Advent means coming, or arrival, and the Advent season celebrates the birth of Jesus, the arrival of Christmas and the season of love, compassion and caring. An Advent calendar is filled with surprise and adventure, where each day reveals a little bit of magic. Whether you’re looking for one for your toddler or older children or you’re buying one to reignite your own excitement for Christmas, Advent calendars will quickly become one of your favorite Christmas decorations to be treasured along with those precious “first Christmas” ornaments. With 24 hidden doors or pockets for chocolates or treats, small notes or other Christmas gifts, an Advent calendar is a wonderful way to create Christmas traditions that you can keep, year after year.
Because Advent is higlighted by anticipation, expectation and longing, an Advent calendar is the perfect way to share so many important stories, memories and lessons that make the Christmas season real for you and your family. If you choose an Advent calendar filled with crayons, you can inspire your kids’ creativity and thoughtfulness about the holidays. If you choose a Santa-themed Advent calendar, it’s a great opportunity to reinforce lessons of kindness toward others. Globally themed Advent calendars highlight peace on Earth and goodwill toward all people. Nativity Advent calendars tell of the miracle of Christ’s birth.
Advent calendars are also wonderful, and often affordable, Christmas gift ideas for friends and family. And whether you choose a paper Advent calendar that’s only good for this year, or a wooden or fabric Advent calendar that can come out for all the Christmas seasons to come, each offers a fun way to countdown those days leading up to Christmas. They create a journey that makes the season real. So slip on your best ugly Christmas sweater to get into the spirit of the season, and get shopping for the Top 20 Best Christmas Advent Calendars for 2017, because Advent is almost here.
Best Advent Calendars for Little Kids
1. Disney Tsum Tsum Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar
1. Disney Tsum Tsum Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar
What better way to count down to Christmas than with this Disney Tsum Tsum Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar? Whether your kids collect Disney Tsum Tsum figures, or you are looking to kick-start their collection, this gingerbread house-themed calendar is sure to spark their holiday spirit, and yours. Each day, your kids can open the window with the corresponding date to reveal either one of 18 Tsum Tsum figures, or a surprise accessory. As their collection grows, they can use the accessories to stack their large, medium and small Tsum Tsum figures for a perfect holiday decoration. Great for creating Christmas anticipation, this cute advent calendar will be a daily adventure your kids will look forward to. If you have more than one child, double the excitement with a different, but related calendar filled with Tsum Tsum collectibles. The Tsum Tsum Disney Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar Playset would be a super fun option.
Buy the Disney Tsum Tsum Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar here.
2. Fisher-Price Thomas the Train Minis Advent Calendar
Christmas on the Island of Sodor is the most festive time of all, and now children can celebrate the holiday with this special Thomas the Train Minis-themed Advent Calendar. There’s a different “minis gift” inside every door, including six exclusive minis with holiday-themed decorations. Your kids will love counting the days to Christmas and receiving a special gift for each day. This fun Advent calendar features 24 Thomas & Friends adorable minis characters in brilliantly colored designs to cherish and enjoy in the days leading up to Christmas, and all the days afterward. Fisher Price has also has a Little People Advent Calendar if your tots are into those.
3. Crayola Christmas Countdown Activity Advent Calendar
There’s no better way to keep the kids from going a little bit Christmas crazy than to keep their minds and hands busy. You can help them celebrate the holiday season creatively with the Crayola Christmas Countdown Activity Advent Calendar. Inspired by traditional Advent calendars, this 24-day calendar is filled with surprises. It offers kids a unique, artistic way to prepare for Christmas. Each day on the calendar features a different craft or coloring project, giving kids a positive way to channel their abundant holiday enthusiasm. With tree ornaments, finger puppets, handmade gifts, and more, this kit also helps kids create their own lasting keepsakes that they can display on the tree or in their room for many Christmases to come. Keep the artistic inspiration going during the rest of the year with a Crayola Inspiration Art Case filled with crayons, pencils, washable markers and more. If you’ve got littler kids this Christmas, you can keep their small hands busy with the Crayola My First Finger Painting Kit.
