Here are 25 fabulous ways to have fun this winter season and make great memories!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and if you decide to make a purchase through our links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Winter's chill changes what we do in our spare time! Just because the temperature drops, it doesn't mean we can't still have fun!
Way back before I was a mom - I call it the PCE or Pre-Child Era - winter was all about being stocked up on hot cocoa, books to read, movies to watch and bundling up with sweaters and blankets!
I shivered through the morning commute and lamented my cold feet because I refused to trade in my fashion boots for a more sensible and warmer option!
Well, let's just say a lot changed when my daughter was born! She was absolutely in love with snow and winter and all the fun things that go along with the season!
So, I followed her lead and invested in better winter boots, coats and plenty of mittens and out we went into the tundra!
We built snowmen, snow bunnies, igloos, sipped hot cocoa in our snow hut and tried many winter sports!
We brought some snow inside, did every conceivable winter activity we could think of AND even saved a container of the white stuff in the freezer so we could take it out in July!
So, here's your choice - you can either sit inside, bummed by the fact that the days are shorter and colder, or you can embrace the season, bundle up and go make some memories!
photo: Philippe Collard
Getting out in the fresh air and being surrounded by the brisk winter temps make coming back inside that much sweeter!
We've included some ideas for inside fun as well. Sometimes the cold is just a little too cold, or the kids are looking for some fun inspiration if they're taking a break from being outdoors!
Be sure to keep the cupboard stocked with hot cocoa and make it a goal to see how many fun things you can check off our on our free printable Winter Bucket List!
25 Fun Things to do with Kids in Winter
+ a Free Printable Winter Bucket List
1. Build a Snowman
If you have enough snow to build a snowman, it's a classic outdoor activity that gets kids moving, creating and using whatever materials they can find to make their perfect snowman!
If there's only a little snow, kids can make mini snow sculptures - or even make little igloos in the hopes that a squirrel or bunny will visit!
No snow? No problem! A snowman painting or craft will keep the winter mood going. If you're at the beach, draw one in the sand or
All in one craft kits make activities like this snowman craft easy to put together!
2. Make Snow Art
photo: The best ideas for kids
Fill a spray bottle or food decorating bottle with water and put in a drop or two of food coloring and let the creativity flow! Bring your budding artists outside and let the snow be the canvas!
Of course be sure to photograph their masterpiece when it's complete! Outdoor photos make great additions to a Time Capsule!
3. Snow Ice Cream
We're always up for frozen dessert and fresh, clean snow makes a great base for ice cream! Shaved ice is a good substitute if there's no snow in sight or you're concerned about pollutants.
You can follow a recipe for snow ice cream like this one or just mix together some milk of choice with a sweetener (sugar, maple syrup) and vanilla with plenty of fresh, clean snow and voila! Dessert!
Adjust the ingredients to your taste and texture and enjoy immediately because it will melt quickly!
4. Visit a Nature Preserve or Park
There's nothing like marveling at trees dressed in snow! Bundle up and head to the park! Walk, talk, snap a pic or two and enjoy how the world looks after a gorgeous snowfall or with the change of the season!
Even if you live in a warmer climate, there's plenty to see at a nature preserve or park! Just being away from the hustle and bustle and screens will be a refreshing change and is a great way to spend time with family and friends!
5. Catch Snowflakes on Your Tongue
There's something magical about the idea of catching a snowflake! Want to make it last? Make it a game or a challenge!
Decide on a number
Look for the biggest snowflake to catch
Catch while walking
Pick 5 or more places to catch a snowflake
Or, break out a magnifying glass and take a close up look at these mini pieces of art!
photo: Hike it Baby
Strapping on a pair of snow shoes and trekking through a field is just the thing for getting some exercise! Snow shoeing is great for all ages and requires no previous experience!
Snowshoeing definitely wears you out, so for the youngest folks, start with a few minutes in your yard or a nearby park to get used to them!
7. Make Snow Angels
Making snow angels is a classic snow day activity! The big challenge for us has always been getting up without messing up that perfect angel!
There's nothing like the thrill of zooming down a snowy hill in wintertime! It's fun, great exercise and the perfect way to embrace the snowy season!
Sleds are very affordable and if you're unable to find a sled nearby, believe it or not, a cardboard box will do! I never thought this would work, but I've done it more than once and it might be a bit bumpy, but you'll get a good ride! It will eventually fall apart, but you can get quite a few rides down that hill until that happens!
If you're extra adventurous and have access, Snowboarding and Downhill Skiing are two more ways to zip down the snowy hills!
9. Enjoy Hot Cocoa
Ah! Now we've arrived at a favorite for sure! Sipping hot cocoa to warm you up and chase away winter's chill is just the right addition to a snowy day or chilly winter afternoon!
Boil some water, pour in a packet and stir, or go fancy and put together a hot cocoa bar! Whipped cream, marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and crushed Oreos are just a few ideas that come to mind!
Out of hot cocoa? This hot cocoa recipe is our favorite!
10. Make a Bird Feeder
This all natural bird feeder is easy to make and your feathered friends will be so appreciative of the extra food in the winter!
