10 Unforgettable Family Christmas Activities: Making the Most of the Season

Annapolis Santa Sessions in Kent Island MD

Annapolis Santa Photo session

10 Unforgettable Family Christmas Activities: Making the Most of the Season

The holiday season is all about spending quality time with your loved ones and creating cherished memories. Family Christmas activities are a fantastic way to make the most of this magical time of year. In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 amazing ideas to help you celebrate the holiday season with your family. From the importance of booking your activities early to finding great deals on Groupon, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive into the festive spirit and make this Christmas season truly special!

Santa Christmas session Annapolis Maryland

Booking Your Activities Early: A Wise Choice

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, and many families are eager to participate in the same activities. Booking your chosen family Christmas activities in advance is a wise decision. Here’s why:

  1. Avoid Disappointment

    Popular Christmas events often sell out quickly, and you don’t want to miss out on your favorites due to last-minute arrangements.

  2. Better Scheduling

    Booking early allows you to plan your holiday season more effectively, ensuring that you have time for all your desired activities.

  3. Less Stress

    Booking your family Christmas activities early can alleviate stress, making the holiday season more enjoyable for you and your family.

    baby on Annapolis Santa's lap

Checking Groupon and Online Specials: Saving Big on Holiday Fun

With the holiday season comes the opportunity to find excellent deals on Groupon and other online platforms. Here’s how you can maximize your savings:

  1. Browse Deals Early

    Start your search for Groupon and other online specials well in advance of the holiday season to secure the best discounts.

  2. Compare Options

    Don’t settle for the first deal you find; compare different offers to ensure you get the most value for your money.

  3. Sign Up for Alerts

    Subscribe to Groupon and deal-related newsletters to stay informed about the latest promotions and discounts on family Christmas activities.

    visit to a tree farm family Christmas activity

10 Local Family Christmas Activities to start off your Holiday Season

1. Festival of Lights: A Dazzling Display

The Festival of Lights is a beloved family Christmas activity that you won’t want to miss. Whether you opt for a walking tour or a magical drive-through experience, you’re in for a spectacular time.

  • Walking Tour: If you choose to explore on foot, bundle up in cozy coats, hats, and scarves. Capture the magic of your family amidst the twinkling lights with your camera. Brookside Gardens has a stunning lighting experiance to walk through. Anne Marie Gardens near Lusby, Maryland, also has a wonderful holiday light walk through. If you are up for a little bit of a drive, consider visiting Long Wood Gardens during Christmas. The entire year, their gardens are breathtaking, but during the Holidays, they are nothing short of magical.
  • Drive-Through: While driving through the Festival of Lights, choose the right music playlist to set the mood and have your camera ready to take candid shots of your family’s awe-struck expressions. Sandy Point has a wonderful beach themed Holiday of Lights. It’s a wonderful and very easy way to start to get into the Holiday Spirit.
  • Photography Tip: Have your camera set to night portrait and try to photograph your child while the lights are illuminating their face. You can even try to get photos of their faces while they are looking out the window. You may even be able to get a creative photo using the mirrors on the passenger side of the car. 

2. North Pole Express: All Aboard for Holiday Fun

The North Pole Express is an enchanting train ride that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family. The B & O Museum has a wonderful Christmas train experience as does the Western Maryland Scenic Line in Cumberland Maryland

  • Photography Tip: Position your family near the windows to capture the excitement on your children’s faces as they peer out into the snowy wonderland.

family buffalo plaid family Christmas activities

3. Santa Photo Experience: Creating Timeless Memories

Visiting Santa is a cherished tradition, and one of the many wonderful family Christmas activities available. Capturing the moment on film is a must. There are many Santa experiences to choose from throughout the holidays. Many restaurants offer breakfast with Santa. If money is a little tighter, you may want to visit the Santa at Bass Proshops. However, if you truly want your children to have a magical experience with Santa, and to have stunning photos as a keepsake, consider booking our Santa Experience. Raising Wild Ones Photography has been taking Annapolis Santa photos for years, offers both Studio Norman Rockwell type photos or outdoor more candid photos.

  • Photography Tip: To photograph your family with Santa, ensure the room is well-lit. Use a fast lens (with a wide aperture) to create a beautiful background blur, focusing on your family’s joyful expressions.

