Enjoy a frugal winter with these free family winter activities!
I absolutely love the snow! There is nothing better than waking up to a fresh blanket of new snow and seeing the sparkle it makes in the sunlight. The only negative about the snow is that it’s so cold!! Unfortunately, I live in an area where it stays cold for many many months! We all get a little stir crazy around here being cooped up for so long. I’ve learned to get creative during these cold months to help us stay sane and stay in budget! Here are my favorite free family winter activities.
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Snow Winter Activities For Families
Do you live in a place that gets a lot of snow? Use it to your advantage and plan activities in the snow! There are so many fun ways to enjoy fresh snow!
1. Build A Snow Cave
You might enjoy spending the day outside building a snow cave as a family. Turn it into a competition to see who can build the best cave. You could even get extra creative and turn your cave into a castle. Add some stairs, windows, or any other fancy feature you come up with!
2. Make Snow Candy
Have you ever read the book Little House in the Big Woods? It’s one of our favorites! In this book Laura Ingalls grandmother made the kids snow candy, and we have been making it every year since then!
To make snow candy, just place an empty bowl outside while it’s snowing. The bowl will collect fresh, clean snow. Once it’s full, bring it inside and immediately pour pure maple syrup on top. The syrup will harden to make a sweet treat!
Sledding is one of my kids favorite free winter activity. Sleds are fairly cheap and most sledding hills are free to enjoy!
Try a few sledding hills around town and try to find a new favorite. This is a fun way to enjoy spending the day laughing with friends and family.
4. Winter Walk and Scavenger Hunt
Get outside and enjoy the snow with a winter walk and scavenger hunt. You can turn the scavenger hunt into a game by putting together a list of different items to find while on the walk. A few ideas for the hunt might be: a pine cone, icicle, boot tracks, animal tracks, a snowman, etc.
5. Snowball Fight
Another great family friendly winter activity is to have a snowball fight together. Keep it light and fun so everyone can enjoy it. This activity is guaranteed to bring a lot of laughs and memories!
6. Build a Snowman
Spend some time with your family outside building a snowman. You could even go a step further and build a family of snowmen! Have everyone build the snowman that fits their unique personality!
7. Snow Ice Cream
You might enjoy making snow ice cream with your kids. Here is a simple recipe to try it out. This is a fun way to enjoy the snow…while staying indoors!
Winter Indoor Activities
Don’t like going outside in the snow??? I get it! Here are a few winter indoor activities for families!
8. Movie Night
Snuggle up together, pop some popcorn and have a family movie night. Watch a few old classics or try something new. All that matters is that you are spending time together.
9. Bake Bread
I love spending cold winter days in my kitchen baking something warm. It’s the perfect season for baking bread.
After you’re done with the bread lather it with homemade butter and eat it together as a family.
10. Homemade Cocoa
There is nothing better than a hot mug of cocoa on a cold winters day. It only takes a couple of minutes and a few ingredients to make a big batch homemade hot chocolate mix. Make the hot chocolate together as a family and enjoy sipping it next to a warm cozy fire.
11. Family Slumber Party
Haul blankets, pillows and sleeping bags onto the living room floor and have a large family slumber party together. You can watch movies, play games and eat treats before falling asleep. This will be a night your kids will always remember!
12. Read a Novel as a Family
My family loves to read a novel together every winter. I usually pick a classic and read it to the kids for 20-30 minutes in the evenings. A few favorites have been Little House on the Prairie, Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.
13. Make Paper Snowflakes
You might enjoy spending an afternoon cutting out paper snowflakes and hanging them around your home. We like to tape a few to the windows and use invisible thread to hang some from the ceiling. You can find countless Youtube video tutorials about how to make snowflakes. This is such a fun, cheap and easy craft!
14. Make Play Dough
15. Have An Indoor Picnic
You don’t have to have warm weather for a picnic, have one at home in your living room! All you have to do is spread a blanket out on the floor, bring a few of your favorite picnic foods and enjoy a picnic indoors!
16. Make a Fort
Gather all the blankets and chairs in your house and build a gigantic blanket fort. Play games, read stories and spend the day hiding out in the fort.
17. Make a Sock Snowman
Sock snowmen are a fun, easy winter craft! All it takes is a little creativity and a few random items found around the house to turn an ordinary sock into a snowman!
18. Play Board Games
We love board games in our family and they are perfect to play when you are stuck inside! You can find some cheap board games at your local thrift store, but there are plenty of fun games played with just a deck of cards or dice.
- Related: 20 Family Board Games, all Under $20
19. Make Friendship Bracelets
Spend a few hours with your kids making friendship bracelets. Just braid three threads together and tie in a circle. Be sure to make two bracelets! One to give away to a friend and one to keep.
20. Have A Family Dance Party
Sometimes our family (or maybe just this tired mom! 😉 ) just needs a good old fashioned dance party! We crank up a few of our fave dance tunes and dance the grumpy faces away! It’s the perfect way to turn a bad day into a great day!
Winter Activities In Town
Need to get out of the house, but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Try one of the activities below!
21. Visit the Library
The library offers a lot of free activities for everyone in the family. Take advantage of all the many free programs and be sure to check out a book or movie while you are there!
22. Serve a Meal at a Homeless Shelter
There is nothing better for a child to learn than how to care for others. Pick a day as a family to help serve a meal at the local homeless shelter. This is such a humbling experience!
- Related: 101 Frugal Ideas To Light The World
23. Visit a Pet Store
Visiting a pet store is a great way to spend an afternoon. We love walking around the local pet store and visiting the cats, dogs, and birds. My kids ask to go regularly and I never complain!
24. Donate to a Thrift Store
As a family go through all of the toys, clutter, and household items. Fill up a large box of items to donate to a thrift store. It feels so good to start the new year fresh and clutter free!
25. Visit a Neighbor
Do you have an elderly neighbor who might need a visit? Or maybe someone new to the neighborhood? As a family pay a special visit to someone needing company. It’s a great way to brighten their day and get to know someone new!