Creative Advent Calendar Ideas Without Candy

Skip the candy this year and get creative with your advent calendars for your family and kids! Sometimes those store-bought advent calendars come with chocolate that is so chalky and icky that they’re not even worth the calories.

Advent calendars can still be fun and festive without the candy! Try some of these creative advent calendars that trade the candy for something a little bit more substantial!

Holiday Activity Advent Calendar

Have 25 holiday activities written on small pieces of paper in envelopes. Each morning, have your family open one and do whatever’s written on the paper. This is a great way to get your family in the spirit and have family time! Here are some examples:

  • Bake holiday cookies
  • Decorate a gingerbread house.

    Advent Countdown

    Advent Countdown

  • Get outside and build a snowman.
  • Watch a holiday movie as a family.
  • Do a holiday craft with your siblings or friends.

Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Write a daily random act of kindness on mini cards or paper and insert into envelopes. Write 1-25 and hang them on a string in your kitchen using clothespins. Here are some examples:

  • Do something special for your sibling.
  • Play with a kid on the playground who is alone.
  • Donate a few canned goods.
  • Write a letter to a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Tell each member of your family what you love about them.

Surprise-a-Day Advent Calendar

Each day until Christmas you could have your kids open a little goodie bag with a little surprise. Think simple like crafting supplies, new mini ornaments, and more.

Book-a-Day Advent Calendar

There’s endless evidence to show the importance of reading to your kids daily and this is a fun way to countdown to Christmas, get some family time in and teach your kids reading. Gather up 25 holiday books, wrap them and write a number on each. Each night, have your child open the corresponding book and read it to them before bed. They could be books you already own or you could buy a few extras. Wrap The Night Before Christmas and label that as number 24!



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Sharareh is the Editorial Director for WomensForum. An avid foodie, fashionista, and traveller with a passion for pop culture, she's often scanning news feeds or posting her latest adventure to Instagram. Thanks to her Iranian/Irish roots, Sharareh is fascinated by diversity and culture and is on her way to writing the great American Melting Pot novel.