9 Ideas for Your Family’s Holiday Break Bucket List

It’s no secret that time off with your mini-mes is precious. After all, I know how demanding life is and how impossible it can feel when trying to get everyone home and snuggled up for just a movie night. But, the holidays are upon us, and it won’t be long before we’re all home with our kiddos—free from distractions. Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited!

There’s always that pressure, however, to make the most of the time you do have, which is why I think it’s oh so important to create a holiday break bucket list. It’s a surefire way to kick off the New Year with no regrets.

So, sit down with your spouse and start with a few must-dos you’ve thought of yourself. Then, open it up to your kiddos and see what they want to do. With a few parameters, you might be surprised at what fun activities everyone comes up with for family time.

Ready to start your holiday bucket list now? Good, because I can’t help but share a few of my favorite ideas to help you get started!

1. Have a Movie Marathon Day.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

When the weather is cold, there’s only one thing to do. Set up a hot cocoa bar and set aside the day for a movie marathon.

Snuggle into the sofa or build a living room-sized fort to cuddle up for a day of holiday-themed movies!

2. Take a Holiday Light Drive in Your PJ’s.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

Don’t you think getting dressed for the day is overrated when there’s nowhere to be? Stay in your pj’s all day and, come nightfall, pile your mini-mes into the car with on-the-go friendly cups of hot chocolate so you can drive around to look at the lights.

Find out if there’s a holiday light drive-thru nearby or see how festive your neighbors are and cruise through the neighborhood.

3. Pay It Forward.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

The holiday season is all about giving. And what better way for you to spend some time with your kiddos than by paying it forward to another family?

Not sure where to get started? Not to worry. I know of a few fun ideas to help you bring a smile to an unsuspecting face!

  • Shovel driveways. Do you know anyone who likes to shovel their driveway? I certainly don’t. Grab the kids and head outdoors to keep your neighbors’ area free of snow and ice.
  • Transform your lemonade stand. Offer free hot chocolate to frosty friends.
  • Get to baking. Let your kiddos help you bake a batch of cookies to share with your neighbors, people clocked-in over the holidays, or the homeless in town.


4. Write To a Service Member Stationed Overseas.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

Not everyone gets to be home with family for the holidays.

Get the littles involved with Operation Gratitude, Operation Here We Are, or Holidays for Heroes and let a deployed service member know that you’re thinking of them and wishing them happy holidays.

Writing letters is a great way to express appreciation for what these brave men and women do for our country, and is a small way we can show our gratitude.

5. Check Out a Local Production of the Nutcracker.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

The Nutcracker isn’t reserved for Broadway. Chances are, you can find the dancing sugar plum fairy, toy soldiers, and impressive nutcrackers on stage in your town or a neighboring one.

As soon as you do, get dressed up in festive attire and head out for a night of live holiday entertainment!

6. Hit Up the Local Ice Rink.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

Feel like a kid again and take a glide on the ice rink. The kiddos are sure to appreciate the opportunity to burn energy, and you can delight in the joy on their faces.

Just remember, falls won’t feel like they used to. Don’t be surprised to find yourself sore the next day. A trip to the ice rink, however, is a ticket to a good night and a clear reminder that you aren’t, in fact, a kid anymore.

7. Host an Ugly Sweater Party.

 ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

Open up your quality time to close friends and extended family, and host an ugly sweater party.

Bring out the eggnog (the adult kind), kettle corn, peppermints, and toffee for a night of giggles. A party could also be a fun time to play festive games and exchange white-elephant gifts.

8. Decorate Sugar Cookies.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

Fire up the oven, bake a few dozen cookies, whip up some icing, grab all the sprinkles, and let your mini-mes go nuts decorating sugar cookies.

You can even turn it into a competition and let whoever decorated the prettiest, funniest, or most creative cookies open a present early. Or, maybe have the same number of categories as you have kiddos to ensure that everyone has a little something to open before Christmas Day.

9. Start Your New Year Resolutions Early.

ideas for your family's holiday break bucket list

No harm in using your downtime to solidify your resolutions now! See what goals your kiddos have for the coming year and set up a plan to create accountability.

If one of your goals is to be more active, don’t let the cold temps get in the way. Embrace the weather and make snow angels, build snowmen, shovel the driveway, and skate around the ice rink. Before you know it, all that fluffy white snow will melt away!

Love these holiday bucket list ideas as much as we do? Start yours today! Find out what your kiddos want to do and make a plan so you can make the most of your holiday break.

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Already have your list ready to go? I’d love to hear what’s on it! Share a few items that made your holiday bucket list in the comments below.

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