But sometimes, between all the planning, presents, and party-organizing, parents can get overwhelmed with keeping the kiddies entertained throughout the holiday break.
This holiday season, keep the whole family busy – and off those cellphones and video game consoles! – and make holiday memories to last a lifetime with these top five festive family holiday activities.
Baking Christmas cookies
Nothing fills our homes with festive cheer more than the sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies. From melt-in-your-mouth shortbread to spicy sweet gingerbread, the holidays are full of classic cookie flavours to choose from, just waiting to be baked.
This holiday season, why not skip the grocery store cookies and opt to make your own at home instead? Not only will this ensure you know exactly which ingredients are going into your festive treats, you’ll also be spending precious quality time with your loved ones, teaching your little ones the skills of baking. You can even throw a “cookie baking party,” complete with Christmas music and festive snacks and drinks.
Need some Christmas cookie inspiration? Check out these scrumptious holiday recipes from all around the Internet to get started:
- Light-As-Air Whipped Shortbread Cookies from Food Network Canada
- Easy Gingerbread Cookies from Reader's Digest Canada
- Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti from Chatelaine
Taking a holiday lights tour
Is your neighbourhood aglow with the twinkling lights of the holiday season? Then it’s the perfect opportunity to hope in the car, crank up some Christmas tunes and take a holiday light tour with the whole family!
Take a trip around your own and surrounding neighbourhoods known for their festive displays. After all, you never know if there’s a Clark Griswold wannabe living in your midst!
After you and your family have soaked up the brilliant light displays of your nearby friends and neighbors, why not use the inspiration to set up your own dazzling display? While the kids can pick out which colours, sizes, and types of lights they want to adorn your home with, make sure the actual decorating portion is left to mom, dad, and other adult relatives. As always, take the proper safety precautions when setting up your holiday lights:
- Wear footwear with grips.
- Before you use a ladder, inspect it first for loose or missing bolds, screws or hinges.
- Make sure to fully open up the ladder’s spreaders and shelf.
- Place the ladder on a firm, non-slippery surface.
- Ask a family member or friend to help hold onto the ladder.
- Don’t decorate near power lines.
- Keep cords and decorations clear of snow and standing water.
Making Christmas crafts
Besides tasty treats and twinkling lights, there’s something magical about sitting down to make some Christmas crafts with the kiddies this holiday season.
Not only is it a great way to expand your holiday decoration collection, it’s also the perfect way to spend a cozy winter afternoon making precious holiday memories with your nearest and dearest.
A simple Internet search reveals multitudes of cute, clever and festive Christmas crafts to choose from, with step-by-step instructions.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favourite holiday crafts to get the ball rolling:
- Traditional Christmas Wreath from Fynes Designs
- Felted Snowman from Better Homes and Gardens
- Large Rosette Tree Topper from Martha Stewart
Get your picture taken with Santa Claus
What would the holiday season be without a trip to see Jolly Old St. Nick himself! This December, take the little ones to see Santa Claus at their favourite shopping mall.
Santa is coming to multiple shopping centers all across Ontario, ready to pose for pictures with the kids and spread holiday cheer.
Here is a list of some of the shopping malls where you can see St. Nick this year:
- Toronto’s Eaton Centre
- Mississauga’s Square One Shopping Centre
- Brampton’s Bramalea City Centre
- Milton Mall
- Ottawa’s Rideau Centre
- Hamilton’s Lime Ridge
- Burlington Mall
Visit Christmas fairs and festivals
There’s nothing that’s quite as quintessentially Christmas as a visit to our favourite festive holiday festivals and fairs.
Whether you’re willing to make the trip to downtown Toronto to see the beloved Toronto Christmas Market or the twinkling Holiday Fair in the Square, or if you’d rather stay closer to home and visit your local holiday market, it’s the perfect way to spend a winter day this holiday season.
Sip on some mulled wine or cider – with hot cocoa for the kids, of course! – while perusing vendor stalls full of whimsical holiday trinkets, and soaking up the magical twinkling décor. Some Christmas festivals, like the Holiday Fair in the Square, have a skating rink to enjoy, so don’t forget to pack your skates with you. If you don’t have any, no problem – most skating rinks offer skate rentals nearby.
Here are just a few of the Christmas Fairs and Festivals happening all around Ontario:
Have fun and stay safe!