Your Christmas Break Survival Guide with Kids

Are you wondering how to survive Christmas break with kids? Get ideas for what to do over winter break here.

Mom and daughter at Christmas break

“And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again…”

We all look forward to Christmas break with great anticipation, but after a week of being home, everyone can start to get a little stir crazy.

It is easy to feel guilty about feeling like winter break is a little long, but people have been singing about it since 1951 when “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas” was written, so this isn’t a new feeling.

Let’s talk about some fun ideas you can do over winter break this year so you are a little more sad when school starts again.

How To Survive Winter Break with Kids

You can really take your Christmas break in a lot of directions. You can make it very relaxed or you can fill the time with a lot of activities, or somewhere in between.

Here are some ideas to fill the time this holiday season however you see fit.

Binge Something Fun

Christmas break means you have time on your side. This is part of what makes it a potentially difficult time, but it also gives you a lot of opportunity to do something fun.

How often do we have time to binge something? This is a great idea for days when you have cold temperatures outside.

Here are some things you could binge as a family. You could do all of these things and do one aspect each day, or you could take binging to it’s fullest and binge one thing all in one day.

Board Games: Our family loves to play games together. You could play a different game each night of the holiday break. You could play a lot all in one day. You could do an epic game of Risk over several days.

You can find our favorite games here:

Video Games: Over Christmas break, we always take a day to play video games as a family. We like to break out the old school video games that my husband and I played as a child as well as play modern games.

This is literally something we only do once a year, and our children really look forward to it. They also have many fond memories from years past.

It does leave a lot of screen time in one day, and if you know me, you know I don’t love that. But I do think it is okay to do every once in a while.

Books: The holiday break is a great time to binge some books. Is there a series you want to read together? You could read a chapter book like The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens together as a family. You could binge a bunch of fun Christmas picture books. You could even create an advent out of books.

The public library is a great resource. Be sure to check out your local library as well as your online library.

You could get an audio book, read aloud yourself, or even have every read their own story and do a read along style.

>>>Read: Big List of Christmas Picture Books for Kids

Movies: The break is a great time to binge-watch movies. One a day or a bunch in one day–both would be fun.

You can keep it simple or you can go all out and decorate cars out of boxes and do a “drive in” movie. You can get some treats and make it different than a typical movie night.

>>>Read: Movie Marathon with Kids: Over 100 Movies for Families

You could also watch a favorite series on television.

We have fun showing our teens some of our favorite movies from when we were kids.

>>>Read: Top 20 Family Christmas Movies to Watch With Your Kids

Do Some Baking

This is a great time to make some of your favorite treats. Bake something different each day! You can deliver goodies to neighbors, friends, and family.

>>>Read: The Best Christmas Treats to Make with Kids

Do Learning Activities

My kids have always loved doing fun learning activities. Activities for kids can seem daunting at times, but you really can keep it simple. Check out this post for some really simple ideas: 5 Fun and Simple Christmas Activities for Kids.

Serve Others

With all of the time you have on your hands, it will be easy to find some time to offer service. You can do secret service, deliver goodies, be a secret Santa, go caroling, or visit the elderly. You can volunteer in shelters or go to nursing homes or assisted living centers.

This is a great opportunity for kids to think of others and look beyond themselves.

Organize and Clean

This is not super exciting for most people, but all of this time provides a perfect opportunity for getting things clean and organized! Deep cleaning a bedroom doesn’t sound thrilling, but what a great way to start of the new year!

It is a good time to go through and clean out old toys and clothes to make space for what is coming. You can donate these things to people who need them.

Make Fun Memories at Home

We often think we need to take our children somewhere memorable for them to have an epic winter break, but so many fond memories can be made right at home.

Build a Blanket Fort: This has long been a favorite activity among children, and it makes it even more fun if the parents get involved. Make your fort and then read, nap, watch a movie on an iPad, or play a game inside.

Build Things Out of Boxes: We talked a bit about this earlier. Build things out of one of the favorite childhood toys there is: a box! Since it is Christmas time, you have a lot of boxes.

Sibling Sleepover: The holiday break is a great time to have a sibling sleepover for kids who do not share a room.

Put Together a Puzzle: Many families have a tradition to put together a puzzle with a lot of pieces over the break. They leave it out and people work on it as they would like to. It is a great way to pass the time.

Have a Dance Party: Turn on the music and have a dance party. Your children will be very amused to see your dance moves from your school days. If you need more guidance and structure, Just Dance is a fun video game that has dancing.

Pajama Day: Take a day (or a few days!) off of getting ready and just stay comfortable in your pajamas. A pajama day goes really well with a binge day.

Go Places

Some are content to stay home the entire break. Others need to go places at least a few of the days. Here are some ideas.

Sledding: Find a sledding hill and go enjoy some time in the snow.

Ice skating: Go ice skating as a family. If you do not have a rink (indoor or outdoor), you could do roller skating instead.

Skiing: Skiing is a great winter sport if you have somewhere you can go locally. Don’t forget about cross-country skiing.

Go See Christmas Lights: There are always a lot of fun lights to go see at this time of year. Ask local friends their favorite places to see and go check it out as a family.

Bowling: It doesn’t all have to be outdoors. You can go bowling as a family.

Laser Tag: Another fun indoor activity as a family is laser tag.

Movie Theater: A lot of people love to go see a movie as a family over the break.

Play in Your Yard or Take a Walk: If these things aren’t available for you, you can play in your yard, the park, or even just take a walk as a family. Bundle up for the weather if you need to and just get some fresh air.

Take a Trip

Some families like to use this extra time off of school and work to take a trip somewhere. You can go somewhere relatively local or go somewhere far away.

Work on a Project

This break might be a great time to work on a project. Paint a room. Remodel a bathroom. Create some crafts. If there is a project you have wanting to have accomplished, this can be a good time to do it.

Start (or Keep) Family Traditions

Traditions are a key element to building a strong family culture. Keep traditions you have and build on them with new traditions. I have a whole post about Christmas traditions, so read Family Christmas Traditions: 17 Fun Traditions Children Will Love for ideas.

Maintain a Routine

While it is fun and perfectly okay to have majorly off days during this break, you do want to maintain a routine as best you can for most days.

Yes, you can let your child stay up an extra hour or skip nap a day or two, but everyone will be more pleasant if a basic routine is followed most days.

Quiet time each day will be a life saver for the introverts in your home. It is good for everyone to have some guaranteed time alone.

Independent Playtime will give kids a break from each other and a chance to play with new toys without being interrupted.

Having a relatively consistent bedtime and morning wake up time will help people be well rested and less likely to be grumpy with each other. The same is true for regular meals.

You know your kids best, so decide what is best for them so far as keeping a routine goes.


This post is full of things to do with your family over the holidays. It can be daunting to face a couple of weeks with basically no structure, but you can turn these days into fun memories. You can end the break sad to see it go rather than relieved.

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