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Best advent calendar 2021: Our top chocolate, toy and alcohol advent calendars for the festive period

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Get ready for the Christmas countdown with these highly recommended advent calendars

What’s Christmas without an advent calendar? All the excitement of opening those little doors each day in the lead-up to the 25th is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. The best advent calendars, whether they're edible or not, will bring a little sparkle of Christmas magic into your life.

From classic chocolate calenders to boozy ones, there really does seem to be something to suit every taste and budget nowadays – and we're not complaining, we love advent calendars in all their wonderful forms.

We've already rounded up our favourite beauty advent calendars and the best unusual advent calendars but we haven’t forgotten about the classics either. So if you’re searching for a more traditional advent calendar this year, we’re certain you’ll find something extra special here. From popcorn and white chocolate vegan advent calenders to adults and kids advent calendars, we've got every base covered.

Scroll on the find our pick of the very best.

Best advent calendar: At a glance

  • Best milk chocolate advent calendar: Lindt Teddy Bear Calendar | Buy now
  • Best dark chocolate advent calendar: Divine dark chocolate | Buy now
  • Best alcohol advent calendar: That Boutique-y Gin calendar | Buy now
  • Best luxury chocolate advent calendar: Montezuma’s Extraordinary Chocolate Truffle | Buy now
  • Best children’s advent calendar: LEGO City Advent Calendar | Buy now

The best advent calendars to buy

1. Lindt Teddy Bear Calendar: Best milk chocolate advent calendar

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

This teddy bear advent offering is the ideal upgrade from those boring, supermarket calendars we’re all familiar with. There are plenty of delicious treats to discover inside, all of which have that classic, creamy Lindt taste.

Over 24 days you’ll enjoy a variety of different Lindt chocolates including teddies, reindeer, mini truffles and Swiss napolitains, with a giant chocolate surprise on Christmas Eve. We think this calendar is an indulgent treat for adults and kids alike and one that won’t break the bank either.

Key details – Calendar type: Chocolate; Number of days: 24; Vegan: No

2. Divine dark chocolate: Best dark chocolate advent calendar

Price: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re interested in a more ethical and sustainable chocolate advent calendar this year, look to Divine chocolate. Not only is Divine Fairtrade, but it’s also the only brand co-owned by the farmers themselves, ensuring that wages are fairer and at least some of the profits go back to those harvesting the cocoa bean.

That’s not the only reason to buy this calendar though. The dark chocolate is a generous 70% cocoa and downright delicious. We also love its classic christmassy theme. At a time when there are bundles of weird and wacky alternatives to chocolate advent calendars, sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics. As the chocolate is dairy-free, it’s suitable for vegans too.

Key details – Calendar type: Chocolate; Number of days: 24; Vegan: Yes

3. That Boutique-y Gin calendar: Best alcohol advent calendar

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

Countdown to Christmas the boozy way with this exciting gin advent calendar. Featuring 24 different wax-sealed drams of gin, you can discover new tipples from across the world every day and have a lot of fun doing it.

Each dram is 5cl, the perfect size for a festive G&T and although the contents occasionally change, you’ll be able to try a variety of classic and flavoured gins, pink gins and even punchy, double-barrelled gins.

It’s the ideal advent calendar if you’re after a grown-up alternative to chocolate and it’s also a great way to discover gins you might not have considered before. We also think it’s a reasonable price for a 24-day spirit calendar, as you’ll be hard pushed to find one of this quality for under £100.

Key details – Calendar type: Alcohol; Number of days: 24; Vegan: Yes

4. Montezuma’s Extraordinary Chocolate Truffle: Best luxury chocolate advent calendar

Price: £30 | Buy now from Montezuma's

This generous 25-day calendar from Montezuma’s is filled with delicious white, milk and dark chocolate truffles. There are five varieties, including a caramel milk chocolate version and a chocolate and raspberry one. Better still, unlike some truffles, these aren’t overly rich, making them perfect for adults and children alike.

It’s not the cheapest chocolate advent calendar on this list, but the quality is excellent and it’s worth considering Montezuma’s for its ethical credentials too. The brand only uses ethically sourced cocoa and all of its packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable, so if you’re looking to be more sustainable this year, this is a good choice.

Key details – Calendar type: Chocolate; Number of days: 25; Vegan: No

Buy now from Montezuma's


5. LEGO City Advent Calendar: Best children’s advent calendar

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Looking for a build-up to the big day that doesn’t involve chocolate? This exciting mini-build Lego calendar is the perfect festive partner. With 24 different Lego City Adventures TV characters including Top Hat Tom, Shirley Keeper and more, kids can build something new and exciting every day. A buildable Duke DeTain snowman and Christmas themed fold-down scenery are also included, meaning you’ll have a fully festive city to play on by Christmas.

We think this is a great alternative for kids and is sure to get them feeling festive (and keep them busy) in the run up to the big day.

Key details – Calendar type: Toy; Number of days: 24; Vegan: N/A