Home » Holiday Celebrations » Christmas » Christmas Activities for Kids » Christmas Eve Family Activities

Christmas Eve Family Activities

A roundup of fun Christmas Eve Family Activities and traditions sorted by category to help you enjoy family time together this Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve Family Activities to Do In the Kitchen

  • Bake Cookies for Santa Claus.

    I think this is one of the best ways to have some family fun on Christmas Eve! Choose a recipe you love (our favorite sugar cookie recipe is in this post if you need one). Go ahead and spend the time baking and creating those core holiday memories.
  • Decorate Christmas cookies.

    It takes time to bake, but it also takes some time to decorate Christmas cookies. Set up a decorating station and get ready to let the creative juices flow! I love this cookie decorating kit if you’re frosting a lot of cookies with little kids.
  • Set up a Hot Chocolate Bar.

    There’s something about hot cocoa with some peppermint sticks, mini marshmallows, and flavored syrups. We have a ton of ideas in our hot chocolate date night post!
    Hot chocolate Date Night
  • Prepare a traditional dish from where your ancestors lived.

    If you’re not sure, take your best guess and go with it! One of my friends recently told me they know they’re mostly of English descent, and looked up so many traditional food items in England, and started making them for Christmas Eve. She has very much inspired me to learn a lot more about my Dutch ancestors and try some new Christmas Eve traditions!
  • Make Christmas Puppy Chow (also called reindeer food).

    This is perhaps my greatest weakness, and my favorite holiday snack to have on hand. It’s easy to make, fun to eat, and perfect to munch on during all the holiday activities. Grab the Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe right here!
    Christmas Puppy Chow
  • Make Gingerbread men and women.

    This is one of those foods you don’t see much after the holidays, and it’s extra fun to include in your Christmas activities. Plus, they are great as cookies for Santa if sugar cookies aren’t your thing.
  • Create a Christmas charcuterie board/ Christmas cheese board.

    It’s such a fun thing to gather around a board for lunch or dinner- or to serve it up during a Christmas movie night.

Christmas Eve Box for Kids Ideas
Christmas Eve Traditions

  • Open a Christmas Eve Box.

    We have a ton of Christmas Eve Box Ideas if you need some inspiration, or are wondering what this new Christmas Eve tradition is.
  • Hang up Christmas stockings.

    Get ready for the big night and set up your Christmas stockings with care!
  • Visit the North Pole with a Polar Express train ride.

    This is one of our new Christmas traditions (read all about The Polar Express train ride here). And don’t forget the Polar Express pajamas! We do it earlier in the season, but I think Christmas Eve is the perfect time to relive this favorite book and holiday movie in preparation for the big day.
    The Polar Express AZ
  • Drop off Secret Santa Gifts.

    If you are fortunate enough to be able to give to those in need, it’s a great opportunity to help make Christmas time a bit more magic for someone else. Drop off Christmas gifts secretly- it’s one of those Christmas Eve family activities your kids will never forget! 
  • Wrap Up Your Christmas Bucket List.

    If you don’t have one, or need more ideas, grab our free Christmas Bucket List printable. There are several ways to have so much fun and are perfect for festive family time.
    Christmas Bucket List Printable
  • Deliver treats to your neighbors.

    We love giving small gifts, which are honestly usually treats, to our neighbors. We’ll usually include Christmas cards with it and try to make stops in person. A quick drop-in with a special gift we’ve found is a fun way to get to know our neighbors better. Dropping them off earlier in the day on Christmas Eve is such a fantastic Christmas Eve Activity for families because it helps wear kids out while you run from home to home. And it really helps get everyone in the spirit of giving!
  • Set Up for Santa.

    We leave out Christmas cookies and a carrot for Santa’s reindeer, but I know many families love making a bigger deal out of this tradition! Look into reindeer food, reindeer dust, creating custom plates for cookies and milk, or even setting up a Santa cam/Santa trap in the living room. There are a lot of fun ways to connect with kids while you come up with ways to set up for Santa.
  • Read Christmas Books.

    We love to set up by the Christmas tree and get in our last reads of some of our favorite Christmas books for kids. It’s a great way to spend some quality time with children. And truly, the Christmas season goes by too quickly to give as much attention to those holiday books. Make sure to enjoy them one last time!

The Best Christmas Books for Kids
Fun Activities to do at home

  • Do a Christmas Puzzle together.

    This is one of our favorite ways to spend some quality time together- and it keeps little kids, teenagers, and adults involved and having fun! If you need a great puzzle, check out our Christmas puzzle roundup post with tons that ship quickly!
  • Open a new board game and have a Christmas game night.

    This is a tradition so many families love! While you’re home together, it’s a great time for a family game night! We have tons of family game night ideas to make it extra special. And if you need some ideas for a great new board game or family game you’ll all love, check out our post with a roundup of the best board games for kids.
    Christmas Charades free printable game.
  • Play Christmas Charades.

    Christmas charades have been a classic holiday game and activity for centuries! Everyone loves it, and be sure to grab our free printable to make it easy!
  • Watch your favorite Christmas movies.

    Get one last view before the holiday season ends. Many families love watching It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Home Alone, or the Polar Express. If you need some ideas, check out our post all about The Best Christmas movies for families with a free printable.
  • Play Christmas Pictionary

    Download our Christmas Pictionary printable and play a fun game with the entire family! This works great for big groups, but you can do it with a small family too. Trust us, you want our Christmas Pictionary free printable to make this super easy and extra fun!
    Gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers.
  • Have a Gingerbread house-making party.

