Winter can be a tough time. The days are shorter, it’s cold outside, and sometimes it feels like there’s nothing to do. But don’t worry! We’ve put together a list of 100+ fun winter activities that will help you make the most of this season. From indoor crafts and games to outdoor adventures, we’ve got something for everyone. So grab your family and get ready to have some fun!
Winter can be hard!
- The days are shorter, so you’re spending more time inside. There also isn’t as much sunlight, which can affect your mood.
- It’s cold outside, and the winter weather can be difficult to deal with. Whether you’re bundled up in heavy layers or fighting off freezing rain, it’s never pleasant to be out in frigid temperatures.
- It’s easy to feel cooped up during the winter months. With shorter days and fewer opportunities for outdoor activities, it can be challenging to find ways to keep busy.
- You might feel like there’s nothing to do after the holidays are over and everyone is back in school/work mode.
A winter bucket list can make winter better!
Winter bucket lists are great. They provide your family with the opportunity to talk about all the things that you’d like to try or accomplish during the winter months. They also give us something to look forward to, and the satisfaction of checking items off your list.
To make a winter bucket list, you can brainstorm ideas for fun indoor activities or outdoor activities. Indoor games and crafts are great because they keep everyone warm during cold weather, but outdoor activities can help you really enjoy the weather!
Winter bucket list tips for success
1. Make your list personal. Think about what activities you would really enjoy doing, and write them down! It’s important to choose items that are actually fun for everyone in your family. For example, if you love spending time in the snow with your kids, maybe add a few sledding or skiing outings to your list. But if you hate the cold, you might want to avoid winter sports and focus on other activities instead.
2. Set goals for yourself. Rather than just writing down items that you’d like to do, try setting specific goals for your bucket list. For example, if you want to visit a new museum in your city or go on a weekend trip to a nearby town, make that your goal for the winter season.
3. Get creative! A winter bucket list can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. You can write down activities that are just for fun, but you can also set specific goals and challenges for yourself and your family members. For example, maybe you’d like to spend more time outdoors and see how many winter hikes you can fit into your schedule. Or maybe you’d like to set a goal of reading a certain number of books together as a family over the course of the winter.
4. Think outside the box. Winter doesn’t have to be all about skiing or snowshoeing! There are countless indoor activities that you can do together as a family. For example, you might try making homemade pizzas or hot chocolate one afternoon, reading books by the fire, or playing board games with friends and family after the holidays have passed.
5. Involve your kids! Your kids may have their own ideas for activities that they’d like to add to your list. Encourage them to bring their suggestions and work together as a family to come up with a well-rounded bucket list. They may also have ideas for ways that you can set goals and challenges for yourselves, or new activities that you might try.
6. Be flexible! Remember that your winter bucket list is meant to be a fun and enjoyable experience. If you don’t end up doing everything on your list, that’s ok! The most important thing is that you get to spend time together as a family and try new things in the process. So sit back, make your list, and enjoy all the wonder of winter!
Need more bucket list ideas? Read:
Here are more than 100 of our favorite winter bucket list ideas:
Indoor winter bucket list items
The great thing about winter is that it forces many of us to spend more time indoors! Get creative about how you spend time in your home with these fun ideas!
Coloring contest–print out the same page for each person in the group and pick a small prize for the winner.
Make a sock puppet–this is a fun and easy craft for kids of all ages, and it makes for great entertainment. Just find some old socks you don’t mind sacrificing for the fun!
Burn a holiday candle–just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their scents! Find a relaxing winter candle and light it whenever you need a little mood boost. My favorite is this one below.
Have a fancy dinner–light up the candles, add your finest dishware, and set a nice table for your family. Preparing and enjoying the meal together will be a special experience.
DIY snow globes–if you can’t make it outside for some snow fun, bring the snow indoors! Just gather some supplies and create your own winter wonderland. This kit would be an easy way to to this yourself!
Go swimming at an indoor swimming pool–most cities have heated indoor pools that are open year-round.
Watch a winter movie–snuggle up and enjoy one of your favorite holiday flicks or find a new one to get excited about for the next season!
