Here’s a bucket list of winter activities filled with classic wintertime fun and new and unique ideas for kids and adults.
This winter bucket list of ideas is filled with fun winter-themed activities and seasonal arts and crafts to do at home or in the classroom during the long, dark days of winter. As the days grow colder and the nights grow longer–it’s time for some classic winter fun! So, scroll down to see our bucket list ideas and other fun things to do in the winter, and grab our printable to check off each item you try. You might also enjoy our spring, summer, and fall bucket lists. For even more seasonal ideas, click HERE–> Seasonal Activities.
Fun Winter Activities for Kids and Adults
Here’s a list of fun winter arts, crafts, and activities that young and old alike can enjoy during winter (Christmas) break–and throughout the rest of the winter. First, visit the Rhythms of Play Learning Center to download and print our winter bucket list. Or, get our bucket list ideas for spring, summer, fall, and winter in THIS bundle of printable checklists.
Then, bundle up to enjoy classic outdoor winter activities that you can only do in the wintertime. Next, head back inside for some indoor winter-themed fun. Warm your feet by the fire, curl up with a book and bake some cookies to share. Or, get busy making, baking, and decorating for the holidays.
And once the holidays are over–the real wintertime fun can begin! Scroll down to see our bucket list of fun things to do in the winter for kids–and the young at heart. There are plenty of fun winter-themed bucket list ideas to make the most of this exciting season at home or in the classroom!
Bucket List Ideas for Winter (Activities, Arts, and Crafts)
Cross off activities on your winter bucket list with some of these fun winter ideas! Click on the fun activities listed below to learn more about each winter activity, art, or craft project, and enjoy everything this magical season has to offer.
The list below begins with winter-themed bucket list ideas to do for the holidays over winter break and concludes with fun winter activities to do for the remainder of the season. So, if you are finding this after the New Year, bypass the bucket list ideas that no longer apply.
1. Dance in the Rain
Can you think of a rainy day activity more fun than dancing in the rain? We can! Please look at our list of 21 fun things to do on a rainy day for more ideas HERE–> Rainy Day Activities.
2. Play in the Snow
Playing in the snow is a classic winter bucket list activity–especially when you don’t live where it snows. Sometimes it’s not easy finding snow, especially if you live deep in the Florida Keys or are stuck on the island of Kauai like I was for several years (which is not such a terrible thing–lol!).
Help children find someplace to play in the snow at least once before winter is over. But, if you happen to live where it snows, encourage the kids to get outside and play in the snow every day to check this wintertime activity off the list.
3. Decorate for the holidays
Decorating for the winter holidays, such as the Winter Solstice, Christmas, or Hanukkah, is a fun winter activity for children and adults of all ages. Bring light to the dark days of winter by putting up Christmas lights and holiday decorations.
Take out the Advent Candles or the Hanukkah Menorah. Create a simple nativity scene, trim the Yule or Christmas Tree, and decorate for the holidays in any other way your heart desires. And, once Christmas has passed, feel free to decorate for the New Year or Valentine’s Day.
4. Make a handmade gift
One of my family’s favorite winter activities is making and giving homemade gifts for Christmas. Spend some time making handmade gifts for family and friends for the holidays with this great list of gifts kids can make.
5. Build a snowman
If you live somewhere that does not snow, you may think that you can’t do this activity unless you head out of town to find some snow. But you would be very wrong. No matter where you live, anyone can build a snowman with this fun winter craft idea.
Use these simple instructions to build a snowman with clay to make ornaments and other snowman crafts. And, if you happen to live where it snows, of course, you should also invite everyone to build a snowman with real snow, too!
Or, encourage the kids to get creative and build a mud-ball person or a sand lady to check this item off your winter bucket list.
6. Make a new ornament
We love to make at least one new ornament for our Christmas tree every winter, and it’s become a Christmas tradition that the whole family enjoys. So, take the time to make a new Christmas ornament this winter with this list of homemade Christmas ornaments. And don’t forget to add your name and date to each new ornament so that one day you will have a tree filled with Christmas memories and winters gone by to enjoy.
7. Trim a tree
Decorating the Yule, or Christmas tree, is a classic family tradition for people worldwide in the wintertime. And, since ancient times, our ancestors have brought an evergreen tree into the house to decorate. So, join the fun and decorate a tree for Christmas or the Winter Solstice to check this fun winter activity off your winter bucket list!
8. Enjoy Family Movie Night
The long dark days of winter are perfect for a family movie night–or day. Pick any morning, afternoon, or evening, and enjoy a family movie together once a week. The traditional things we do with our families bring meaning to our lives and make everything more fun. And, while you are at it, be sure to watch a few holiday movies.
