Fun and (mostly) Free Activites with Real Holiday Spirit

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Parenting

Put away the credit cards and cash - and have some fun this holiday season. These activities will get you back to the real meaning of the holiday season, and won't cost you a cent.

Fill Your Eyes With Light

No matter how you celebrate the season, there are special activities, and many of them are free. Light sightseeing is always a favorite. Just take the long way home, meander through neighborhoods, get lost.

Check with your local parks - many will have special light displays. Local zoos, botanical gardens, or museums may also have holiday light shows.

Don't forget the malls. Take an afternoon and wander through the mall enjoying the holiday window displays.

Fill Your Ears With Music

Check with your local malls for special performances during the season. Many churches in your area will have a seasonal play or musical. Symphonies and ballet companies may have free performances.

Plan your activities early; many of the free activities take place earlier in the season, and may require tickets.

One way to find these activities is to do an Internet search for "free holiday music" with your city at the end.

Fill Your Heart With Joy

This takes a little more planning, but this is the perfect season to help someone else. There are many opportunities to get involved, but here are more ideas you may not have thought of.

Help your children choose some of their old toys; clean and repair them until they are in like new condition. Wrap them up, and take them to a family shelter.

When the snow piles up, take hot chocolate around to your neighbors as they shovel the walks. Add a candy cane to the drink for a festive touch.

Have a "Wrap Your Presents" party, and invite your children's friends over for a couple of hours while their parents get some time to themselves to wrap presents. If you're really ambitious, do a craft project with the kids that they can give to their parents.

Fill Your Life With Memories

Holiday traditions are a great way to bring the family together during this season. Start a new tradition this season.

Paint the snow with spray bottles filled with colored water. Build gingerbread houses. Take cookies to the neighbors. Make up your own holiday play.

Traditions don't have to be expensive, or time consuming. But the extra effort will pay off with great memories.