Trust me, as a Mum of four growing kids, I know what it’s like to have a tight budget! But I also love treating my kids. So I’ve picked some ways to treat the kids for free over the festive period, and I’ve found 10 fantastic free Christmas activities.
1. Take an evening walk to count Christmas lights
Every year there seem to be more and more Christmas lights – and I’m not complaining! It means that we can have lots of fun spotting all the lights on our road. It’s a great free Christmas activity that keeps the kids busy for several evenings. They love going out with Dad and counting how many houses have Christmas lights.
The kids love it (and secretly their Dad does too) because the number of houses with lights grows each week. Last year, by Christmas Day, there were more than 100 houses with lights on our street.
2. Enjoy hot chocolate and a Christmas movie
Curl up on the sofa and watch a cheesy Christmas movie with some hot chocolate. Home Alone, The Polar Express, and Miracle on 34th Street … it just wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
3. Take a trip into town to see the Christmas lights
We usually combine some last-minute Christmas shopping with seeing the Christmas lights in town. If money is tight, then there’s nothing wrong with Poundland treats for the Christmas stockings!
4. Bake some Christmas cookies or mince pies
We love Christmas baking activities like making mince pies and Christmas cookies. The cookies taste delicious, look amazing and can also double up as decorations for the tree – if they last long enough!
5. Make salt-dough decorations
Making salt dough decorations is great fun. There are lots of recipes online and the only limit is your imagination. You can also have fun painting or decorating them afterwards.
6. Make paper chains and snowflakes
You can buy packs of paper chains but actually making them is a fun Christmas activity that’s really easy. You can have fun creating your own designs. And who hasn’t been secretly proud of a snowflake that ended up looking amazing?
7. Decorate the tree
Forget matching or colour-coordinated decorations. We love to go old-school crazy with our Christmas tree: the more kitsch the better! Let your kids decorate your tree and go mad with the tinsel. Who cares? It’s Christmas! If money is tight, then you can have fun making paper decorations. Just watch out for all the glitter!
8. Put on a Christmas play
My girls love to put on their own plays all year round, and Christmas time is no different. They have come up with some absolute classics in the past. Like all Christmas activities, things can be unpredictable. Who knew that it was actually Santa who woke up Sleeping Beauty?
9. Have a Christmas karaoke or disco
Go on, you know you want to! Having a family karaoke party or disco can be absolutely hilarious. There are lots of playlists on Youtube, and watching Dad sing Last Christmas is bound to get you in the festive spirit.
10. Collect holly and mistletoe
There are lots of ideas online about how to make your own Christmas decorations with holly, mistletoe, ivy or other evergreen foliage. It’s free and looks fantastic. Just make sure that you’re foraging from public land and not someone else’s garden!
Some offers on The Motley Fool UK site are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.