New for 2023! We've rounded up the best advent calendars for kids for the 2023 holiday, including everything from family games to mind teasers to Disney Princesses to bath bombs to jewelry.
Advent calendars are a fun way to count down the days until Christmas because they keep the excitement of the holiday season going all through the month of December.
Originating in Germany in the 19th century as a way to tick off the days until Christmas, often by lighting candles or marking the days in chalk on walls, this holiday tradition has expanded in the last 30 years to include a Christmas countdown ranging from a piece of chocolate every day to a new Lego toy and just about everything else you might imagine.
From favorite cartoon characters and fun crafts to puzzles that stimulate your brain, below is a list of some of our favorite Christmas Advent Calendars that your kids will surely enjoy.
50 Best Kids Advent Calendars
1. Jesse Tree - This is a different sort of advent calendar that you make and decorate rather than opening each day. It does not include gifts like most of the others on the list. The book includes a song that goes along with each day's reading, and all of the ornaments and readings are included.
3. Disney Storybook Advent Calendar - Each night is a mystery with this Disney advent calendar. The 24 storybooks each come wrapped in an individual sleeve with only a number printed on them for identification. Your adventure begins once you open one each night to reveal your daily Disney/Pixar adventure. Here's a similar book-based Advent Calendar featuring characters from Nickelodeon and another featuring figurines from Sesame Street.
4. Lego City Advent Calendar - Lego fans will love this advent calendar that comes with a different collectible Lego character behind each door. It even comes with a fold-out play mat that sets the backdrop for pretend play.
5. Nativity Advent Calendar - This one reminds me of the advent calendar my mom had when I was a kid. It depicts the first Christmas and is made from colorful felt. Each pocket holds a character that is used to complete the Nativity scene and attach to the manger at the top. You can get a similar one with 3D figures instead of felt people.
6. Minecraft Advent Calendar - Perfect for Minecraft fans, this advent calendar allows kids to mine a new treasure behind each door. The collectibles inside include different character figures and many different accessories from the Minecraft video game. There's a similar one for Roblox fans and another for Pokémon fans.
7. Gemstone Advent Calendar - This advent calendar is a great choice for the rock or crystal collector in your family. Whether it is a child who loves all the different colors and textures or an adult who is into crystal healing, everyone will enjoy this. It comes with a velvet drawstring pouch to store all the gemstones in and a mini magnifying glass for a closeup look. National Geographic makes a similar one with minerals and fossils.
8. Slime Advent Calendar - This next one is my personal hell, but kids love it. The doors in this slime-themed advent calendar contain 8 pots of slime and mix-in accessories that include charms, sprinkles, and more for creating unique Christmas slime.
9. Candy Cane Advent Calendar - This candy cane advent calendar is a great choice for anyone with a sweet tooth. The adorable wooden Santa Claus has a beard equipped with 24 holes to hold candy canes and help countdown the days until Christmas.
10. Paw Patrol Advent Calendar - Your kids will love this advent calendar based on the popular Disney show Paw Patrol. Each door contains a character, pet, or accessory for your child to use their imagination to send the pups on new rescue adventures. Here's something similar with the Disney/Pixar Cars and one with Disney Princesses.
11. Bath Bomb Advent Calendar - This bath bomb Advent calendar is full of surprises. Not only do you receive a different wonderfully-scented bath bomb to use each day, once it dissolves, there is a Christmas bracelet charm hidden inside. The set comes with 2 bracelet chains to decorate with all the cute charms.
12. Fisher Price Little People Advent Calendar - My love affair with Fisher Price Little People runs deep. The front of this box opens up to reveal a cozy living room scene that your toddlers can decorate using the surprises hidden behind each door. Also included are adorable characters and the set even comes with an ornament to hang on your Christmas tree! There's something similar with Little People Barbies and a different gender-neutral set featuring Santa, Mrs. Clause, and a snowman.
13. Super Mario Advent Calendar - Everyone loves Mario, and your family will enjoy this limited edition Super Mario advent calendar. Featuring Santa Mario and Snowman Mario, plus Snowman Luigi, there are also many of the zany characters from the video game.
14. Science Advent Calendar - This science-themed advent calendar is filled with 24 awesome science experiments. Your older child will love these daily STEM activities. From crystal growing to creating instant snow, this is a great way to encourage a love of all things science. Here's a similar science-themed calendar from National Geographic as well as a magic-themed calendar, also from National Geographic.
15. Christmas Tree Advent Calendar - I love this adorable advent calendar! It comes with a wooden Christmas tree, and instead of treats, behind each door is a different ornament to use to decorate the tree. Measuring one foot tall, this colorful tree will make a beautiful addition to your holiday decor. Wouldn't it be perfect on a little one's dresser?
16. Construction Vehicle Advent Calendar - This construction vehicle advent calendar is a great choice for any kid who loves heavy equipment. Behind each door, you will find everything a construction site needs, from dump trucks to excavators, and even a crane! With moveable parts and 2 play mats included, your child will spend hours using their imagination. Here's a similar one with Hot Wheels cars and another with Matchbox cars.
17. Bluey Advent Calendar - Your child will love this advent calendar featuring the Disney Channel favorite, Bluey. Along with his pal Bingo, this set of surprises include adorable Christmas accessories and even a Christmas tree that your child will assemble once they discover all the pieces.
18. Arts & Crafts Advent Calendar - This awesome advent calendar will get your teen's creative juices flowing. Each day comes with a new Christmas decoration craft to put together. The reviews say it's best for ages 13 and up and includes many different unique crafts rather than just the normal popsicle stick trees and sequined greeting cards. Here's something similar with diamond art (also for older kids) and another with diamond art (for younger kids). There's also an interesting one that features arts & crafts from around the world.
19. Disney Princess Advent Calendar - Your little princess will love this advent calendar featuring 4 Disney princesses: Belle, Tiana, Ariel, and Cinderella. Each princess is wearing a removable holiday cape and skirt. Also hidden behind the doors are a few of their friends and some Christmas-themed accessories. There's something similar with Barbie doll figures and My Little Ponies. Then there's also this knock-off princess calendar that contains A LOT of Disney-looking dolls and clothes.
20. Brain Teaser Advent Calendar - Perfect for any puzzle lover, each day brings a new challenge. With 4 different styles of brain teasers, your problem-solving fan will be excited to see their next surprise. Most of the puzzles are similar to fidget toys. There is a similar calendar with all wooden and metal puzzles (no plastic) and one with wood, string, and metal puzzles (also no plastic).
21. Harry Potter Lego Advent Calendar - If I was going to buy an Advent calendar from this list, it would be this one. My daughter is obsessed with Harry Potter Lego and has nearly every set every made, including previous Harry Potter Lego Advent sets. This one is super cool because it comes with several exclusive mini figures from the movies and books. There's also a Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar and a Marvel Avengers Lego Advent Calendar. And for true Harry Potter fans, there's a HP Trivia Jelly Bean Advent Calendar, a HP Advent Calendar Cube, and a Funko Pop! HP Advent Calendar.
22. Advent Calendar of Kindness - Finally, we have a different kind of advent calendar. In the true spirit of Christmas, instead of receiving a daily surprise, this advent calendar encourages the giving of a daily act of kindness with 24 different missions to complete. From volunteering to offering to help out an elderly neighbor, this heart-warming calendar reminds us what Christmas is all about. There's something similar with mindfulness exercises and a unique one that you assemble with "I love you because" messages hidden behind scratch off stickers.