christmas activity advent calendar

It’s only 4 weeks until Christmas which means it’s time to pull out the Christmas Advent Calendar. 

This year why not give the toys and chocolates a miss and join in the TOT: HOT OR NOT Christmas Activity Advent Calendar? I guarantee that it’ll be more fun, less junk and better for your teeth :)

Obviously you can chop and change these events and activities as you wish – these are just my suggestions.

If you’re on social media I’d LOVE to see your version of the Christmas Activity Advent Calendar. Please use #tothotornot #totadventcalendar on your posts so we can share the love!

Save, print and read this post later!

Click here to get the pdf Christmas Activity Advent Calendar now.

PS MY personal Christmas Activity Advent Calendar/daily habit is to spend 1 minute a day decluttering. Clutter makes me feel stressed and it’s a good opportunity to find items to donate, regift and discard in preparation for more stuff coming at Christmas time! Maybe you’d like to join me?

gingerbread village melbourne

Thursday 1 December – Admire the Gingerbread Village by Epicure

Be first in line for the opening of Gingerbread Village by Epicure where iconic Melbourne landmarks and locations are all made out of gingerbread.

Gingerbread Village by Epicure | Thu 1 Dec – Sat 24 Dec 9-8:45pm | Melbourne Town Hall


Friday 2 December – Shop at The Big Design Market

Do all your Christmas shopping in one fell swoop at the opening day of The Big Design Market, the biggest design market in Australia.  Entry is free for children and they will enjoy the dedicated kids creative play area and food and drink offerings.

The Big Design Market | Fri 2 Dec – Sun 4 Dec | Fri: 10am – 9pm Sat: 10am – 7pm Sun: 10am – 5pm | Royal Exhibition Buildings Carlton

christmas square

Saturday 3 December – Visit Christmas Square

Visit Christmas Square from 12pm to 1pm today to groove along to the Kinderling radio DJs and their Christmas party tunes.

Christmas Square | Fri 25 Nov – Sun 25 Dec | Daily | 10am-11pm, City Square


Sunday 4 December – Put up the Christmas tree

Technically Christmas trees should be put up on 1 December…but let’s face it you’ll only have time to do this on the weekend! Why not turn it into a party with special food and drinks.


Monday 5 December – Visit the new Melbourne Museum Children’s Gallery

Not strictly a Christmas event but just as long-awaited…the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery at Melbourne Museum is reopening after months of redevelopment transforming it into a play and learning space for 0-5 year olds.


Tuesday 6 December – Join the Christmas party at City Library

Join in an end of year party at the library with Christmas stories and songs (plus a visit from a very special guest).


Wednesday 7 December – Make a Christmas decoration

As a (non-religious) parent part of what makes Christmas meaningful for me is that it marks the passing of time with my kids (here are posts memorialising the first Christmases of Lady AB and Baby 2.0).

So make it a tradition to make a Christmas decoration with your children to add to the tree every year. Here are some easy suggestions.

myer christmas windows 2016

Thursday 8 December – Visit the Myer Christmas Windows

A visit to the Myer Christmas windows has been a family tradition for 61 years. This year’s windows are based on the book ‘One Christmas Eve’. FULL REVIEW.

Myer Christmas Windows | Sun 6 Nov – Thursday 5 Jan 2017 | 7:30am – late, Myer Bourke Street


Friday 9 December – Admire the POD Christmas window

Check out the ‘alternative’ Christmas windows with the annual display by Post Industrial Design featuring icons of Melbourne’s west.


Santa's Christmas Spectacular

Saturday 10 December – Be wowed by Santa’s Christmas Spectacular

See the festive show Santa’s Christmas Spectacular at the Spiegeltent and afterwards browse the Christmas markets under the Melbourne Star.

Santa’s Christmas Spectacular Sat 19 Nov – Sun 18 Dec | Sat 11:30-4:30pm Sun 11-6pm | Wonderland Spiegeltent at Melbourne Star


cherryhill orchards

Sunday 11 December – Go Cherry Picking

Go picking for the best cherries at Cherryhill Orchards. A really fun day out with kids and cherries make a delicious Christmas gift. It’s our annual tradition for teacher gifts that the teachers actually love!


