Winter on the horizon doesn’t mean family fun needs to stop. In fact, the cold weather can be ideal for certain family activities that’ll keep everyone from suffering any seasonal boredom. From going on a winter scavenger hunt to hosting an awesome hot cocoa bar, here are 45 winter family activities to help you bond with your crew.

1. Bake together. Break out the cookbooks and whip up a batch of cookies, brownies or holiday treats. For 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 2019.

4. Volunteer as a family. Teach your kiddos some compassion by volunteering as a family. There are lots of community activities that welcome 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.

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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.

8. Make New Year's resolutions. Gather everyone together and talk about goals for 2020. 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 winter by catching a concert or play. 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.

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.

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 displays. Start 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 craft 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. Draw a winter scene mural for your hallway. Make it a family project, and get everyone to contribute to the drawing.

26. “Do you wanna build a snowman?” Get outside the next time it snows and build winter’s favorite snow person.

27. Brighten up a cold winter’s night by making glow-in-the-dark recipes. How about blacklight lemonade or glow in the dark cupcakes?

28. Donate your family’s old winter coats, glove and hats. Shelters and food pantries are always looking for clothes for guests during winter.

29. Host a fancy appetizer party. You don’t need the holidays as an excuse to have a party with these awesome recipes.

30. Treat the family with a hot cocoa bar. Whip up one of these creative drinks, and adorn the bar with whipped cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, cherries and everything else to make for a fun night of indoor sipping.

photo: Leah Singer

31. Gather pinecones and make a craft. Try hanging them from your door or make a bird feeder.

32. Go to the movies. A movie night at home is always fun. But why not change things up and go to the theater and see Frozen II or another family-friendly flick.

33. Make breakfast for dinner. Shake things up and turn the most important meal into nighttime fun. Here are 30 super easy and tasty recipes your family will love.

34. Build an indoor fort. Need ideas? We’ve got 20 awesome fort ideas your kids will want to make their permanent home.

35. Practice yoga. Get your family's zen on with a kid-friendly yoga video and practice as a family.

36. Go on a walk close to home. Explore the woods and local trails of your own neighborhood.

37. Teach your kids about the power of giving. Whether your little one is 2 or 10, here are some ideas to instill the power of philanthropy at a young age.

38. Have a family dinner without technology. Need ideas for conversations? Try one of these games.

39. Play winter-themed indoor games. From sock puppets to hot snowball and a penguin relay, these indoor games will keep your kiddos entertained when it’s too cold to go outside.

40. Take a road trip. You don’t have to go far or spend a ton of money. Try adventuring to the other side of your city. Here are a few car games to keep the littles entertained.

41. Make mocktails for New Year’s Eve and celebrate the new year. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started.

42. Make ice cream with snow. What's better than a science experiment that becomes nature's dessert?

43. Shovel snow as a family. Buy a small shovel for your kiddo and then bundle up to shovel your driveway and a neighbors.

44. Take a photo a day during the month of December and January. Then use your phone’s movie feature to create a film with music.

45. Reflect on 2019. 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

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