10 Christmas Activities on a Budget to Keep the Kids Entertained

Christmas can get expensive real quick, especially if you’ve got kids to entertain during their school break. Which is why we all need Christmas activities on a budget. Fun and cheap is the plan!

Money can be tight during the holidays with so many other things you need to put your mony towards. Spending time with the family is a blessing made more so when that time is fun and cheap.

If you are looking for some child-friendly and budget friendly Christmas activities that you can do with the kids, you are going to love these fun ideas.

As a bonus, many of these holiday activities are either free or very cheap so your holiday budget won’t be blown while you are having fun.

2 felt Christmas ornaments in the snow to show classic Christmas activities.

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10 Cheap Christmas Activities Everyone Can Enjoy

1. Make Holiday Crafts a fun activity

One of the first things I always turn to when I’m in need of kid-friendly Christmas activities is making holiday crafts. Children of all ages like to make stuff, especially if it can be done in a short afternoon.

There are so many different crafts that you could make for Christmas you’re positively spoilt for choice! How about these holiday craft ideas for starters:

  • Toilet paper roll crafts (the best form of recycling)
  • Pinecone crafts (the perfect free winter craft)
  • Coloring cards and paper crafts (paper snowflakes are my favorite as they are cheap, so easy, and of course fun to make)
  • Gingerbread house craft kits
  • Holiday yarn and felt crafts
  • Creative Christmas decorations
  • Popsicle stick crafts
  • Mason jar crafts

The possibilities are endless when it comes to holiday crafts, and the kids will have a great time working with the materials to create their special creations. To get some ideas you can always check out Pinterest, there are always a ton of creative holiday things for the kids to do.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to making holiday crafts and enjoying the time spent with your children. The kids will have fun making their special creations and I bet you do too, who doesn’t love creating intricate snowflake patterns?

To get more ideas on budget friendly Christmas activities for adults and children alike why not check out Pinterest? Just don’t get lost in it! There are always a ton of creative holiday crafts for the kids to do, you are only limited by your imagination.

3 children wearing christmas hats baking to show christmas activities on a budget that you can do.

2. Bake Christmas Cookies

Baking sweet things, especially cookies, is fun any time of the year but more so during the holidays. All kids, big and small, will love to get involved in all aspects of cookie creation.

From mixing the dough to decorating the cookies to licking out the bowl afterwards. And they will enjoy the reward of taste testing those cookes afterwards.

Frugal Tip: Make a big batch of your favorite cookies and use them as low budget Christmas gifts for friends and family. Make the cookies and once cooled you can decorate them and pop them into decorative containers or boxes.

Get the kids involved in writing a special note or create their own Christmas gift cards to accompany the cookies. Friends and family will love these cookies even more so because the children were involved.

You can make many cookie recipes ahead of time and freeze them so there is no need to wait until the last minute to get baking with your kids.

3. Drive Around to See the Christmas Lights

If you don’t already then one of my favorite Christmas traditions to start this year would be drive around your local neighborhood and see the beautiful Christmas tree lighting and displays everyone has put up.

In fact, to get the best view, drive to a great street then get out and walk. You see and experience so much more when you take the time to walk past.

There is something quite magical about seeing all the different decorations, lights and figures that people have put so much effort into setting up and creating.

4. Create an Ugly Christmas Sweaters project

Ugly sweaters, especially ugly Christmas ones, allow your creative mind to run riot and are the perfect thing to have fun with over the festive holidays. They are fun to wear on Christmas sweater day, but even better fun to make.

I think it actually helps if you are not crafty or skilled in sewing and the like. Because your lack of skills can help contribute to the ugliness of the jumper.

And of course this means making ugly Christmas sweaters is a great kid-friendly activity to do, regardless of their age, they can make a sweater look ugly!

To make the ugly Christmas sweaters, grab any old sweaters that the kids have grown out of or just never wear and let the kids loose with their own individual creativity.

What I love about ugly Christmas sweaters is that they are not supposed to look good so kids of all ages can go wild and express themselves with this activity.

As a follow up to making the sweaters, you could have a competition to decide who made the best one. Get friends and family to vote for their favorite ugly design.

Young girl child doing crafts

5. Make Your Own Christmas Cards

Making your own Christmas cards is a fun way to help others celebrate the holiday season. Besides giving cookies, you can make your own holiday cards and give them to friends and family.

Children of all ages enjoy paper crafts, coloring, gluing and creating their own designs. you can buy card making kits quite cheaply or just grab card and some magazines and start creating.

You can also use the Christmas cards you received last year and let the kids cut out the different pictures and create new designs with them.

Whichever way you get your card supplies, the kids will have an absolute blast creating the cards with you.

6. Set Up a Christmas Karaoke Night

Who doesn’t love a good sing-along? And Christmas songs are the best for getting everyone in a festive, fun mood. All you need for this cheap Christmas activity is some holiday music!

Online, apps or a few CDs, there is a ton of free Christmas music to work through. You could also dig into YouTube with it’s offers of a different holiday music videos with the lyrics as subtitles. Makes the karaoke set up even easier.

And you don’t even need a microphone although it’s fun for the kids if you do. If you don’t have a microphone at home then make one. For instance, a wooden spoon is a microphone that many of us have turned to singing along to the radio while cooking in the kitchen.

