As I sit down to write this blog post, it is snowing outside. Huge white flakes are falling from the sky steadily. We are expected to get up to a foot of snow today. Yes, I do live in the frozen north! I know that’s not where everyone lives (I’m so jealous of you Hawaiians right now!), but I know that many of you may experience the same thing that I do from time to time, which is the winter doldrums.
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I get it. It’s cold outside. Kids are more cooped up in the house, or sometimes can’t go outside for recess at school, so they go a little crazy. We all do (it’s not just me, is it?) That sort of thing is the nature of the beast at this time of year I think.
So today I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time brainstorming some frugal ways to have FUN in the winter! Because there are actually some really great things that can only be done when it’s cold and snowy outside. Skiing is great fun (or so my hubby tells me; I’ve personally only made it off the bunny slope once!), but by the time you acquire all the equipment AND a family ski pass you’ve spent a sizable chunk of change. However, the good news is that there are LOTS of other frugal winter family fun activities out there that don’t have to break the bank!
10 Ideas for Frugal Winter Family Fun
- Build a snowman. Kids LOVE snowmen, and what is cheaper than piling up the snow in your yard? Just make sure everyone’s got warm mittens for this one!
- Family board game night. Pull out those board games and get cozy inside when it’s cold outside! Even better- serve hot chocolate with marshmallows and set up the board game by the fireplace if you have one!
- Go sledding! This is a super fun one for adults and kids alike, and is a great way to help kids run off that extra energy in the winter. All you need is a sled and a hill!
- Ice skating. If you don’t have skates, you can often rent them for cheap, or borrow from a friend! Where I live, most of the skating rinks don’t even charge admission, they are just open to the public.
- Check out your local library. If you haven’t’ yet ventured over to your local library to check out the offerings, winter is an excellent time to do this! In addition to getting to check out books and DVDs for the whole family for free, libraries will often host children’s programs other free events that you may enjoy as well!
- Family movie night. After you’ve checked out your free movies from the library, schedule a family date night where you all gather to snuggle and watch favorite flicks! Note: Popcorn and hot chocolate are practically required for this one!
- Check out your local rec center or YMCA. Who says you can’t go swimming in the winter? You certainly can if you hit up your local rec center (as long as it has an indoor pool), and the cost is often nominal (if not cheap all the time, sometimes they have certain days of the week where adults are free, kids are free, half price, whatever).
- Look at Christmas lights. One of our favorite things to do in the winter is drive around looking at Christmas lights! We usually fill thermoses with hot cocoa to drink while we drive around, and spend an hour just driving around the community to places that we know have had nice lights in past years. Kids in our family love this one, and this has been a fun holiday tradition for us for years.
- Go on a winter hike. In many areas parks stay open year round, and you can hike the trails in the winter. This is a GREAT way to get exercise when it’s cold out- just make sure to dress warmly and know the trail conditions ahead of time.
- Visit a museum. Museums often charge an admission fee, but it’s worth calling ahead to check if there are any discount days that you could take advantage of. As a bonus, museums, like libraries, often have children’s programs that your little ones might enjoy!
Have you tried any or all of these activities? What other frugal winter family fun activities do you enjoy?
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