Your wallets are probably already hurting from all the shopping and gift buying and you may be trying to think of easy ways to entertain your family (of all ages) over the next couple of weeks. Here are some activities that are free or very inexpensive and can provide hours of entertainment for the entire family and they’ll help get everyone in the holiday spirit!
Holiday Lights– With it getting dark so early, this is a great way to entertain all ages in those evening hours. Check out our blog on the best Christmas light displays in and around Houston.
Christmas Movies- Who doesn’t love a good, classic Christmas movie? Spend an afternoon, evening or even a whole day (we won’t tell!) piled up on the couch in your pajamas with popcorn, hot chocolate and a movie marathon. Some of our favorite family-friendly holiday flicks include Christmas Vacation, Elf, Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and White Christmas.
DIY Décor- This activity kills two birds with one stone- it entertains and it provides decoration! Leftover popcorn from your movie marathon? Strand it on some thread or fishing line with a needle and hang it on your Christmas tree, in a doorway or on the mantle. Or, take a walk around the neighborhood and gather pinecones and evergreen branches and make homemade wreaths! You can purchase foam or wire wreaths at any hobby store or just recycle a metal coat hanger. Finish it off with ornaments or bows. Another option is to have everyone make their own ornament. Popsicle sticks, salt dough, cardboard, even just some paint and a handprint can make a fun ornament. Google and Pinterest are full of ideas.
Christmas Cookies- Chocolate chip, shortbread, gingerbread men, peanut butter blossoms….the options are endless when it comes to the types of Christmas cookies you can bake! One of the most popular are cutout sugar cookies because after they have been baked, you decorate, which is the most fun part. Adorn them with icing, sprinkles and candies of all types. There are a lot of recipes out there, but here is one that is tried and true if you don’t have one you love. If you’ve got a lot of family coming together, have everyone bake a different type and have a cookie swap. Everyone brings a few dozen to share so each person goes home with an assortment of cookies to sample.
Decorate a Gingerbread House- The all-inclusive kits are available at most all grocery stores right now, but if you’re really feeling motivated you can even make your own! Here’s a good tutorial to help get you started. Gather up icing, gumdrops, candy, candy canes, whatever you can think of and get to assembling. Even if it doesn’t end up pretty, it will taste good!
Volunteer- There is always an abundance of need around the holidays. Why not donate some of your extra time to helping others? Clean out some old toys and donate them to a local toy drive or Toys for Tots, spend a few hours at the food bank or serve a holiday meal at a homeless shelter. You can even go visit a retirement home and simply spend some time chatting with the residents or singing Christmas carols. They may not have any family coming to visit and your presence alone would mean so much. Check our local non-profits and choose an activity for the whole family. We promise it’ll make you feel good to give back.