20 Ideas for your Winter Bucket List

The sunshine has mostly disappeared and the leaves have fallen off the trees, which can only mean that Winter is definitely closing in. Instead of just hiding out under the covers at home waiting for the snow to melt and the beach weather to return, take advantage of the change of season by creating a Winter Bucket List.

1. Go Ice Fishing

Bundle up, break out your portable seat and spend a relaxing (albeit chilly) day fishing for your dinner. This popular cold weather sport is done using tools like an ice auger, skimmer and gaff hook to catch an array of fish.

Cottage Life breaks the how-to down in their Beginner’s Guide to Ice Fishing. If you need a prime fishing spot for this bucket list adventure, check out Across & Abroad’s article on The World’s Best Ice Fishing Locations around the world.

Ice Fishing in the Winter
photo by Jason Derusha

2. Do the Polar Bear Plunge

The Polar Bear Plunge is an event where you submerge your entire body into a chilling water, typically to raise money for a charitable organization, but sometimes just for “fun”. Why not be a brave do-gooder this Winter, strip down to your skivvies and jump into freezing cold water for a good cause.

Take the Polar Plunge | Winter Bucket List
photo by Sebastien Barre

3. Build a Snowman

Do you remember how you used to love running outside at the sign of the first snowfall to build a snowman or make snow angels? Relive your childhood and create your own Frosty the Snowman. Don’t forget his nose!

Need some inspiration? See Smosh’s Most Awesomest Snowmen Ever! or Heavy’s 20 Funny Pictures of Not-Your-Typical Snowmen.

IMG_5674 (800x533)

4. See the Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is a famous two-act ballet that is primarily played during the holiday season. The ballet’s plot is based on the story “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice“, written by E.T.A. Hoffman, where the nutcracker leads his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice.

Winter Bucket List - See the Nutcracker Ballet
photo by Dizzy Girl

5. Ice Skate on a Lake

Frozen ponds, lakes or rivers can provide you with some of the most scenic ice skating rinks around the world. Glide along, enjoying the fresh air — score bonus bucket list points if you can learn to ice skate backwards.

Bucket List Things to do in the Winter: Ice Skate on the Lake
photo by Kevin Turinsky

6. Drive a Snowmobile

With thousands of miles of snowmobiling opportunity around the world, find your perfect location to hop on and whiz around the snow-filled, rolling hills.

Winter Bucket List: Snowmobile
photo by Visit Finland

7. Make a Gingerbread House

Spend an afternoon putting together a gingerbread house that is filled with all the sweets and treats of the season. This is such a fun activity to do with children!

Good Housekeeping has given us inspiration with 34 Amazing Gingerbread Houses or, for an easier option, you can purchase a pre-baked Gingerbread House kit and add your own goodies.

Winter Bucket List: Build a Gingerbread House
photo by Charles Tilford

8. Watch all the Oscar Winning Movies

Make some popcorn and cuddle on the couch with a blanket and start your bucket list quest to watch all the best picture Oscar winning movies ever made. A subscription to Netflix is a great way to accomplish this goal, they have almost every one available for rental!

Click here for a list of the Best Picture Winners.

Kamari's Open Air Cinema in Santorini

9. Learn to Snowboard

Put away those skis this season and try your hand at snowboarding, even if you only make it down the bunny slope. You can take a class at your favorite ski resort or the Snow Professor has made a helpful video to get you started, How to Snowboard: Step 1.

Winter Things to do: Snowboard
photo by ^bchu

10. Go on a Sleigh Ride

Rudolph may not be pulling the sleigh and Santa may not be riding on it with you, but take a quiet sleigh ride through the winter wilderness. Add a cozy blanket and some hot chocolate to make this a ride to remember.

Winter Bucket List: Take a Sleigh Ride
photo by Sterling College

11. Donate Toys

There are so many needy families around the world, and many of them have young children who would miss out on the joy of Christmas if it weren’t for a generous helping hand. For this Winter Bucket List idea gather toys and donate them to a good cause to put a big smile on a child’s face. I organize a successful Toys for Tots drive at my restaurant, but there are other amazing organizations, like The Salvation Army or United Way.

Christmas Bucket List: Donate Toys
photo by The U.S. Army

12. Sleep in an Ice Hotel

How many opportunities in life will you have to sleep in a room made of ice? At Hotel de Glace in Quebec City or ICEHOTEL in Northern Sweden you can spend the night in a room made entirely of, you guessed it, ice. Don’t worry they will bundle you up in a cozy sleeping bag and you won’t be too cold as long as you stay in it.

Things to do this Winter: Sleep in an Ice Hotel
photo by bjaglin

13. Attend a Hockey Game

Spend an afternoon surrounded by screaming fans, watching hockey players swoosh by, in an action pack game. With any luck you will be able to catch a flying hockey puck and keep it as a souvenir.

Winter Hockey Game
photo by Fredrik Selander

14. Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas

Typically, Miracle on 34th Street is the go-to holiday flick, but this year mix it up and watch Charlie, Linus and the gang rescue a sad Christmas tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas movie.

Watch Charlie Brown Christmas
photo by Kevin Dooley

15. Have a Snowball Fight

Gather a group of friends and give your throwing arm a workout by having a playful snowball fight.

WikiHow will show you How to Make the Perfect Snowball in 5 Steps.

Have a Snowball Fight | Winter Bucket List
photo by Joe Newman

16. Take a Snowshoe Hike

Strap on some snowshoes and hike through the snow covered pines.  Snowshoe Magazine can help you out with its First-Timer’s Guide to Snowshoeing and Matador Network gives you 10 Amazing Places to Snowshoe in North America.

Snowshoe | Winter Things to Do
photo by Travel Manitoba

17. Spend a White Christmas in a Cozy Cabin

Being from Northern California, from a city sans snow, it had always been on my Winter Bucket List to spend a white Christmas holed up in a quaint little cabin. The Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite Valley was where this goal got checked off. We woke up surrounded by a pure blanket of white and you could too.

To find your perfect cabin check out The World’s Sexiest Winter Lodges by Concierge.com or Travel and Leisure’s Best Winter Lodges.

Read > A Very White Christmas in Yosemite Valley

Snowy barn in Yosemite

18. Make a Pine Cone Wreath

Get the hot glue gun out and get a little creative by making a pine cone wreath to hang on your front door. Pinterest is loaded with plenty of creative ideas and Examiner.com has 10 Pinecone Wreaths You Can Make at Home.
Make a Pine Cone Wreath | Christmas Bucket List
photo by Avelino Maestas

19. Take a Christmas Light Tour

Grab some peppermint hot chocolate, put some holiday music on the car radio and take a Christmas light tour of your neighborhood or downtown area.

See the Christmas Lights | Winter Bucket List
photo by Eugenijus Radlinskas

20. Dogsled

This Winter see what all the barking is about and take a dog sledding tour through the snowy wilderness. USA Today lists 10 Great Places to go Dog Sledding and TreeHugger gives us 5 Destinations for Dog Sledding Around the World.

Winter Bucket List: Go Dog Sledding
photo by Frank Kovalchek

Which of these ideas will you add to your Winter Bucket List?