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Best 2023 Advent Calendars for Christmas Countdown
The festive cheer is in the air, and the thrill of the Christmas countdown is just around the corner! If you’re eagerly searching for the perfect way to embrace the yuletide spirit, look no further! Our guide to the best 2023 Advent Calendars will be your go-to resource for finding that special something to brighten every day of December.
We understand the anticipation that builds with each passing day of Advent, and there’s no better way to heighten this excitement than with a delightful Advent Calendar. Not only do they add a sprinkle of Christmas magic to your home, but they also serve as a wonderful tool for teaching children the virtue of patience, as they eagerly await the morning ritual of uncovering a new surprise behind each door, leading up to the joy of Christmas Eve.
But let’s not forget, Advent Calendars are not just the little ones! The 2023 range has brought forth a treasure trove of options that adults can relish too. From gourmet chocolates to artisan teas and even grey cell boosters, there’s an Advent Calendar to cater to every taste and indulge the festive cravings of grown-ups.
After scouring the market for the most enchanting and unique finds, we’ve put together a list of our top picks for 2023. These aren’t just any Advent Calendars; they are handpicked to spark joy and bring a dose of festive fun to your Christmas build-up. So whether you’re looking to treat yourself or surprise a loved one, our selection is sure to inspire and excite you.
Get ready to make the countdown to Christmas 2023 a memorable journey with the perfect Advent Calendar that captures the essence of the season and unwraps a little bit of happiness day by day. Let’s dive in and discover the magic together!
Best 2023 Advent Calendars for Kids
BYO Pinball Machine Advent Calendar
From Build Your Own for £24.99
Just when you thought the Christmas countdown couldn’t get any more exciting, we’ve discovered a little gem that’s perfect for the family. Imagine this: each day of December, there’s a special moment where the kids get to unveil a new piece of their very own pinball machine. Yes, you heard that right – a pinball machine inside an advent calendar!
We’ve had our hands on the Build Your Own Pinball Machine Advent Calendar, and it’s a cracker of an activity. Tucked away behind each door is a step-by-step guide and the bits you need to build a pinball wizard’s dream. And when we say we’ve tried it, we’ve really given it a good go!
Now, don’t let the words ‘build your own’ scare you. We’re not talking about hours of head-scratching here. It’s all cleverly designed with press-out parts – no glue, no mess, just the satisfaction of pieces slotting satisfyingly into place. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle that comes to life, and by Christmas Eve, you’ve got a fully working game to challenge Aunt Mabel and Uncle Bob.
The kids will barely notice they’re honing their dexterity and reflex skills because they’ll be too busy aiming for those targets and keeping those marbles zipping and zooming. And here’s the kicker – it’s all eco-friendly cardboard, so you can pat yourself on the back for being kind to the planet while you play.
A few little ones found it a tad heavy to lift, but it’s chock-full of everything you need (no last-minute runs for elastic bands, thank goodness). Our lot was utterly chuffed with it – from the daily build to the final flipper-flicking frenzy.
It’s ideal for kids aged 8 and up, and frankly, for any of us who are still kids at heart. Ready for a spot of friendly competition and a daily dose of construction fun? This advent calendar might just be your family’s new Christmas tradition.
Plus Plus Advent Calendar
From Amazon for £29.99
Picture this: It’s a chilly December morning, and there’s a sparkle of anticipation in the air as the kids bound down the stairs. That’s the magic of our hands-on Plus Plus Advent Calendar – a little box of daily delight that we’ve absolutely adored testing out in our own home.
Each day, the kids pop open a new door to discover colourful Plus Plus pieces and a set of instructions that’ll spark their imaginations. It’s like watching a festive storybook come to life, one piece at a time. By Christmas Eve, they’ll have crafted an entire Christmas scene, and trust us, the pride in their little faces is just priceless.
And because the folks at Plus Plus are rather clever, they’ve tucked away a wee surprise for Christmas Day. It’s their way of reminding us that play doesn’t end with the advent – it’s just the beginning. With 600 pieces in total, the building possibilities are endless. Our little ones have been building, dismantling, and dreaming up new creations faster than you can say “Santa’s on his way!”
