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In my day we made do with just an orange for Christmas and simple picture advent calendars, say parents everywhere, not entirely truthfully. Today’s lucky children needn’t worry about the lack of chocolates though. We’ve chosen 13 of the best advent calendars for kids that ensure there is plenty.
1. Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar: £2.00, Tesco
Forget all your fancy-pants truffles and artisan chocolates; what a child really wants each day is the known quantity that is a piece of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. This Christmassy design, in the reassuring Cadbury’s purple, does exactly what an advent calendar should do – leave you both satisfied and looking forward to the next day’s treat.
2. Carluccio’s Advent Calendar: £9.95, Carluccio’s
It’s not one of the glitziest to look at, though the packaging has a pleasing woodland theme, but when it comes to chocolate, this Carluccio’s advent calendar is truly delicious. All 24 treats are in numerical order – no wasted minutes spent searching for the right one – with each delicious Italian chocolate wrapped in woodland themed foil. Perfect for kids who think they’re grown up, but who still can’t resist a hedgehog-shaped chocolate.
3. Paul Advent Calendar: £19.95, Paul
This sturdy, cardboard Christmas tree-shaped calendar has 25 drawers and comes with a bag of two different types of chocolate, so you can fill the drawers yourself. Both types, those filled with praline and those filled with salted caramel, are extraordinarily good. Although too rich to eat more than one or two at once - we took this testing role seriously and tried. Even though the recipient is unlikely to cheat and eat ahead, they will seriously look forward to their daily treat. This is ideal for teenagers.
4. Haribo Advent Calendar: £7.00, Amazon
Okay, so it’s not actually chocolate but for kids who prefer sweets over the brown stuff, this is a brilliant choice. A small packet of Haribo or wrapped sweet is behind each window.
5. Hotel Chocolat The Advent Calendar – White: £12.50, Hotel Chocolat
This is a rare, all white chocolate advent calendar in classy wintry packaging. Each day brings a luxury white chocolate solid reindeer, snowman, penguin or Christmas tree. It may be wasted on young kids but perfect for those old enough to appreciate good chocolate. It works out as roughly 50p per piece of chocolate, which is quite reasonable for the luxury advent calendar market.
6. Chococo Chocolate Advent Treasure Hunt: £15.95, Chococo
This is a great idea – 24 numbered packets, each containing two chocolates, making it ideal for sharing. Contained in a hessian sack, the chocolates can be hidden around the house each day. And each packet has a joke printed on it too.
7. Fortnum and Mason Fortnum's Wooden Advent Calendar with Confectionery: £125, Fortnum & Mason
At £125 this isn’t cheap, though it can be kept for future Christmases. And if you divide it by the 18 years your child might reasonably expect an advent calendar for, it’s far cheaper than many of the others we tried. The wooden frame is large – 45cm tall, 38cm wide and 8cm deep - and the front shows the façade of Fortnum and Mason’s Piccadilly store. Each door opens to reveal a selection of sweets and chocolates. It’s marketed, correctly, as an heirloom and certainly if you owned this you would want it to be part of your annual celebration, remembered and treasured by all.
8. Harrods Musical Advent Calendar: £10.95, Harrods
The best, or worst, bit about this calendar, depending on your view of such things, is that at the push of a button it plays “We wish you a merry Christmas”. It’s up to you, of course, whether you want to impose rules such as Santa only comes to households where the button is pressed fewer than ten times a day. A chocolate is behind each door.
9. John Lewis Simply Chocolate 'Countdown For Christmas' Advent Calendar: £25.00, John Lewis
Children with adventurous taste buds, for whom Revels are too run of the mill, will like this long (76cm) advent calendar, with 30 chocolates in it. Days three, five, 10, 12, 19 and 21 all have an extra one for halfway through the day. Treats include white chocolate with liquorice, white chocolate with raspberries and milk chocolate with coconut grains.
10. Divine Fair Trade Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar: £3.99, Traidcraft
This calendar has 24 windows, each hiding a delicious Fairtrade milk chocolate heart. And for those kids who enjoy a good party trick, every window says “Merry Christmas” in a different language, so they can impress the family on Christmas day. You’ll also be helping a good cause, as the proceeds from this calendar will help women cocoa farmers in Ghana.
11. Cewe Photoworld Personalised Advent Calendar with Kinder Chocolate: £16.99, Cewe Photoworld
If your child won’t be traumatised by opening bits of their face each day, then this calendar is a fun option. You can personalize it with a picture of your little one, or in fact, with any other picture you wish. Each window has an individually wrapped Kinder chocolate behind it too.
12. Thorntons The Gruffalo Advent Calender: £2.50, Thorntons
Fans of The Gruffalo will enjoy reliving the story as they look for their daily treat with this themed Thorntons Advent Calendar. The chocolates are nice and chunky and have Gruffalo designs on them.
13. Kinnerton Trolls Advent Calendar: 94p, Morrisons
Kinnerton makes its chocolate in Norfolk, in a nut-free production line. Though not the chunkiest chocolate around, they seem to satisfy young kids who will delight in their favourite Troll characters being on the front. And although the Trolls Movie is bang on-trend, though they also do other characters including Paw Patrol and Star Wars.
The Verdict: Chocolate advent calendars for kids
The chocolate in the advent calendar from Paul is a cut above the rest; even the surliest teen should be impressed. The Harrods musical advent calendar is jauntily Christmassy, but I am yet to be convinced that anything can beat the simplicity of the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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