“Are there any free Christmas/holiday things to do near me?”
The holiday season is here!
This year millions of people will celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve/Day.
The holidays can be a burden on your budget, with all the money that is spent on Christmas gifts, dinners, parties and travel.
But celebrating the holidays with your loved ones doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
There are tons of entertaining and fun activities and holiday events near you that you can enjoy while staying within your Christmas budget.
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We’ve compiled a list of holiday related activities in 35 major cities across the U.S.
Here’s the best thing about it…
They are all free or nearly free!
So, next time you, a friend or a family member, are bored and wanna do something fun during the holidays without breaking the bank, consider taking part in one of these awesome free/cheap holiday activities, events and celebrations in your town.
What will I learn?
Atlanta has tons of unique entertainment for the family including, the Macy’s Pink Pig at Lenox Square, the Children’s Christmas Parade or even dress up your four legged friend for the Reindog Parade at Botanical Garden.
Be sure to check out the Zilker Tree Lighting, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and the Holiday Sing Along & Downtown Stroll.
Baltimore has something for everyone, including the Chanukah Festival at McKeldin Square, a Chanukah Car Parade, the New Year’s Eve Spectacular at Inner Harbor, and the Kwanzaa Celebration at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
Birmingham events include free storytelling and hot chocolate, ice skating, and a Winter Wonderland model train show.
Tree lightings, concerts, and caroling are just a few of the holiday activities found in Boston this year.
Be sure to check out the Magnificent Mile Light Festival, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier.
There’s no shortage of holiday spirit in Columbus with things to do like holiday carriage rides, photos and breakfast with Santa, and holiday train rides.
Visit with Santa, check out some amazing light displays or take in a holiday concert.
It’s a magical time to visit the Mile High City with performing arts, music, lights, Santa sightings and more.
A German Christmas Market, Noel Night and a Christmas parade are just a few things to do in the Detroit area this holiday season.
The Tinsel Trail, Christmas Card Lane, HYP Santa Bar Crawl, Ugly Sweater Fun Run, the Huntsville Youth Orchestra Holiday Concert and the Madison City Christmas Tree Display are just a few of the FREE things to do!
Go see The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol, attend Game Night, ride the Carmel Holiday Trolley, or see any of the 33 other holiday attractions– all for free!
Take a Candy Cane class, see the Budweiser Clydesdales, take the family ice skating or attend a tree lighting. There’s tons of holiday fun in Jacksonville.
14. Kansas City
Kansas City has tons of free fun this holiday season. Attractions include many free shows including Liberty Light Show, Dickens Carolers, Puppets for Paws. K.C. also features several Nativities, Santa Sightings, and Winter Wonderlands.
There’s so much holiday fun in Lexington, including shopping, parades, tree lightings or you can take a ride on Bluegrass Scenic Railway’s Santa Claus Special!
16. Los Angeles
Don’t let the warm weather fool you, Los Angeles is loaded with holiday spirit. Events include the Hollywood Christmas Parade, L.A. County Christmas Tree Lighting, and the Santa Monica Pub Crawl.
Memphis has a ton of holiday events and things to do. Come celebrate and see the Peabody Tree Lighting Ceremony, check out Christmas at Graceland or see the light display at the zoo.
Meet Santa at the Pfister for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, take a trip through the Country Christmas Trail, or visit Christmas in the Ward to see fireworks and reindeer or take a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Don’t miss out on any of the events at A Country Christmas at Opryland including carriage rides, snow tubing, and ice skating; or go see the Nutcracker, or visit an amazing light display.
20. New York
The city is absolutely at its best during the holiday season, and there is no shortage of festive activities! Whether it is skating under the Rockefeller Tree or viewing the department store windows, there are activities for everyone.
Holiday lights, gingerbread house displays, kids crafts, shows, and Santa sightings can all be found in Omaha.
Orlando features over 50 free holiday events including parades, tree lightings, movies, cook offs and bazaars. There’s something free for everyone!
Holiday lights,Christmas Light Show at Macy’s, Mummers Parade, and ice skating are just a few of the festive attractions found in Philadelphia.
Block parties, skating, light shows, concerts and holiday art shows are just a few the holiday attractions that Phoenix has to offer.
There’s so much holiday themed fun in Portland, including the Pioneer Courthouse Square Tree Lighting, Lights on Peacock Lane, the Christmas Ship Parade, Christmas in Dairyville, and SantaCon, just to name a few!
Whether you’re looking for Santa visits, Christmas tree lightings, sleigh rides, parades, or festivals, Raleigh has it all!
27. San Antonio
Check out the Holiday Lights on the Riverwalk, see a holiday parade, go the museum or attend a tree lighting. You’re sure to find some holiday fun in San Antonio.
28. San Diego
San Diego has many unique holiday events including a Mother Goose Parade, free organ concerts, tree lightings, and even a surfing Santa!
29. San Jose
The Bay area hosts several fun events including a Reindeer Run, a Menorah Lighting Ceremony, Teddy Bear Tea Party, and much more.
30. Santa Fe
Pie Mania, ballets, concerts, Christmas lights, museums– find it all in Santa Fe!
Seattle has something for the entire family. Enjoy Holiday musicals, light festivals, plays, concerts, parades and visits with Santa.
32. Springfield, IL
In the Springfield area you can find everything holiday related, from craft bazaars to reindeer farms, light displays, carolers, and concerts.
33. St. Louis
St. Louis offers several free activities like the amazing light displays including the Way of Lights at Out Lady of the Snows Shrine and the lights at Anheuser Busch brewery, parades, and holiday flowers in Forest Park.
There’s no shortage of holiday fun in Tulsa. Come see the Red Earth Tree Fest, winter markets, light festivals, and even a scavenger hunt.
35. Washington D.C.
Get in the spirit of the season in D.C. with free light displays, musical performances, sing-a-longs, community parades, and even a waterskiing Santa!
The Holiday Season shouldn’t break your budget, or leave you stressed about cash.
This is the time to be with your loved ones and be joyous; you can’t put a price tag on creating family memories.
And with these awesome activities and events near you, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy free holiday activities anymore.
So, next time somebody asks you “what can I do during the holidays, on Christmas day, or Christmas eve?” share this post wit them!
In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment with some free (or nearly free) activities that you like to do around this most wonderful time of the year.