We were all chuffed with the size of this calendar – it’s got presence! And the daily builds are just the right size to keep the excitement ticking over without overwhelming small fingers. Plus, should a piece ever wander off (as they do), it’s no bother. Every piece is the same shape, so there’s no hunting for that one elusive bit to finish the masterpiece.
And here’s a parent’s dream – Plus Plus is a doddle to clean. Just chuck it in the dishwasher, and you’re sorted. So, as you gather to add today’s creation to the growing Christmas scene, you’re not just building blocks, you’re building memories. What more could we want for our families this Christmas?
LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar 2023
From Lego for £29.99
Just when you think the festive season couldn’t get any more spellbinding, along comes the LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar – and yes, it’s as magical as it sounds! After letting our panel of little testers have a go with the LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar, the verdict is in – it’s an absolute crowd-pleaser!
From the moment we opened the first door, it was clear this wasn’t just any old advent calendar. With each day, the kids unearthed a new piece of the wizarding world, from iconic Hogsmeade shops to a lineup of beloved characters – and even the first-ever Aberforth Dumbledore minifigure. It’s a bit like a Yule Ball for Harry Potter fans, and our little Muggles were positively agog.
The builds are clever and quick, meaning no frustration – just the joy of seeing Hogsmeade come to life before their eyes. And here’s the nifty part: the box transforms into a charming backdrop for all those new LEGO creations, so playtime can truly come alive.
For our panel of young testers, this was a magical mix of LEGO’s trusted quality and the enchanting world of Harry Potter. Building instructions on each door’s reverse we think is – Genius. It meant we parents could step back and watch the magic unfold – usually with a cuppa in hand.
Aimed at kids over 7, but let’s be honest, we were just as eager to see what each new day would bring. With 227 pieces, it’s a hearty dose of festive fun that promises to keep the whole family entertained right up until the big day and for ages after. So, grab your wands (and your building hats) and get ready for a December filled with LEGO Harry Potter charm.
Gabby’s Dollhouse 2023 Advent Calendar
From Amazon for £20
Get ready to sprinkle a little extra magic on the festive countdown with Gabby’s Dollhouse Advent Calendar! We’ve had the joy of seeing our panel of kiddie experts peel back the doors of this calendar, and oh, the giggles and gasps have been music to our ears.
Every day, there’s a little piece of Gabby’s world waiting to be discovered. From a sparkly Gabby figure to her crew of cuddly kitties and exclusive pearlescent pals, the gang’s all here. And let’s not forget those nifty holiday accessories – sleds and stickers that had our testers dreaming up snowy escapades on the spot!
It’s been a treasure trove of colour and fun, perfect for little hands and big imaginations. The best part? Watching the children pop out each new piece and dive straight into playtime, their stories getting richer with every new character.
Ideal for the 3+ crowd, this calendar has been a hit with our little enthusiasts, keeping the anticipation bubbling with every surprise. It’s a heartwarming sight, really – the pure joy of a new adventure each morning. So, for a December that’s chock-full of storytime and imagination, Gabby’s Dollhouse is a winner in our book!
LOL Surprise 2023 Advent Calendar
From Selfridges for £25
If your little ones are anything like our lively panel of mini-testers, the L.O.L. Surprise! Advent Calendar for 2023 will be the stuff of little dreams. This isn’t just an advent calendar; it’s a daily dose of fashionista fun!
Unboxing day by day, our kiddos found a treasure trove of surprises. With the collectible Makeover Babe 2.0 doll at the centre of it all, each compartment revealed mix and match outfits and accessories that brought squeals of excitement. Fancy dresses, snazzy shoes, and even the tiniest of bottles – the level of detail is something else!
It’s a joy to watch them follow the numbers, popping open each window with wide-eyed wonder. And the mix and match element? A hit. It’s like a new fashion show every morning, with our testers eagerly swapping styles and creating runway-ready looks.
