As parents, its often difficult balancing the shopping, cleaning, wrapping, decorating, and all the other necessary chores that go along with providing the perfect Christmas for the kids, with the actual family oriented activities that make Christmas such a special time. With that in mind, we've put together a list of five fun family oriented activities that will create lasting memories for the kids without making a lasting impact on the pocket books for mom and dad.

  • 1

    Light Seeing

    One of the most memorable and memorizing Christmas experiences for kids is seeing houses lit up with lights and decorations. However, depending on where we live, we often get used to seeing the same houses and same displays every year. A fun and inexpensive way to get into the Christmas spirit with the kids is to fill up a thermos with hot chocolate, pile everyone into the family vehicle, and tour some of Lafayette's bigger neighborhoods while playing Christmas music in the car. The kids will love seeing all the beautiful displays and mom and dad will love the opportunity share family time without having to fight the weather, crowds, or cover charges.

    Scott Barbour/Getty Images
  • 2

    Safari of Lights

    Are you're little ones adventurous animal lovers that don't like being cooped up in the car? Check out the Zoo of Acadiana's “Safari of Light” display. The Zoo of Acadiana works hard to put on a good show, displaying thousands of shimmering lights, and incorporating live and lighted animal. The Zoo can be the perfect destination for out-door animal loving families looking for something fun and something different. For more information on the Safari of Lights, click here.

    Zoo of Acadiana
  • 3

    Christmas on the Bayou

    I'll be honest, I don't have the greatest memory. Most of my childhood is a bit of a blur, but one vivid Christmas memory I'll never forget is the year all the kids in my family piled into grandpa's boat and toured down the Vermilion river. The Vermilion river features some of the most beautiful homes in all of Acadiana and many of the homeowners put great effort into Christmas light displays facing the river. For the aquatically inclined family, a Christmas boat tour of the Vermilion can be a long lasting memory, even for the most forgetful kids. Trust me, I know.

    Scott Barbour/Getty Images
  • 4

    Go See Santa

    One of the oldest and most famous Christmas traditions around is the yearly visit to Santa. Every millions of Americans make the trek to malls across the country for the chance to speak to the North Pole's most famous resident. However, the traffic, long lines, and crowds can make those trips to the mall a huge source of Christmas stress and consternation. It doesn't have to be this way. Santa appears all over the city during the Christmas season. Before heading to the mall, check the web for other more accessible locations to spot Santa. A few minutes searching online can save parents hours of stress waiting around.

    Brandon Wade/Getty Images
  • 5

    Acadian Village

    Last but not least is arguably Lafayette's most famous Christmas tradition, Noel Acadien at Acadian Village. Nobody does Christmas like Acadian Village and all kids should get the opportunity to see their lights at least once. If you've never been, what are you waiting for? Its well worth the price of admission and there is something for everyone. Best of all, all the proceeds go to a good cause. For more information on Acadian Village's Noel Acadien, click here.

    Acadian Village