20 Chocolate Free Advent Calendar Ideas

As we are now in November, the C word is acceptable and let’s face it, it won’t be long until our thoughts turn to advent calendars. My kids absolutely love opening a window a day during December and getting a little treat, not to mention counting down the days until Santa comes. However, not everyone wants a chocolate advent calendar. My Godson has a dairy allergy so struggles to find one suitable so I have compiled 20 alternatives to the traditional chocolate advent calendar thanks to the help of some lovely bloggers.

Kate from Family Fever shared with me this Playmobil advent calendar which gives you the base and then you open a piece a day which will create a little festive Playmobil scene. We absolutely love Playmobil and know this would be a great alternative. Just a warning though, the back of the calendar shows all the individual pieces so if you’re wanting to keep it a surprise, you may want to cover over it.

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar
Sophie from Https://www.soohobsessed.com shared this lovely idea: “We are doing a ‘random act of kindness’ advent this year. We are making a list of different things we can do each day and then picking one out each day. Things like delivering treats to the fire/ambulance/police station. Paying for someone’s coffee. Helping the elderly carry their bags etc. I think that Christmas is very much about receiving and I want my son to learn that giving is important too!” I absolutely love this idea, really captures the spirit of Christmas.

Rebecca from the Sparklenest does a 24 day book advent where she wraps up a book a day with a tag on, so that there’s a festive story each night before bed. Not only is this a lovely idea, but how neat is her wrapping?! Can you come and wrap all my presents this year please?!

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar

Irina from Wave to Mummy also does her own book advent and you can get some great book ideas in her book advent post.

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar


Cassie from Mummy on a Budget got her Mum involved as she did an Advent calendar for her little one with money for each day. So for example 1p for 1st Dec. £1.10 for 11th.What a great alternative to chocolate and perfect for older children who may be looking to save a few pennies. 

Jennifer from Mighty Mama Bear blog shared her lovely family tradition: “We do a book a day advent that they unwrap each day and we read as a family, and a “giving box” where we put a good item in every day and donate it to the food bank on Christmas Eve” I know my kids would really enjoy this as they love taking donations to the food bank. This is one definitely to save to hand.

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar

Katie at REO Life came up with a reverse advent calendar idea. So rather than receiving something each day you give something? It could be an old toy, old book, a tin of food for the food bank, treats for the dog shelter. I love the idea of giving to others and what a lovely idea to help others.

Deb from Country Heart and Home has gone one step further and MADE her own advent calendar which you can fill with whatever you wish. This looks just gorgeous and would really make a pretty addition to any festive display. Sadly I am the least craftiest person in the world, so I can just admire this from afar!

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar


Sally from Mother and 3 Sons digs out the Elf on the Shelf, she explains: “We have an elf who visits on the 1st December each year and every day there is a handwritten letter for the boys with personal details in it, such as school friends, activities etc so the boys really believe Santa is watching! We have a stocking garland and the letters are rolled into a scroll and put in along with a sweet little treat too ” I have lots of friends at school who have their own Elf and I love seeing the escapades they get up to.

Mrs Mulled Wine recommends this cool HARIBO advent calendar. Each door has a sweet treat behind and I know three little people who would adore this. I love how bright it is too, really eye catching.

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar
Lianne from Ankle Biters Adventures is getting her son a hot wheels car advent calendar. It has a car or accessory every day – I can see why her son would love this!

Clare from Clares Little Tots shared her beautiful peg advent idea where she wrote a fun little activity and clipped it onto the peg for the family to partake in. Not only does this make a great decoration to tie in, but also you can make the activities as simple as you wish. You could also include things like “pick the Christmas tree” on the day where you know you are planning to get the tree, so this ties in with family life too.

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar

Helen from Witty Hoots shared three of her brilliant ideas which she has done. She has posts on how to create an advent wreath of Christmas words, a Christmas tree advent calendar and a fun simple Christmas card countdown. These are all great alternative crafty ways to use during the advent period.

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar

My friend Leanne from A Slice of My Life Wales has two unboxing videos over on her YouTube channels that you can check out; beware they do come with a spoiler alerts! The first is the new Kellogg’s cereal advent calendar where you get a tasty breakfast each morning in December

And this one for every kids favourite stationery brand, Smiggle.

Last year my husband bought me a Yankee candle advent calendar which I adored. This year I will be hoping for either another candle advent calendar, I love this candle advent calendar by Heart and Home as their candles really last so well. I also will keep my fingers and toes crossed for this bad boy – a gin advent calendar – GINVENT!

So there you have it. 20 alternative ideas for an advent calendar. Hope this gives you some ideas for 1st December.

B xx

[Thank you to all the bloggers who let me use their posts/images. This post is not sponsored in any way nor does it contain any affiliate links]

Chocolate Free Advent Calendar

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  1. 1st November 2017 / 2:00 pm

    What a super thoughtful post for those who are not on the chocolate radar 💙

  2. 5th November 2017 / 1:23 pm

    I love these ideas! I’m definitely going for the book idea for my toddler.

    I’m also doing the #FoodbankAdvent reverse advent calendar. I’m putting one item a day into a box for a month then donating it to my local foodbank. I think it will be a good way to teach the kids about kindness!

  3. 18th November 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Do you think I can have them ALL or is that being greedy
    Wonderful ideas to make ADVENT so special