Are teens too old for advent calendars? No way! Advent calendars are great for kids from 1-92 (You see what I did there?). Seriously all jokes aside, your teen will will enjoy an advent calendar even if they pretend not to at first.
Your choice of calendar will win them over with it’s spot on characters from their favorite tv shows or movies, or with it’s personalization that only you can provide.
As you consider the options start with the three main types of advent calendars; Pre-assembled, Calendar Only, or DIY. Pre-assembled is exactly as it sounds. It is all put together and ready to go. No muss, no fuss, no preparation needed.
Calendar only options give you the chance to purchase a calendar of your choosing and fill it with small items or candy that you purchase separately. DIY options provide the most flexibility, but also require the most time. You get to choose, and sometimes create with paint, scissors, glue, and string, your calendar and select your filler items.
These are all great options. It all comes down to personal preferences on time, budget, crafting comfort level (we all have a level we know we can’t pass) and design look and feel.
Perhaps you are looking for an option that is more of a general countdown v. candy or small surprise items. If so, check out 20 Christmas Countdown Calendars 2021.
We searched the internet from top to bottom to bring you these 100% guaranteed to please advent calendar options for teens.
15 Pre-assembled Advent Calendars
These are your straightforward pre-packaged advent calendars. Many feature popular characters from tv and movies. Again, this option is as easy as 1,2, 3 and you don’t have to glue or paint anything!
Funko is coming in hot this holiday season with several fun and unique advent calendar options. This one is for fans of all things Fortnite! Each day fans will get to open a new surprise compartment revealing a vinyl mini figurine. 24 different figurines in total. Perfect for displaying along a desk or bookshelf after the holidays!
A must-have for all Potterheads. This one was a released a few years ago, but if you, or the fan in your life, doesn’t already have one-grab it now! This calendar is truly one-of-a-kind. Each day recipients will receive a new Harry Potter character mini vinyl figurine. These aren’t your average figurines either-these are adorable and interesting Funko Pocket Pops. It’s impossible not to smile when you see them!
Funko does it again- this time with a Marvel 80th anniversary calendar. Each day fans will be surprised with a new vinyl mini figurine. 24 in total and each one is a unique, interesting and fun. An ideal collection to display around the house or the office after the holidays. This one is officially licensed by Marvel, so you can be assured everything is the highest quality.
Calling all glamour fans- this one is for you! This calendar contains 12 unique mini NYX lipsticks, glosses and lip creams- all cruelty free. Each day is a new chance to pamper those lips as we count down to Christmas! This one is ideal for the hard to buy for friend or family member and will last well after the holiday is over.
Pamper those feet this holiday season with 12 new pairs of Harry Potter themed socks. Your feet will feel like you’re sitting in front of the common room fire. Socks are the ideal size for those who wear men’s socks in size small-medium and women’s socks in medium-large. Treat yourself or treat a friend this year!
Another one for all the Potterheads out there! Combine their love for LEGOs and Harry Potter in this unique and playful advent calendar. Each day recipients will get to open a surprise space filled with a mini figurine or building blocks. In total this calendar has 335 LEGO pieces. A fun activity each day leading up to the holiday that can be combined into a fun and festive season on the final day.
Calling all DC Comics fans- this one’s for you! A fun calendar for comic and movie fans, but it’s important to note this one is styled around the comics. Each day recipients will receive a collector’s coin made with zinc alloy and brass plating. The packaging packs just the right nostalgic punch and each of the coins is tucked safely away in individual plastic sections. Grab this one before it’s gone!
NEW for 2021! This calendar is sure to make any Friends fan say “Oh Wow!” Packed with tons of mementos in a large hardback book style his one is a can’t miss. The packaging is so perfect fans will want to display this one for years to come. The Holiday Armadillo and Santa will definitely approve!
“Thanks for being a friend.” That’s what your friends and family say when you give them this calendar. Each calendar comes in festive Golden Girls packaging that make this one extra special. Each day they’ll be surprised with a new pair of socks in crew and ankle styles. The socks are recommended for those that can wear men’s shoe size 12 and smaller.
NEW for 2021! This larger than life calendar is jam-packed with lots of fun and exciting mementos perfect for Marvel fans. The packaging is great on this one with a hardcover and lots of festive small envelopes on the inside. At 10 inches by 14 inches this is a fun piece to display well after the holiday countdown is over.
The perfect calendar for the teen who loves backpack, gym bag or purse accessories! These can be used as key chains or accessories. Each day recipients will get to open an adorable silicone key ring in 24 different shapes and designs. There is something for everyone with this festive and unique calendar!
NEW for 2021! Grab this one before it’s gone. This is another larger-than-life style option at 10 inches by 14 inches. The hardcover on the outside opens up to feature 24 decorative envelopes of various sizes. Each one is filled with a unique Star Wars memento. This one will look great as a piece of festive décor to display the entire holiday season.
The Force is with this calendar! Each day recipients get a new surprise figurine. Each figurine is different and some are even Christmas themed with Santa hats! These are perfect for adding to a pencil case or carrying them in a backpack to share with friends. Each character is of the highest quality as the entire calendar is officially licensed by Hasbro, Disney and Lucasfilm Ltd.
Another sock calendar, this time for classic gaming fans of Nintendo. This one is styled like the classic gaming controller for extra nostalgia. The outside flap opens to reveal 12 perforated sections containing crew and ankle sock styles. Ideal for those who can wear men’s size 12 shoes or smaller. Many reviewers note these run much smaller, so be sure to keep that in mind.
