Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

December is here! But Christmas is still quite a long way… We all know that it is difficult for children to wait until the 25th. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do to keep them busy. I selected some ideas that will put the whole family into the Holidays’ Spirit and make Christmas come faster.

Pick and put up a tree

First things first, to start off festivities, you need a tree. You will find selling points everywhere from the end of November. However, a good family activity is to go in a plantation, pick a tree and cut it by yourself.
Where? The Quinn Farm, if you live near Montreal.
Downey tree farm and nursery, if you live in the Eastern Townships. There, you can pick your tree, drink a delicious hot chocolate and make your own Christmas wreath.
When? – The Quinn Farm: from Thursday to Sunday, from the 17th of November to the 24th of December 2018.
– The tree farm: every weekend from the 1st of December 2018, from 10am to 4pm.

Make Christmas decorations

Okay so, now that your tree is up in the living room, you need to decorate it. Imagine how proud your children would be if you’d let them hang their own decoration up on the tree. Wouldn’t that be fun? There are many DIY tutorials on the Internet like this cute salt dough Santa Claus or these origamis decorations. Nonetheless, do not forget to look into your city’s holiday program. Most of them organize creative workshops for children, especially during the Christmas markets.

Pay a visit to a Christmas market

Well, since we are on the topic…What is interesting about Christmas markets is that, wherever you live, the chances are there are one nearby. Each has its specificities and different activities so you can even visit more than just one during the season. Christmas carols and tales, sweet and salty treats, beautiful lightings, hand-crafted goods… It truly is a must-do!
What are the best Christmas markets in Quebec?
Longueuil, every weekend (30/11 – 22/12/2018)
Terrebonne, Thursday to Sunday (29/11 – 16/12/2018)
Joliette, Thursday to Sunday (30/11 – 23/12/2018)
Montreal’s Christmas Village, every weekend (30/11 – 23/12/2018)
Quebec city’s German Christmas market, Thursday to Sunday (22/11 – 23/12/2018)

Spend a day at Santa Claus’ Village

Rumours say that Santa lives in the North Pole, right? Well, they are wrong. Actually, Santa lives in Quebec, in Val David to be specific! Did you know that? Santa Claus’ Village is a wonderful place where you can enjoy all that winter has to offer. Sliding, ice skating, kicksleding and much more will take place under the supervision of helpful and joyful elves.
When? every weekend from the 1st of December to the 16th. Then, from the 22nd of December 2018 to the 6th of January 2019. From 10am to 5pm. Please note that the village is closed on Christmas Day. Of course, elves will be busy helping Santa delivering the presents.

Help Santa finding his elves in Sherbrooke

For the past few years, the city of Sherbrooke has been organizing kind of a treasure hunt where you need to find elves hiding on the city’s murals. It is quite fun and even adults get easily caught up in the game. Plus, anyone with a competitive spirit will be glad to know that some prizes are to be won. You can enter the competition online or just go to Sherbrooke’s tourist office to get all the information to participate.
When? From the 25th of November 2018 to the 10th of January 2019.

Be amazed by Festi-Lumière in Québec City

Now, prepare yourself to be dazzled! Festi-Lumiere is an enchanting night walk illuminated by thousands of LEDs. Enchanted forests, light projections and bouncy castles make this fun experience unforgettable for little ones.
When? From the 20th of December 2018 to the 7th of January 2019, from 6 to 9pm (closed on the 24th and 25th of December)
Where? Quebec’s aquarium, in Quebec city
How much? 11$ for adults, 7$ for 3-17 year-old children (free for children under 3)

Go and see a Christmas show

And finally, nothing beats seeing a Christmas concert or tale on stage to put you into the holidays’ spirit. It is magical. 3 shows* in Montreal caught my attention:
Québec Issime’s Le Petit Noël

A magical and interactive animation that makes 2-6 year-old toddlers sing and dance.
When? 16th, 22nd and 23rd of December, 11am
Where? Théâtre Maisonneuve, Montreal
How much? 32.99$ for adults, 27.25$ for children under 12

Illusion’s Pain d’Épice, a puppet theatre

A play that follows the adventures of a gingerbread man who, once out of the oven, comes alive.
When? from the 20th of November to the 16th of December 2018
Where? Studio Theatre de l’Illusion, Montreal
How much? 17.5$
Who? 3-6 year-old children

Nicolas Noël, les livres des enfants du monde

The enchanting story of Nicolas Noël on stage.
Where and when? The show is touring Quebec in December. Click here to find the nearest show to your place. From the 25th of November to the 30th of December 2018.
How much? Between 20.5$ and 25.5$

*All of these shows are performed in French.

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If you fancy something simpler, you can also plan a family trip to the cinema. The Grinch, La course des Tuques or Mary Poppins Returns are on the big screen this month. Besides, you can also embrace winter joys such as building a snowman, throw a snowball fight, slide on tubes or go ice skating… There are many possibilities to entertain children while they are waiting for Santa. The important thing is to keep them busy, spreading joy and the true Christmassy spirit. I mean, at the end of the day, it is not just about the presents, is it?

What about you? What are your traditions and secrets to make Christmas come faster every year?