Eleven Family-Friendly Things to Do This Winter That Are Affordable and Fun

Updated: December 18, 2022

By Sarah Scribner, content intern

If you live in many parts of the U.S., the weather outside may be frightful. Ok, maybe more like freezing. But, here’s the good news: you can still get outside and have a blast while enjoying the winter weather.

To help you and the kids stay busy this winter, especially over the holiday and winter school vacation weeks, we’ve compiled a list of eleven family-friendly things to do this winter that are affordable and fun! So, take a look and make this a winter to remember – either outside in the cold or inside where it’s toasty warm!

3 outdoor winter activities

Go Sledding

You and your kids can go on a fun-filled adventure outdoors without emptying your wallet! Sledding requires big hills and lots of snow, so if you live in the Northeast or the Rocky Mountain states, you’re in luck. Even if your terrain is mainly flat, if you’ve got snow, we’re sure you can find a hill somewhere.

All you need is a sled. If you don’t have one, you can even make one out of yoga mats, trash can lids, and even big pieces of cardboard. Find a slope, and you’re off!

Go Ice Skating

Tired of snow? Get active on the ice! Many ice skating rinks offer free admission and inexpensive rentals, so explore the opportunities in your area. Don’t forget to bring along your favorite snacks and insulated mugs of hot chocolate in order to save money on the rink’s concessions.

build a Snowman

Building an outdoor snowman requires teamwork and lots of snow. You can get as creative as you’d like and use a carrot, hats, scarves, and other items from around the house to dress up your snowman.

No snow? No worries! You can take this activity indoors and make a mini snowman out of construction paper. The kids can hang their creations around the house and these pieces of art will never melt away.

Pro tip: ?You can even pretend to be a snow man and do winter-themed yoga poses!

8 family-friendly indoor winter activities

Read stories around a fire

One of the best ways to get creative is to tell or read stories together! Why not do this around a warm fire on a cold night? You can even create a storytelling challenge. Each tell your own rendition of Frosty the Snowman and then vote on the best version! For tastier tales, you can even roast marshmallows and make s’mores.

Create a scrapbook

Looking to share your many family photos from the holidays? Take a creative break with your kids by crafting a holiday scrapbook, featuring this season’s best memories. You can make your own decorative additions or hit the crafts store for cheap, festive stickers, paper, and markers. 

Pro tip: Too cold to go to the store and buy supplies? Download some awesome coloring books and other printables right here!

Get cooking

What pairs perfectly with cold weather? Warm soup and other tasty foods that you can cook up together! Check out warm and healthy recipes online and give them a try with your kids. Cooking together is fun, healthy and affordable (it sure beats expensive trips to restaurants and greasy take-out!)

Pro tip: Check out our healthy recipes to have fun with the kids in the kitchen!

Watch a Holiday or Winter-themed Movie

Now that you have your fire and warm soup, it’s time to gather around the TV and watch a movie. You can choose a winter-themed movie like “Happy Feet” or maybe just a classic family favorite like “The Wizard of Oz.” Either way, this will keep the kids entertained and your wallet full.

Make a winter soundtrack

Gather your favorite songs and put them into a playlist together, using music apps like Apple Music and Spotify. Spotify allows you to listen to the music of your choice, at anytime and with anyone, at no cost. 

Play Yoga games for kids

Yoga is a great way for kids to get fit and use their imaginations. Instead of just practicing yoga poses, why not play fun yoga games? Many childhood games – including Red Light, Green Light and Duck, Duck, Goose – can be adapted as yoga games for kids, using different poses. 

Get involved in your community

The new year provides plenty of new opportunities to give back. Check out local soup kitchens, toy/clothing drives, and other charities. Helping others will also help kids learn to be grateful.

Brainstorm New Year’s Resolutions

Chances are that you have at least one New Year’s resolution. So, why not use this time to involve your kids? You can all reflect on the previous year as a family, and then come up with ways to improve this year. Self-reflection is a critical part of self-care, so when you do this together, you’re introducing the importance of self-care to your kids.

Have a wonderful Winter!


We get it: it’s easy to spend the winter wishing for summer. Instead, try out these 11 activities and turn this winter into the most wonderful time of year for you and the kids.

By enjoying every day, you’ll also teach your kids how to truly live in the moment and be mindful, even if that moment is chilly!

Here’s to a winter wonderland for all!

About Sarah

Sarah Scribner is a content writer and social media intern at Pretzel Kids.

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