When I was growing up the only advent calendars were chocolate ones. Plain and simple, and we were always thrilled with the result. Nowadays there is a whole range of options for counting down to Christmas. I’ve scoured the market to find what I think are the best alternatives to chocolate advent calendars.

Chocolate free advent calendars do tend to be a bit more expensive, but quite often the result is something that will get used or enjoy much more than a square of chocolate before breakfast!

A close up of the branches of a Christmas tree with white snowflakes and baublesRelated Post: Christmas Films You Have To Watch This Festive Season

Kids Advent Calendars

Crayola Christmas Countdown

An art lovers dream, 24 days of creativity to keep kids occupied right up to Christmas with the Crayola Christmas Countdown. Something to do rather than something to eat, it provides 24 holiday themed crafts to see you through the Christmas season.

Hatchimals Colleggtibles Advent Calendar

The Hatchimals craze shows no sign of ending, so I’m sure the Hatchimals Colleggtibles Advent Calendar is going to be a huge hit this year. Unfold the advent calendar to discover a winter scene right out of hatchtopia! Behind each door you can find paper craft decorations, small presents, stickers and accessories for your Hatchimals.

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar

There are many lego advent calendar options, but the Star Wars one is my favourite. Suitable for ages 6-14, there are 24 doors to open and over 300 pieces.. Behind each one is a Lego Star Wars character or model, which they can play with on the fold out playmat that is included.

Playmobil Christmas Advent Calendar

If your little one isn’t ready for Lego yet, then they can still have a playset with the Playmobil advent calendar. It has 24 surprises, which together make a cute Christmas forrest scene. Suitable from 18 months plus, even the littlest playmobil fan can get involved.

6 Lego storm trooper figures surround a green lego elf holding a bearRelated Post: Gift Ideas For 2 Year Olds

Beauty Advent Calendars

Lush 12 Days Of Christmas

The run up to Christmas can be pretty stressful, so the Lush Advent Calendar is the perfect way to wind down. With 12 different bath, shower and body products to enjoy you can appreciate a little gift every day as you count down to the big day.

Q-Ki Beauty Advent Calendar

24 Days of Beauty from Q-Ki with the London themed advent calendar. These days I purely lust over this sort of calendar, as the reality is I don’t wear much make-up anymore and am completely out of touch with how to apply it. But I can think of lots of people that I know would love to open one of these ever day.

Technic Cosmetic Calendar

Alternatively, the Technic Christmas Countdown Calendar also has everything you need for basic beauty needs. Each door holds either a beauty goodie or handy accessory. It is a cute beauty advent calendar for teens or adults to both enjoy.

Cath Kidston

As a long term Cath Kidston fan I am so excited to get my hands on one of these! The Cath Kidston Christmas Calendar has 24 beauty treats of hand creams, body lotions, bath fizzers & lip balms. Aimed more at skincare and body care rather than cosmetics it looks like a lovely self care advent calendar.

A white green and red fabric homemade advent calendar against a white wallRelated Post: Gift Ideas For Women

Booze Advent Calendars

Beer Advent Calendar

JHogg is a craft beer fan, and I know this Beer World Advent Calendar would be right up his street. 24 beers from all around the world to try, some will be favourites already and some will be new to try. Just enough to tickle your taste buds while wrapping presents in the evening.

Gin Advent Calendar

While JHogg is opening a beer calendar, I would love a gin one. One of our favourites things to do is try out new gins, but it can take us quite a while to drink a bottle. 24 miniatures in this Gin Calendar Cracker means that I could try 24 different gins in December.

Wine Advent Calendar

Wine is always a hit in our house so this Wine and Sparkling Advent Calendar fits the bill. 24 days of a mixture of red, white, rose and sparkling wines to keep any wine lover happy!

3 bottles of wine in bottles shaped like Christmas treesRelated Post: I Love Gin Subscription Box Review

Food And Drink Advent Calendars

Popcorn Advent Calendar

For a sweet treat that isn’t chocolate, the Joe & Seph’s Popcorn Advent Calendar has 24 mini bags of flavoured popcorn. With 2 bags of each flavour to discover throughout the month it will meet the needs of your sweet tooth.

Coffee Advent Calendar

Because who doesn’t need a caffeine boost the morning after the Christmas party?! The Beanies Christmas Advent Calendar has 24 days of coffee, plus a mug on the 1st day to drink it out of and a jar on the last day.

Haribo Advent Calendar

I have had a Haribo advent calendar in the past. It made a nice change from the usual chocolate calendars and is a bargain price too. Plus – the bags are the perfect size for treating hypos!

A white mug with a red and white knitted cover on it, next to a large red bowl full of popcorn with a large fire in the backgroundRelated Post: Dough Nab Game Review

If none of these take your fancy, then how about making your own? Fill it with your own items to make each day exciting in December. There are lots of options for fill your own advent calendars, but my favourites are wooden calendars with little drawers.

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