4. LEGO City Advent Calendar Building Kit
With this fun and colorful LEGO City Advent Calendar, your kids can reveal a new mini-build for every day in December leading up to Christmas. The kit includes 24 separate builds, and a play mat to display the sweet Christmas scene. Every day brings a new mini-model to build, as your child constructs a realistic LEGO City Christmas. This advent calendar is a great way to get your little builder into the holiday spirit (as if they need any help with that.) It’s an affordable early Christmas gift or a fun present for a child with a birthday around the holiday season. The Force can be with you during the busy Christmas season if you get your kids the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar Building Kit. With deep space play scenes and more than ten buildable vehicles, it’s a great way to keep little hands and minds occupied. Furry friends and their homes, Christmas tree, gifts and all sorts of surprises are a part of the super cute LEGO Friends Advent Calendar Building Kit, that also comes with a Stephanie mini-doll figure in a festive outfit.
5. Fisher-Price Little People Advent Calendar
If you’ve got a toddler, their little hands will keep busy and minds can master learning with this cute Fisher-Price Little People Advent calendar. Little ones will love opening the door to find a new Little People friend or fun, holiday-themed accessory each day as Christmas comes closer. By December 24th, they’ll have a whole new set of holiday toys to “make merry” with, plus you can even use the Little People Advent Calendar to practice numbers and counting skills with your toddler. Every day will bring a new adventure in holiday play and imagination building.
6. PLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar ‘Christmas on the Farm’ Playset
Your kids from four to ten can head outdoors into the winter wonderland for some holiday festivities with the Christmas on the Farm Advent calendar from PLAYMOBIL. It features a barnyard full of animals, and of course it has twenty-four surprise items, one for each day leading up to Christmas. Once all the pieces are revealed, your kids can create a festive animal gathering with Santa and you can share with them how baby Jesus was born in a manger, while you all play together. This fun set includes a backdrop, Santa, angel, and child figure, a tractor, playful barnyard cats, a dog, cows, sheep, goats, a hen with chicks, birds, watering trough, and lots of other fun accessories. The PLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar ‘Dress Up Party’ Playset is a fun way to ring in the holidays with two dolls and tons of fun dress up outfits for Christmas. And your little ones will get a bounty of playful booty leading up to Christmas morning with the PLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar ‘Pirate Treasure Island’ Playset. If you’re a traditionalist, go for the PLAYMOBIL Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar.
7. VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Advent Calendar 2017
Your one to five year old’s eyes will light up when they begin the countdown to Christmas with the Go! Go! Smart Animals® Advent Calendar by VTech®. This interactive Advent calendar features a snowy scene with 24 doors, gifts and Rudy the SmartPoint® Reindeer. When your little one opens a door each day as Christmas approaches, a surprise gift will be revealed. Flip down the front of the box, and the scene on the box can be used as a backdrop for added more make believe fun. The first gift is Rudy the SmartPoint® Reindeer and a platform with a SmartPoint® location. Place Rudy on the included SmartPoint® location, (or SmartPoint® locations on other Go! Go! Smart Animals® playsets,) and hear unique, fun responses. Rudy the Reindeer features a light-up button, motion recognition, songs and more. Other surprise gifts include a baby reindeer, ornaments and more. If your little one is fascinated with this fun and interactive Advent calendar, you might want to order ahead to have some other Go! Go! toys from VTech under the tree. The VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Sweet Surprise Treat Shoppe, VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Twinkle the Magical Unicorn, and VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Trot and Travel Royal Carriage are all adorable gift options.
Price: $25.99 (13 percent off MSRP)
8. Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent Calendar
Melissa & Doug wooden creations are a worldwide favorite of kids and kids at heart. Their festive, Christmas tree-shaped, wooden Advent calendar is an extra special creation because it becomes part of a beloved holiday tradition with your kids. The painted tree with sparkling accents stands in a sturdy wooden base that doubles as a box to hold the adorable ornament decorations. Each ornament is decorated differently in holiday patterns and Christmas themes. Your kids can take turns choosing a special one each day leading up to Christmas morning. This cool art piece helps to promote and reinforce many developmental skills as children grow from year to year. You can use the numbers on the tree to help young children learn to count both forwards and backwards. You can also play games with your kids using the ornaments to help develop color recognition and memory skills. This special Advent calendar helps kids build both patience and anticipation for the upcoming holiday celebration. On Christmas morning, treat your younger kids to a Melissa & Doug Santa’s Sleigh Chunky Puzzle. If you’ve got a toddler, the Melissa & Doug Santa Wooden Dress-Up Doll or Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Wooden Christmas Cookie Play Food Set would be a wonderful gift.
