Holiday Break Activities to Keep Kids Busy

Kids and Mother Baking for the HolidaysAround the winter holidays, parents face an annual problem: how to keep kids occupied during the newfound free time. It’s not easy to keep kids busy all hours of the day, so parents must think of new activities for kids to get into. To ease your burden, we’ve compiled 10 holiday break activities to help keep kids entertained. Check them out below and see what will work for your family!

Entertain Kids With 10 Holiday Break Activities

1. Bake Holiday Treats

When the snowflakes start flying, it’s time for one of the best holiday break activities, baking! Sugar cookies of all sorts are a great option, and you can work with kids to assemble cookie plates to safely distribute to friends and family.

If you need a no-bake option for young kids, try making chocolate covered pretzels or Oreos.

Kid Sledding Down Snowy Hill2. Go Sledding

There’s nothing better to do on your holiday break than sledding! If you live in an environment with snow, sledding is a quintessential winter activity. But unless you’re expecting a blizzard, be sure to check that local sledding hills are open. Some sledding hills don’t begin making snow until after New Year’s Day or the first winter storm of the season.

3. Create a Hot Cocoa Bar

After sledding, warm up with a hot cocoa bar. Fortunately for you, we’ve already rounded up a number of irresistible hot cocoa recipes. We recommend making a classic hot chocolate base and then laying out a variety of add-ins and toppings. These might include marshmallows, whipped cream, peppermint syrup, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, and more.

4. Make Christmas Tree Ornaments

For crafty kids, try putting them to work making ornaments for the Christmas tree. There are plenty of easy ornaments that kids can create with minor supervision. Additionally, Christmas ornaments can be used year after year and are a great way to hearken back to previous Christmases.

5. Taste Test Holiday Ice Cream

Have a sweet tooth? Try getting the family together for a taste test of holiday ice creams. Many limited flavors hit the shelves during the holidays, including candy cane, gingerbread, eggnog, and more. Pick up a few pints or quarts and have everyone sample, then vote on their favorite!

6. Craft Hanukkah Decorations

Along with Christmas, Hanukkah is a major holiday taking place in winter. Since Hanukkah is guided by the Hebrew calendar, it can take place at any time between late November and late December on the standard American calendar.

If your family celebrates Hanukkah, you can keep kids busy with Hanukkah crafts. This guide includes ideas for menorahs and dreidels made from colored popsicle sticks.

Gingerbread House7. Build Gingerbread Houses

If we had to rank holiday break activities, building gingerbread houses would sit near the top. Fun, festive, and edible, gingerbread homes are cheerful decorations that embrace the best of winter. You can make a gingerbread house from scratch, or pick up a build-your-own kit from the grocery store.

8. Cut Out Paper Snowflakes

If you’re looking for the most inexpensive Christmas decorations, paper snowflakes are coming to the rescue! Requiring only paper and scissors, paper snowflakes are beautiful decorations for windows. Teens can make paper snowflakes on their own, but young kids will need supervision since scissors are involved.

9. Write Letters to Santa

For young children, writing letters to Santa is an integral Christmas tradition. If you ask them to draw a picture to send with the letter, you can occupy at least an hour or two of time. As far as sending the letters, parents can either collect them and write their own responses, or send them to the Santa Claus Post Office in Indiana where volunteers write responses.

Mom and Child at a Holiday Light Show10. Attend a Holiday Light Show

Completing our list of holiday break activities is a favorite, attending a holiday light show. This year, the best shows are outdoors. Some can be walked through in open-air environments while others are strictly drive-through. Check out our complete list of holiday light displays and find a show near you!


As you can tell, there are plenty of ways to keep kids occupied during the time off. We hope these holiday break activities make life a little easier for you. Don’t forget to share this post with other parents who may be in the same boat!


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