Christmas fun and merriment 2019

There are so many wonderful things to do to keep the magic and excitement of Christmas going all the way till December 24th- here’s some of our favourite ideas for advent activities….

Why not write each activity you want to do on a piece of paper or card and pop some or all them all into a glass jar?  On the days you have time, let the children choose the activity of the day. You could even write each type of activity on a different coloured piece of paper – colour coded so you can choose according to the uncertain weather.  We’d love to see your fantastic ways of displaying your advent activities, and you enjoying them together – tag us using #LittleDevonLife #LittleDevonChristmas

Sparkle and lights

  • Visit Father Christmas – a complete list of Where to see Santa in Exeter is coming soon to Little Devon.
  • See glits and sparkle at Otter Nurseries’ fabulous displays of Christmas decorations, followed by a warming hot chocolate in their café.
  • Wander round the beautifully decorated Killerton manor house.  See their website here
  • Head into Exeter after dark and wander round to see the Christmas lights, trees and even Christmas market.
  • Surprise the Children when they’re ready for bed with a Christmas lights night drive.  Festive biscuits in the car and songs blasting through the speakers.  A list of The Best Decorated Houses in Exeter is coming soon to Little Devon (we need your help with this – let us know if you spot any great ones through Facebook or Instagram).
  • Choose and decorate the Christmas tree while listening to festive songs and sipping on mulled apple juice… or wine!
  • Buy a new decoration for the tree.

Wrap up warm

  • Cotley farm Christmas shop.  Whether you sign up for one of their ‘Choose a tree weekends’ or not, a visit to Cotley farm is a must – with Christmas trees, wreaths and a real Reindeer as well as other animals and a shop full of decorations and tasty local produce – it’s a lovely day out.  (admission free if not going on their ‘choose a tree’ weekend) See their website here
  • Wellies on, scarves on, bobble hats on and hot chocolate in a thermos flask for a winter walk – See Little Devon’s walk guides here.  Take a bag to fill with woodland treasures such as pinecones and acorns and top up with foliage from the garden to make a lovely wreath or table decoration when you get home.
  • Go all forest school’esc’, get the kids sawing and create reindeer, snowmen or Christmas trees from wood or branches collected from the garden.
  • Make a sand snowman.

Ready, set, make

  • Don those aprons with the kids and make a festive-inspired sweet treat – biscuits to hang on the tree, slow cooker fudge to give as a gift, gingerbread men. So many options, just make sure you bake extra for the little tasters!
  • With that bag of woodland treasures from your woodland walk, make a lovely wreath or table decoration.
  • Write a letter to Father Christmas and wait in anticipation for his reply –  Click here for a link for the grown-ups for options of email, video and the big man’s address.
  • Create a Christmas craft – simply type Christmas craft into Pinterest for an ever-expanding wealth of ideas.
  • Make reindeer food, ready to offer on Christmas eve.  While it might be tempting to garnish with glitter (albeit edible) and sprinkle it on the lawn on Christmas eve as the sweet poem instructs, animal welfare groups are begging you not to.  Instead, you could mix with dried fruit and nuts and leave it in a saucer next to Santa’s sherry and mince pie.
  • Make salt dough ornaments either for the tree or as name tags for the presents – just remember to use a straw to pierce a hole for the ribbon
  • Paints out and potatoes out – what better way to decorate wrapping paper?  If you fancy being a little eco this year, then wrap your pressies using brown paper so it can be recycled (Ikea is some of the cheapest around) – just remember not to slather it in glitter.
  • Make Pomander balls – grab some oranges from the fruit bowl and a handful of cloves to stud in pretty patterns.  Click here for a  website that is useful for some ideas of how to make them last longer.  Ohhh, I can almost smell the gorgeous scent already.
  • Get the craft box out and set about making Christmas cards for special people.

Relax together

  • Get cosy on the sofa under a blanket and switch on a Christmas film.  Make it special with popcorn and if you want to go all out, a hot chocolate ‘bar’.
  • Enjoy a festive performance in one of our many fabulous theatres.
  • Hear the delights of Christmas carols – a list coming soon of family friendly Church services on Little Devon.
  • Share a Christmas book at bedtime, borrow one from the library, buy from a charity shop or from Waterstone’s wonderful collection (although, I bet you’ll have difficultly choosing just one)
  • Set up the nativity scene.  What’s your family tradition? – Do you put it up all at once or does baby Jesus only arrive on Christmas day?

Sensory play

  • Make playdoh and infuse it with the wonderful Christmas scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger.
  • Create a winter wonderland for imaginative play for your little ones – think ice blocks or shaving foam for snow.
  • Get out the shakers and any instruments you have out and sing along to Christmas songs.

Be generous

  • Perhaps you might like to give something to a local charity such as the Exeter food bank, the baby bank or St Petrock’s.
  • Spend time with someone special.
  • Do something for, or with, your neighbours – Christmas is a great time for community spirit.
  • Enjoy a service at your local church, or the magnificent Exeter Cathedral.
  • Be kind to yourself – come up with an activity that you would each love to do.  A glass of wine in the bath with the ipad is allowed (for the adults obviously!)


Whatever you get up to this advent and Christmas time, we hope it is wonderful and filled with fun (and not too many tantrums from you or the kids!) Remember to tag us if you do any of these activities with #LittleDevonLife #LittleDevonChristmas.  And we wish you a very merry Christmas 2019.

Little Devon
Author: Little Devon

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