Watching Christmas movies is another fun thing to do in the winter (even after the holidays have passed), even if you don’t celebrate Christmas. Most holiday movies share values and common themes that everyone can relate to–regardless of which holidays they do or don’t celebrate. So, sit down with a big bowl of popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy a movie night with the whole family on a dark and stormy winter’s night.
9. Make Snow or Sand Angels
Making snow angels is a classic winter activity for kids and the young at heart. However, My husband and I met working as ocean lifeguards, meaning we’ve lived in several beautiful sunny places that never get snow. So, if you’re like us, don’t be shy. Make a sand angel if you can’t find any snow!
The best thing about sand angels is they can be made year-round, unlike snow angels. So, if ever you find yourself on a sunny beach winter or not–don’t be afraid to offer up this fun activity.
10. Bake cookies
Making, baking, and decorating cookies is a classic winter activity for many families–Christmas cookies or not. There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked cookies in a nice warm oven on a cold winter’s day. And a cup of milk with a nice warm cookie is so Mmm-mm good there are not many children that will turn down this tasty winter activity. So, nice neighbor gift, cookie swap, kindness project or not–invite children to make and bake cookies to check this fun winter idea off your bucket list.
11. Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Learn all about the winter solstice and celebrate Yule with our list of FAQs and celebration ideas HERE–>Winter Solstice traditions.
12. Enjoy Winters seasonal sights
Here’s a fun thing to do in the wintertime that can also help kids learn about the seasonal changes in their biome. Invite children outside in search of the first signs of winter with this fun and educational activity for kids.
13. Commit RAndom acts of kindness
Winter is an excellent time to give to the needy or volunteer at your local shelter or soup kitchen to serve communities and families that are not as fortunate as others. Many people don’t have the food, clothing, or shelter they need to survive the winter. So, encourage children to serve their communities and commit random acts of kindness in service to others, or the environment, to check this heart-centered activity off their winter bucket list.
14. Make Homemade cards
When the days grow cold in the wintertime, my daughter and I love painting, creating art, and making handmade crafts and gifts, including thank-you cards for family and friends. Making homemade cards is fun to do in the winter for kids and adults of all ages. So, invite your children to make homemade Christmas cards, thank you cards, or Valentine’s Day cards for a fun winter activity.
Our fingerprint love bug cards make great thank you and Valentine’s Day cards–especially if your children tend to procrastinate about sending their thank you cards after Christmas and the holidays–lol! Besides, making thank you cards is a great way to pass the time during winter break and throughout the winter.
15. Start a New Family Tradition
If you are tired of hearing your children exclaim, “Mom, I’m bored!” over the winter break and through the dark days of winter–start a new family tradition to make things more interesting. Try any of the fun ideas:
- Winter Solstice Traditions
- 50 Fun Family Christmas Traditions
- New Year’s Traditions and Celebration Ideas
16. Sing winter songs and Christmas carols
There is a reason so many people sing winter songs and Christmas Carols in the winter, and it’s not necessarily because Santa is coming to town. Singing is a trick some birds use to help them to stay warm on cold mornings and long winter days. So, if you need a little warmth–literally or figuratively–sing your heart out this winter to check this idea off your winter bucket list.
17. Walk or drive to look at holiday lights
Go on a walk, or drive, to look at Christmas lights and holiday displays before they disappear somewhere just before or after the new year.
18. Build a gingerbread house
Build a gingerbread house with your favorite home-baked gingerbread and cookie cutters, graham crackers, or cardboard.
19. Share a winter story
Cuddle up to share an entertaining or educational winter story, or read a winter book aloud to your children. Here’s a great list of winter solstice books for children that offer an excellent choice–> Winter Solstice Books.
And we also love the simple stories for each season, including winter, contained within this treasury of short tales, stories, and fables found HERE–>Tell Me A Story.
20. Have a Snowball Fight or War
Having a snowball fight is one of the most classic winter activities for kids and adults, no matter what you call it. So, whether you call it a snowball fight, a snowball war, snowballing good time, or a friendly game of avoiding the flying snowball–get the kids outside for some old-fashioned family fun!
But don’t get hit without laying down a few friendly ground rules first. The best times happen when boundary lines and fair game rules are understood first. No one should ever have to know what it feels like to get hit by a fast-flying frozen snowball smack in the face—Yup, been there.
So, be sure to let everyone know snowballs are never to be aimed above the neck or at anyone’s private places–along with any other rules you may have. The kids and families with good “snowball fun” rules enjoy their “snowball fights” the most–even when they ambush each other. Unless “no ambushing” is a family rule, of course.
Some parents make all infidels give a proper warning before throwing any snowballs across enemy lines, while others love the thrill of a surprise “snowball fun” attack. So, stay within the boundaries of your family’s rules, and most importantly–have fun!
21. Feed winter Birds and animals
Putting out food that animals enjoy is a fun thing to do in the winter. Of course, you can also do this activity year-round, and we encourage you to do so–but wintertime is when the animals most need it.
