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Christmas brings so much fun and wonder into our worlds. The twinkly lights, warm drinks, nostalgia-laden decorations — it all carries the excitement of the season. Still, the holidays tend to find us stressed and hurried. Instead of getting run over by the weight of to-do lists and shopping, take this time to enjoy your friends and family with some budget friendly Christmas activities.

The holiday season provides lots of great opportunities for fun, new experiences. And the best part? In the midst of lots of purchases, these activities are easy on your budget. Take the next few weeks and experience all the goodness this season has to offer with these exciting budget friendly Christmas activities.

10 Budget Friendly Christmas Activities

Take the next few weeks and experience all the goodness this season has to offer with these exciting budget friendly Christmas activities.

Free Activities

Christmas Crafts

When it’s cold outside and you need a good home activity, print a few of this free craft ideas and coloring pages. If you have a printer, you’re all set. Let your kids spend an afternoon listening to Christmas music, eating some goodies, and making little masterpieces for the house.

A Light Tour

Growing up, my favorite Christmas activity consisted of pajamas, the family van, and neighborhood lights. Gather your family or friends into a car and find the best-lit houses in town. Do some research or ask around – there may be neighborhoods already known for their festive light displays.


It’s a bit of a gamble whether there will be snow around this time of year. And depending on where you live, there may be no hope for sledding. If you do get lucky enough to get a great snowfall before Christmas, take a group out for some fun. Local elementary schools and city parks often permit free sledding!

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Your kids may wrinkle their noses at the thought of singing together, but make this experience unique. Practice serving your community with your family, and visit a nursing home. Sing Christmas songs and visit residents. Or go door-to-door of your friends’ homes and let your kids pick who they want to visit. It may be a bit on the corny side, but from experience, I know that it turns out to be a really great time.

Family Decorating 

If you’re already planning to decorate your home and Christmas tree, make an event of it. Give your kids each a special job – set up the nativity, put ornaments on the tree, lay out festive pillows, etc. Make some hot chocolate and spend the day making your house ready for Christmas. To top it all off, end the day with a family sleepover around the Christmas tree. Your kids will love this!

Christmas Movie Night

If you have multiple kids, or a group of friends, schedule Christmas movie nights where each individual gets to choose their favorite. Maybe it’s Friday nights until Christmas or one big movie marathon – this season is a short one, so make sure to watch your favorites before it’s too late!

Inexpensive Activities

10 Budget Friendly Christmas Activities For The Family

Cookie Swap

It seems like everyone is making cookies and sweets this time of year. This Christmas, put a new spin on filling your home with goodies. Spend some time making your family’s favorite cookies with your kids. Let them decorate sugar cookies or dip pretzels in chocolate. Then, find a few other families to join you in doing the same and having a cookie swap. You’ll get some of your favorites, but taste a few new recipes, too.

DIY Ornaments

Get ready to get a bit messy. Whenever paint and homemade dough are in the mix, your kids are sure to have fun. With a variety of ideas and methods for creating ornaments, this activity is great for everyone in the family. From little toddler hands to mom and dad, you all can get creative with your newest additions to the family Christmas tree.

Ice Skating

You may be terrible at standing on skates, let alone moving. But try it out with your family, and see who’s a natural. Lots of skating rinks have items for helping little ones on the ice, and some rinks are even free! Check out some local options near you, and don’t forget to pack a thermos of hot chocolate!

Christmas Bingo

This could be done during Christmas celebrations or in the weeks leading up to. Gather a big group – friends, family, neighbors. Have each person bring a small gift (under $5), and play a game that combines Bingo and Dirty Santa. Use some printable Bingo sheets, candy as place markers, and play until everyone wins a prize. This simple game just got a really great upgrade.

However you spend this season, make sure you’re prioritizing people over tasks. All the shopping and preparation will have its time. But don’t miss out on some great budget friendly Christmas activities to be with your favorite people. There are some amazing season-specific activities, and I want you to soak it all up! Enjoy!

Jess Lyons
Jess Lyons
Jess Lyons is a wife, mom, and Resident Director to 100+ college students. Her days are filled with dorm events and bike rides with her family, and she loves the overlap of it all. In her free time, you can find her reading a book or enjoying good food with friends.