As big fans of L.O.L. ourselves, we can’t help but share this little gem. From the first doll to the last chic charm, it’s been a whirlwind of style and surprises that we’re sure will kept your young stylists engaged all December long. So, for a sprinkle of style in your Christmas countdown, we think this calendar is a little box of big delights.
Roblox Advent Calendar
From WHSmith for £29.99
What’s behind the door is the question that had our panel of young Roblox enthusiasts bouncing with anticipation each morning. The Roblox Advent Calendar 2023 has been a hands-on hit in our test lounge, and here’s the inside scoop.
Each day reveals a unique Roblox figure or item with a festive twist, ready to add a dash of holiday spirit to any Roblox collection. The kids were especially chuffed about the redeemable code that unlocks two virtual goodies – it’s like the fun jumped out of the box and into the game!
We’ve seen firsthand that these pieces are just the right size for small hands to grip and play with, although they’re a wee bit tricky to wiggle out of their compartments. But once freed, it’s hours of imaginative play ahead. And isn’t that the hallmark of a fab advent calendar?
So, if you’ve got a Roblox fan at home, this calendar might just be the ticket to a December filled with daily digital delights and real-world play. It’s a thumbs-up from our crew!
Nintendo Switch Advent Calendar Game
From Game for £12.99
Imagine an advent calendar that doesn’t sit on the mantelpiece but plugs right into your Nintendo Switch – that’s exactly what we’ve been having a blast with! The Nintendo Switch Advent Calendar Game turns each December morning into a mini gaming marathon, with a new Christmas-themed game behind every virtual door.
From classic puzzles to festive Tetris, the mix of games has been a hit with our diverse crew of little gamers. Even the ones who have their go-to favourites were won over by the cheerful graphics and holiday cheer. It’s a fresh take on the advent tradition, and our testers were all for it.
For the price point, we feel the value has been spot on. There’s that initial “oh, this is different” moment, but then the fun kicks in, and it’s all about which game will be today’s surprise. It’s been a lovely way to count down to Christmas, especially on those frosty mornings when the excitement of a new game gets everyone’s day off to a bright start.
So, if you’ve got a youngster (or even a big kid) who loves their Switch, this advent gaming experience might just be the ticket to a very merry countdown to the big day.
Revell Remote Control Crawler Advent Calendar
From Amazon for £34
The Revell Remote Control Crawler Advent Calendar has rolled its way into our festive guide, and for good reason. Our panel of kid and parent testers have had their hands full – quite literally – with this chunky build-your-own RC truck, and it’s been nothing short of an adventure.
With a door to open for each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas, the excitement has been building – along with a pretty impressive 1:18 scale crawler. The kids’ eyes lit up with each new piece, revelling in the joy of construction and the anticipation of the final product.
The detail is something else; it’s clear that Revell hasn’t compromised on their renowned quality just because it’s an advent calendar. The interchangeable bodies were a hit, letting the kids customise to their heart’s content. And when it comes to the remote control, it’s just the right size for small hands to get to grips with precision driving.
We’ve tested it over kitchen tiles, garden paths, and even the living room carpet – this beast doesn’t flinch at any terrain. The speed, too, has had us all cheering as it zooms and tackles obstacles with ease.
If you’ve got a budding engineer or a thrill-seeker in your clan, this calendar’s a cracking way to count down to Christmas. It’s been a joy to watch the kids engage with engineering and RC fun. We think it’s a real treat that’s going to go beyond the festive season.
Stranger Things Stationery Advent Calendar
From Amazon for £21.99
Who knew that opening a door each day could transport our panel of kids and parents to the curious world of Hawkins, Indiana? Well, the Stranger Things Stationery Advent Calendar did just that, and we’ve been scribbling, stamping, and decking out backpacks with Hawkins charm ever since!
Let’s chat about the packaging first – yes, it’s sturdy. Our testers needed a bit of elbow grease to pop open each day’s compartment, but the hearty laughter following the triumphant rip was part of the fun. And the treasures inside? Total gems for any fan of the show.
Every piece of stationery carries that unmistakable Stranger Things vibe, right down to the quality of the paper goods that impressed even our most discerning young critics. It’s not just pens and pads, though; the keyrings and bracelets have been adding a dash of the Upside Down to everyday life.
