Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year for families. A chance to enjoy all of the festivities and spend some time together. However, it can often feel like Christmas is more magical when the children are younger. It is understandable. After all, you have the joys of waiting for Father Christmas to visit, the lead-up to the big day, and the magic that surrounds all of the activities. But when your children grow out of the Santa phase, what then?
While your tweens may have outgrown some of the activities and childhood traditions you once embraced at Christmas time, there is still plenty of things that you can enjoy together during the festive period. We share with you here some of the fun Christmas activities for tweens that you might want to try this festive season.
Enjoy Christmas Days Out
While the days of visiting Santa might be a thing of the past now, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those Christmas days out. There are plenty of days out to enjoy with older children at this time of year. Here are some of the best Christmas days out that you can enjoy:
A Christmas Market
Christmas markets are usually held in different villages, towns, or even countries, so you might want to take your tween to one. There are usually lots of Christmas-themed stalls that are showcasing food and drinks, as well as Christmas gift ideas. It is a lovely Christmas day out that your child may start to appreciate now that they are older.
A Magical Festive Walk
There is something magical about heading out for a festive walk. As your children are a little older, they may appreciate a walk where they get to see different homes lit up or a magical walk in the forest or local countryside. Sometimes you may find organized magical walks where there are different light shows that take place at night.
Christmas lights “switch on”
You can’t beat a traditional Christmas lights switch on in your local town or city, and as your child is a little older, they may enjoy the entertainment and festiveness that usually takes place rather than just being focused on seeing the big man himself.
Enjoy a Christmas show
It is also the perfect time of the year to head to the theater or watch a local show. There are pantomimes and other shows, like musicals, that are a great way to get into the festive spirit and can be appreciated much more now that your little ones are older. What better excuse to get your young ladies dressed up in their favorite Christmas dress.
Hit the ice
During the Christmas period, you might find that there are more options to jump on the ice, and this can be one of the more fun activities for tweens. They can enjoy putting on their ice skates and skating around the rink. As they are a little older, they may be able to grasp what it takes to stay on the ice and enjoy learning a new skill. If you go at night, it will certainly be more festive with the twinkly lights all around.
Baking may have been one of those Christmas traditions you embraced at Christmas, but now that you have older children, you can certainly get them involved. Why not ask them to find a recipe for a Christmas bake that they want to produce themselves, or even have a festive bake-off amongst the whole family and see who can make the best Christmas bake?
Baking is certainly one of the more fun activities for tweens, and having a theme can help provide inspiration on what to make.
Secret Santa with a difference
Maybe you want to jazz things up a little when it comes to stocking fillers, so why not organize a secret Santa with a difference? This means that you each get a person to buy for in secret, but instead of something you know they will want, you have to pick the tackiest and cheesiest Christmas gift.
You can set a budget and a few different guidelines if you wish. This will give your tween a level of responsibility and can be a fun thing for them to do.
Now your tween may have outgrown some Christmas traditions, but I can guarantee they will still want an advent calendar. They will likely continue to expect one until they leave home. But there are plenty of different advent calendars you can enjoy.
You can create a “random acts of kindness” advent calendar where you pick something out of the jar each day. You could fill it with Christmas activities, some of which we suggest in this post, and enjoy doing Christmas-inspired activities throughout December. You could enjoy the traditional chocolate ones as well as fun beauty calendars for your tween girls.
You can enjoy Christmas books at any age, but you may want to encourage your older children to read them to you instead of reading the books to them. You could enjoy a night of Christmas reading together or take turns sharing Christmas stories that you love.
Perhaps your child is a little too old to be doing some of the traditional Christmas crafts you might have enjoyed in years, but crafting is something you can still enjoy. You may look to do different sorts of Christmas crafts like wreath making or making Christmas cards that you might send out.
Decorating their own tree
Maybe you might want to instill some Christmas cheer into them, especially if they have recently only come to terms with the true meaning behind Christmas. So why not let them decorate their own Christmas tree or even let them be more involved with decorating your home? This can be a fun Christmas activity that could very well become a new tradition you embrace each year.
Enjoy Christmas movies
There is still a lot of love for Christmas films, no matter how old you get, so now that your little ones are a bit older, you may want to enjoy Christmas movie marathons. Perhaps dedicate a few nights in the month of December for a Christmas movie night. You could enjoy all of the Christmas snacks, set up some cozy spaces on the sofa with blankets and cushions, and enjoy some family time.
Have family games nights
Christmas is usually a time of the year when you can slow down a little and enjoy some family bonding time, so you may want to enjoy some of the traditional board games on offer or invest in a few Christmas-themed ones.
You can get Christmas monopoly or Cluedo or just enjoy some of the games you haven’t played in a while. Christmas activities don’t necessarily need to involve Christmas or festiveness. They can just be the perfect opportunity for quality time together.
You may already be a fairly active family, but outdoor or local park runs can be more festive by dressing up. Some organizations may even have a Santa dash, where everyone is dressed up as Santa. It might be a fun way to enjoy something you already do together as a family.
Now that your tween understands the meaning behind Christmas, there is no avoiding the fact that some people have it really tough at this time of year. Volunteers are needed more than ever to help homeless people, local food banks where families need food, and even help with toy appeals or creating boxes of essentials to send to third-world countries.
Now is the perfect time to get your tween involved with volunteering. It might not be supposed to be fun, but it is a lovely Christmas tradition that you can do together.
Helping with Elf on the Shelf
While your tween may have outgrown some of their childhood traditions, can you entrust them that they are now responsible for keeping the magic going for as long as possible if they have younger siblings?
If you are a family that enjoys Elf on the Shelf, then maybe your tween can be more involved with the elf set-ups and what they get up to. In truth, your tween may be much more creative in what they do, and it can be a fun way to help them be a part of the magic you have enjoyed creating for so many years.
Keep the magic alive with Christmas
A step away from helping with the Elf on the Shelf, if you had childhood traditions that younger siblings still enjoy, get your tween involved with it. They will find it fun to embrace all the fun activities they once enjoyed but with a different perspective.
What childhood traditions will they want to keep?
Finally, while they may have outgrown some aspects of Christmas, ask them if there are any traditions that they want to keep going. They may want to help with their younger siblings, but even if everyone has grown, they may still like to keep up with some family traditions.
Maybe it is putting something out for their reindeer or perhaps leaving out their sack ready for presents. It may even be switching your Christmas lights on or enjoying certain activities on Christmas Eve, like a movie or story. Ask them and give them the choice of the things they want to keep up with.
Growing up doesn’t need to mean giving up on the fun of the festive season. We hope this post has provided you with inspiration for some of the best Christmas activities for tweens.