12 Christmas Activities for Kids: Fun Things to do on Christmas Eve

We can all agree, we look forward to Christmas Eve, especially with the year we’ve had. Everyone could use a little more holiday cheer…

So, get ready with these fun Christmas activities for kids!

Many of these holiday traditions are the perfect fun things to do on Christmas Eve…

Christmas Eve Traditions & Things to Do

Christmas Activities: Things to do on Christmas Eve

December is in full swing – Santa photos, holiday shopping, Christmas parties… So, we’ve got you covered in the family fun department.

Before Christmas presents take over your entire living room, spend some extra family time together.

Many of the best things to do on Christmas Eve involve simple, holiday activities and your family. Try some of these fun Christmas activities & traditions with your family for holiday fun!

Also be sure to explore the 2020 Guide to Christmas in Kansas City:

Check out Holiday Lights in KC

This classic Christmas activity is easy. It’s likely that by Christmas Eve, everyone has their Christmas lights up…

So, drive around the neighborhood to look at the different holiday light displays! Check out the 2019 Holiday Lights Map for a full guide of Christmas lights in KC…over 80 spots!

Of course, making the drive to a local shopping center or Union Station to see how they’ve lit up the area is a fun option too.

Give the gift of Holiday PJ’s – PJ Party

One of the best Christmas traditions is to give your kids one gift early in the evening and have a holiday pajama party.

What’s more festive than cuddling up on the couch in matching pajama sets with a warm mug of hot chocolate?

Target, among many other retailers, is selling matching holiday sets for the whole family – including your dogs! We’ve even seen some pajama sets complete with fabric markers so the kids can actually design their own PJs.

Another favorite that we’ve heard is allowing the kids to have a special, sibling slumber party so they all wake up on Christmas morning together. 🙂

Take-out Christmas Eve dinner

Chances are that you have done or will be doing a lot of cooking for the holiday. So, cooking dinner is probably not one of your top things to do on Christmas Eve…

Take the night off and enjoy someone else’s cooking. This is one of the perfect Christmas activities for adults! 😉 

Sing Silly Christmas Carols

There are plenty of traditional Christmas songs circulating the radio and playing in every store.

If you would like a good laugh, then sing some silly, non-traditional holiday tunes. Have your own karaoke party in your living room!

Even better, let your children write and perform their own.

You can also have a karaoke night at home to sing your favorite Christmas songs. 

Make Homemade Gifts or Holiday Cards

Looking for thoughtful Christmas activities to do on Christmas Eve? Put everyone’s name in a hat and then draw one name each.

Everyone goes to different parts of the house to make DIY gifts or cards for the person they drew.

They can be simple crafts or homemade cards.

Make sure to keep each gift a surprise, NO peeking! Wrap them up and put them under the tree for Christmas morning. Or, you could have the kids make gifts and cards for Santa, since he rarely gets gifts in return.

Play Holiday Games

Time to take a break from the traditional board games and try new Christmas activities. There are lots of simple, holiday-themed games to play at home.

For example, you could play candy cane pick-up: hold a candy cane in your mouth and race against someone to see who can pick up the most without using their hands.

Another simple game is marshmallow toss: Hang up a couple wreaths dangling in the doorway with a bucket on the other side. Toss giant campfire marshmallows through the wreath and see who can get the most in the bucket.

For other ideas and twists on some favorites, head to Pinterest!

Watch a Christmas Movie

There are SO many holiday movies for Christmas activities – old and new! Grab the popcorn, cookies and cuddle up on the couch to celebrate the spirit of the season together.

One of our team’s favorites is Mr. Magoo’s a Christmas Carol by Abe Levitow.

The holiday movie is based on the story by Charles Dickens, but as an animated classic. Great for the whole family to enjoy! It covers the great moral concept of the original story, but is less scary for those little ones. The music is also very catchy.

Luckily, aside from the regularly programmed movies on TV, the streaming apps have a variety of holiday movies to choose from too. Check out some holiday favorites available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video. Check out some of these holiday movie suggestions:

Best Christmas Movies for All Ages

  • Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Shrek the Halls
  • Elf
  • A Christmas Carol
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas*
  • Prep and Landing
  • The Polar Express
  • Santa Buddies*
  • The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story
  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
  • Home Alone series
  • One Magic Christmas
  • The Santa Clause
  • Miracle of 34th Street*

Best Christmas Movies for Toddlers & Little Ones

  • Disney´s A Very Merry Christmas Sing Along
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • The Snowman
  • Merry Madagascar
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas*
  • Peppa Pig: Peppa´s Christmas
  • Sesame Street Once Upon a Christmas
  • Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales

Best Christmas Movies Older Kids & Teens

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • White Christmas
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • A Christmas Story
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Scrooged
  • Bad Santa
  • Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas
  • Four Christmases
  • Jingle All the Way

Christmas Movies on Netflix

  • The Christmas Chronicles
  • The Holiday Calendar
  • Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas
  • Santa Claws
  • Christmas Ranch
  • DreamWorks’ Holiday Classics
  • Mickey’s Magical Christmas
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
  • The Search for Santa Paws
  • The Christmas Project
  • Trolls Holiday

We know the list of holiday movies could go on and on, but we want to know your family’s favorites too! Feel free to leave us a comment or send us a message on your go-to holiday movie night picks and traditions.

Make Santa’s Cookies & Reindeer Chow

Baking and decorating cookies with kids is a fun Christmas activity or Christmas Eve tradition.

Whether its grandma’s secret recipe cookies from a kit, nothing is sweeter than spending time together. Check out these fun recipes for homemade cookies.

Another favorite is Reindeer Chow – You could just set out carrots for the reindeer but I bet by the time they reach your house, they will want a treat.

Here is a fun recipe for reindeer food that is 100% edible and your kids can toss it out in the yard.

Christmas Story Time

We love the idea of reading a holiday story or two before bedtime.

A popular holiday tradition that goes along with the same theme is to gift a new holiday book each year to read together.

…what a fun thing to do right before bed!

Track Santa’s Journey

The Norad Santa tracker is a weather service that is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force.

Each year they put up videos and give regular reports of Santa traveling around the world all evening long on Christmas Eve.

They reach the United States between 10pm – midnight to help your child know when to head off to bed.

Family Game Night!

Grab your coziest sweats & plan a family night for Christmas Eve – full of fun game ideas.

Let each child pick a game, then spend the evening playing games while waiting for Santa.

Make a Christmas Craft

Have fun making arts and crafts your kiddos during Christmas Eve.

Find great options of Christmas crafts for kids now!

We’d love to hear about the fun Christmas Eve traditions your family has – drop them in the comments!

No matter what holiday activity or thing to do you choose to do, it will bring your family together in the spirit of the holidays. It doesn’t get better than family time…

Be sure you get The Scoop too! You don’t want to miss exclusive invites to movie premieres, Kids Club Events, & more things to do with kids in Kansas City…plus it’s free!

From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.