But here’s the kicker – the runaway hit was a set of shoe laces! Who’d have thought, right? It just goes to show, that sometimes it’s the simple things that catch you by surprise.
If you’ve got teens who are all about the supernatural and stationery, this advent calendar hits the mark. It’s got that cool factor, wrapped up in 24 days of anticipation. So, for a December filled with Stranger Things wonder (and a bit of a workout for the hands), this one’s a solid shout.
Swizzels Advent Calendar
From Swizzels for £5
Step aside, chocolate – there’s a new advent calendar in town, and it’s bursting with Swizzels’ sweetest treats! Our panel of sweet-toothed kids and nostalgia-loving parents have been tucking into this one, and it’s safe to say, it’s been a hit from the first drumstick lolly.
Behind each door lies a mini marvel from the Swizzels collection. Love Hearts, Parma Violets, and Squashies! Each day’s a throwback to the sweet shops of yesteryear, making the countdown to Christmas a sugary stroll down memory lane.
It’s not just about the candy, though. The calendar itself is a colourful charmer that’ll brighten up any room with a bit of festive flair. And as gifts go, this one’s a winner, all wrapped up in a box that’s just waiting to make someone’s day.
Sharing the love (and the Fizzers) has brought our families together, sparking conversations about Christmas pasts and present. And for the price? It’s like a daily dose of joy without breaking the bank.
So, if you’re after a sweet countdown that brings a smile to faces young and old, the Swizzels Advent Calendar is a pocket-rocket of happiness. Just be warned – it’s been known to bring out the kid in all of us!
Best 2023 Advent Calendars for Adults
Maxtris Cioccolato Advent Calendar
From Sacla for £25
The Maxtris Cioccolato Advent Calendar is a chocolate lover’s dream, and our panel of testers – kids with beaming faces and parents with discerning palates – have all given it the thumbs up!
Each day, a little drawer slides open to reveal a decadent praline treasure, from creamy milk chocolate delights to the sophisticated twist of pistachio in white chocolate. It’s like a mini-tour of Italy’s finest confections, without the need for a passport.
This isn’t your average chocolate calendar. The design is elegant, with a nod to grown-up tastes, but trust us, it’s captured the kids’ imaginations just as much as the adults. It’s sturdy too, so can see it surviving the postal journey to relatives with flying colours.
But here’s the best bit: once the festive season’s over, you don’t have to say goodbye. This calendar is the gift that keeps on giving, ready to be refilled next year or recycled, making it a sweet choice for the planet as well.
Whether it’s perched on your mantelpiece or sent as a gift, we think this calendar’s a slice of Italian indulgence that’s bound to add a sprinkle of style to your Christmas countdown. And the taste? Bellissimo!
NOMO Advent Calendar
From NOMO for £5
The NOMO Advent Calendar was a delightful surprise that made its way into our festive lineup, and it’s been a hit with our diverse panel of taste-testers, both big and small!
With its 24 doors of creamy vegan chocolates, this calendar brought smiles all around, proving that being vegan or having food allergies doesn’t mean missing out on the Christmas chocolate tradition. Every morning, adults can have a little buzz of excitement as they discover the day’s treat – and let’s just say, the kids were equally keen for a taste!
What we love about NOMO is their commitment to inclusivity without compromising on that luxurious chocolate feel. Even our most discerning chocolate aficionados were impressed by the smooth, melt-in-the-mouth experience.
And it’s not just about the taste. Knowing that the ingredients are sustainably sourced and free from common allergens made each bite that much sweeter.
So, for anyone looking to indulge in some chocolatey goodness while staying true to their dietary needs, NOMO has you covered. It’s been a plant-based pleasure to countdown to Christmas with this calendar.
Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Advent Calendar
From Wickedly Welsh for £19.99
Dive into a cosy, chocolatey countdown with the Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Advent Calendar! Our panel of eager tasters and have been nibbling their way through this Welsh wonder, and it’s been an adventure in flavours from start to finish.
