Robin Mosley (she/her) formerly wrote commerce deals for CNET about beauty, fashion and other essential gear. Before that, she freelanced for Healthline, Simply Recipes and Nerd Street. She is a Chicago native living on the East Coast who is a fan of all things beauty, food, gaming and tech. When she isn't writing, she's at a restaurant, shopping online or making YouTube gaming videos.
Once the calendar hits December, the excitement surrounding the days leading up to Christmas really kicks in. And for kids, that's especially true. There's nothing like the hard-to-contain joy of waiting for Jolly Ol' Saint Nick to head down the chimney to deliver some awesome toys. For this reason, Advent calendars are a staple in my home. If they've not been added to your household's yearly holiday practice yet, the gist goes like this: Beginning on Dec. 1, kids -- or adults -- celebrate the countdown to Christmas by opening a door numbered for each day of the month leading up to Santa's arrival. On the other side of each door, a variety of treats await -- from candy and toys to figurines and even books.
Below we've curated a fun list of the best Advent calendars for kids for 2023. All our favorite options that cater to practically every interest are included here. Whether your kids are into Disney, Barbie, Roblox, Legos, fidget toys or DIY ornaments, consider yourself covered. It's worth noting that, due to the popularity of some of these items, there's a very real chance a number of these calendars will sell out before December begins. So, be sure to get yours as soon as possible.
Lego makes some of my all-time favorite Advent calendars ever, and it just dropped its 2023 batch, including the ultra-popular Lego Star Wars calendar. Kids get to start off each day building a new toy they can then add to the foldout Star Wars holiday scene. Not only is it fun to see which vehicle or Star Wars character they get each day (Emperor Palpatine! Princess Leia!), but these toys last well beyond the holiday season.
We love how Lego switches things up a bit with its Friends calendar each year. Last year was all about Olivia's visit with Santa, and this year offers up a bunch of new Heartlake City characters along with a pet theme. If you've got a kid who's really into Lego Friends or animals, this is a great choice. Kids even get to put together a train for the pets to ride on.
This Advent calendar is for kids who love all things Disney, and it's a great way to get kiddos excited about reading. Every day there's a new paperback book to read, featuring holiday-themed adventures and regular stories of your Disney and Pixar favorites. Note that it's due to be released Sept. 5, but you can preorder it now.
Two trends combine in this cool Advent calendar. Funko Pop figurines are popular collectibles, and Marvel and Spider-Man are still going strong. Twenty-four Marvel vinyl Pocket Pops (mini Funko Pop figurines) are included here, creating quite the menagerie. Kids will love discovering Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Hulk, Iron Man and more.
Barbie has always been popular, but the Barbie movie turned that excitement up a notch this year. This Advent calendar comes with a Barbie doll that kids get on the first day, followed by all sorts of snow-themed apparel, accessories and mini-pets. If you were a fan of this summer's blockbuster hit, you might want this for yourself.
If you've got a Roblox-obsessed kid in your household, you're not alone. This Advent calendar has 24 doors that reveal holiday-themed Roblox characters and accessories. Kids can mix and match these accessories to make their very own unique character. This calendar also comes with two redeemable codes to unlock exclusive Roblox content.
If your kid is a fan of Harry Potter, this is the Advent calendar to go for. It's packed with all sorts of sweets straight out of Honeydukes, from Butterscotch Drops that taste just like Butterbeer to Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Each day offers a new tasty delight for muggle kids.
I love to keep little hands busy during the holidays, and this DIY ornament Advent calendar is the perfect way to do that. Each day, kids get to craft a new felt and sticker ornament, which they can then hang on the Christmas tree or use to decorate their rooms. It comes with easy instructions, and you don't need to have a sewing kit or glue on hand.
Who doesn't love Pokemon? With this long-standing brand, both adults and kids have grown up on it. To celebrate the holidays, this Pokemon Advent calendar has 16 figures, including popular Pokemon such as Pikachu and Eevee. For kids ages 4 and up.
For the science kid that loves collecting gemstones, this National Geographic Advent calendar is great for exploring the wonders of the world through rocks, gems and fossils. From shiny to matte, there's a special surprise behind 25 doors, including a special rose quartz on the 25th day that kids will dig out themselves.
Sensory toys aren't just for stress -- lots of kids just enjoy playing with these gizmos. Stretchy noodles, water-bead balls, springs, spins and all kinds of holiday doo-dads are tucked away behind the little doors of this fun Advent calendar. This Christmas countdown calendar is the perfect Christmas gift for kids to count down the days till Christmas Eve and get some surprises every day.
This holiday season little ones ages 3 and up will delight in opening a piece of Grand Station each day until the set is complete. Railway tracks, wooden trains, figures (including Santa) and other holiday-themed pieces are included in this Advent calendar. Bonus: The outside of the box unfolds to complete a winter scene.
Little scientists will love counting down to Santa with daily STEM activities. Twenty-four little boxes contain materials (with the exception of some common household materials) for projects and experiments. The Crazy Scientist Advent calendar is recommended for ages 8 and up, but younger kids who are interested in science can partake with some help. Bonus: The empty boxes come together after Christmas to form a board game.
Kids who are into imaginative play will love this royal Advent calendar. Hidden behind each door is one of 24 Playmobil figures and pieces that combine to create a magical Christmas scene, complete with rainbow princesses, a prince and a golden Pegasus. The detailed toy set will last far beyond the holiday season, making this Advent calendar a great value. For ages 4 and up.
Mario, Princess Peach and Luigi are as popular as ever. So if you've got a Super Mario lover in your household, this Advent calendar will hit the mark. Pop open the little doors and discover 24 video game-themed action figures and accessories, including Santa Mario, Snowman Luigi and more.
This sturdy wood Advent calendar doesn't come with toys. You fill the 24 little drawers yourself. It may be a little extra work, but this colorful gingerbread house could be the start of a DIY Advent calendar family tradition. Just add notes, chocolate, tiny toys, ornaments or any other itty-bitty holiday trinkets.
Every day feels like Christmas with this Advent calendar, especially if your kiddo is into cars. Each door reveals a new Hot Wheels car or accessory, which they can add to the holiday-themed track. You'll get tons of imaginative play out of this one, and the toy cars last well beyond Christmas.
This Advent calendar is perfect for younger ones who enjoy creative play. Behind each of the 24 doors is a can of Play-Doh and various tools and cutters to help your little one craft holiday decorations. It comes with a set of cards suggesting craft ideas, but most kids will have a blast just using their own imaginations.
This Advent calendar gives kids the opportunity to build their own mini village. Each day offers up a new part of the village to assemble, from a house to an evergreen tree to a reindeer. With 24 surprises, your kids will get plenty of play-based learning while having fun.