25 Christmas Eve Activities That Your Family Will Love

It’s almost Christmas Eve! If you’re looking for some last-minute Christmas eve activities to do with your family before the big day, we have just what you need. Here are our favorite Christmas Eve activities that your family will love too! From going out and about to staying in – we have plenty of meaningful ideas so there is something for everyone.

Christmas Eve Activities

Christmas Eve Activities

Go Caroling

Caroling is a great way to spread the joy of Christmas and get into that festive spirit. If your family doesn’t want to go out, why not make some carols at home? Play those favorite tunes on the piano or guitar for everyone to sing along with – it’s sure to be memorable!

Check The Christmas Lights in Your Neighborhood

If your family loves to get out and about on Christmas Eve, why not take a drive around the neighborhood and check out all of the amazing lights that people have put up? This is always such an exciting activity for kids.

Bake Christmas Cookies With Your Kids

What better way to spend Christmas Eve than by baking your favorite Christmas cookies with the kids? There is something magical about spending time together in this way that will make those memories last forever.

Drink Hot Cocoa By The Fireplace With Your Loved Ones

You know it goes without saying that hot cocoa by the fireplace is always a winner when December rolls around – even more so on Christmas Eve!

Visit Santa On Christmas Eve

Kids always love this! They get to talk face-to-face with Santa and even sit on his lap. Plus, they’ll come back from the visit feeling just as excited for Christmas morning as you are.

Play Traditional Games With Your Family

This is a blast – especially if your family has some favorite activities that have been passed down over generations. This can be anything from playing charades or cards together or something more traditional like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit.

Christmas Eve Box

One of the newer Christmas traditions is making a Christmas Eve Box and opening it up on Christmas Eve. It’s like a Christmas present – but you open it on the night before with the whole family.

What To Put In A Christmas Eve box:

  • A note from Santa.
  • A cookie for each family member that includes a letter written by them to Santa.
  • Matching family Christmas pajamas.
  • Christmas slippers
  • A personalized Christmas ornament with your family’s name and the year.
  • Christmas movie
  • Christmas book to read together.
  • A Santa hat.
  • Small toys for kids.

Read The Nativity Story

Celebrate with a family reading of the nativity story. You can read it to them or have one person do all the voices and act out each part for your kids!

Christmas Eve Scavenger Hunt

One great tradition is setting up a scavenging hunt on Christmas eve that starts by finding an ornament in the tree, leading them around the house looking for clues then ending up at Santa’s Grotto.

Have A Family Prayer Service

Praying together as a family before bedtime has always been our favorite way to end Christmas Eve celebrations. Find some meaningful passages from scripture – anything you want really – and pray together about what Christmases mean in your life.

Leave Out Cookies And Milk For Santa (or Reindeer)

Another tradition many families love on Christmas eve is leaving cookies and milk out where they think Santa will stop by in order to deliver their presents.

Play Charades

One of our favorite Christmas Eve activities is playing charades at the end of the night as a family. It doesn’t take up much time, but you’ll be surprised how far one round will go (think 20 minutes). Encourage everyone to do their best impressions for comedic effect.

Attend A Christmas Mass

Masses are often a great time to get together with family and friends for Christmas Eve. Hear the Christmas sermons, sing Christmas carols and enjoy a moment of reflection as you near Christmastide.

Make A Snowman

If it’s snowing outside on Christmas Eve then you might want to bundle up and make a snowman out in your yard or neighborhood.

Put Up Christmas Stockings

We love this tradition because it’s so easy and festive! You can have your kids hang up their stockings before bedtime and then fill them with goodies in the morning.

Watch A Christmas Movie Together

We suggest Home Alone 😊. This is such an iconic movie that we never get tired of watching on Christmas eve (or any day!). National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is another favorite! Clark Griswold is a hoot!

Track Santa

The Norad Santa tracker lets kids know how close Santa is to their home. There are also fun games and activities that you can do with your family while waiting for the big guy!

Open One Gift

This might sound a little crazy, but some of us like to open just one present on Christmas eve before bedtime – it helps keep the excitement going until morning without filling up our stockings too soon. If your children have been really good all year long then they’re probably due for a bonus gift from mom or dad 😊 !

Read Aloud The Night Before Christmas Book

We love this tradition because reading together feels so warm and cozy (even if we’ve read it umpteen times already). Other favorites include A Christmas Carol and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Christmas Eve Dinner

If you’re home and looking for something quick and easy then consider making one last dinner together before bedtime. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy (pasta works great) but make sure there are enough leftovers for breakfast tomorrow morning. Serving cookies or popcorn as dessert adds an extra festive touch πŸ˜‹.

Candy Cane Hunt

This is a favorite with little kids because it’s so simple. Hide candy canes in places where they’ll be able to find them. The person who collects the most candy canes wins a (small) prize.

Make a Hot Chocolate Bar

Christmas Eve Activities - Hot Chocolate Station

Hot chocolate is the no. 1 favorite Holiday beverage according to a survey, so why not create a hot cocoa bar for Christmas Eve?

All you need is hot chocolate with toppings such as crushed candy canes, mini marshmallows, chocolate shavings and chopped nuts.

Everyone can create their own crazy version of hot cocoa and show off their creation!

Sprinkle Reindeer Dust On the Walkway

Kids of all ages can get into the holiday spirit by sprinkling some reindeer dust (made from sugar and edible glitter on the walkway.


Volunteering on Christmas eve is a great way to give back and spend time with your family.

You can volunteer at the soup kitchen, help wrap presents for charity, or deliver food baskets to those in need.

Play The A To Z of Christmas

Make teams and write down the alphabet vertically on pieces of paper. Players have to think of something Holiday related words that start with the letters of the alphabet. The first team to complete all 26 letters wins.

Christmas Eve Activities Wrap Up

Christmas Eve is a magical time of year. Whether you have your own traditions or not, it’s important to make the most out of this wonderful evening before Santa comes on December 24th. Here are some ideas for fun activities that will keep everyone entertained and help create memories that last a lifetime.

What are your favorite things to do together as a family during the holiday season? We would love to hear about them!

More Christmas Traditions and Activities

Christmas Eve Activities for the Whole Family

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