Inexpensive Family Fun Ideas for Winter

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Between winter break and snow days, there is a good chance you are going to be needing some inexpensive family fun ideas. For how to keep the family entertained preferably without going broke.

This list will include fun ideas to do if you live in a cold climate like me or if you live somewhere warmer. So some ideas will be snow or cold-related but many can be done just about anywhere.

These ideas will be good for families with teens and those with little ones. You may just have to make some adjustments depending on the season of parenting your family is in at this stage.

This post will hopefully give you some new inexpensive family fun ideas for winter.

1 Go sledding

This has been one of Bella’s favorite parts of living where it snows compared to where we use to live. She loves getting to go sledding. A sled is not very expensive and can be used over and over again.

This sled is less than $10 and it works so well. It goes fast and it’s been a ton of fun this year.

snow day

2 hot chocolate bar

This can be something you do as a family or you could host a hot chocolate bar party for family and friends or your neighborhood. If you want some cute ideas for how to have a hot chocolate bar check out this post on Clean and Scentsible

3 go look at lights

Before Christmas take a drive as a family in the evening and go look at lights that people have up for the holiday. Some neighborhoods go all out and have great light displays.

4 bake and decorate cookies

This is our Christmas Eve tradition. When we lived in California we would all go over to my parents and decorate cookies together. Now we face time so the cousins can watch each other decorate. Just make some fun sugar cookie shapes, some frosting and sprinkles! You’ve got to have sprinkles!

Her’s a picture from years ago of cookie decorating!

5 Play a game

One of my family’s favorite things to do together is play board games. We have built up quite the collection of games to play and enjoy fun nights of competing against each other. 

There are quite a few favorites that we have. We love this Monopoly Ultimate Banking game. The good thing about this version is that it goes a bit faster than the original version.

6 watch a holiday movie

There are so many great holiday movies out and whether you watch a new one on Netflix like the Christmas Prince movies, which we love and there is a third one out this year.


Maybe you’d rather watch a classic Holiday film like The Santa Clause or Elf. Spend an afternoon bundled up, enjoying some yummy treats and put on a holiday movie.

7 fun winter crafts like a pinecone bird feeder, paper snowflakes

If your kids love arts and crafts there are so many cute ideas for winter crafts. Make some paper snowflakes or a bird feeder. Then hang up that feeder and see if you can attract any birds.

8 make homemade ornaments/gifts

Homemade gifts are so great for kids to do. They love to make them; we parents love to get them. But homemade gifts don’t have to be just limited to just for parents. There are many gifts kids can make, either with close adult supervision or on their own. 

9 Go skating

In the winter you have the opportunity to hopefully find an ice rink to go skating at. If you live where it’s not the right weather for ice skating you can always check out the roller skating rink.

10 Go bowling

This is on the list of things I want to do this winter as a family. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone bowling. Before you go bowling or skating make sure you check out Groupon to see if they have any deals. It’s a great way to save some money.

11 Visit your local library.

Not only to find books for the family members but because libraries offer lots of free or inexpensive family activities.

12 Build a Snowman

Do it together or split into teams and turn it into a challenge to see who can make the most creative or funny snowman. Dress them up in old scarves and hats.

13 Go to the Movies

Whether you go out to the movies in a theater or do a movie night at home. Movie night or day is a fun way to spend time together inside when the weather is hot. 

We usually try to find a discount theater if we can to go for the lowest price. If not we go to the first showing of the day which is usually the cheapest ticket. 

Movies on Christmas day two years ago! We love going to the movies and already plan to see a few this winter break. Little women, Jumanji and the New Star Wars.

14 Have a movie marathon at home

If you don’t want to go out you can have a movie marathon at home. How about watching a series like Harry Potter or Star Wars all the way through. Watch one or two a day snuggled under the blankets with some popcorn.

15. Take a walk or hike

Looking to burn off some energy? Why don’t you make a plan for a family walk or a hike? This is a great example of an inexpensive family fun ideas for winter. Plus it gets you out of the house and moving.

16 See a Play. 

 When was the last time you walked into a theater that wasn’t a movie theater?  It’s time to see a live performance again whether it be a children’s theater production or a famous play.

17 Organize your bedrooms

I know this doesn’t seem like fun but it can be and during winter break and after getting a bunch of new stuff for the holidays it is the perfect time to do this.

It’s so great for everyone to be involved, especially kids in the process of getting their space cleaned. My daughter has always loved to get things to donate that she doesn’t need any longer. Which I think is a great thing for kids to be a part of. Giving to others and dealing with clutter.

18 Read together

Even if you read together often, change things up a little during Christmas break. Choose something a little different from your ordinary reading material so it stands out as a holiday tradition. Maybe try a book of Christmas poems or a classic novel read in daily installments. Great books to give a try are Harry Potter, Little Women, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

And if reading together is not part of your routine the holiday season is a great opportunity to start.

19 Volunteering

Embrace the true meaning of the holidays by helping others in your community. Find volunteer opportunities through searching for volunteer opportunities near me on Google. I found a lot of great options that way.

20 Make Pizza for dinner

This is a great way to combine dinner preparation with family fun. Buy the ingredients and place them in different bowls. Prepare the pizza dough or use English muffins and make mini pizzas. Each family member gets to pick the ingredients for one of the mini pizzas and decorate it as they want.

I hope this post gave you a few ideas for some new inexpensive family fun ideas for winter. If you have any other ideas I’d love for you to share your family fun ideas for winter in the comments below.