Monday 12 December – Write a gratitude list

Midway through the Christmas madness and it’s worthwhile taking the time to slow down and consider what you’re grateful for this year. Do this exercise with your children too so that you can help them develop an attitude of gratitude.

Why is it important? Because there is always something to be grateful for. Here are 13 Things You Could Learn from writing a gratitude list.


Tuesday 13 December – Donate to the Kmart Wishing Tree

After writing your gratitude list, support the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal. Australia’s largest and longest running Christmas gift Appeal supports families and individuals who are unable to provide gifts at Christmas.

There are many ways you can take part in the Appeal: by placing a gift under a Kmart Wishing Tree in any store nationally (gifts do not need to be purchased at Kmart, nor do they need to be wrapped); making a monetary contribution at any Kmart register or by donating online at


Wednesday 14 December – Visit Crown’s Christmas Spectacular

Watch the Crown Towers Atrium come alive with a magnificent Christmas tree and a spectacular lighting and musical display. Shows begin every 30 minutes. Plus, get a free photo with Santa from 12-6pm

Crown’s Christmas Spectacular | Sun 20 Nov – Sun 1 Jan 2017 | 10am until midnight, daily | The Atrium, Crown Towers

Make Me Iconic Post Box
Thursday 15 December –
Send a letter to Santa

Tomorrow’s your last day to write and send a letter to Santa in Santa’s Post Box! While you’re there donate a gift to the Australia Post Giving Box where your donation will be delivered to a child in need.

santas magical kingdom

Friday 16 December – Go wild at Santa’s Magical Kingdom

Three hours of festive fun including rides, craft, storytelling, circus show and more! FULL REVIEW.

Festive Christmas Cookies in a Jar

Saturday 17 December – Bake Santa’s Christmas cookies

Decorate these vanilla cookies with ‘Festive Fairy Dust’ as gifts or for your festive table. RECIPE HERE.


Sunday 18 December – Christmas lights

Talk to your neighbours and find out which suburban houses or streets are displaying Christmas lights.

The best known lights can be found in The Boulevard in Ivanhoe and Thomson Street in Northcote and you can search for the best Christmas lights in Melbourne by suburb.


Monday 19 December – Personalise your KitKat

So apparently ‘personalisation’ is the biggest gifting trend of 2016. So head to the world’s first permanent KitKat Chocolatery and create your personalised KitKats for family, friends…and yourself.


Tuesday 20 December – Watch a Christmas movie

Get ready for the big day by chilling out at home with your favourite Christmas movie. Will it be Love Actually? The Night Before Christmas? A Christmas Carol? What’s your favourite Christmas film?


Santa's Christmas Cookies with Festive Fairy Dust

Wednesday 21 December –  Make Festive Christmas cookies in a jar

Need a last minute gift idea? Just whip together this DIY cookie mixture, fill up a jar and add a pretty ribbon for a home-made treat. INSTRUCTIONS HERE.


Thursday 22 December – Wrap Christmas presents

I love wrapping Christmas presents – in fact I used to do it as a holiday job at uni!

To reduce rubbish we never buy new wrapping paper and trimmings. Previous years gifts have been covered with newspaper and bits of ribbon (collected throughout the year), the year’s collection of kinder artwork, collages of old buttons and brown paper drawn on and decorated by the kids.


Friday 23 December – Admire the Christmas Projection Show

On the night before Christmas Eve, head out see City of Melbourne’s annual Christmas Projection Show at Melbourne Town Hall extend to Fed Square.


Saturday 24 December – Carols by Candlelight

In Melbourne we’re lucky to have the best carols by candlelight celebrations in Australia!Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight has been a Christmas tradition for 78 years, bringing Australia classic Christmas carols and an evening of entertainment with something for the whole family.

santas cycling


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