With this Advent Calendar, every morning in December will bring a guess-the-flavour game as you excitedly opened each door. Will it be the Spiced Milk Praline or the Ginger Crunch today? The anticipation’s will be almost as delicious as the chocolates themselves!
Handmade with a dash of Welsh pride, these chocolates are not just treats; they’re little stories designed with flair, each bite a festive celebration. We’ve felt the warmth of Welsh Christmases past with every piece – “Nadolig Llawen” indeed!
Gifting this is more than just a taste test; it’s about supporting local craftsmanship and enjoying award-winning quality that’s set our taste buds a-tingle. For a merry march to the 25th, this calendar we think will be a huge hit, bringing a sprinkle of Wickedly Welsh wonder to your festive season.
Lindt LINDOR Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar
From Lindt for £12
As we unwrapped the days on the LINDOR Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar, it’s safe to say our panel of junior connoisseurs and their parents were in chocolate heaven. From the first taste, it was clear – this is the kind of Christmas countdown that’s not just about marking days but savouring moments.
Inside each door lies a LINDOR truffle, so smooth and creamy, they vanish on your tongue like a Christmas wish. Crafted by Lindt’s Master Chocolatiers, this calendar isn’t just a treat; it’s an experience, a daily moment of bliss that our testers looked forward to each morning.
And it wasn’t just the kids; the grown-ups were equally enchanted. There’s something about that melt-in-the-mouth magic that brings out the child in everyone. It’s the kind of indulgence that makes you pause, smile, and remember what the festive season’s all about.
We’ve all got our chocolate favourites, and Lindt is definitely one of our top pick around here. The unanimous verdict? Each truffle is a tiny parcel of joy. So, for a December draped in luxury and those little moments of ‘me time’, this calendar is a slice of chocolate paradise.
The Escape Room Advent Calendar
From Amazon for £12.65
What a curious and clever twist on the traditional advent calendar! The Escape Room Advent Calendar has had our panel of puzzle-loving parents scratching their heads and cheering with delight in equal measure.
Each day, from the 1st to the 24th of December, we’ll be presented with a new riddle. Scanning the QR code to reveal the day’s challenge added an exciting digital dimension that our tech-savvy testers thoroughly enjoyed.
The beauty of this calendar is the way it brings everyone together. It’s not just about finding the chocolate or toy; it’s about huddling around, working as a team, and solving the mysteries that lie within. And with the on-demand clue system, it’s been just the right level of challenge for all.
More than just a way to count down the days, it’s been over 10 hours of brain-teasing fun that’s made the lead-up to Christmas all the more thrilling. For those who prefer their festive treats to be less about sugar and more about cerebral gymnastics, this advent calendar has been a perfect choice.
Seeds Advent Calendar
From Amazon for £19.97
The Seeds Advent Calendar has been a budding success among our adult testers, turning the countdown to Christmas into a celebration of green-fingered potential. Each day, you’ll be greeted with a new seed packet, sparking visions of lush gardens and home-grown flavours.
Watching these seasoned gardeners unwrap a new variety of heirloom seeds has been as heartwarming as a hot cuppa on a cold winter’s morning. There’s been a real sense of wonder and anticipation – a true testament to the joy of planting today what will be cherished tomorrow.
This isn’t just an advent calendar; it’s a promise of new growth and the simple pleasures of tending to one’s own patch of earth. For our community of plant enthusiasts, it’s been a daily dose of nature’s own festive spirit.
Tea Advent Calendar
From Bird & Blend Tea Co. for £38
Stepping into the festive season, our team has had the delightful task of exploring the Tea Advent Calendar from start to finish. We’ve steeped, sipped, and savoured every one of the 24 unique blends, taking in the full spectrum of flavours designed to bring a special warmth to chilly December days.
With a calendar in hand, our panel of parents and grandparents gathered to put it through its paces. We weren’t ticking off the days; we were there for the taste. From the comforting Peppermint Cream to the robust Morning Kick, each blend was a new chapter in our pre-Christmas tea tale.
