It’s only 4 weeks until Christmas which means it’s time to pull out the Christmas Advent Calendar.
After last year’s success with the TOT: HOT OR NOT Christmas Activity Advent Calendar I’m continuing the tradition with another version for 2017.
If you’re on social media I’d LOVE to see your version of the Christmas Activity Advent Calendar. Please use #tothotornot #totxmas on your posts so we can all be inspired to enjoy experiences together!
Click here to get a pdf of the Christmas Activity Advent Calendar 2017
Friday 1 December – Put up the Christmas tree
Readers tell me their favourite Christmas tradition is to put up the Christmas tree, so why not do it on Friday night and turn it into a party! This year we’ve bought our Christmas tree from Oxfam, meaning that the trees are ethically sourced and also tackle poverty. They deliver to metro Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide or you can pickup.
While you’re putting up your Christmas tree take the opportunity to bite into the first mince pie for the season. I say one a day is just about right! Gourmet Chick provides a comprehensive round-up of Melbourne’s best mince pies.
Saturday 2 December – Shop at The Big Design Market
The one-stop shop for all your Christmas shopping is at The Big Design Market, the biggest design market in Australia. Entry is free for children and there’s a kids creative play area.
The Big Design Market | Fri 1 Dec – Sun 3 Dec | Fri: 10am – 9pm Sat: 10am – 7pm Sun: 10am – 5pm | Royal Exhibition Buildings Carlton
Sunday 3 December – Visit the Gingerbread Village by Epicure
Admire the hours of handiwork behind the Gingerbread Village by Epicure, a display of iconic Melbourne landmarks and locations all made out of gingerbread.
Gingerbread Village by Epicure | Fri 1 Dec – Sun 24 Dec 9-8:15pm | Melbourne Town Hall
Monday 4 December – Visit the new Scienceworks Children’s Exhibition
Not strictly a Christmas event but just as long-awaited…Scienceworks’ new permanent children’s exhibition ‘Ground Up‘ is opening as a STEM-focused play and learning space for 0-5 year olds.
Group Up: Building Big Ideas, Together | From Mon 4 Dec daily 10-4:30pm | Scienceworks, 2 Booker Ave, Spotswood
Tuesday 5 December – Visit Federation Square
City of Melbourne’s Christmas celebrations are centred around Federation Square this year. You’ll find Santa underneath the new supersized 16 metre tall Christmas tree, take a selfie inside a 6m high white bauble, visit the ‘Be Present’ Snow Dome and be filmed singing along to your favourite Christmas Carol and every night from 9pm be amazed at the Christmas tree light show.
Christmas at Federation Square | Fri 24 November – Mon 25 Dec | Daily | 9am – late
Wednesday 6 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).
Make it a tradition to create a Christmas decoration with your children to add to the tree every year. Here are some easy suggestions.
Thursday 7 December – Visit the Myer Christmas windows
A visit to the Myer Christmas windows has been a family tradition for 62 years. This year’s windows are based on the original story of Elf and ‘The completely and utterly, absolutely perfect Christmas’ written and illustrated by H C Floren. There’s also an app to bring the story alive!
Myer Christmas Windows | Sunday 12 November – Sunday 7 Jan 2018 | 7:30am – late, Myer Melbourne Bourke Street
Friday 8 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.
Saturday 9 December – Join me for a Family Festive Picnic
Wynter Projects and I (Wheelie Good Fun) have been busy preparing for the best Christmas picnic ever! The Family Festive Picnic is a free event will feature a Christmas cracker hunt with special messages from Santa inside, live music, yard games, hula hooping workshops, and face painting. Finally, there’s a visit from the jolly man himself!
Sunday 10 December – Go Strawberry Picking
Go picking for the best strawberries at the Strawberry Forest, where the berries are grown vertically so no back-bending required! A really fun day out with kids and the fresh fruit make a delicious Christmas gift.
Strawberry Forest | Every Sunday from 10am (check site for further dates and times) | 391 The Avenue of Honour, Bacchus Marsh
Monday 11 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 12 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 www.kmart.com.au/wishingtree.
Wednesday 13 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.
Santa’s Mailbox | 3 November to 15 December| Outside the Australia Post GPO and The District, Docklands
Thursday 14 December – Visit the ultimate Lolly shop!
Allen’s Lollysmiths have a pop-up store in Melbourne Central where customers can pick ‘n’ mix their favourite lollies – including Spearmint Leaves and Green Frogs – to create personalised, custom lolly jars, or select from a range of never-before seen limited edition sweets.
Allen’s Lollysmiths | Melbourne Central in front of KitKat Chocolatery | Wed 15 Nov – Sun 24 Dec | 10-7pm daily, 10-9pm Thursday
Friday 15 December – Get festive at Santa’s Magical Kingdom
Three hours of festive fun including rides, craft, storytelling, circus show and more! FULL REVIEW.
Saturday 16 December – See some 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.
Sunday 17 December – Bake Santa’s Christmas cookies
Decorate these vanilla cookies with ‘Festive Fairy Dust’ as gifts or for your festive table. RECIPE HERE.
Monday 18 December – Build some Christmas Lego
Over the years we have been collecting LEGO’s annual Christmas sets, waiting for the years until our children were old enough to help build. This year we’re going to tackle the latest set – Winter Village Station!
Tuesday 19 December – Buy a Christmas book
Books are the gift that keep on giving and every year we pull out our ever-expanding collection of Christmas books. This year our addition is the book based on the Myer Christmas Windows – ‘The completely and utterly, absolutely perfect Christmas’ written and illustrated by H C Floren. Visit one of Melbourne’s best children’s bookshops to make your selection.
Wednesday 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?
Thursday 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.
Friday 22 December – Wrap Christmas presents
See if you can wrap your presents in a ‘sustainable’ way this Christmas and don’t 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, leaves and twigs and brown paper drawn on and decorated by the kids.
Saturday 23 December – Admire the Christmas Projections
On the night before Christmas Eve, head out see City of Melbourne’s annual Christmas Projections with new feature sites at the State Library Victoria, Federation Square and Docklands.
City of Melbourne Christmas Projections | Fri 1 Dec – Sun 24 Dec 9pm -10:20pm daily
Sunday 24 December – Carols by Candlelight
Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight has been a Christmas tradition for 79 years, bringing Australia classic Christmas carols and an evening of entertainment with something for the whole family. For the first time ever we’ll be attending this year!
Monday 25 December – RELAX AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!