Are you searching for frugal or free family Holiday activities? Check out the list of 20 below:

20 Frugal or Free Family Holiday Activities #christmas #christmasonabudget #holidayactivities
20 Frugal or Free Family Holiday Activities

Frugal or Free Holiday Activities for Families

Are you looking for free things to do this Christmas Season? What can you do for Christmas at home or around town that doesn’t cost much?

The Holidays are such a wonderful time to show family you care but let’s face it, the Holiday Season is expensive too. And if you are trying to budget for Christmas shopping, finding money for family Christmas activities is difficult.

Nonetheless, there are many fun activities for families that are low-cost or free. So even if you are on a budget, you can get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy your time together as a family.

Think about it this way…Spending time with your kiddos is way better than any fleeting toy of the moment that your kid won’t even care about by next Christmas. Yet, the memories you make doing fun Christmas activities will last a lifetime, even after the toys are sold or donated next Holiday season. Nonetheless, one thing you will always remember are those fun family Christmas traditions you are starting now. (Even if they are frugal Christmas traditions.)

If you like this post, you will love…

Christmas activities will hold a spot in your hearts for years to come…And the great news is these activities do not have to cut into your budget!

So I’ve done all the work for you and compiled a list of amazing family-friendly activities that are very low-cost or free. Please use my list and enjoy!! Give your kids a toy or two, but give them the gift of time as well! Merry Christmas everyone!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click an add and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission and be very grateful! I do not recommend items/stores, I do not truly love myself! Thanks!


1. Holiday Mall Walk –  Have young kids? Bring the stroller & stop at the play area! Many malls go “all out” and have a lot of awesome picture opportunities to use for your Christmas card.

2. Christmas Light Hunt–   Let’s pack up the kids, bring some snacks and hunt for the best Christmas lights display in town. It is always fun to see how your neighbors light up their yards with pretty decorations. I still remember doing this as a kid in our old, beat up station Wagon! It wasn’t the car we were driving or that there were four kids loudly singing carols (I’m sure my parents loved that part), but that we were together as a family!

3. Family Church Time Where do you find the best music & Christmas spirit? Why church, of course!!  Even if you are not a member, many churches welcome visitors. Here you can hear beautiful music and listen to a great message about the meaning of Christmas. 

Pro Tip: Get there early. Christmas Eve is one of the busiest church times of the year.

4. Tree Lighting Ceremonies –  Check your local flyers, city papers or websites for the times and locations.  Many have entertainment before the tree lighting and it is all free! My son even got a free elf hat this year.

5. Choir ConcertsMany local choirs hold concerts around the Holidays.  Check your local city flyers to find a Holiday choir near you.

6. Family Christmas Movie Night– You might be saying to yourself… Now, these are not free…They are free if you head up to your local library.  We just checked out “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.  Of course, I will be watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” this year too!!

7. Children’s Christmas Books –  Also free at the library… Cuddle up and read some of your favorite Christmas stories, old and new. Your little one will feel so special!! Don’t forget to make Hot Cocoa!

8. Free Lights Shows – Many cities decorate their downtown areas with Christmas lights.  It is always fun to drive or walk (if it isn’t too cold) to view the glimmering lights.

9. Holiday Markets – Many cities have Holiday Markets this time of the year.  These Markets sell Christmas items and more.  They are usually held in the same area as farmer’s markets.  Even if you do not buy anything, it is still fun to walk around and window shop.

10.Local Santa Visits – You don’t need to take your kid to the mall and spend an upwards of $25 to see Santa. Search your local areas or ask on mom to mom sites where to find a free Santa and take your own pictures.

11. Decorate the Christmas Tree as a Family – Sure, your tree may look better if you do it yourself, but kids love helping, especially if it includes some family time with mom and dad.  Warm up some hot cocoa and put on the Christmas music. Let your kids go through the non-breakable ornaments and hang up as much as they can.

12. Make Your Own Decorations and Hang Them Up –  My mom used to have us make red and green link chains out of constructions paper and hang them up as a decoration. You could also string popcorn (and eat it, yum!)

13. Holiday Art Projects –  Pinterest literally has thousands of ideas! Most projects use construction paper and glue; however, I did see an awesome pin to make play snow! Check out my post on Holiday learning art projects.

14. Home Depot Kid’s Crafts – Check your local  Home Depot craft projects calendar.  Most stores offer a free Holiday craft the first Saturday of the month.

15. Gingerbread House Night – Don’t buy a pricey kit. Stock up on graham crackers when they are on sale and a tube of frosting. You can buy gumdrops and peppermints at the dollar store and can often find sprinkles around the Holiday time as well. You can make a few houses for around $5 total.

16. Holiday Cookie Baking Night – We do this every year one or two days before Christmas. Decorating cookies doesn’t have to be expensive. We buy Betty Crocker Cookie Mix for around $2.00 and I make frosting out of butter, powdered sugar and milk; however, you can buy a can of frosting for around $1 if you are on a budget. We pick two kinds of cookies to make, so don’t break the bank buying ingredients for ten different types of cookies.

17. Ice Skating – The local ice skating rink around me costs around $6 per person to rent skates and have a few hours of family skating.

18. Library Programs – We just went to an extremely fun Thanksgiving program at our library where we met Tom the Turkey and Sunshine the Chicken. My kids absolutely loved it and the best part is, it was free. Make sure you sign up early for these events because they typically fill up quickly.

19. Family Christmas Pictures in the Snow – Don’t like spending an arm and a leg on Christmas cards? Take your own picture in the snow. Find some coordinating sweaters and/or hats from the dollar store and make a great memory. Don’t forget to make a snow angel when you are done!

20. Sledding – There are many local areas that do not charge for sledding. Check parks around your area and buy a sled for the family to share.

Free Family Christmas Activities Conclusion:

Whatever it is you do this Holiday Season, with you and yours, remember to stay on your frugal track and think about the things that matter most.  It’s hard not to get sucked into spending money around this time with all the fun, fancy advertising.  Sure gifts are nice; however, spending time with family is all one really needs!  Choose one idea from the list above from now until Christmas.  Happy Holidays from I Heart Frugal.

Take care – Sarah

What is your favorite Holiday Activity? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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Are you on a budget this Christmas? Here are 10 Free Holiday Activities for Families. Have fun and save money this Christmas. #Christmas #Christmas2019 #Christmas2019


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