Winter Break Family Fun Bucket List

I had the best intentions of a holiday fun bucket list. I planned to count down to Christmas with fun activities every day. Pinterest has exploded with fun advent calendar ideas. I love the ones with pockets or drawers to fill for each day of the month, and I wanted to fill ours with fun (and frugal!) family activities to do together as we countdown to Christmas.

Alas, December 1st came and went, and I never setup our advent calendar. The girls are counting down with math instead. Every day, the youngest asks me the date, then subtracts it from 25 to tell me how many days are left until Christmas. Still, there are so much fun of the holiday season that I don’t want to miss a thing. Enter the Winter Break Bucket List.

The girls get out of school at noon on Friday, beginning 2 weeks of winter break. With Christmas Eve following immediately on Monday, there’s plenty of time after Christmas to enjoy our family time. To be sure we squeeze in all the fun we possibly can, I’m putting together a list of family fun activities for our free time.

Here are 15 must-do holiday activities:


  • Bake cookies for Santa. 1 of 15
    Bake cookies for Santa.
    The girls love to bake cookies for Santa. This will be our first activity, on Christmas Eve day. We'll keep it simple and make a few treats to leave out for Santa (and take to our family gatherings!).
    Photo and Plate Tutorial via That's What Che Said
  • Feed the birds. 2 of 15
    Feed the birds.
    Homemade birdfeeders are always a fun winter project. We may also see if there are any geese still hanging around the lake, since it's been such a warm year so far.
    Read more at Saltwater Kids
  • Make holiday crafts. 3 of 15
    Make holiday crafts.
    Even after Christmas, it's not too late to let the girls make a few holiday decorations or homemade ornaments. We can enjoy them for a few days and store them again for next season!
    Read more at The Little Style File
  • Watch a cheap movie. 4 of 15
    Watch a cheap movie.
    We're hitting the dollar theater at least once over break — fingers crossed they're still showing Finding Nemo! It's a family favorite, and I want to catch it on the big screen one more time.
  • Build a snowman. 5 of 15
    Build a snowman.
    We can't control the weather and likely won't have enough snow for a real snowman before school starts again. That's why I love snowman projects — cookies and marshmallows make great edible treats, and these doughmen are adorable!
    Read more at Alpha Mom
  • See the Christmas lights. 6 of 15
    See the Christmas lights.
    We'll hit up a few nearby light displays on Christmas Eve, but I'd love to take the girls a bit farther for some really cool Christmas displays.
    How to Take Pictures of Christmas Lights: Alli Worthington
  • Have a dance party. 7 of 15
    Have a dance party.
    Video games are good for hours of entertainment, especially Just Dance which has quickly become a family favorite. I'll announce "random dancing" and have a blast playing together.
    Buy this on Amazon
  • Countdown to 2013. 8 of 15
    Countdown to 2013.
    Our New Year's Eve will be a little different this year, so I plan to make it extra special by counting down all day long.
    Read more at The Dating Divas
  • Go ice skating. 9 of 15
    Go ice skating.
    It's been a couple years since we've taken the girls ice skating. I think it's time!
  • Make a homemade pizza. 10 of 15
    Make a homemade pizza.
    Homemade pizza night is one of the girls' favorite dinners ever. It's definitely on the menu for their school break.
  • Freeze winter suncatchers. 11 of 15
    Freeze winter suncatchers.
    I love these frozen suncatchers! I'm going to set aside a cold afternoon to let the girls make their own.
    Read more at Spoonful
  • Have a board game night. 12 of 15
    Have a board game night.
    I am sure the girls will have plenty of new games after Christmas. We'll spend an evening together by the Christmas tree, playing games together.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user
  • Sleep under the Christmas tree. 13 of 15
    Sleep under the Christmas tree.
    I love the idea of a Christmas tree slumber party! We are definitely letting the girls campout under the lights one night before they go back to school.
    Read more at How Does She?
  • Swim — indoors! 14 of 15
    Swim — indoors!
    The girls get a huge kick out of doing things at the wrong time. Breakfast for dinner, Halloween candy for breakfast...swimming in the winter should rank right up there! We have quite a few indoor water parks in this area plus the YMCA often has free open swim during school vacation.
  • Make Indoor S’mores. 15 of 15
    Make Indoor S'mores.
    We love to make s'mores inside with a sterno pot. I can't wait to surprise the girls with a s'mores night!
    Read more at The Full Moxie

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