We love Christmas lights! We go somewhere every year to see them. This year was our first time going to “Christmas Nights of Lights” at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. We went on a Saturday night. The line started just off the exit ramp and it snaked through the parking lot at Coney Island. We waited for around 45 minutes. We could see the lights in the distance which definitely helped keep the kids excited instead of annoyed.
The lights are synced to music that we found while waiting in line. This also helped the girls wait. We really belted out some tunes. Our rendition of “Let It Go” was… well the word appalling comes to mind, but we did have a great time singing it. That’s the point right? We chatted a little and explained what Baby Shark is to my oblivious husband.
We finally made it in and it was well worth the wait! We loved it. I highly suggest visiting if you are near the Cincinnati area. Octavia (2) was so ecstatic to see all the lights, especially the snowmen. She is currently obsessed with snowmen. We all loved the arches you drive through.
The cost is only $6 per person. Children 3 and under are free. It was $24 for the five of us which was a pretty cheap Christmas outing. If the urge strikes once you get in the lot, there are port-a-potties. It was pretty cold outside and there was a bit of a line for them. Thankfully we didn’t need to use them.
The show is open every night until January 6th including holidays. They start at dusk and run until 10pm. I have heard that the line gets longer later in the evening and as it gets closer to Christmas. It’s truly beautiful and a wonderful experience. Don’t take my word for it. Go see it yourself.
Merry Christmas & Happy Travels!
All the supplies for this craft came from the Dollar Tree. The plastic globe ornaments came in two packs. The tree, snowflake, and snowman are glitter stickers. They are on both sides. They were from a sheet of stickers and we still have tons. Stickers are easy enough to put on that even my toddler was able to do it herself.
The hard part is removing the tops without bending or breaking them. I removed them for the little girls before I gave it to them. They filled them with puffs of different sizes. Isabella (8) chose to do only white to go with her snowflakes and to not fill it as full so they would move around like a snow globe. Even Octavia (2) was able to do this part without any help. We added glitter. Ivy (17) used green glitter to go with her tree. Isabella did silver to go with her snowflake. Octavia chose gold. Ivy and I put the tops back on very carefully. Then each girl hung them on our tree.
This was a great advent craft. It was easy to do as a family and only cost $4 excluding the glitter that we already had on hand.
I was down sick for a few days and needed some easy items for my kids to do for advent. I picked these up at the Dollar Tree, as in everything is a $1. They were just what I needed. They were festive fun for the little girls, inexpensive, and a very easy way for this momma to keep advent rolling. It’s so hard to be sick when you have three kids that rely on you.
Octavia, 2 years old, is obsessed with snowmen right now. She was so excited about these from the moment I got them out of the bag. The bags come with a small coloring book, four crayons, and a sheet of stickers. It provided a whole hour of quiet fun which was just what I needed. If you are looking for an easy advent day or a small festive craft, Dollar Store has you covered.
We are huge fans of Christmas movies around here. We are a family of five with a two, eight, and seventeen year old. It can be difficult to find a movie that everybody really loves. This is a list of them that we all loved.
- The Santa Claus – This is a classic that is fun for everybody. Our youngest was more interested in the popcorn at times but she didn’t find it scary which is good.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas – We love the original cartoon. It is short and a great classic that’s fun for the whole family. We also like the Jim Carrey version. It’s currently on Netflix and we have already watched it this year.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas – This is classic fun for the whole family.
- Frosty the Snowman – Another classic that is fun for the whole family.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Yet another classic that is fun for all ages.
- The Polar Express – This movie is so cute.
- Elf – This movie is so much fun. Fully embrace the feel of the movie. Put out some fun candy and cookies to snack on.
- Christmas with the Kranks – This is my favorite Christmas movie. I watch it every year. In fact we just watched it last night. It’s not the most entertaining option for toddlers but everyone else loved it. It’s on Amazon Prime.
- The Search for Santa Paws – This is great for the little kids but a little much for the adults. This is one of those movies that you pick when you want a little time to play on your phone or read a book while getting some cuddles.
- Home Alone – These movies are especially fun for elementary age kids. It’s the kind of movie that adults and teens can enjoy too. I love the nostalgia of watching this movie with my kids because it was one of my favorites when I was a kid. This is not a great movie for a toddler.
I hope this list inspires you to spend some time watching a Christmas movie and getting some of those little kid cuddles while they are willing to give them to you.
Being a minimalist with kids can be difficult at times. Trying to celebrate the Christmas season without accumulating more stuff can be hard, especially for those new to this lifestyle, but it is completely possible. We began this journey toward minimalism for a couple reasons. The top three were to lower the amount of stress in our home, to prepare for long-term travel, and we were just starting our debt-free journey. All of those reasons are still true today and they all affect our celebrations during the Christmas season. We have found many ways to join in on the holiday festivities while still honoring our journey and I wanted to share some of them with you.
- Small seasonal arts and crafts are great. I bought two Christmas kits at the Dollar Tree and a Christmas themed coloring book. The kits each came with a very small coloring book, 4 crayons, and a sheet of stickers. The girls had fun playing with these. Once they had finished with them, they left the house. No need to hold onto them forever to have a day of entertainment. The coloring book will be used as a daily activity for our toddler while her sisters are in school. We normally do 1-2 coloring pages per day. She is able to display her work for the day and then she replaces it with the next thing she makes. By coloring Christmas pictures, her display becomes part of our Christmas decorations.
- Make Christmas cards or crafts to give as gifts to extended family. We will be making up our cards soon. We do this every year and everybody seems to really enjoy it.
- Go on a holiday outing. There are so many fun things going on around the holidays. We try to enjoy at least a few festivities every year. We always go to see Santa Claus somewhere. We like to go to at least one place with Christmas light displays. We have been to quite a few different ones over the years and it’s always a good time. The walking and driving ones are both fun. If you are short on cash, look up free fun in your area. Christmas tree lightings are a good time. Walking around the neighborhood to look at everyone’s Christmas displays is a great way to have a fun, free evening.
- Take the time to beautifully wrap gifts. Make it a family affair. Make pretty bows. You could even make your own wrapping. We made stamped paper and painted newspaper one year when our oldest was a toddler. It was free and a lot of fun.
- Use/Make disposable Christmas decorations. We like to make construction paper chains and hang candy canes on our tree every year. The kids love to eat the candy canes off the tree.
- Watch a Christmas movie with your kids. There are so many amazing holiday movies. Why not share some of your favorites with your kids?
- Listen to Christmas music. We love to jam out to our Christmas playlist. You can find a list here: Favorite Christmas Songs
- Donate to Charity. This is a great way to get into the spirit of the holidays and teach your kids what it’s really about.
- Read a Christmas story. Our favorite is “The Night Before Christmas.”
- Spend some time in the kitchen. It’s the perfect time of year to bake some cookies or make fudge. It even makes a great gift. Hot chocolate is definitely the thing to do when it’s cold outside.
I hope these ideas help you to enjoy the season while holding true to your beliefs. Happy Holidays!