Our Advent Activity Calendar

Advent calendar activity

I loved Esther’s post last year about an Advent Activity Calendar! We have done a similar idea for a few years now (unfortunately not so beautifully designed!). I bought a Maileg Advent garland (a little bit like this one) and in every pocket the children find a sweet treat and an Advent activity for us to do. Lots of our activities are similar to Esther’s – designed to enjoy this preparation time leading up to Christmas: gathering pine-cones, sticking cloves into oranges, baking, making decorations, thinking of those less fortunate, making (and eating) gingerbread, watching a Christmas movie together, etc. But I also try and book a couple of seasonal activities to enjoy with the kids during these days. For some of them you need to book early (in October!) but some you can still do – most are in or around London.

  • The National Trust: The National Trust usually have great festive activities at their sites leading up to Christmas – We’ve been to see Father Christmas and the Christmas animals at Hatchlands Park, we’ve listened to Christmas Jazz at Ham House, we’ve done Christmas trails, Christmas crafts and visited Christmas markets and fairs – all of which have left us with that warm festive glow. This year we’re planning to visit a Georgian Christmas at Osterley House & Park.
  • Christmas at Kew: We’re fortunate enough to live close to Kew and so have always made sure we visit – it gets better and better each year – especially as now there is the Christmas illuminations trail and market. The lights lighting up the magnificent trees and plants around the garden is spectacular – the walk takes about 45 minutes but there are stopping points throughout to warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine.
  • Christmas theatre: I always look out for a Christmas show to go and see with the kids – I particularly like small theatre productions – We saw a wonderful adaption of Father Christmas (Raymond Briggs) last year at The Lyric in Hammersmith (which is back this year if you are nearby) and I always check the children’s theatres for their Christmas program: The Polka in Wimbledon and The Unicorn on Southbank. We have also watched the fabulous adaption of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stickman (which is back on stage this year at The Leicester Square Theatre). This year we are going to see Slava’s Snow Show – which sounds pretty fab.
  • Christmas Carols: My absolute favourite place for singing carols is Hampton Court – the singers meet at the door to the palace at 6pm and then walk around the courtyards stopping to sing along with a brass band – it is literally my favourite Christmas Activity – we have done it for the last 6 years and every year it gets better organised; now there is a stopping point for a mince pie and a mulled wine (I think you are getting an impression of what good organisation means to me – food and drink!!). But despite having the ticket-opening date in my diary I missed tickets this year – you really need to book as soon as they go on sale. So I’m looking for a fun Christmas Caroling event, do you know any? We will take the kids to the family carol service at St. Paul’s, which is also lovely (but no mince pies or mulled wine …)

I’d love to know what Christmas activities you try and fit in during Advent time.

Mo. x


Comments (6)

November 24, 2015

This year we’ve added a terribly American one, we’re going to wear elf hats and put candy canes on all the windshields at Waitrose one evening after school. It is so cheesy it makes my teeth hurt, but it’s all about spreading the cheer so…!!
We also have traditional ones like picnic tea under the tree, going to choose a new bauble each, delivering cards to the neighbours, the crib service at church, making a gingerbread house…am so excited for Advent to start!!

Esther in Amsterdam
November 24, 2015

I love these ideas, thanks Mo! My kids are already talking about their activity advent — it’s such a special new tradition! : ) xxx

November 24, 2015

Oh my goodness I love the candy cane one!!!! We do the gingerbread house and most of your others but that one is genius!!! I just printed mine out yesterday but I’m thinking if I can reprint one to include that idea!!! I love those acts of random cheer!!!

November 25, 2015

Very very impressed!!! Lucky children !!! X

December 6, 2015

[…] evening, saving our bigger plans for the weekends. We have gotten lots of ideas around the web from here and here. This year my kids made a list of their favorites to include. I really make sure to space […]

December 8, 2016

[…] in front of me when I put together the calendar). We included some new ideas this year (thanks, Mo!), and there are also some empty fields, in case you would like to insert your own […]

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