It’s easy to feel like a failure during the holidays because your kids are bored. With several weeks off from school, the downtime and change in schedule can drive everyone a bit stir crazy.

While most holiday activities come with a price tag (movies, skating etc), there are budget friendly ways to keep everyone entertained with winter activities.  Like most parents, your kids are important to you and you want them to be happy, no matter the cost. 

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1Invite friends over for a game date

The break from seeing friends and classmates can make children feel isolated over the holiday. Invite a friend or two over for a playdate and enjoy a game like bingo or cards. Pickup small prizes at the dollar store and award the winner of each round with a toy or candy.

2Make a Craft

Thanks to Pinterest the possibilities for holiday crafting is endless. Pick an activity that is age appropriate and enjoy a family outing to the craft store for supplies. By encouraging your children to select elements for the craft you are involving them in the process and investing them in the overall success of the project.

3Bake and Decorate Cookies

Everyone loves Christmas cookies! Bust out the baking supplies and teach your crew of bakers how to make their favorite holiday treats. Place them in decorative canisters or tins and send them out into the neighborhood to hand them out to family, friends and neighbors. If distributing cookies isn’t something you’d like to do, a gingerbread house is a great cookie decorating project that can eat up an entire day! Once the decor is done, eating the fruits of their labors might even be more fun then the initial engineering.

4Watch a Holiday Movie

Budget-friendly Ways To Entertain Kids Over The Holiday Break

During the busy school season it becomes hard to enjoy a movie at home as a family. Creating memories of sharing cherished Christmas movies is a great way to enjoy downtime together. This time of year, Netflix is full of holiday classics that you loved during your own childhood! Gather together in the family room and bring out the snacks while you watch.

5Take a Holiday Outing

Sometimes just getting out of the house is the remedy for bored kids: walks in the park, hiking and observing nature can be a good idea for keeping everyones mind entertained. Find out what interests your kids. They might have an idea for a hobby and you can start them off with it.

If the weather outside is frightful, heading out in the car to look at Christmas lights is a fun family outing. Pack a thermos of cocoa and turn on your favorite carols as you drive through the neighborhood. Families pride themselves on beautiful holiday displays and enjoying their handiwork can bring everyone a bit of holiday joy.

6Visit a Museum

Budget-friendly Ways To Entertain Kids Over The Holiday Break

Enjoying your local museums during the slower holiday season can be a great way to really explore the space. With less folks out and about you can spend more time at each exhibit and learn about how the museum functions. Some communities even host free family days during the holiday season to encourage more visitors! 

7Go to the Library

Your local library is a wealth of kids activities and most likely during the holiday season they will have special programming planned. From story time to exploring technology, libraries are a place where imaginations have no limit. Enjoy spending quiet time reading while the kids enjoy learning or navigating the libraries many services.

Pick out a few books to bring home and they’ll enjoy reading new books throughout the entire break. 

8Build a Puzzle 

Depending on your child’s age, jigsaw puzzles are fun for kids to put together, that is if you don’t mind finding pieces on the floor later. Select a challenging puzzle and create a space in your home where work can continue throughout the entire break. Puzzle building is a wonderful activity that the entire family can enjoy together, occupying hours of time. 


It’s important to remember that no matter how bored they may say they are, it’s not your responsibility to maintain a cruise ship schedule of activities during a break. Enjoy the time you have together as a family and see what you might learn about your kids personalities that you might not notice during the busier times of year.

WANT TO READ MORE?
Tired of being stuck in the house? Go visit family! Read why you should always go home for the holidays.

Budget-friendly ways to entertain kids over the holiday break

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