Price: $15.98 (20 percent off MSRP)
9. KidKraft Wooden Advent Calendar
What could be a more fun holiday tradition than building a very special Advent calendar, especially one you and your child assembled together? This sweet as sugar little gingerbread house features 24 compartments that open and close. It is packaged with detailed, step-by-step assembly instructions that allow you to customize this cutie with your child’s name, plus it’s a holiday treasure that will be loved for years to come. Once it’s built, you can secretly fill each little compartment with tiny toys, chocolates and special surprises for your child.
10. Hot Wheels Advent Calendar
If you’ve got a little car nut in the house, why not rev up their pre-Christmas season with some holiday Hot Wheels? The Hot Wheels Advent calendar features individual windows that reveal a new surprise every day leading up to Christmas. It comes with twenty-four surprises, including eight Hot Wheels vehicles and 16 accessories to convert the cars into Christmas themed vehicles. From reindeer and skis, to a snow plow, your little one can enjoy the magic of the season, along with getting the Hot Wheels cars they love.
Best Wooden Advent Calendars
11. Byers’ Choice Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
11. Byers’ Choice Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
Kids of all ages will love this beautifully made wooden Christmas tree Advent calendar. It is thoughtfully designed with 24 numbered doors, behind which many delightful small surprises can be hidden. Each day leading up to Christmas becomes a treasure hunt for tiny toys, treats and other delights that you can change from year to year. This beautiful Christmas keepsake comes in sturdy box for storage after the holidays. It’s made of high quality wood which makes this Advent calendar durable enough to last for many Christmases to come. Because this does contain many small pieces, it isn’t suitable for children under three years of age. There are many more styles of wooden Advent calendars from Christmas houses to Santa’s house.
12. Kurt Adler Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar
The nativity is a precious scene at the holidays, and this beautiful wooden Advent calendar by Kurt Adler allows children to design their own nativity during the 24 days leading up to Christmas. Kids can be creative and use their imaginations with this beautiful set that includes magnetic animals and people that can be hidden behind each of the nativity’s 24 doors. In addition, there is room to hide some small candy coins, notes from Santa and other surprises of your choice. Made out of natural wood, this nativity is painted in the beautiful color of the nighttime sky. Kurt Adler has designed lots of beautiful Christmas decorations for your tree and every room in your home.
13. Green Wooden Advent Calendar from Primitives by Kathy
This adorable wooden box style Advent calendar from Primitives by Kathy gives you the opportunity to build years of Christmas memories for your family. Made of sturdy wood, with a beautiful primitive green paint finish, this Advent calendar perfectly captures the spirit of the season. The vintage theme means it will match perfectly with all different kinds of holiday decor. Your kids will love all the individual compartments with doors, which are big enough to hold candy, small ornaments, tiny toys or other special treasures. You can count on watching their faces light up as they count down the days until Christmas. This sweet Advent calendar features two wall mounting hooks enabling you to hang it on a wall or door, or you can stand it upright on any flat surface.
14. Lighted Santa’s Wooden Workshop Advent Calendar
This adorable wooden Advent calendar is a piece destined to become an enchanting family heirloom that you’ll be excited to bring out every Christmas. Inside the workshop are Santa, his sleigh, elves, a fireplace, furniture, presents and more. Beneath Santa’s workshop are 24 numbered drawers for the 24 days before Christmas. You might fill them with small gifts, or more untraditional surprises each year. As your kids grow, the selection can evolve to suit their ages. Just flip the switch on the back and the workshop lights up with LED lights. For a different take on Santa’s workshop, check out this animated advent calendar.