7. Check out Local Holiday Events and activities

Many towns and communities host fun and festive Christmas events that are often full of free (or cheap) classic Christmas activities for the kids, and adults alike. Winter activities on a budget like visiting Santa, getting your face painted, making cute Christmas crafts, singing Christmas carols and more.

Most events combine their activities with holiday treats such as a gift from Santa or mulled wine that the family can enjoy while you are there. Going to a community event is an ideal way to spend some quality family time and enjoy the festive holiday activities together.

2 children on a sled in the snow showing christmas activities on a budget.

8. Have a blast Sledding

Last year, for the first time in my adult life I went sledding down a very steep hill. You are never too old for fun in the snow!

Kids old and young will tell you that one of the best things to do in winter is to get on a toboggan or go sledding in the snow. If you are lucky enough to have snow in your area during the holiday season, this is a fun winter activity that everyone can participate in.

9. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon

A Christmas themed movie night really gets you into the festive mood. Perfect for a cold and wet night, cuddle up with your favorite holiday movies and treat yourself to a few of those movie snacks you rarely buy.

Movie nights are perfect for getting kids settled down when they are over excited and for those nights when going to anything outdoors is really not appealing!

If you don’t have any Christmas movie DVDs there are plenty of holiday movies you can usually watch on Netflix, cable or your favorite streaming service.

10. Play Christmas Games

There are plenty of fun and free holiday games that you can do during Christmas and the festive period. You probably already have games that you have created as a family or regularly do when you have guests. classic Christmas activities and games such as:

  • Christmas Pictionary
  • Holiday Guessing Games (like guess smells or tastes while blindfolded)
  • Jingle Bell Toss
  • Guess the Christmas Tunes
  • Hold a Christmas Treasure Hunt
  • Holiday Trivia Games or quizzes

For many Christmas themed games, there are no strict rules that you MUST to follow in order to enjoy playing the game. Why not make them up as you go along or agree your own rules for your family?

You find different games online and on Pinterest, and these will have the rules already worked out for you.

4 home ph1otos on a peg line to show classic Christmas activities.

Budget friendly Christmas activities FAQs

How can I make Christmas more special?

You can make Christmas more special by doing a few things. See if you can help someone in your community who is struggling with finding gifts for their family or friends, or you could volunteer to help out at your local church or charity.

You could also spend time with your family, or you could share something special about Christmas with someone who is struggling.

What can I do for Christmas 2021 at home?

For Christmas 2021, you could spend time with your family and friends. You can also put together a gift for someone else to give them. This is an easy way to share the holiday spirit with your loved ones.

And of course make a magical Christmas for everyone by getting everyone involve with some of these Christmas activities on a budget.

Related post: No Money For Christmas? How To Create The Magic Anyway

How do I set up a Christmas budget?

Setting up a Christmas Budget is the first step to being able to afford all of the holiday festivities. If you are new to budgeting, it would be helpful for you if there were some tips.

First, find out what your monthly expenses are before the holidays and then allocate a portion of those funds to Christmas spending.

Second, create a short list of gift ideas for each person on your gift list. This will help you to stay on track and not over-spend.

Third, it is a good idea to plan for some extra spending in case there are any last minute items that you want to buy for a loved one or just need in general.

For more detailed help in budgeting and having Christmas on a budget have a read of these posts:

Saving For Christmas – 7 Easy Tips to Start Saving Money

How To Do Christmas On The Cheap: Without Feeling Like Scrooge

What is a typical Christmas budget?

The average American intends to spend $998 this year on Christmas gifts and other festive items, according to the National Retail Federation. For many people, this is a tough number to stomach during these economic times. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

A budget friendly festive holiday is possible with a little creativity as the Christmas activities on a budget described above prove.

A pile of wrapped Christmas gifts against a white background.

What is the 4 gift rule?

The 4 gift rule is a great way to limit the number of presents you buy your own children. The rule is this:

  • Something they want
  • Something they need
  • Something to wear, and
  • Something to read

It makes thinking about budget Christmas gift ideas for kids that bit easier because you’re not starting with a blank piece of paper. It also helps to curtail kids wildly expensive gift lists!

Related posts:

How To Buy Christmas Gifts On a Tight Budget

9 Things I Refuse To Buy This Christmas

How can I make my budget Christmas fun?

Christmas is a time of joy and cheer, but it can also be an expensive time. Some people spend the holidays in debt because they overspent or could not afford to buy everything on their list.

There are many ways to make your budget Christmas fun that you can do with the kids or for yourself, on a tight budget. The above 10 budget friendly Christmas activities are just the start. Let your imagination run wild finding free things to do.

  • Making hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • Raiding your gift closet for those long forgotten gifts to give
  • Having a snowball fight
  • Dancing wildly to the latest Christmas songs

The list of budget Christmas fun is endless!

What can you do for free on Christmas?

This article is packed with cheap Christmas activities everyone can enjoy. You’ll find that many of these are free or cost very little to participate in. If in doubt, Google it!

Related post: 20 Wonderful Christmas Traditions to Start This Year

Budget friendly fun for Christmas

Christmas and the holiday period are all about spending time with our loved ones and creating magical memories that are unforgettable.

These are just a few budget-friendly Christmas activities that you can do with the kids or with adult family members, and everyone will have a great time as you make those special memories together. 

Start taking back control of your money by grabbing your copy of the Money Saving Starter Guide today.


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Pinterest image for fun and frugal cheap Christmas activities on a budget.
Pinterest image for cheap Christmas activities on a budget.

Last Updated on 28th November 2021 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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