf”
  • “Polar Express”
  • “Home Alone”
  • “A Christmas Story”
  • “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
  • “Miracle on 34th Street”

9. Go caroling

Caroling is such a fun way to spread holiday cheer. Grab some friends or neighbors and walk around your neighborhood singing Christmas carols. You can even make it a contest and see who can raise the most money for charity (if you want to ask for money- otherwise make it a contest for the most claps).

If you don’t want to go door-to-door, you can always carol at a local nursing home or hospital. This is a great way to spread some holiday cheer to those who may not have family nearby.

10. Have a Christmas Eve Picnic

This is a fun activity if you want to change things up a bit. Have a picnic dinner inside or outside (weather permitting) and enjoy some quality time with your family. You can even make it a potluck and have everyone bring their favorite holiday dish.

For an extra dash of fun, have a “picnic” near your Christmas tree and eat your dinner surrounded by all of the beautiful lights and decorations.christmas eve magic

The Joy of the Holidays is From Those We Share it With

No matter how you spend your Christmas Eve, the most important thing is that you’re surrounded by the people you love. Enjoy this special time and create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you need more ideas for a specific age (babies, toddlers, teenagers, etc.)- you can see a full list of Christmas eve ideas.

With so many wonderful things to do on Christmas Eve, it’s hard to choose just one! These 10 activities are sure to create lasting memories for you and your family while getting you into the holiday spirit. So go out there, choose an activity or two, and enjoy this special time of year with your kids!

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JayDee Vykoukal

JayDee Vykoukal is an author, holistic health coach, mom blogger (mombloglife.com), and passionate Doctor of Physical Therapy. She loves teaching healthy living, writing about motherhood, traveling and spending quality time with her family. You can email her at [email protected]!

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