Pinecones, peanut butter and birdseed combine to make an easy winter craft that will be a delight to watch when birds come to dine!
If you're avoiding peanut butter, you can substitute Sunbutter, suet or vegetable shortening in its place.
For a complete tutorial visit here.
Sometimes it's just a bit TOO cold to go out and then you have to try some indoor fun!
You don't have to be the next contestant on a talent show to sing your heart out- every living room is a stage and this Karaoke microphone is so much fun!
12. Play Games or Do a Puzzle
Games are tried and true and there are plenty that will keep even the shortest attention spans engaged!
From Don't Break the Ice to Ticket to Ride to Harry Potter Trivia and about a thousand more games to choose from, games are great for mixed ages and interests.
There are also plenty of choices for independent play that will keep your kid thinking and having fun! This Penguin Pool Party is one that is a hit!
13. Movie Marathon
After a fun-filled day in the elements, enjoying a movie is the ideal choice to end the day!
Warming up with some cocoa and getting a bowl of popcorn to go with your coziest blanket will make that movie watching experience the perfect end to the day!
14. Cross Country Skiing
Looking to enjoy the snow but not a huge fan of hills? Cross country skiing is fun, family-friendly and an easy sport everyone will enjoy!
15. Bring the Snow Inside!
It's the best feeling when you're a fan of snow and you see the white stuff start to fall, BUT sometimes it's just a bit too cold outside!
Well, break out a bin, tray or large food storage container, fill it with snow and let the playing begin! Spoons, small plastic toys and an imagination will keep the creativity coming!
16. Build an Igloo or Snow Hut
If you have enough snow, it's so much fun to build an igloo! It is a super fun project and will keep the kids busy for quite some time!
We have fond memories of sipping cocoa, taking selfies and even reading a book or two inside our snow structure!
17. Make A Frozen Sun-Catcher
These Frozen Sun-Catchers are absolutely beautiful and can be made even if it's not chilly out! All you need is a freezer, water and some natural materials to create this outdoor art! Visit here for a full tutorial.
18. Take Pictures
Got a budding photographer in your family? Taking a few snapshots of the great outdoors on a snow day or weekend is a great way to get creative and breathe some fresh air!
19. Make an Obstacle Course: Indoors or Out
photo: Paper Heart Family
Here's a fun way to make sure your kids get some exercise! It's an easy activity to put together and a super fun way to repurpose hula hoops, pool noodles, chairs, cones and snow of course!
Here are some ideas for your outdoor obstacle course:
Roll a snowball
Make a snow angel
Crawl under a patio chair
Jump five times
Walk across a board
Walk while balancing a snowball on your head
Put a bucket out and make a basket (with a snowball, of course!)
If it's too cold, make the obstacle course indoors using pillows, tables, stuffed animals, etc.. Climbing over, going through or around as well as doing things like hula hooping, jumping jacks, hopping on one foot, make a basket, hit a target are all great for indoor fun!
20. Make some Snowflakes
Have a blast with this classic craft and make some one-of-a-kind snowflakes that won't melt.
21. Read a Winter Book
Whether you have a reader who loves picture books or pouring over chapters, there's no shortage of good books!
Below are some of our favorites that really capture the feeling of winter.
The Long Winter
Magic Tree House: Balto of the Blue Dawn
The Snowy Day
The Snowy Nap
22. Look for Animal Tracks
Who's been hopping around your yard?
From that silly squirrel to the neighbor's kitty, have an adventure in your own back yard, at the park or on a walk and take a peek for signs of your furry friends!
23. Go For a Hike or Star Walk
Go for a winter hike! There's nothing more fabulous than seeing everything all frosty and snowy!
Got a night owl? Stay up late and see some stunning stars this winter! There's nothing like a snowy night and some starlight to make that picture perfect winter memory!
24. Go Ice Skating
Even if you live someplace warm, indoor rinks make this cold weather sport completely accessible!
No skates? No problem! Many locations rent ice skates and have cones or other supports for newer skaters to use for balance!
25. Explore an Ice Castle
Now located in five areas of the United States, these fairy tale structures are designed and built each year when temps dip low enough to keep the ice intact.
Mazes, tunnels and dynamic photo ops await all who visit the Ice Castles! If you have a Frozen fan in the house, here's the perfect location to act out their Elsa- Let It Go! moment!!
26. Winter Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunts are a fabulous way to get outside and use those observation skills!
They work with a variety of ages, cost little to nothing and are terrific for burning off excess energy!
Here's one printable Winter Scavenger Hunt that is fun and colorful!
Below is our Free printable Winter Bucket List so you can keep track of your winter goals all in one place!
Be sure to tag us @mykidzbookshelf as you make your way through the fun things on this Winter Bucket List!
Want a free printable of this fun Winter Bucket List? Just pop in your email address and it’ll come right to your inbox!
Too many emails? You can also find it at our shop!
Be sure to Pin this post so you can find it easily in the future!
Know someone who would enjoy this post? We'd love it if you'd share!
We have plenty more ideas for books and fun! Take a peek at the blog for book lists, crafts, printables and more!