The Countdown Is On

The Best Advent Calendars For Kids In 2023

Honestly, I kind of want these for myself.

The Spirit Of The Holidays
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When I was little, I didn’t know any of my friends who had an advent calendar. My English grandmother sent me and my siblings a Cadbury advent calendar every year, and it felt ridiculously special to get a little festive Christmas chocolate every morning as we counted down to the big day. Now, advent calendars for kids are everywhere, and it’s such a fun way to spread little joy throughout December. Each year there’s something new and lovely, and the best advent calendars for kids in 2023 do not disappoint.

But first, hear me out: you don’t have to have a super fancy advent calendar. While what’s inside each of these 2023 kids advent calendars is utterly delightful, the magic and joy can be found in just opening a new little door or hanging a tiny ornament on an enchanting paper tree. This list has a good mixture of simple and elaborate advent calendars, and includes everything from countdowns with tiny LEGO pieces to ones that just feature a new illustration to admire each day. If your child is easily overwhelmed by the too-muchness of advent calendars or if you like the idea of a tiny toy but don’t want 25 mini stuffies littering your house, there are also 12-day and even 7-day advent calendar options here. This is the best of the best for the 2023 kids advent calendars, and you’re sure to find something that will charm your kids.

The American Girl Advent Calendar

I am obsessed with this American Girl Advent Calendar and so are my two big girls (ages 9 and 5). Inside of this calendar is 24 doll-sized items for your kiddo and their dolls to have some holiday baking fun. From little plates to Christmas-themed cookies and mugs of cocoa, everything is here for the ultimate pretend play. Even if your child’s not an American Girl fan quite yet, this is perfect for any doll they love to play with. I especially love it because you can totally reuse these items in play the rest of the year.

The Arteza Craft Advent Calendar

Got a crafty kid? Then this Arteza Advent Calendar is perfect for them. Featuring everything from resin and resin molds to fabric scissors and clay tools, this has a little bit of everything for your crafter. It’s obviously best for older kids who can handle projects that involve tools and things, but they’re sure to get creative all season long. (And many of the items are meant to just be part of their craft kit forevermore.)

A Felt Countdown To Christmas Tree

You know what’s really great about this fabric birds advent calendar? It looks like it can handle a whole lot of toddler hands. Let them enjoy counting down to Christmas (with 12 days) as they move a sweet little winter-themed bird into a pocket each day. It’s just so sweet and is a great option for their bedrooms or a playroom.

The Elf Advent Calendar

How gorgeous is this Elf advent calendar? With 55 LED lights throughout, this is a stunning piece of holiday decor and functions as a really fun advent calendar for kids. Pop in your own little gifts or even advent activities written on paper for your kids to find each day as they count down to Christmas. Their favorite Elf moments are featured on the calendar itself, and the battery pack has an on/off switch with a timer capability, too.

A Bluey Bath Bomb Countdown Calendar

Bluey advent calendars aren’t new, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Bluey bath bomb Christmas countdown, and it’s so good. Have you ever seen a kid not utterly delighted by a bath bomb? This set features everyone’s favorite heeler pup and her sister Bingo on the front, and I’m really into the fact that this is a Christmas week countdown calendar. If you’ve got a child that’s a little overwhelmed by too much opening every day (It’s me, I’m the child) or you just want to make that week leading up to Christmas extra special this is a great (and cheap!) choice.

The LEGO Harry Potter Calendar

LEGO has a few different advent calendar options each year, but the LEGO Harry Potter 2023 Advent Calendar is just lovely. This is a must for Potter fans, as there are six new-to-the-LEGO-universe Harry Potter minifigures, including Aberforth Dumbledore. There are also 18 mini-builds that relate to Hogsmeade, so this is one of those advent calendars that you can continue playing with long after the holidays. If your child already has other LEGO Harry Potter sets, just add on with these new items.

The Jurassic World Mini Figure Advent Calendar

Jurassic World has had a few advent calendars over the years, but this Jurassic World 30th Anniversary Mini Figure Advent Calendar might be my favorite. A Target exclusive, this comes with 19 mini dinosaurs, one mini human figure, and 10 gate and platform pieces to build your own version of Jurassic Park.

A Simple Wooden Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

I’m so in love with this Christmas tree advent calendar from Pottery Barn. It’s a gorgeous mixture of wood and metal and features 25 trees of differing sizes and shapes, with a removable red star that your children can move down the line of trees each day as they count down to Christmas. It’s a great choice if you want an advent calendar you can use over and over each year, and it doubles as holiday decor.

A Fabric Advent Calendar With Pockets

How sweet is this fabric Christmas advent calendar from Ginger Ray? I love a pocket advent calendar — this is the perfect chance to turn your own Christmas family bucket list into a countdown by filling the pockets with tiny gifts or slips of paper with daily holiday activities. I also love that the pockets aren’t in numerical order so kids can have a little fun each day looking for the next pocket.

