Winter Bucket List: 20 Fun Things to Do

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 filled with fun things to do.

Winter Bucket List: Fun Winter Things to do, see, eat and experience

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.

Annette White snowboarding in Glacier Country Montana

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.

Annette White Snowshoeing in Glacier National Park in Western Montana

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 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 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.

Intuit Dogs while Dogsledding in Bigfork Montana

Annette White Dogsledding in Bigfork Montana

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


Christmas Bucket List: 45 Things to Do This Holiday to Get You in the Spirit
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10 Incredible Ways a Bucket List Can Improve Your Life
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How to Make a Bucket List: 5 Easy Steps to Create a Great One
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The Ultimate Bucket List Resource Guide
Life List: 100 Amazing Things to Do Before You Die
Couples Bucket List: 23 Must Do Experiences

2018-05-06T20:34:49+00:00 November 9th, 2014|Categories: BUCKET LISTS|Tags: |


  1. Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog November 10, 2014 at 4:47 am - Reply

    Great list! And the photo of the dog sledding is amazing.

    I’m staying (mostly) at home in the run-up to Christmas this year, though I will definitely be checking out the Christmas lights and windows in London in a couple of weeks time. But then for New Year, I’m heading to New York – will definitely have to go ice skating in Central Park! (I think it’s going to be a very steep learning curve…)

    • Annette White November 11, 2014 at 12:38 am - Reply

      I bet the lights in London are AMAZING! Going ice skating in Central Park would definitely make my Winter bucket list 🙂

  2. Liane November 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    These are all great ideas for winter! I would love to sleep in an Ice hotel. But also driving a snowmobile must be so much fun. A snowball fight will definitely be on my winter bucket list! 🙂 Annette, what’s your personal favorite?

    • Annette White November 13, 2014 at 2:05 am - Reply

      Staying in an Ice Hotel or dog sledding would be my number ones!!

  3. Jessica November 14, 2014 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Growing up in Wisconsin, hockey, ice fishing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing were ways of life in the winter!! Wasn’t much else to do 🙂 For that reason I’ve never thought of them as bucket list activities but I guess they would be for those who haven’t lived in the frozen tundra, hahahaha.
    How about making hot holiday cocktails? Hot toddys, mulled wine…hmmm I think I know what I’m doing tonight!

    • Annette White November 15, 2014 at 10:09 am - Reply

      Loving the idea of making holiday cocktails for the Winter Bucket List. May need to make an addition to this list!

  4. Maaaz khan November 15, 2014 at 4:53 am - Reply

    now i’m going to central park for ice skating…thanks for sharing..

  5. itsgoa November 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    pic of ice skating was awesome…

  6. Kieu November 25, 2014 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    i want to build a snowman.. totally humming Disneys Frozen when I typed that lol

  7. Amanda December 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    These are all such good ideas, especially since I go to school in northern Utah, where it is cold and snowy all. winter. long. After we all check these items off our winter bucketlist, if anyone is interested in a winter escape, the student magazine I am a part of wrote a fun travel article about winter getaways in Germany. Here’s the link if anyone wants to check it out!

    • Annette White December 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Funny, but I’ve never thought about Utah as wintery. I may need to head there (& Germany) for some snowy fun!

  8. Wafa Hozien December 8, 2014 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Snowshoe! Have to try that one. Loved your list, it is full of adventure. Can I add one to it? Eat a snowflake! As snow is coming down, stick out your tongue. Build an Igloo/fort to go with that snowman.

    • Annette White December 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      I love those additions! I am in Germany right now and there is a chance of snow today, so I am going to try to eat a snowflake today.

  9. Way One Travel December 28, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

    I like your post, great work!
    I will add sleeping in an Ice Hotel to my checklist

  10. arena leo January 2, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Great 20list

    Travel book make you explore what other have experienced
    but Traveling make your explore what you have experienced.This 20 list is amazing and one should experience it all.Thanks for list.

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