Skip to main content
Get in the Spirit with Low Cost Holiday Activities

Get in the Spirit with Low Cost Holiday Activities

By Matt Diehl • December 07, 2016

With the holiday season in full swing, people everywhere are celebrating and feeling festive. This magical time of year is unlike any other but can also come with a variety of additional expenses.

No matter what your budget is, there are many ways to be festive and spend little to no money at all. If you need tips to fuel your holiday spirit and not break the bank, try these low cost activities:

Tour local light displays

If you and your loved ones appreciate holiday light displays, this can be a fun activity for all. Whether you walk your neighborhood or drive around town, you can add some extra delight to the experience by bringing hot chocolate and holiday cookies. After the tour is over, the only costs you might incur could be for the treats and gas.

Schedule a holiday movie night

Winter nights are a perfect reason to grab a few blankets and snuggle up on the couch for a movie marathon. Most people have a favorite holiday movie (or several) so try to let everyone pick a flick to watch.

If you don’t own the movies, write down which ones you want to see and check your local listings. For additional ideas, check out the following lists:

Host a potluck

How can you host a fun holiday get-together and not spend a lot of dough? Make it a potluck!

If you want to add some competition to the mix, add a cookoff item to the menu. See who can cook the best chili or make the best apple cider in addition to their shared dish. Another fun idea can be to name one ingredient (i.e. ginger) and ask everyone to make a dish. Whoever has the tastiest dish wins. Saving money and enjoying good food with family and friends is a win-win.

See a local play

If you’re a fan of the live arts, you’re in luck. Many schools and community theatres put on productions of holiday classics for a reasonable ticket price this time of year. Check your local newspaper or search online for plays in your area. In addition to a bargain night of live entertainment, you’ll also be supporting your local arts scene.

Make homemade ornaments

Are you the crafty type? Making homemade ornaments can be a great way to get inspired for the holidays. To get started, find some DIY ornament ideas that suit your level of craft making. Once you figure out what materials you need, check for coupons in the newspaper or online before heading to your local craft store. When you’re ready to create, set aside time and play holiday music as you make your low cost masterpieces.


When it comes to finding holiday spirit, giving back to your community could be a noble approach. This activity could cost nothing but time and be equally rewarding for you and the ones you assist. Whether you serve food at a homeless shelter or spread cheer at a retirement home, volunteering might also help you discover a new hobby year round.

To find holiday volunteer opportunities in your area, search

Start a tradition of saving

There are many ways to get in the spirit depending on what you like to do. If saving money is another activity you enjoy, hopefully these tips help make the most wonderful time of the year even more special. Happy Holidays!

The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. The companies and individuals (other than OneMain Financial’s sponsored partners) referred to in this message are not sponsors of, do not endorse, and are not otherwise affiliated with OneMain Financial.