26 Winter Activities for Family Fun

I just heard the weather forecast for tomorrow, and it says SNOW!  8-10 inches of the white stuff will be covering the ground before we know it.  That’s winter in Wisconsin, and the season seems to go on forever!  It’s hard to imagine that some parts of our country don’t have to deal with the cold and snow, but I know that every family has to deal with seriously needing a dose of family fun!  Here are 26 winter activities for family fun:

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Winter Activities for Family Fun

  • Get out of the house for a weekend and take a short trip.  There is probably somewhere close to home that your family hasn’t explored yet.
  • Go ice skating.  Find an indoor rink somewhere, or if you really want to brave the cold, skate outdoors.
  • Attend a sporting event that is new to you.  Not a hockey mom?  Head to a game and see what you are missing!  There’s also curling, broomball, cross country ski races, and so much more!
  • Build a fire outdoors in the fire pit or indoors in the fireplace.  The extra warmth is very welcome this time of year.  Let the storytelling begin!
  • Take a class.  Our favorites are cooking classes for kids, family yoga, and painting classes.
taking a painting class

They may uncover a hidden talent!

  • Take a sleigh ride.  Rides may be offered at a local resort, farm or during a winter festival.
  • Did you take an awesome summer vacation that you want to remember forever?  Make a photobook.  My favorite website to do this is on Shutterfly, but I have made small photo books thru Walgreens too.
  • Go ice fishing.  What?  Try to catch dinner thru a small hole in the ice in the middle of a lake.  It’s an experience for sure.  Many towns in the upper Midwest offer a kids fishing day and there’s usually an ice fishing contest somewhere every winter weekend.
winter activities for family fun

Flag up! Time to run to the hole to see if there is a fish!

  • Too cold outside?  Curl up inside with some popcorn and watch movies.  Introduce your kids to some of your old favorites, or catch up on the movies you missed while you were busy the past fall having all that family fun!
  • Write a letter to a friend or family member, or just draw a picture for someone.  Send it off in the mail, and wait for the reply.
  • Go swimming.  Spend an afternoon at a local pool, a hotel pool, or a super fun water park!
indoor water park at holiday inn

How many times will your kids cross the lily pads?

  • Plan a garden and plant some seeds.  Follow this link to find various seed starting kits online.
  • Have you ever been dog sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, or tubing?  This is the season!
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a super fancy decadent dessert.  Better yet, if you make it together.
  • Attend a winter festival.  Festivals in the winter offer all kinds of unique experiences.  You can go turkey bowling, play golf in the snow, or even walk thru an ice castle.
  • Make homemade hot cocoa.  Set up all of the toppings and see who can make the most outrageous cup of cocoa.
Hot cocoa bar winter activities for family fun

The more toppings the better!

  • Read a good book.
  • Visit your local library.  Attend a program, bookclub, or story hour.
  • Shop local.  Pick a “warm” day and check out the winter sales in the main street stores.
  • Go bowling.  You’ll be surprised at how bowling alleys have changed since you were a kid.  Disco balls, black lights, and you don’t even have to keep your own score!
  • Visit the zoo, botanical garden, or a museum.  You will be sure to have some fun and even learn something.
Winter activities for family fun

Don’t you just want to sit on the bench and pretend it’s summer?

  • Go camping in your living room.  Set up a small tent, get out the sleeping bags, and pretend it’s the middle of summer.  The best part is that there are no mosquitoes!
  • Play all of those board games that you got for Christmas, or put together a puzzle.
  • Have a video game tournament.  The kids will love teaching mom and dad how to play.
  • Bake something together.  The oven will warm up the house and you get a yummy homemade treat.
  • Enjoy the first warm day of spring, because winter will make another appearance tomorrow!

What are your family’s favorite winter activities for family fun?  Let us know….because it’s only January.

Pin this list of 26 winter activities for family fun, and winter just may become your favorite season!


  • Brooke February 23, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I love all of these ideas! We are headed to the Botanic gardens in Denver for a indoor kid’s concert this weekend. Perfect way to spend a chilly day.

    • Vicki February 23, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Thanks Brooke! Have fun at the gardens! Have you been to their Halloween Glow at the Gardens? It’s a fantastic event!

  • All She Things January 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Great ideas for spending time with the family. I loved the idea of planting seeds in the garden! 🙂


  • Sarah Camille January 12, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    These are great ideas! One of my favorite things to do in the winter is play board games. 🙂

  • Alicia January 12, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    I love the hot cocoa station! My father-in-law actually had this at his 2nd wedding too! (great for me since I wasn’t drinking and it was a February wedding haha) You gave some really great suggestions! I have a dresser full of craft supplies to make projects with the kids on days that it’s too cold to go outside. Also hot chocolate and popcorn on hand for a movie afternoon! (sort of like movie night). We’re in Michigan, so we definitely get the cold and snow too.

    • Vicki January 12, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks Alicia! Stay warm!

  • Mama Munchkin January 12, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    What a fantastic list. I know we tend to go stir crazy during the winter so this will definitely be useful.

  • Willow January 12, 2018 at 9:22 am

    That water park looks like a lot of fun! I used to live in Minnesota, so I am all too familiar with cold weather. I live in sunny Tucson now and don’t miss the cold one bit!

  • Chelsea (@mommyandthemini) January 12, 2018 at 8:18 am

    I love these ideas! We try to do a lot of painting and possibly a trip or two to a hotel to go swimming in their pools, it’s a lot of fun since my daughter is a little water bug!

  • stacey January 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    I love a good festival during the winter as well as winter sports like skiing and skating. But I also love a good book or to binge watch TV when its cold outside.

  • Jillian January 11, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I love the homemade hot cocoa idea!

    • Vicki January 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      It’s a fun way to warm up after playing outside!


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