Holiday Fun on a Budget

The holidays can be hectic but they don’t have to be expensive. This article on holiday fun on a budget shares affordable ways to spend enjoyable time with your family this Christmas.

Affordable Holiday Fun

Your desire to make the holidays the best they can be can put pressure on you and your pocketbook. Thankfully, there are many affordable Christmas activities to help ease the family into the holiday spirit and entertain the kids during school break. Whether you choose to bake gingerbread cookies, build a snowman, play a board game or watch a classic holiday movie, the important thing is the fun you'll share and the memories you'll create together. Decorating, entertaining and cooking become easier and more enjoyable when everyone pitches in or participates.

Cost-Friendly Activities


Bake Your Best

Santa isn't the only one who likes cookies at Christmas. Nothing beats homemade holiday treats to delight family and friends. Stock up on all the baking supplies you need including flour, sugar, butter, eggs, shortening and all sorts of fun cookie decorating accents. Just break out the aprons and cookie sheets and whip up some sweet treats with the family this year. Baking is a fun, budget-friendly way to keep the kids busy; and a sneaky way to teach basic math skills behind measurements, baking times and temperatures. If you find stand mixers and rolling pins intimidating, try a pre-packaged gingerbread kit accented with your family’s favourite candies. Baked with love, fruit cakes and shortbreads make thoughtful, affordable gifts for friends.

Snow Activities

Weather permitting, it’s good to take a fresh air break to play in the snow. Outdoor physical activity can head off the wintertime blahs and help to offset those extra Christmas calories. Building a snowman, having a good-natured snowball fight and tobogganing are great opportunities for some tech-free interaction. Grab your snowboards, snowshoes, sleds and toboggans for a real cold-weather workout. Make sure everyone is dressed snugly with gloves, scarves, snow pants and hats for maximum comfort on the wintriest days.

Public Skating

Lace up the skates and hit the nearest rink for public skating with the family this holiday season. It's a great way to promote physical activity and family bonding. Most outdoor public rinks are available free of charge while warmer indoor facilities may charge a modest fee. To get the most out of your ice time, make sure everyone is comfortably outfitted with properly sized skates and warm outerwear. A handy insulated bottle loaded with hot cocoa or cider will help cut the chill and extend your outing.

Do Christmas Crafts

You don't have to be a kid to enjoy playing with glue and glitter. Involve the entire family in making Christmas crafts and encourage creativity. Whether you're assembling a holiday craft kit or going freestyle with paint and craft sticks, hands-on projects engage minds and create memories. They can also result in unique and affordable Christmas gifts. From candy cane reindeers to marshmallow snowmen to elaborate wreaths, focus on variety and fun. Safety note: Christmas crafts for kids call for direct adult supervision if they’re using scissors and glue guns.

Christmas Decorations

Forego an extra trip to the mall by enlisting family members to create homemade Christmas decorations. String together popcorn and cranberries for a classic garland, or create holiday keepsake snow globes featuring family photos. Let the kids deck the halls, or at least their own rooms, with their own small artificial tree and some inexpensive, non-breakable Christmas ornaments. For big holiday decorating impact that’s sure to please, help the kids "wrap" doors in Christmas paper and add a homemade bow to make them look like giant gifts.

Make Christmas Cards

Design your own Christmas cards and you'll be creating cherished holiday memories for everyone in the household. Bringing the family together to personalize your holiday greetings is a great project to get kids and adults alike into the Christmas spirit. If you need a little structure and inspiration, use a greeting card template or kit to get started. You can also just dive in and start combining craft supplies like paint and glitter with family photos, Christmas stickers, cardstock or construction paper.

Puzzles & Board Games

Encourage your kids to reconnect with each other over a good old-fashioned puzzle or board game. Start a holiday tradition by introducing your kids to your favourite games and Christmas puzzles, or discover something new together. In addition to bringing you closer and creating lasting holiday memories, playing games and puzzles is a good way to activate your kids’ problem-solving and critical-thinking skills during winter break.

Christmas Games

Break up sessions in front of the TV by enticing the family to become active this year. Playing classic charades with a Christmas theme is a festive way to change the pace during evenings at home or holiday parties. A game of musical chairs accompanied by Christmas music is a fun way to distract the kids while they wait for the big day. Invite the neighbours for a Christmas scavenger hunt for items such as mistletoe, Christmas crackers and chocolate Santas and have treats on hand to reward success.


Put a little adventure into your family time with a high-tech treasure hunt. Geocaching is an exciting game of hide-and-seek where you use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to find containers, called geocaches, which have been hidden outdoors. Treasure hunters bring along their own inexpensive trinkets to trade for the ones they take, so the next adventurers have something to find. Browse online to locate a geocache near you, then sign up and get the GPS coordinates. In addition to the thrill of the hunt, it's a great way to get the family out and enjoying nature together.

Christmas Movies

When the weather outside is frightful, why not stay in and watch Christmas movies? Pop some popcorn, put on your pajamas and cozy up on the couch instead of braving the snow and holiday traffic. Share old family favourites, replay classic cartoons or try something new; the important thing is you’re nestled comfortably together. The fun doesn't have to stop after the credits roll either. Encourage some discussion and weigh-in afterwards with your own "reviews.”

Money-Saving To-Do Tips:

• Pack some cookies and hot cocoa and take a tour of the neighbourhood to see all the Christmas lights
• Break out the Christmas songbook and go door-to-door caroling
• Check your local events calendar for Christmas plays and concerts — many are free over the holidays
• Add a few drops of food colouring to a spray bottle of water and paint snow murals in the yard
• Teach your kids about the spirit of giving by having them select toys they’ve outgrown (but are still good condition) to donate to charity
• Gather up the family for a day of volunteering with a local food drive or other charities
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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