free winter family activities

10 Free Winter Family Activities

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Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

Cold temperatures and grey skies can keep the whole family cooped inside during the winter months. Sometimes it feels like the only activities to do involve going out and spending money. I’ve compiled a list of 10 free winter family activities that will not only cost you nothing, but will make precious memories to last a lifetime. 

family playing together in the snow

Have Fun in the Snow

If you live in a state that gets snowy weather, then you know how fun a day playing in the snow can be. Find the biggest hill in the neighborhood and spend the afternoon sledding. Build a snowman (or a whole snow family!) and make it a competition to see who makes the most creative one. Fill your entire yard with snow angels or have a snowball fight!

Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

This is a great activity to do after a day in the snow, or any winter day you’re craving a warm, chocolatey beverage. While you’re probably used to the powdered hot chocolate, making it yourself is actually super easy and well worth it. Add some whipped cream and sprinkles and you have the perfect cold weather treat. 

Warm up Around a Winter Bonfire

Gather your friends and family for a fun winter bonfire! Break out the warm blankets, s’mores, and tell some scary stories. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can do some outdoor camping at the same time and sleep under the stars. 

Go on a Winter Hike

Bundle up and go on a winter hike through the park or woods. Strap on some snowshoes or some warm, sturdy boots and enjoy a day out in nature. Bring along some snacks and hot chocolate in a thermos. Make it even more fun by organizing a scavenger hunt and looking for animals and trees along the way. 

family hiking together in the snow

Have a Board Game Night

Nothing beats family board games, especially on a cold winter’s night. Challenge each other to classic favorites like Clue or Monopoly, or try a brand new board game. Puzzles are also a fun family activity that you can work on over the course of several days or weeks.

Start a Family Scrapbook

Do you have piles of family photos sitting around? Or maybe they are sitting on your phone taking up storage? Spend the day organizing your photos and getting the craft supplies out to put together a family scrapbook. It’s not only an artistic activity, but it’s also fun to relive and reminisce past family memories. 

Have a Pajama Day

For some reason, it’s more fun to hang out at home in pajamas. Eat breakfast in bed, have an epic movie marathon, get the snacks out, and build the biggest blanket fort in the living room. Maybe even have a cozy slumber party in your blanket fort! 

little girl and little boy playing under the covers with a flashlight

Learn About the Family Tree

Learn about your family history by doing some research on the family tree. There are tons of helpful genealogy websites to use. This is a great way to tell the kids some family stories – maybe even get the grandparents involved! Make the activity artistic by drawing or painting the family tree.

Have an Indoor Picnic

Prepare all of your favorite finger foods or snacks and set up a blanket picnic in the living room. Make it extra fun by packing a traditional wicker picnic basket or pretending you’re on the beach with sunglasses and beach chairs. This makes lunch or dinner super exciting!


Almost anything can be a volunteer opportunity! Help out at your local food back, walk dogs at the shelter, or pick up groceries for your neighbor. Volunteering costs nothing and is a great way to spend the day as a family. You’ll feel good about making the community a better place and your kids will learn wonderful life lessons along the way. 

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