Make s’mores inside–this delicious winter treat only takes a few minutes to make. All you need is some chocolate and graham crackers!
Play board games–winter is a great time to spend some quality time playing board games. You can even host a family game night at home!
Need game night ideas? Read: 20+ Games to Play During Winter Break
Make a New Years resolution–plan for the new year and make it your goal to accomplish something great. Need more ideas for family goals? Read: Family Goals Examples You Should Consider This Year
Make popcorn garlands–these beautiful decorations are easy to make and they’ll keep you entertained on a snow day!
Write and mail holiday cards–look through your holiday photos, write out a few family messages, and get them in the mail. Surprise a friend or loved one with some happy winter greetings.
Build with Lego’s–for kids or adults, Lego’s are a great way to pass the time on a chilly day. This Lego mask is on our family’s list for this winter!
Visit an indoor playground–indoor playgrounds and play spaces can be found at local libraries, malls, and recreation centers. If there’s one nearby, it can be a fun option for letting your kids burn off some energy!
Be a Secret Santa–give someone a random act of kindness by sending them something special, or play Secret Santa with your family. Making others happy is always fun!
Take a break from social media–decide to stay off social media for the next 24 hours, or even a whole week. You’ll be surprised at how much more time you have when you’re not glued to your phone!
Host a pajama party–invite your friends over and spend the day lounging in your comfiest clothes. Tell stories, watch movies, and have a good time.
Make your own hot chocolate–this delicious winter treat is super easy to make at home! All you need is milk, sugar and some cocoa powder. Add marshmallows for an even more indulgent drink.
Bake cookies–winter is the perfect season to enjoy a delicious cookie! Pick out your favorite recipe, and try a new flavor in your family.
Make ornaments–crafting is a great way to pass the time on cold days, and you’ll have beautiful memories of your creations for years to come!
Listen to music–what’s better than sitting by the fire while listening to some upbeat winter tunes? Put on your favorite holiday album and dance away!
Create an advent calendar–count down the days until Christmas by creating a fun new Advent tradition. You could fill it with activities, treats, or anything else you’d like! Need more ideas for family activities you can do during advent? Read: Amazing Advent Activities for Families
Make soup–this warm meal is perfect for cold days and you can make a different kind each time!
Visit a museum–the holidays are a great time to visit somewhere new and learn about the world.
Make paper snowflakes--this fun activity is simple and uses everyday supplies you have in your house. Plus, it has major nostalgic value!
Read a book with hot cocoa–spend an afternoon reading in bed with a warm drink nearby.
Take a nap–sometimes you just need to crawl under the covers and nap on a cold day. If that’s what your body needs, do it!
Take family photos–if you’re looking for great holiday cards this season, why not take some new family portraits? They’ll be sure to brighten someone’s day.
Wrap gifts–enjoy the holiday season by crossing off your gift list early! Use bows, ribbon and tape to get everything wrapped up.
Make hot apple cider–this easy-to-make beverage is delicious and perfect for a cozy night in.
Make your own wreath–you can buy beautiful wreaths from the store, but you can also make one that’s just as beautiful. Grab some supplies and get started with these great ideas:
Read The Little Book of Hygge–this book is a great way to learn about the art and science of coziness. I’ve read it several times and decide to try something new each time!
Make home-made gifts–you don’t have to be a crafting expert to make beautiful, one-of-a-kind presents for your friends and family.
Start a new tradition–create a new family holiday tradition that will add some fun to your winter season.
Declutter a room in your home–having a cluttered house can really bring you down! Look around and pick one room to sort through.
Make paper Valentines–winter can feel a bit down after the holidays are through. Stretch that holiday cheer by celebrating Valentine’s Day when it comes around! Read: 25 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Your Kids
Start a journal–this is a great way to look back on your winter memories in years to come. You can add photos, quotes and more!
Have a self-care day–this is a great way to treat yourself to some pampering. Get your nails done, go for a massage and more!
Make chili or soup–these easy-to-make recipes are super simple and perfect for a cozy winter evening. Try something new!