Food supplies become as scarce as the leaves on deciduous trees for many of our bird animals and friends in the winter. So, supply the birds and animals in your neighborhood with any foods they need to help sustain them through the long, cold winter months.
To do this, some people decorate an outdoor winter solstice or Yule tree filled with safe edible ornaments for the birds and animals in their region or biome. In comparison, others supply homemade nectar for hummingbirds in a hummingbird feeder, birdseed in a bird feeder (our bird friends like hanging bird feeder trays best), and nuts for their nutty squirrel friends on their patio.
22. Go ice skating or snowshoeing
Ice skating and snowshoeing are winter activities the whole family will enjoy. So, plan to head to the local ice skating rink; outdoor skate rinks are always magical in the wintertime. Or, gift the whole family with snowshoes and invite everyone out into the snow for a walk. Outdoor winter activities are always fun for everyone–and healthy too!
23. Ride down a snowy mountain
There are many fun ways to ride down a snowy mountain in the winter. Sleds, toboggans, and inflatable tubes offer an easy way for kids to play in the snow outside in their backyard. While ski mountains and snowboarding resorts provide an outdoor playground for young and old alike to ride down a snowy mountain on ski planks with poles or a snowboard. So grab your outdoor winter ride-on toy of choice and head for the snowy hills and snow-covered mountains to go for a ride this winter.
24. Enjoy a warm peppermint drink
Is there anything better than a warm cup of peppermint hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream, a white chocolate peppermint mocha, or just a simple peppermint coffee on a cold winter’s day? The soft glow of a warm fire, a cozy blanket, and a loved one to snuggle with under it–or a book? Yeah, I agree! So what are you waiting for?
25. Create a winter nature table
A nature table is a shelf, mantle, dresser top, or tabletop with things on it that are related to or reflect the season of nature. They usually have natural items from the great outdoors, arts and crafts representing winter, or winter animals. Use these simple tips to create your own–> winter nature table.
26. Cozy up by a warm fire
Cuddling with a loved one or loved ones by a warm fire is a beautiful way to spend a stormy winter day or cold winter night. So, cuddle up by a cozy fire to check this relaxing winter activity off your bucket list.
27. Curl up with a Good book
Curling up with a good book can help anyone get through the long, cold, and sometimes dull winter days. And this makes reading books a classic wintertime activity for young and old alike.
28. Build a blanket fort
Invite the kids to build a blanket fort in their bedrooms or the living room. Making a blanket fort is an exciting indoor winter activity for kids of all ages. So, grab the fort clips, sheets, and blankets and encourage the kids to build a blanket fort to check this idea off their winter bucket list.
29. Snuggle with Someone Special
Is there anything better than snuggling up with someone special on a cold night? Grab your kids, your huggy bear, or the whole family, and feel the warmth of their love.
30. Paint with winter colors
Painting with winter colors is a lovely way to pass the time in the winter, and it’s also a great way to learn more about winter and everything it offers. Invite children from toddlers to teens to paint with winter colors with these fun ideas–> Winter Art Projects and Painting Ideas.
31. Make Snowflakes and other Winter Crafts
Making snowflakes is a crafty winter activity that children of all ages adore. Make paper snowflakes, beaded snowflakes, and other winter crafts to check this idea off your winter bucket list.
32. Go on a Winter Scavenger Hunt
Believe it or not, going on a scavenger hunt in the winter is as fun as it is in the spring, summer, and fall. So, invite toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and children of all ages out on a nature scavenger hunt this winter. Learn more about this fun and educational winter activity for kids, and grab the printable HERE–> winter scavenger hunt.
33. Celebrate the New Year
Ring in the new year and celebrate with this fun list of New Year’s Traditions and Celebration Ideas–> New Year’s Traditions.
34. Choose a word for the Year
Choose a word to keep you focused and motivated in the new year. Learn more about choosing your word and get our printable list of inspirational word ideas HERE–> Word of the Year Ideas.
35. Set Smart Goals
Winter is a great time to create goals for the New Year. Use these excellent tips to set SMART goals–> How to Set Goals.
36. Play with your shadow
Encourage the kids to have fun learning and playing with their shadows–for Groundhog Day in February–or just for fun. We have several shadow play ideas for homeschoolers and children, from babies to toddlers to teens. Learn five ways to play with your shadow HERE–> Educational Shadow Activities for Kids.
37. Pass out or Send Valentines
Make your Valentine’s Day cards to pass out to friends at school, send cards to family, or make homemade gifts for loved ones to show you care this winter. Fortunately, we have plenty of homemade Valentine’s Day cards and gift ideas you can try. Give the Valentine’s Day craft ideas below a try to check this fun activity off your winter bucket list: