21 Holiday Bucket List Ideas

Need some help coming up with ideas for you and your family this holiday season? We’ve got you covered with the perfect list of fun, exciting, and heartwarming holiday activities to keep you in the holiday spirits.

Family decorating Christmas Tree


Hot Chocolate Bar

Create the perfect setting with a variety of candy canes, toffee bits, marshmallows, whipped cream, and other delicious toppings for people to choose from with an ample amount of creamy, chocolatey hot cocoa to devour.


See Christmas Lights

Take a drive or go on a walk to see all the Christmas lights and decorations in your neighborhood or city centers to visually take in the festive décor.


Build A Gingerbread House

Buy a kit or make one from scratch and make your sugary sweet home sweet home. Best part, you can eat it!


Writing Letters to Santa

Get your children to send a sentimental letter to Santa at the North Pole at:

North Pole Postmark Postmaster
4141 Postmark Drive
Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

You can also send Santa an email, yup Santa does email. Go to ElfontheShelf.com/kids and click on the box that says Write to Santa and elves will send a reply.


Bake Christmas Cookies

Find a family traditional recipe or create a new traditional recipe and make Christmas shaped or themed cookies with your family.


Make Your Own Ornaments

From salt dough ornaments, do photo globes, there isn’t a short of DIY Christmas ornaments to try. Gather the kids and create a fun and memorable holiday moment that will inspire for years to come.


Go Ice Skating

If you have the opportunity to skate on a frozen lake, you should, but for those who aren’t near able to venture to the tundra, your local rec center is a great place to go ice skating for that perfect winter activity.


See The Nutcracker ballet or A Christmas Carol virtually

Don’t miss out on the live performances you know and love, in the comfort of your own home. With a variety of ballet companies and theater companies putting on live shows, it's easy to find on in your city, or experience one you’ve never seen before.

String Popcorn

Gather the popped corn and cranberries and make your own garland to decorate your tree! Keep in mind to use day old popcorn for best results.


Concoct An Eggnog Cocktail

Brandy, whiskey, and brandy are the best alcohols to mix with eggnog. Toss in some cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice or even amaretto. Check out these recipes at thespruceeats.com for some modern and classic eggnog cocktail recipes.


Watch A Holiday Movie

With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and a variety of other streaming services, there is no shortage of Holiday movies you can binge watch.

  • Elf
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • A Christmas Story
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Home Alone 1 & 2 (you can skip the rest)
  • The Santa Clause (1,2, & 3)
  • Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas


Donate To A Local Toy, Clothing, or Food Drive

Much of the holiday season isn’t just about receiving but also giving. Find a local charity to donate old, or new items of clothing, food and toys for those struggling in these hard times, to help brighten someone else’s holiday this year.


Build a Snowman

Gather the corn cob pipe and the button nose, and build a snowman this year like you did as a kid. Don’t have snow? Make your own with a snowfall machine.


Cutout Paper Snowflakes

A fun activity for both kids and adults, you can create paper snowflakes as unique as the real thing and hang them from the ceiling, create a garland, or even put them on your windows for others to enjoy too.


Make A Wreath

The perfect addition to your door, get a basic wreath and add bows, garland, bells, lights and so much more to make it your own and bring the festive season to your front door.


Read A Holiday Book 

 Curl up with a blanket, by a roaring fire, and a good book

  • Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Father Christmas Letters by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote


Buy (or make your own) Advent Calendar

Many of us grew up with the cardboard advent calendars full of delicious milk chocolate, but why not get something more elaborate this year. Consider a pop-up village, 12 Days of Bath + Body, or even a Harry Potter Funko Mystery Figure,  you could even go as far as to make a beer or wine advent calendar for a more adult version.


Go To A Christmas Tree Farm

Go pick out your Christmas tree the traditional way with a saw and the smell of pine lingering in the air. Many tree farms have the perfect pick of any size tree that will fit in your home with the ambiance of an old-fashioned Christmas.


Create a Holiday Playlist

Take the time to create the perfect holiday music that will get you in the festive mood. Add all your favorite reindeer songs, or classic Christmas carols so that each song that come on your playlist brings back memories and traditions.


Wear An Ugly Sweater

Make everyone in your family wear an ugly sweater or do a virtual get-together with friends and show off your handmade or store bought ugly sweaters this year.


Virtual White Elephant

Stay in touch with family and friends, while remaining safe, with virtual gift or cookie exchanges.


Go Sledding

Yup, like you did as a kid. Dust off that old toboggan or hop on an innertube and feel the cold rush of fresh winter air in your face and bring back those fun memories as a child.