Living room dance party–don’t let winter keep you cooped up inside! Bust a move and get your kids moving by dancing to your favorite songs.
Decorate your house–winter is the perfect time to update your home! Have fun picking out new decor, wallpaper and more.
Host a Super Bowl party--invite your friends over to watch the game and enjoy some great snacks.
Send cards and letters to someone–this is a great way to spread some cheer!
Make a fun family video–capture all the fun you’re having this winter and share it with the world.
Organize your recipes–if you’re looking for new wintertime meals, why not organize your recipes to inspire yourself?
Read a winter/holiday novel–there’s so much great winter and holiday-minded literature out there. Find a book that inspires you and enjoy!
Make a hat or scarf–winter is the perfect time to make a new addition to your winter wardrobe.
Create a holiday gift list–this will help you stay on top of what you need and want, so that you can cross it all off in one go!
Write a short story–challenge yourself to write a short story this winter season. It can be about anything, as long as it’s creative and engaging.
Bake a pie–the scent of a homemade pie is the best way to enjoy winter. Try something new and make this yummy recipe:
Do a puzzle–if you’re looking for a fun family activity, try doing a puzzle. It’s a great way to enjoy some downtime together after all the holiday chaos.
Holiday karaoke–why not sing your heart out this winter season? Get on YouTube and share your best holiday jam with the world!
Decorate a gingerbread house–this is a fun and tasty activity that the entire family can enjoy.
Plan next year’s vacation–winter is the perfect time to start planning your next great summer getaway.
Make a pillow fort–you can transform any room into a cozy, warm place by building a pillow fort and getting ready to read or watch a movie.
Read about Jesus’ birth in the Bible–this is a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate the spirit of the season.
Research artic animals–my kids would love this one! Why not research some amazing animals that live in the artic? You can even create a learning station and bring it to school.
Make winter art–this is a great way to get creative and enjoy some fun family time. Try adding glitter, glue and more for a cool piece of art.
Make a Christmas countdown–this is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit without the stress. Try putting little gifts or candies in a jar and opening one each day!
Volunteer–winter is the perfect time to give back. Why not sign up for an event that gives back to the community? You can also try starting your own toy or food drive
Start a scrapbook–after all the festivities are over, why not record your memories in a scrapbook? It’s a great way to remember all the fun you had.
Have an indoor picnic–winter doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some fresh air! Grab some blankets and pillows and have a picnic inside.
Put up twinkle lights in your bedroom–this will make your room feel cozy and festive. We have this exact set in my daughters bedroom!
Donate old toys and books–it’s a great way to free up some space and help others have fun this winter. Read: How NOT to donate kids toys
Research cabin holidays–why not research different cabin destinations? You can find locations near and far that will suit your family. Even if you never go it could be fun to learn about.
Write a short poem–winter is the perfect time to get creative, so why not try writing a short poem? It can be about holidays, winter fun or anything else you’re feeling!
Do a winter craft–this can be something as simple as making paper snowflakes or decorating a gingerbread house.
Play charades–this is a fun indoor game for the whole family. You can play it by using movies, songs or books as your prompts.
Give a gift to a stranger–if you want to spread the holiday cheer, why not give a gift to a stranger? You can even make it anonymous.
Donate to a food drive–winter is the perfect time to help your community. Why not donate to a food drive and help those in need?
Donate to a cause you believe in–you can donate to a charity or non-profit that you feel strongly about. It’s a great way to give back, and it will make you feel good too.
Relax by the fireplace–when the temperatures get cold, why not relax by your fireplace? It’s a cozy way to unwind and enjoy the winter season.
Attend a Christmas party–why not attend a Christmas party this holiday season? It’s a great way to get out and enjoy some company.
Wear Christmas socks–this is a fun way to get yourself into the holiday spirit!
Eat candy canes–winter is the perfect time to indulge in your favorite holiday treats. So grab a candy cane and enjoy!
Take a family photo–why not take a family photo this winter? You can capture some great memories with your loved ones.
Hang stockings–this is one of our family’s favorite traditions. We love to hang stockings by the fireplace and open them on Christmas day!
Make a paper chain–this is a fun way to countdown the days till Christmas. You can use it as a holiday decoration too.
Watch a winter sport–winter is a great time to enjoy some sports! So why not watch your favorite? We love watching hockey and skating.
Make a bird feeder–this is a great way to spend some time in the great outdoors, and it will help our feathered friends as well.
Learn origami–winter is the perfect time to learn something new! Why not try learning how to do origami with your kids?
Make a holiday stovetop potpourri–this is a great wintery scent to enjoy during this season. You can make it with just a few ingredients too.
Make fondue–our kids love fondue! Make a cheese fondue for dinner, or a chocolate fondue for dessert!
Have a sleepover under the Christmas tree–this is a fun way to spend Christmas Eve. Why not have your kids and their friends sleepover under the tree?
Play card games–cards can be a great winter activity!
Play hide n seek–up the stakes and play a traditional game of hide n seek this winter, but in the snow.
Make a self portrait–grab some cardboard and construction paper, then make a self portrait! This is a fun way to spend time with your kids. Come January, my daughter and I are planning on making family silhouettes.
Stay in pajamas all day–one of our favorite things to do in the winter is to stay in pajamas all day.
Dip chocolates–another fun winter treat we love to make are chocolate dipped strawberries and pretzels.
Have a no screen day–let your imaginations run wild! Just think of all the fun your family can have if you don’t have screens on to distract you.
Clean our your closet–it’s a great time to get rid of some of the old things you no longer need or use. You can donate them or simply toss out what you don’t want.
Write thank you cards–this is one of our favorite family activities! We love writing and sending out holiday thank-you notes.
Learn a new hobby–winter is the perfect time to learn a new hobby. Why not take a painting class, or start learning how to knit?
Attend a Christmas concert–why not attend one of your local schools’ annual holiday concerts? This can be such a fun way to get into the spirit of the season.
Eat a cinnamon roll–winter is the best season for these! There is nothing better than a warm cinnamon roll on a cold winter day.
Wrap gifts–this is another fun family activity you can do over the holidays. Plus, it’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
Watch the Grinch–have a “Grinch night” where everyone wears green, eats Grinchy treats, and watches the Grinch.
Listen to Christmas music–I love listening to Christmas carols and songs during this season.
Take a bath by candle light–this is a great way to relax in the winter. Just add some lavender or eucalyptus oil to your bath, then light some candles and enjoy!
Bundle up and stargaze–winter stargazing has a whole different feel to it than summer stargazing! You’ll see different constellations. Just don’t forget to bundle up and pack some hot chocolate with you!
Get in a hot tub–there’s nothing better than settling in to a hot tub on a cold winter day. It’s so fun to watch snowflakes fall as you stay cozy in the water.
Organize your family photos and videos–a great way to beat the winter blues is to organize your family photos and videos. This can be such a fun project for you and your kids and you’ll fell so much better knowing that you have all of your pictures cared for.
Make a gingerbread house–this is one of our favorite Christmas traditions! We love doing a neighborhood gingerbread house party with our kids inviting friends to our house for a sugar rush!
Plan a spring/summer vacation–with winter comes spring and summer, so why not start planning a fun trip? This is a great way to stay excited during the winter.
Rearrange your furniture–this is a great way to beat the winter blues and get in the mood for spring.
Do a random act of kindness–there’s nothing better than giving back! Spending a few minutes doing something fun for someone else can really brighten your day. Read: Kindness Activities for Kids
Outdoor winter bucket list ideas
Although most of us don’t love the cold, winter can be a great time for families to get outside and enjoy the season. Winter weather is magical in it’s own way!
Visit a winter market–this is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Explore all the fun gift ideas, crafts, delicious foods, and more!
Build a snowman–what’s more fun than bundling up and building a snowman with your kids? This is a classic winter activity that the whole family can enjoy.
Go ice skating–we just went ice skating for the first time as a family and the kids LOVED it. It’s such a fun way to get active in the winter and even more fun when you can grab hot cocoa afterward.
Go caroling–why not go caroling with your neighbors or friends? This a great way to spread some holiday cheer and get everyone in the spirit.
