20 Winter Activities for the Whole Family

Originally Published on November 24, 2020. Last Updated on November 8, 2023.

The winter months are full of potential! This unique time of year presents opportunities for you and your family to bond in special ways. To inspire some holiday cheer, we’ve come up with a list of festive activities everyone will enjoy from the young to the young at heart.

1: Have a Bonfire

Gathering fireside is great when it’s done outside in your own backyard. What makes it even greater is if the fire itself is contained in a low-maintenance outdoor fire pit table

2: Share Memories

While you’re sitting around the fire, take this time to reminisce about the bygone years. Your children and grandchildren will love learning about their family history and hearing funny stories that they can share with their own families in the future.

3: Create Snow Art

When there’s freshly fallen snow on the ground, fill plastic spray bottles with water and a few drops of food coloring. Head outside with your kids and use the snow as a canvas: let out your artistic side in a whole new way! 

4: Bake Cookies

Baking cookies is a tradition many families share. Not only do you get to eat the finished product, but you also get to share recipes with your children that were passed down from your parents to you.

5: Give Back

It’s the season of giving, and an excellent opportunity to teach your children about the importance of giving back. Help those in need this holiday season by making a monetary donation to your local food bank, donating toys and food to your local animal shelter, or volunteering your family’s time to help a nonprofit organization you believe in.  

6: Try a Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Who doesn’t love hot chocolate? It’s a tasty wintertime staple that’s as fun to make as it is to drink. Try this easy hot chocolate recipe that uses ingredients that you’ll no doubt have sitting in your pantry and refrigerator. 

7: Do a Puzzle

Cozy up with some homemade hot chocolate and challenge your family with a jigsaw puzzle. You can up the ante by breaking into teams and making it into a competition. 

8: Go to a Christmas Tree Farm

Cutting down a live tree is such a nostalgic experience. It’ll bring back your childhood memories, and you’ll get to watch new memories form for your kids as you walk through the farm, searching for the perfect tree. Going to a Christmas tree farm near you will support a local business, and contrary to what may be believed, Christmas trees are sustainable for the environment. Christmas trees are grown like crops: they grow quickly and are meant to be cut down: and when one tree is cut, the farmer will plant one in its place.

9: Go Sledding

Here is an activity that everyone can get into. All you need are a few sleds, a snow-covered hill, and a free afternoon, and you’ll have yourself a day full of fun!

10: Build a Snowman

A timeless tradition that only requires snow, creativity, and sometimes a carrot. Get the family together and build a snowman, a snowwoman, a snow bunny… the possibilities are endless.

11: Go for a Nature Walk

If it’s not too cold outside, bundle up the family and take a walk outside. It’s good exercise and you get to see your neighbors’ holiday decorations, search for winter birds, and view snow-covered trees that are pretty enough to be showcased on holiday greeting cards.

12: Build a Blanket Fort

Need to warm up after your nature walk or playing in the snow? Turn your living room into a fun-sized (and warm!) blanket fort. Blankets make the ceilings, couch cushions make the walls, and your family makes the memories.

13: Make Snow Ice Cream 

Here’s an easy sweet treat that can be made with ingredients from your refrigerator, pantry, and your own snowy backyard.

14: Make Snow Angels

Take a step back into your childhood and make a snow angel. Teach your children or grandchildren how to make them (and make sure to take pictures you can look back on later).

15: Go Caroling (Virtually, too!)

If your family is musically inclined, go caroling! Keep an old tradition alive by taking your family out in your community and singing your favorite holiday songs to your neighbors. If you cannot go out, carol virtually via video chat with friends and family.

16: Create an Ugly Holiday Sweater

Do you have some old sweaters just taking up space in your closet? Give them a second life by getting in on the ugly sweater trend. Grab your leftover garland, glitter, and a glue gun, and make your old sweater into a gaudy, yet glamorous garment. 

17: Host a Holiday Movie Marathon

Introduce your kids or grandkids to the classics. Host a holiday movie marathon and let them get to know Rudolph, Heat Miser, George Bailey, and other memorable characters we all know and love.

18: Make Homemade Decorations

Save a little money on holiday decorating this year by making some of your own with your family. You can even DIY ornaments and give them as gifts to loved ones!

19: Host a Family Game Night

From UNO to Monopoly, breaking out the card and board games will surely create an enjoyable evening of healthy competition with your family.

20: Create a New Year’s Resolution List

It’s always a good idea to have goals. Why not make a list of New Year’s resolutions with your family that you can all accomplish together?

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