It’s easy to let the holidays, school and work take up all the time in the household. But with winter on the horizon, make some time for a few family activities that will keep the kids and adults entertained and happy. From seeing holiday lights to writing letters to friends, here are 25 thoughtful and fun ways to bond with your crew.

photo: MabelAmber via Pixabay

1. Bake together. Break out the cookbooks and whip up a batch of cookies, brownies or holiday treats. For some extra holiday spirit, make a few extra batches and bring them to your neighbors.

2. Take a hike. Whether you live in a cold or warm winter climate, get the family outside to explore the outdoors.

3. Go to the library and find a good book to read. Need some reading inspiration? Here are the books every kid should read before turning 12, and the best new books of 2018.

4. Volunteer as a family. Teach your kiddos some compassion by volunteering as a family. There are lots of community activities that welcome the help, especially around the holiday season.

5. Make paper snowflakes and decorate your house. Give your house some winter cheer with homemade decorations. Paper snowflakes are easy, unique and make the house look like a winter wonderland.

photo: Leah Singer

6. Game on! Break out the board games and cards and have a fun family night of board games. If you’re looking for something beyond Candy Land and Sorry, check out these new board games that the kiddos will love.

7. Have a movie night. Light a fire, grab blankets, pop the popcorn, and find a few movies the entire family will love. Go with a classic must-see movie, or make it holiday-themed with Frosty the Snowman or Home Alone.

8. Make New Year’s resolutions. Gather everyone together and talk about goals for 2019. Then display those goals in a cool way around the house. Here are a few ideas if your family needs help with writing its resolutions.


9. Go to a play or concert. Get cultured this holiday season by catching a holiday concert or Nutcracker performance. Check your local calendars to see what’s available in your community.

10. Go ice staking. What could be more wintery than ice skating? Even if your city is not known for winter weather, many communities have indoor ice skate arenas or pop-up rinks.

photo: White77 via Pixabay

11. Make a gingerbread house.Gather the kids (and parents) around the table for a gingerbread house party. We’ve got all the hacks for making a perfect gingerbread house as a family. Want to get super creative? Get some inspiration with these epic houses.

12. Write a holiday/year-end card or letter. Why should holiday cards be something only the parents do? Have the kiddos write their own year-end cards and mail them to friends and family.

13. Get crafty. Channel your family’s artistic side with these fun winter-inspired crafts for kids, parents, grandparents and cousins.

14. Clean the closets and donate. With the coming of new toys and gifts, make it a family project to go through bins of old clothes and toys and donate a few bags to local shelters and non-profits. This is a great way to teach the kiddos about the power of giving.

15. Go bowling. When the temperatures dip this winter, bowling is an indoor activity the family can all do together.

photo: jty11117777 via Pixabay

16. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Pick up pinecones, sticks and take photos of what you find on the trails.

17. Play in the snow. There’s nothing that says winter more than making snow angels and having a snowball fight together. If snow doesn’t fall in your city, take a road trip to the closest winter escape.

18. Go to a museum. From children’s museums to museums of natural history, there’s bound to be something your family will love to visit.

19. Look at holiday light displaysStart a fun, inexpensive winter tradition by driving around your town looking at holiday light displays. Most communities have neighborhoods that go all out with the exhibits. Bring along a thermos of hot cocoa to sip while you admire the dazzling displays.

20. Have a music and dance night. Find a playlist, crank up the music and get dancing as a family!

photo: Leah Singer

21. Take an art class together as a family. Head to your local art studio and paint a canvas or some pottery together. You’ll finish the activity bonded and with several new art pieces to display.

22. Have a fire and make s’mores. Whether you have a fire pit in your backyard or a fireplace in your living room, throw on a few logs and make s’mores.

23. Go to a video game arcade. Relive the nostalgia of going to the arcade by finding your local video game spot and making it a family activity. From ski ball to Pac Man, there’s something for everyone.

24. Try a new restaurant. Splurge on dinner out as a family by finding a new hot spot for dinner.

25. Reflect on 2018. Have a family dinner and talk about the highlights of the past year. Ask every family member to pick out their favorite memories and share them.

—Leah R. Singer


14 New Board Games to Play This Winter

25 Ways to Stay Connected as a Family This Holiday Season

Things to Do with Your Family Instead of Talking Politics