    We love to do graham cracker gingerbread homes, and I have a full tutorial on how to do this easily in this post. Grab some frosting, graham crackers, candy canes, and holiday candy for some festive fun! It’s one of our favorite holiday traditions and a great idea for large groups or just a few people too!
  • Dress up in Christmas pajamas.

    It’s fun to do matching family Christmas pajamas with the whole family!
  • Have a Christmas pajama party

    This fun tradition is easy to do with your own family, or with friends or extended family. Check out tons of fun Christmas pajama party ideas for some inspiration!
    Christmas Pajama Party Ideas
  • Wrap Christmas Presents.

    If you still have some presents to wrap, make a wrapping party out of it and get everyone ready for Christmas morning.

Out of the House Favorite Christmas Eve Traditions

  • Go Ice Skating.

    We all know kids have a lot of anticipation and excitement with energy to spare! Ice skating feels like one of those quintessential holiday activities. One may argue that it does double duty burning energy and helping share some holiday cheer.
  • Go Swimming.

    I know, this suggestion may have raised an eyebrow. But my dad used to take us to the recreation center the last few hours before it closed just to wear us out. It let my mom wrap presents for Christmas morning, and it wore us out so we’d go to sleep easier. To this day I smile about swimming laps in that heated indoor pool, and just how clever my parents were!
  • Have a sledding adventure.

    If you’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas, load up the sleds and hit the hills! It’s another great way to wear kids out and have some fun!
    Santa at the Mall
  • Go See Santa At the Mall.

    If you have small kids, it’s a fun way to get them even more excited for the next morning! And trust me, there’s no better way to document their little holiday cheer and excitement than splurging on one of those pictures!
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

    It’s a great opportunity to help those less fortunate. The seasons my parents focused on service projects were some of the most impactful lessons of my life. If you have a chance to volunteer, the night before Christmas is a perfect time to do it!
  • Go Christmas caroling.

    There’s just something about Christmas carols and sharing them as part of your fun Christmas Eve traditions. It can be to sing to your neighbors, family, or friends. But there can be some really special moments if you can book an opportunity to share some festive music at a nursing home, a hospital, or with the elderly in your area.
  • Go look at Christmas Lights.

    I mean they’re up and in their full glory at this time! Drive around, find a destination neighborhood, and enjoy some free holiday fun!
    Christmas on Comstock in Gilbert, Arizona.
  • Do a Drive Through holiday lights show.

    We love The World of Illumination, and think it’s a great way to have some festive fun as a family!
  • Grab our free Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt Printable.

    It’s the perfect way to enjoy Christmas decor through the festive season! Plus a Christmas scavenger hunt is a great Christmas date idea, but also a fun activity for young kids and older kids alike to enjoy! It’s a lot of fun to check out light displays and just may become a new family tradition that’s so fun to do on Christmas Eve night!
    Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt
  • Wrap Up Holiday Shopping.

    If you have any last-minute errands, go early and try to have fun! We also love to take our boys to choose a last-minute tiny gift for each family member. They love grabbing a pack of gum, mom’s favorite nail stickers, and a small Lego set for each other. It’s actually a very sweet tradition that helps them get very excited about gifting.

Religious Christmas Eve Activities for Families

  • Attend a Christmas Eve Church Service.

    Is there a better way to keep your focus on the reason than the season? We love listening to beautiful music and singing along to a Christmas church service. And if you’re wondering what to wear, I have a roundup of Christmas church outfit ideas.
    Holiday Church Outfit Ideas
  • Find a Midnight Mass to attend.

    This is one of the Christmas Eve activities everyone should do at least once! You’ll be amazed by the Christmas music, uplifting messages, and the great time you’ll have feeling the holiday spirit from a Christian perspective.
  • Read the Christmas Story from the Bible.

    My family always read it before we went to sleep on Christmas Eve. My husband’s family always did Christmas Day before they opened presents. I don’t think there’s a bad time to do it! But I loved having a little less stress and more time to think of the meaning of Christmas the night before.
  • Attend a live nativity.

    If you don’t know if there’s one in your area, ask around! It may become one of those new traditions your family does every year! So many churches and neighborhoods do these. And it’s one of my favorite things to see and take little kids to experience.
  • Talk about Christmas symbols.

    My grandma used to gather us by her Christmas tree and remind us that trees look up to Heaven, and remind us to do the same. She had carefully curated her Christmas ornaments with symbols of Christ.
    It was always a beautiful thing to help set up her nativity ornament that had a spot to stick in a Christmas light. She would talk about the star, the colors of Christmas, and the significance and symbols of Christmas. It doesn’t take much to do a quick search and make an intentional family activity to share this religious Christmas tradition.

We hope these help you find a great Christmas Eve family activity or a new Christmas Eve tradition to do together. And may you have a very Merry Christmas! 

Like these Christmas Eve activities? You may like these posts too: 

Christmas Activities for Families

Free Family Activities

Weekend Children Activities: 105 Fun Family Activities to Do on the Weekend

Get 365 Date Ideas!

We want to help you have the best date nights ever! Grab this FREE printable with 365 date ideas, a date for every day of the year so you never run out of ideas!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *