This post may contain affiliate links.
Every year I put together an advent calendar full of awesome Christmas activities. Visiting shows. Checking out special light shows. Making special crafts. It is a lot of fun.
Let’s be real though. Sometimes those fun things just aren’t in the cards. Expecting things to go exactly to plan for 24 days isn’t very realistic. Kids (and sometimes parents!) get sick. The weather doesn’t cooperate. Supplies don’t get bought – whoops!
I have learned to keep these last minute advent activities in my back pocket. They require pretty much no planning or special supplies so they are great for times when plans just don’t work out.
Last Minute Advent Activities That Require Almost No Planning
Bake with store bought cookie dough
Pick up a roll or two of a sugar cookie dough and a container of festive sprinkles right after Thanksgiving. This way they will be in your fridge waiting for you in case you need them.
Drive around the neighborhood to look at lights
One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is driving around to look at lights with my family, so I do this at least once a year with my own kids. They get cozy in warm pajamas while I fill travel mugs with hot cocoa. We drive around looking for amazing decorations while listening to Christmas songs on the radio. This advent activity takes no planning.
Try a new holiday drink or treat
This last minute advent activity is perfect when you are traveling. Many coffee shops sell festive holiday drinks this time of year. You can find an assortment of sugar-laden treats flavored like gingerbread, peppermint, and sugar cookie. My kids were introduced to egg nog last year when we were on vacation. They were not a fan, but it definitely made a memory!
Watch a Christmas movie
A Netflix subscription makes this fun advent activity super easy. Pop some popcorn and snuggle up under soft warm blankets with your kiddos. If you don’t have Netflix, set your DVR to record a few family friendly Christmas movies or buy a dvd or two. My kids LOVE Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas. Share your favorite in the comment section to help other parents find new holiday movies!
Listen to holiday tunes
Listening to holiday music adds a festive atmosphere to just about any winter day. Many online music platforms, like Pandora, have multiple stations full of holiday music. This is perfect for one of those days that you realize at 5 pm that you haven’t completed any advent activities yet. Just put on some Christmas tunes and have a dance party.
Read a Christmas story
Admittedly, you do need a Christmas book for this advent activity, so it isn’t exactly 100% no prep. I’m guessing though, that you probably own at least one Christmas book. If you don’t, either order one or reserve one from your library right now. You can also find Christmas books that are available on Kindles.
What are your favorite last minute Advent activities?