Go sledding–sledding is one of the most classic winter activities. Grab a sled and head to your local hill for an afternoon of fun!
Freeze water balloons–this is on my family’s bucket list for this winter! Simply fill up a large balloon with water and set it outside until it’s frozen.
Visit Santa Claus–a visit to Santa Claus is a must during the holiday season! It’s such a magical experience for kids of all ages.
Watch a Christmas parade–we love light parades! Big and little kids alike love seeing the winter decorations and lights.
Shovel a neighbors driveway–this is a great way to help out your neighbors and get in the winter spirit. Plus, you’ll likely make some new friends along the way!
Go to a bonfire–this is such a fun way to celebrate the winter season. Bundle up and enjoy the warmth of the fire with friends or family.
Go on a nature walk–a winter nature walk can be great way to explore your neighborhood when it’s all adorned in winter wonder. Read: Create A Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt
Make frozen bubbles–to do this all you’ll need is a little bubble mixture, a straw, and some water. Simply blow the bubbles on an extra cold day!
Go sledding–sledding is one of the most classic winter activities. Grab a sled and head to your local hill for an afternoon of fun!
Visit a reindeer farm–what’s more magical than seeing adorable reindeer up close? This is such a fun day trip during the winter season!
Build a snow fort–another classic winter activity, building a snow fort with the kids is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Just be sure to bundle up first.
Go snowshoeing–last year for Christmas my husband bought me a set of snowshoes and I’ve loved them! They are great for exploring the woods in winter without sinking into the snow.
Go skiing–skiing is such a fun, active way to enjoy the winter season. Whether you’re experienced or just starting out, there’s something for everyone at the local ski resort.
Make snowcones from snow–one of my kids all-time favorite winter activities is making snowcones from the snow in our backyard. Just grab a few cups and some syrup, and you’re good to go!
Catch snowflakes on your tongue–this is a fun tradition that my kids love. Just be sure to watch out for the cold!
Try cross-country skiing–if you want a more challenging winter activity, try cross-country skiing instead of downhill. It’s a great workout and so much fun too!
Go bowling–this popular family activity is a blast for kids and grownups alike. Grab your friends, family, or neighbors and head to the local bowling alley!
Make and deliver cookies to community helpers–making cookies with the family and then delivering them to local community helpers is such a fun way to give back!
Dye snow–this is another fun, simple winter activity that kids will love. Just gather some water and food coloring to dye your snow different colors! Just add food coloring to water in a spray bottle and squirt the snow.
Catch snowflakes on your tongue–this is a fun tradition that my kids love. Easy to do too! Just pop outside for a few minutes during a snowstorm!
Visit an ice castle–the first time we took our kids to an ice castle, it was pure magic! There are several great locations around the world that host these spectacular structures, so be sure to check them out!
Collect pinecones–a fun, traditional winter activity is collecting pinecones. Place them in a bowl on your coffee table and use them to decorate around the house.
Visit a tree farm–a visit to a tree farm is such a fun, festive way to celebrate the winter season. Be sure to ask about how they cut down their trees in order to minimize impact.
Go Ice fishing–interest in ice fishing seems to be growing every year. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, be sure to plan ahead and get the proper equipment!
Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride–a horse drawn sleigh ride is such a fun, romantic way to enjoy the winter season with someone special. That being said, even going with our kids has been a magical way to spend an evening.
Have a snowball fight–what could be more fun than a good old fashioned snowball fight? It’s a childhood favorite for a reason! No snow? Do an indoor snowball fight with rolled up socks instead.
Make snow angels–another classic winter activity, making snow angels is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!
Look at Christmas lights–this is a fun, festive way to get in the holiday spirit. Just head out with a thermos of hot chocolate and check out all the beautiful Christmas lights! Use our Christmas light scavenger hunt for the best way to do this.
As you can see, there are plenty of fun winter activities for families to enjoy. Whether you prefer staying inside or braving the cold and heading outside, there’s something for everyone this season! So why not get out there and start checking items off your bucket list? The memories will last a lifetime and it’ll help the winter cruise by at lightening speed!