Bird and Blend’s commitment to a plastic-free experience resonated with us all – it’s the kind of thoughtful detail that makes each cup feel even cosier. And the calendar’s design? As festive and colourful as the season itself.
Having tested it thoroughly, we have to say we think this Tea Advent Calendar is a wonderful blend of all we love about the holidays – variety, sustainability, and a touch of indulgence. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, right up to Christmas Eve, and one we wholeheartedly recommend for any tea lover in your life.
Vegan Joe & Seph’s Popcorn Advent Calendar
From Joe & Seph’s for £30
We’ve had the joy of tucking into Joe & Seph’s Vegan Popcorn Advent Calendar, and it’s been an absolute delight. As we unfolded the calendar, reminiscent of a festive storybook, we were greeted by a charming winter scene straight from Joe’s Popcorn Kitchens.
Each of the 24 doors has been a daily treat, revealing mini bags of popcorn in eight scrumptious vegan flavours. From the indulgent Vegan Coconut & Cacao to the seasonal Vegan Toffee Apple & Cinnamon, the variety has been impressive, especially considering they’re all vegan!
The quality of the calendar itself, with its sturdy box and beautifully designed packets, really stood out to us. It’s clear a lot of care and thought has gone into every aspect. And the popcorn? It’s possibly some of the best we’ve ever tasted. Each flavour has been a discovery of its own, and we’ve been savouring every bite.
For those looking for a grown-up twist to the advent tradition, this gourmet popcorn calendar is a tasteful, vegan-friendly journey through the lead-up to Christmas. It’s a thumbs-up from us!
Best 2023 Advent Calendars for Pets
Pets at Home Christmas Advent Calendar For Dogs
From Pets at Home for £2.50
This Pets at Home Christmas Advent Calendar for Dogs has been a tail-wagging hit around our office! Over a few days all our four-legged friends have been treated to a dog-safe carob treat, and let’s just say, the excitement has been off the leash.
We’ve watched as each pooch – from the pickiest to the most voracious snackers – eagerly awaited their turn to snap up the day’s goodie. No artificial nasties here, just pure, pup-approved indulgence.
Seeing our furry office members with their wagging tails and eager eyes has been all the confirmation we needed. This advent calendar is a lovely way to include the whole family in the festive countdown, and it’s been paws-down a favourite for value and joy. So, for those looking to spoil their canine companions, this one’s a treat that’s bound to get tails thumping!
Webbox Cat Advent Calendar
From Amazon Pack of 2 and Treats for £9.99
The Webbox Cat Advent Calendar has been the talk of the office, with our feline friends getting a taste of the festive fun. We’ve watched with delight as our resident cats, from the curious kittens to the wise old whiskers, have had a ball with the yoghurt and catnip treats.
Each morning as we’ve opened a new door, it’s been met with an eager audience of paws and purrs. The treats are a hit – some of our kitties have been rolling around in sheer bliss, while others have pounced and devoured them in an instant.
What’s been really reassuring is knowing these treats are grain and wheat-free, offering a little piece of creamy, catnip-infused joy without any of the guilt. The fact that they’re suitable for kittens over 3 months old means even the youngest members of your fur-family don’t have to miss out on the fun.
We reckon this calendars are a fab way to include your feline companions in the countdown to Christmas. They’re a ‘pawfect’ blend of indulgence and play – and at such great value, it’s been a resounding yes from us and our purring pals!
As we wrap up our festive foray into the world of advent calendars, we truly hope our guide has brought a sprinkle of inspiration to your Christmas countdown. It’s been a jolly journey testing all these calendars, even those that didn’t quite make our shortlist. We’ve had as much fun sampling the surprises behind each little door as we hope you will choosing the perfect one. For more holiday cheer, be sure to explore our Family Life at Christmas Section – it’s a treasure trove of family-friendly local events, tips for picking the perfect real Christmas tree (and where to find them), additional gifting ideas, and traditions to make your Christmas all the more merry and bright. Happy holidays, and here’s to a season filled with joy, wonder, and the most delightful of countdowns!
All Prices Correct at Publishing 27th October 2023