15. Caspari Nativity Tree Pop-Up Advent Calendar
The Nativity Tree Pop-Up Advent calendar features a classic Christmas tree design. Designed by Janine Moore, it’s a lovely and festive tradition for any family to celebrate the days of December leading up to Christmas. The traditional art features a Christmas tree surrounded by a nativity scene. This pop-up calendar is designed to sit on a tabletop or the hearth. With a dusting of glitter over it, this design is steeped in 19th century German Lutheran history. Behind each door is a themed picture relating to the holiday season. The Caspari Wreath Die Cut Advent Calendar would add a beautiful look to any wall or door during the Christmas holidays. If you’re looking for a way to help your family understand the true meaning of Christmas, get the Caspari Christmas Pop-Up Advent Calendar and Story Book.
16. Byers’ Choice Christmas House Advent Calendar
You can almost see the misty London fog and hear the church bells tolling in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol when you look at this beautiful Tudor Christmas house advent calendar. Thoughtfully designed with 24 numbered doors, behind which small surprises can be hidden for each day. Made of high quality wood, this beautiful Advent calendar will be a holiday tradition as your family grows. Once the kids are gone, you can fill it with grown up treats, thoughtful notes, and more, to make every holiday season bright.
Best Fabric Advent Calendars
17. Tidings of Joy Fabric Advent Calendar
17. Tidings of Joy Fabric Advent Calendar
This beautifully crafted fabric advent calendar comes with velcro-affixed stuffed figures that are removed from the pockets each day leading up to Christmas and added to the nativity scene. The final Nativity beautifully depicts the birth of Jesus as the Star of Bethlehem guides your family closer to the holy day. You might also choose to include a piece of Christmas candy or tiny tree ornament in each pocket for twice the enjoyment. The high quality craftsmanship of this holiday treasure ensures this calendar can be used year after year.
18. Peace on Earth Fabric Advent Calendar
This beautifully crafted advent calendar brings with it the message of love and acceptance of all the peoples of the world. Little angels from all over the planet are used to celebrate and count down the days toward Christmas. Each day becomes and adventure of acceptance, an opportunity for learning and a way to build conversation about our global community and love of others. The velcro-affixed stuffed figures are removed from the pockets and added to the scene each day of advent, promoting peace on earth and good will towards all people. Add to your family conversation about diversity with some toys and games that promote understanding at this wonderful time of year.
Price: $29.98 (29 percent off MSRP)
19. Noah’s Ark Fabric Advent Calendar
Add to your Christmas story telling time with this fun Noah’s Ark advent calendar. As you count down to Christmas, the animals, two by two, are revealed hiding in the fabric pockets. It’s a fun way to share another bible story with your children, and a great way to talk about all the different animals and trees on the earth. Each velcro-backed animal fits on the ark, and as the days move closer to Christmas, Noah and his wife save the animals from the floods. There are many books about Noah’s Ark that are age appropriate so it’s easy to pick one to share with your kids through the season, or could create the advent calendar and reading time as a nightly ritual throughout the month. This advent calendar would be a super sweet Christmas gift for a family with a new baby, especially if you included a soft Noah’s Ark baby blanket.
20. The Elf on the Shelf Advent Calendar Kit
Let the magical mischief unfold as you and your children experience the fun and adventure of the countdown to Christmas. Year after year, children and adults alike are baffled by the mystery of how Santa really knows who’s been naughty or nice. After much urging by the elves and Mrs. Claus, Santa has allowed his biggest secret to be revealed in The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. At the start of each Christmas season, the elf appears to serve as Santa’s eyes and ears, traveling back to the North Pole each and every night to make a detailed report of the day’s activities. This keepsake gift set includes a blue eyed girl North Pole pixie scout elf, and a hardbound watercolor picture book. Children can register their elf online to receive an official adoption certificate and a special letter from Santa. If you’ve got more than one child, or a spouse who is childlike, get individual elves for each member of your family and take the pranks and practical Christmas jokes to the hilt. Your elf (or elves) can leave Magical Merry Notes each day, along with their silly hijinx.
Price: From $28.99
Looking for more great holiday gifts? We can help you find an awesome Christmas present for your husband, or the most perfect first Christmas ornament. Visit our Gifts page for thoughtfully curated gift guides, or check out our Toys page for gift ideas for your kids.”