Grab this set for fans of The Office right now! This one is officially licensed by Universal and NBC so it’s the real deal. No worries about quality here. The socks are great and ideal for those who can wear men’s shoes in size 12 and smaller. However, reviewers mention they run a bit small. The best part is the perfect packaging- made to look like a box of Dunder Mifflin paper. Just like the show, this one is sure to bring the laughs!
There’s something for everyone when you explore calendar only options. Some options are one time use and others can be enjoyed year after year. If you need inspiration for filler items be sure to read The Perfect Filler Items For Your DIY Advent Calendar-by Age.
A fun and laughter inducing option for fans of the movie Christmas Vacation. Several reviewers mention the bags are a bit thin, but you can easily add a piece of tissue paper around each surprise item for a low cost, low effort solution. I think it’s worth it for these memorable bags.
The perfect one-time-use solution. Quick and easy to assemble with plenty of space for filler items and surprises. These would look great on display or in a pretty basket or box.
A fun retro option for one time use. It doesn’t get any easier than these paper bags with stickers included. There’s also a can’t miss option to add clothespins and twine (if you plan to hang the bags) for a small fee at checkout.
The simple yet impactful design really sets these apart. The numbers are printed on the bags-it doesn’t get much better than that! All you need to add is some ribbon if you plan to hang.
This set is great to hang or use in a pretty basket or a personalized box (see below). These are just the right amount of festive to go with lots of different styles of Christmas decor. A good bag size for generous goodies too!
DIY Calendars and Accessories
These are some of my favorite options this year. So many fun and creative calendars and accessories ideal for teens. Lots of opportunities to allow them to help create and decorate the calendar before you fill it with surprises. A great chance to spend some extra time together.
If you want a jump start as you plan your filler items make sure to read The Perfect Filler Items For Your DIY Advent Calendar-by Age.
These are so unexpected-which makes me love them even more. Perfect for the pastel lover in your life. This is only available in a downloadable PDF, so you will have to print and assemble at home. It looks like a fun project that you and your teen can do together. These will look great in the Personalized Wooden Box below.
These look amazing. Make some hot cocoa, grab your teen, put on a favorite Christmas movie or playlist, and get to assembling. These look good enough to eat and well worth the effort.
What a bargain for 24 mini stockings. Especially in the popular buffalo plaid print. Ample space for surprise and filler items. These would look great hanging from a garland with buffalo plaid print ribbon. Don’t forget to add numbers!
These are anything but boring. A great mix of design styles keep this from being too cookie cutter. The larger than average space for filler items is great too!
Wow! These are gorgeous. You’ll need to grab 2 sets to create a 12 Days of Christmas Calendar and 4 sets to create a 24 day advent calendar. These are 7 inch so plenty of room for some surprise items!
Leave this one unfinished or add a coat of paint or stain. Keep it minimal or elaborate, rustic or even gingerbread themed. You are in charge here. The drawers are all the same size so keep that in mind when selecting filler items. Don’t forget to add numbers too.
What a great idea! This personalized wooden box will go so well with lots of DIY or Calendar only options. It’s a great HQ for the calendar to live in if you choose not to hang. I can see this one being enjoyed year after year.
Advent Calendar Wooden Activity Tokens
These birch wood tokens come with 24 activities engraved for quick and easy use. Ideal for a fun DIY calendar that features activities instead of, or in addition to filler items. There’s also an option to customize and submit your own activities to be engraved-so fun! A great bargain for reusable custom pieces.
I love the festive ornament shape and simple design. Add your own ribbons to give it some flair! These would look great with mini stockings or bags.
Do you still have questions about advent calendars? Do you start with day 1 or day 24? What’s the difference between an advent calendar and a countdown calendar? What type of advent calendar is best for me or my family? If you answered yes to any of these be sure to read our 14 Advent Calendar FAQs.
Advent Calendar Buyer’s Guide
There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing an advent calendar for your teen.
As you get ready to start shopping, consider your budget. There are lots of great advent calendar options at every price point. Set a price range and stick with it.
There are three main types of advent calendars; pre-assembled, partially DIY and DIY. Pre-assembled is ready to go and takes the least amount of time to prepare. Partially DIY is next in terms of time commitment. It also offers you the chance to customize the filler items. DIY will take the longest amount of time to prepare and assemble as you have to create the entire calendar.
Consider how much time you have to prepare the calendar before you begin. There are really fun options for each type. Your teen will love them all.
Food V. No-food
There are two main types of pre-assembled advent calendars, food and non-food.
Most calendars with food are candy.
You can find chocolate calendars at grocery stores, local shops or online during the festive season. These are generally light weight paper calendars with small pieces of chocolate for each day. This type of calendar is popular for all ages!
Other calendars are food-based around one brand or type of specific food. For example M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, gummies, etc. If your teen has a favorite treat, this is a great place to start your search.
Non-food calendars are just that, advent calendars that include only non-food items. These can be anything from trinkets, figurines, jewelry, beauty products etc.
Don’t forget to consider theme as well. Themes are the characters, tv shows, films, or interests. Does your teen love the tv show Friends or the movie Star Wars? If so, there are calendars for fans. Does your teen love Fortnite or beauty products? There are calendars for this as well.
If you don’t know where to start, consider their favorite things and start with theme.
You will definitely want to keep size in mind if you plan to ship your calendar. Does the teen live far away? Enjoy the season together by sending them an advent calendar. Smaller and lighter items are the most inexpensive to ship. Keep this in mind if you plan to send one in the mail. Some online retailers also offer the option to ship directly after purchase which can be a cost effective choice.
No matter how you choose or where you start, you can’t go wrong with a festive advent calendar to celebrate the season! If you still have questions check out our 14 Advent Calendar FAQs for more helpful hints.