3 blonde children with Santa classic photo

4. ICE at the Gaylord: A Frozen Adventure

ICE at the Gaylord is a captivating display of intricate ice sculptures and fun activities. Within the hotel there are many family Christmas activities, from scavenger hunts, to ice skating, to seeing ICE. Every year, the theme changes. For 2023 Ice has a Rodolph the Red Nose Reindeer theme.

  • Photography Tip: When photographing ice sculptures, use a tripod if possible and a slow shutter speed to capture the intricate details. If it is not possible, try to brace your elbows on something to stop camera shake and hold your breath while taking the photo in low light. Don’t forget to photograph your family’s smiling faces as they explore the frozen wonderland.

5. Annapolis and Saint Michaels Boat Parades: Nautical Holiday Magic

For unique family Christmas activities, attend the Annapolis or Saint Michaels Boat Parades. These annual parades are a lot of fun and a very unique to the area way of enjoying Holiday lights.

  • Photography Tip: Use the reflection of the beautifully decorated boats in the water to create stunning, artistic shots. Experiment with different angles to capture the best perspective.

6. Miracle on 34th Street Lights in Baltimore: A Whimsical Display

Miracle on 34th Street is a legendary display of holiday lights in Baltimore. The event is a free family Christmas activity, and is something every local should do at least once.

  • Photography Tip: To capture the full extent of this enchanting display, consider using a wide-angle lens. Include your family in the shot to create a sense of scale and wonder.

extended family session in winter downtown Annapolis

7. Gingerbread House Decorating: A Sweet Family Tradition

Gingerbread house decorating is a delightful activity that lets your family’s creativity shine. Gingerbread kids are readily available at grocery stores, craft stores, and virtually everywhere at Christmas time. One way to make it one of your favorite family Christmas activities is by having a family contest. Feel free to have many different categories for winning, especially with small children.

  • Photography Tip: Document the fun and concentration on your family’s faces as they decorate. Get close-up shots of their icing-covered hands for a personal touch.

8. Family Ice Skating: Gliding into the Holidays

Ice skating is a classic winter activity for families. While areas like The Bowie Ice Rink and Talbot Ice Rink have ice skating year long, there are some wonderful outdoor ice rinks as well. Quiet Waters Park is one of my favorite outdoor ice rinks. The price is reasonable, and they offer skate rental and have hot chocolate and donuts often for purchase. They even have a few walkers to help younger skaters with their balance, though they are first come first serve. Put it up as one of your favorite family Christmas activities. It is fun for the whole family.

  • Photography Tip: Capture the grace and laughter as your family skates together. Opt for a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion and focus on those radiant smiles.

checking Santa's list family Christmas activities

9. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies: Sparkling Tradition

Attending a Christmas tree lighting ceremony is a festive way to start the season. Washington DC always has the National Tree lighting ceremony. Even if you miss the actual ceremony, it is wonderful to visit the tree and all the many different Countries’ trees that surround the National tree. This is one of many free family Christmas activities in the Maryland area. Many local towns have their own tree lighting ceremonies, be sure to check out your community pages to get involved on a more local level, and meet some of the wonderful people in your communities.

  • Photography Tip: Use the low light to your advantage by experimenting with long exposures to create enchanting light trails. Don’t forget to snap a family selfie with the beautifully lit tree.

10. Christmas Craft Workshop: Creative Fun for All

A Christmas craft workshop is an opportunity for your family to bond over creativity. It can be an organized event locally such as a wreath making activity or it can be as simple as baking cookies together and enjoying each others company for family Christmas activities. The purpose is to actively be engaged with one another and enjoy the moments we have as a family.

  • Photography Tip: Capture the process of creating beautiful ornaments or gifts. Zoom in on the details of your family’s masterpieces for lasting memories.

Visit with Santa red barn family Christmas activities

Conclusion: Creating Lasting Memories with Family Christmas Activities

The holiday season is a time for creating precious memories with your family, and these family Christmas activities provide the perfect opportunity. Whether you’re strolling through the Festival of Lights, riding the North Pole Express, or decorating gingerbread houses, remember to capture the joy and wonder with your camera. By booking your family Christmas activities early and keeping an eye out for online deals, you can make the most of the season while saving money. So, embrace the holiday spirit, enjoy these wonderful activities, and create lasting memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.