The Grinch Advent Calendar

OK, this is the advent calendar with a little bit of everything for everyone. From Williams Sonoma, this Grinch advent calendar has chocolate caramels, gummy rings, candy spheres, and more inside to help your little ones count down to the big day. The calendar itself is gorgeous, too, and features the classic illustrations from the Dr. Seuss Christmas story.

The BRIO Advent Calendar

I know — your house is already swimming in BRIO railway pieces. But here’s the best part about the BRIO 2023 advent calendar — these pieces just connect right in perfectly. With everything from tracks to a gingerbread train to Mr. and Mrs. Claus in here as you count down to Christmas, your kids are going to love creating their own little wonderland.

The Mini Disney Plush Advent Calendar

You’re already squealing about how much your kid will love this, I know. The Disney Munchlings Plush advent calendar is themed Season’s Sweetings this year, which brings a bunch of fun, festive, Christmas treat-themed tiny Disney characters to life. This is one of those 12-day advent calendars, so it’s just the right amount of tiny little gifts, and I’m obsessed with how unique the toys are and that there are some iconic characters you don’t see often. Example: Pocahontas’ BFF Meeko is here as a Meeko Mince Pie, and 101 Dalmatians’ Patch is here as a Patch Holiday Stollen. Obsessed. (Fair warning: the box, shaped like a gingerbread house, is pretty large, so find a good spot for it.)

The Dylan’s Candy Bar Countdown Tree

An advent calendar that’s full of candy and pretty? Yes please. The Dylan’s Candy Bar Countdown Candy Tree is a little on the expensive side for an advent calendar, but not only does it come with this big glittery tree and ornaments to hang as your kids count down to Christmas, but it also comes with four bags of candy to fill the ornaments for a sweet treat as they decorate. The countdown candy features mini milk chocolate Santas, Christmas-themed marshmallows, gumdrops, and more.

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The GUND Plush Advent Calendar

OK, I know this is a list of advent calendars for kids, but I still really kind of want this one for myself. GUND is a brand known for its sweet, perfect plushes, and now your kiddo can have one every single day — well, for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. The GUND plush advent calendar is big (it’s 12” by 18”), but inside each door is a mini 4” GUND plush stuffed animal. From teddy bears to a penguin and moose, there are 12 of the sweetest little friends inside. Each has a name, and they are direct mini replicas of their larger GUND friends, so if your child already has a few of these, now they have a “baby” to go along with it. So, so sweet. (Please, just pair this with the American Girl calendar so every tiny teddy bear gets a tiny Christmas cookie.)

The Kids Crafts Advent Calendar

If you have younger kids that love crafting (and if you love an adorable, handmade Christmas ornament), this Kids Crafts Countdown to Christmas Felt Craft Kit Advent Calendar is, a mouthful, but utterly delightful. Perfect for kids as young as 4, this kit requires no sewing or gluing, and allows them to make 25 perfect felt ornaments with sticker-backed pieces that they can handle all on their own. The dream.

The Rifle Paper Snow Globe Advent Calendar

Want an advent calendar that’s literally just a pretty countdown with no tiny toys to deal with? I’ve got you. The Rifle Paper snow globe advent calendar is as much a delight for adults as it is for children. It’s a gorgeous, heavy-weight paper standing snow globe with 25 little doors in four “segments” that reveal a fun new illustration each day. Each of the four segments also has a different Christmas scene, and this is one of those that I know my children would touch every day to move around and reveal something new inside.

The Smoko Friends Plush Advent Calendar

I’m sorry, but companies really knew what they were doing by making plush advent calendars and giving them just 12 days instead of 24. The Smoko Friends Plush Advent Calendar is no different. Smoko has some of the most fun and unique little plush characters, and now they’re getting a festive kick in this advent calendar, which includes everything from a mushroom with a candy cane to a sassy little reindeer boba tea. So fun and sweet, and each comes with a string so kids can hang them up if they’d like. (Maybe on a mini tree in their room?)

The Bonne Maman Advent Calendar

I know, this is on your personal advent calendar wishlist, too, but hear me out: kids love tiny jars, and the Bonne Maman Advent Calendar is such a joy to open (and eat). “My kids — 5 and 9 — are obsessed with having their own mini jam at breakfast and putting it on toast themselves. I let them each pick their own and go through the calendar twice as fast because I swear the promise of finding out what their jam of the day is GETS THEM OUT OF BED in the morning,” Meaghan O’Connell, Romper Features Editor says. “Bonne Maman, please make these year round.” Won’t you hear our pleas?

The KiwiCo Advent Calendar

Your kids might already have a KiwiCo subscription, but even if they don’t or your family isn’t familiar, they’ll fall in love with this Christmas village advent calendar. As your kids count down to Christmas, each envelope has everything they need to build a part of the Christmas village so that once Christmas rolls around, the entire set is done and ready for play. It’s a great STEAM option for families, and siblings can even work on this one together.

There are a million choices out there for advent calendars, but the important part is just finding one that sparks a bit of joy each day as your family counts down to Christmas. Whether that’s one loaded with candy or tiny plushes or just sweet illustrations is up to you — the magic is there, no matter what.