As Christmas gets closer, I feel the urge to get out and do some fun things with the family in the Christmas spirit. Want to get your family out of the house for a fun holiday outing? Not sure where to go or what to do? There are many low-cost or free things that your family can do; here is just a short list to get you going. Let me know in the comments if you come up with something else that should be added to the list!
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
When I was a kid my family had an annual tradition of heading up to the mountains to chop our own Christmas tree. It was an event that everyone looked forward to every year. We would pack snacks and a lunch and make it a full day outing. The trees that we got weren’t as perfectly shaped as tress you get in a lot, but the experience of getting a tree far out-weighs a tree that’s a little misshapen. And the tree will smell good!
Before you do this, make sure you check where you can go to cut your own tree. In Colorado there are designated cutting areas in National Forest; make sure you are only cutting down trees in these designated areas. Also keep in mind that usually the only tools allowed are saws and axes. Chainsaws are not allowed.
Go Shopping for Ornaments
As a follow-up to the “Chop Your Own Christmas Tree” outing, take the family out to shop for Christmas ornaments. If you already have a bunch of decorations, start a new tradition of buying one new ornament every year. Have the new ornament be a symbol of something the family did over the past year: A family vacation, important event, etc.
In the following years when you decorate the tree, you will have a special memento of previous years.
Go Ice Skating
This is something I haven’t done since I was a kid, but I always had a lot of fun when my parents would take us ice skating. Even better is if you can find an outdoor skating rink.
Find out outdoor rink that plays Christmas music, wear your Santa hats and be merry. Even if you and your family members don’t skate well, this is still a fun and memorable outing.
See a Holiday Production
Go see a live production: A play or puppet show. The Nutcracker is a holiday favorite and is appropriate for older children; younger children may lose interest. For younger children, consider a puppet show. A few years ago we went to see a puppet show based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Kids love puppets, and a puppet show will generally be a shorter duration than a full-fledged play.
Check out local papers for productions coming up in your area.
Look at Christmas Lights/Decorations
Bundle everyone up, get a thermos of hot chocolate, walk around your neighborhood and check out how everyone has decorated their houses. This is a great choice for a family outing because it can take as long or short amount of time your want, you’re close to home and it doesn’t cost anything.
It seems to be very popular in the last several years to set up big lighting displays with music and computer programmed light shows. Most neighborhoods have at least one of these houses.
Not interested in any of these? Let me know what other holiday outings or family traditions you have. I would love to hear some of your ideas. Leave a comment or send me a message on the “Contact” page.
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