7 Holiday Budget-friendly Activities for the Whole Family

By Chonce Maddox
December 17, 2019

The holiday season is the perfect time to slow down and experience fun things with your family. And, if you have young children home from school for Christmas vacation, you may be looking for activities to keep them busy. 

While holiday spending can take a toll on your wallet, it doesn’t cost much to make fun memories with your family. In fact, you can possibly even save money by committing to finding cheap Christmas activities that everyone can enjoy. Perhaps you can even play fun Christmas games instead of paying for an expensive vacation or outing over the holiday break. 

To get started, here are 7 holiday budget-friendly activities for the whole family. 

1. Make a Gingerbread House

Gingerbread house kits are available at almost any store that sells either food or craft items. They come with everything you need, including directions for decorating. You can even try baking your own gingerbread house and buy some candy and frosting to decorate it. 

Keep in mind: Most ready-made kits require much less work than the DIY route. They also only cost around $10 to $15. 

2. Drink Hot Chocolate and Check Out the Holiday Lights

If you’re looking for cheap Christmas activities that won’t break the bank, take advantage of all the Christmas decor in your area. You can simply drive around to check out the neighborhood lights. Some cities even have free Christmas light displays that you can drive or walkthrough. 

Your local zoo or park may also have a holiday lights display to visit this year. Be sure to take some hot chocolate along for the ride to keep you warm.

3. Make Ornaments

Making ornaments is one of the most popular cheap Christmas activities to do with the entire family. You can make some as gifts for other people, too.

Consider grabbing an ornament kit from your local craft store or just using supplies you have at home. You can design wooden ornaments, convert small unused toys into an ornament, or buy plastic clear ornaments and either paint them or stuff them with decorations.

4. Go Ice Skating

If there are any outdoor ice skating rinks where you live, they may be free to use during normal operating hours (but you may need to pay to rent ice skates if you don’t already own them). 

There are indoor ice skating rinks as well that are open year-round, but they usually cost more than outdoor facilities. Still, this is a budget-friendly holiday activity for families that will get you out of the house and doing something active. 

If there’s no ice skating rink near you but there’s snow, find a nice hill and take the family sledding for the afternoon. 

5. Play a Christmas Game

There are so many fun Christmas games to play. You can buy holiday games like Christmas Feud, The Holiday Fun Quiz, or Festive Bingo.  Or, you can make up your own games to play at home for free. ‘Christmas movie trivia’, ‘name that Christmas carol’, ‘marshmallow stack’ (similar to Jenga) and ‘charades’ are just a few great ideas that will save you money.

6. Serve Someone In Your Community

Yes, volunteering can be rewarding and it’s a great way to bond as a family. 

Here are some ideas: See if you can volunteer to serve a meal at a homeless shelter, organize food and supplies at a food pantry, or sing and make crafts for nursing home residents. 

Feed My Starving Children, for example, is an organization that allows individuals and groups to help pack meals for children in other countries. Volunteers are always welcome to set up a time to come pack meals for 90 minutes. You can book a volunteer shift right on their website.

It costs nothing to volunteer your time and it will keep you busy while allowing you to connect with new people and help others. 

7. Christmas Movie Marathon and a Craft

If you enjoy watching movies with your family, plan a Christmas movie marathon and enjoy your favorite classics while discovering some new films. There are tons of holiday movies to choose from on streaming sites like Netflix. You can also rent some movies from your local library.

You can also plan to do a fun craft while you’re watching movies. For example, you can design ugly Christmas sweaters, decorate sugar cookies, or make a snow globe. 

Prioritize Spending Quality Time Together

No matter what your budget is for holiday activities this year, commit to spending quality time together and keeping it simple.   

From the Chime family to your family: Happy holidays! 💚

Choncé is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, personal finance freelance writer, and blogger who focuses on helping other manage their money better in order to live a life with more possibilities and fewer limitations. Her work has been featured on Business Insider, LendingTree, Credit Sesame, Barclaycard.

Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. The Chime Visa® Credit Builder Card is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.

By clicking on some of the links above, you will leave the Chime website and be directed to a third-party website. The privacy practices of those third parties may differ from those of Chime. We recommend you review the privacy statements of those third party websites, as Chime is not responsible for those third parties' privacy or security practices.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

© 2013-2021 Chime. All Rights Reserved.