This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive commission for purchases made through these links. Price at time of publish date may change.
Winter break always seems to go something like this: The holidays are really exciting, with presents and cookies and decorations galore. Then come a few planned activities, maybe a day trip to see relatives. After that, it’s pretty much the children complaining that they’re bored or hungry. We get it—after the kids’ presents are opened and the stockings are unstuffed, there’s not much to be excited about. Especially if it’s freezing outside.
But don’t be discouraged! There are a ton of crafts and outings you can plan to keep the kids engaged until it’s time to go back to school. Some are easy, at-home projects while others will get you out and exploring. In fact, you might find that after enjoying a few of these winter break activities, they’ll actually look forward to this time next year!
1. Color Outside the Lines
Our DrewandJonathan.com team has a whole bunch of free, printable holiday coloring pages for your family to tackle. They range from intricate gingerbread houses and ornaments to simpler snowman-themed sheets, so there’s a little something for every age range.
2. Ice Skating
‘Tis the season, after all! If you’re up for it, take the whole family to a local ice skating rink and put your skills to the test. Even if someone isn’t that interested, they can still sit on the sidelines with a cup of cocoa and cheer everyone else on. Don’t forget to bundle up!
3. Hot Chocolate Movie Night
Speaking of hot cocoa, another fun activity is creating a fabulous hot chocolate bar at home and cuddling up with the coziest blankets for a family movie night. We have all the tips and tricks you need here, so all you’ll have to do is grab the supplies and pick the film. If that’s always the hardest part, have everyone write an idea on a piece of paper and then choose one out of a hat.
4. Neighborhood Game Night
Chances are, you aren’t the only parent looking for ways to keep the little ones entertained. Grab one of your favorite board games and invite your pals over for a night of friendly competition. Depending on the size of the group, you can have one table for kids and one for adults, or you can everyone play against each other. Make the hosting part easy by going potluck-style and asking everyone to bring their favorite snack.
5. Tropical Stay-Cation
After all that holly jolly-ing, you might be sick of the cold! Plan a tropical “vacation day” at an indoor waterpark. Or if there’s not one nearby, have the kids craft fun props while you cook warm-weather snacks to set the mood. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
6. Homemade Crystals
We can’t imagine a cooler way to sneak in a little science at home than by making these crystals from Mommy Musings. Not only are they super easy to make and require only a few ingredients, but they are also great for a wide age range of youngsters. This might be the first time your kids head back to school bragging about their winter break.
7. T-Shirt Wall Art
If you’re planning on making some fun design additions to your home, this upcycling wall art from Nicole Olea can go to the top of your to-do list. You’ll be able to get the whole family involved, reuse old T-shirts that you can’t bear to get rid of, and fill your walls with some pretty, personal decor.
8. Mermaid Slime
Kids always go nuts at the mere mention of the word “slime,” and adding another buzzword—“mermaid”—in there will totally blow their minds. This glorious, gooey craft from Ever After in the Woods is a fun, hands-on activity for kids of all ages and perfect for a dreary afternoon. Just make sure they don’t eat it!
9. A Kitchen Takeover
Curing the winter blues gets a whole lot easier with this kitchen takeover idea from Eighty MPH Mom. This is a great one for high-schoolers who like to experiment and are familiar (and can be trusted) with the oven. Feel free to sit back, relax, and let the kids take over the kitchen—including cleanup!
10. A Family Talent Show
Your kids will never complain about being bored again after they plan, produce, and star in a family talent show! Clear out room for a “stage” in your living room, invite your friends and neighbors, and make a whole night out of it. This tutorial from Our Family Lifestyle even shows you how to make it happen on a budget.
11. A New Year’s Eve Balloon Clock
If you let your kiddos stay up until midnight to ring in the new year, this giant balloon countdown clock from The Suburban Mom will help them make the most of it. While waiting for the magical ball to drop, the whole family can pass the time by discussing their goals and dreams for 2024.
12. Snowflake Bath Bombs
Your kids will look forward to coming in from playing in the snow if they get to jump into a warm tub infused with one of these snowflake bath bombs from The Afropolitan Mom. Scented with essential oils, they are safe for sensitive skin and can double as festive treats for friends and family.
13. No-Bake Bird Feeders
Get the kids out of the house (and give your cookie cutters some extra love) with these no-bake bird feeders from The Neighborhood Moms. Kids will get an up-close look at the wildlife that lives right in their backyard and learn compassion for them at the same time.
14. DIY Fleece Scarves
No need to break out the sewing machine for these cozy accessories! Mix and match prints with all the fleece that will be on sale after the holidays, then follow these straightforward instructions from Easy Peasy Creative. Your whole family can be twinning—and oh so warm—in no time.