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, strap on your snow boots, put on some gloves, and take advantage of the change of season by creating a Winter Bucket List filled with cold-weather activities and fun things to do.
A Bucket List Full of Fun Winter Activities & Things to Do When it’s Cold
1. ✧ Host a Football Party
Tis’ the season for…football! Invite all your friends over to root for your favorite team. Don’t worry about the food because Southern Living’s Favorite Game Day Recipes and Food Network’s Game Day Party Recipes has you covered. From mozzarella sticks to Italian stuffed Jalapenos, even if your team is not victorious at least the food will be good.
2. ✧ Make Homemade Hot Chocolate
There’s nothing quite like sipping some hot cocoa while watching a fire blazing. It’s the perfect way to write your bucket list (hint, hint)! You can make yourself a simple Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate or spruce it up by whipping up a Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. Don’t forget to sip it in your favorite bucket list mug from our buck & co. shop!
3. ✧ 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 Matador’s article on The World’s Best Ice Fishing Locations around the world.
4. ✦ Perfect Your Chili Recipe
Chili is one of the most loved dishes in the winter season. so now is the time perfect your chili recipe. It will give you the opportunity to wow your guests at your next dinner party, but there’s nothing wrong with eating an entire bowl to yourself.
Here’s the one I spent a year perfecting: Best-Ever Homemade Beef & Mushroom Chili Recipe
5. ✦ Go Dogsledding
This Winter see what all the barking is about and take a dog sledding tour through the snowy wilderness. There are sledding opportunities all over the world, CNN lists their top picks and TreeHugger gives us 5 Destinations for Dog Sledding Around the World. I took two thrilling rides, once in Montana and once in Norway!
6. ✦ Start a Scrapbook
Yes, scrapbooking is still a thing and makes for one of the best winter activities for adults or kids. Besides isn’t it about time that you did something with all those boxes of unorganized photos?
If you think you are not creative enough there are plenty of page ideas on the internet. Check these ones out: Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners: 25 Inspiring Layouts and 33 Cool DIY Scrapbook Ideas You Have To Try. Or for something even easier just buy a page kit that has everything you need.
7. ✦ Build a Snowman (Or Snow Angel)
Escape to a winter wonderland to make a snow angel or build a good old fashioned Frosty. Have fun plopping yourself right into the snow, waving your arms and legs to create the perfect angel or stacking big balls on top of each other for a jolly snowman (don’t forget the carrot nose, hat and stick arms!). Bucket list bonus if you do both!
For help read The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Snowman and just for fun here’s 31 Epic Snowman Designs. For a super easy option just buy a kit.
8. ✦ Keep a Gratitude Journal
A great thing to do is start each morning by listing five things you are grateful for. In the beginning it will probably be a struggle to come up with a mere five, being wrapped up in a world full of fear can disguise the good in your life. Think hard. Did you just drink a deliciously warm cup of coffee? Or did you connect with a friend by text? Or enjoy a heartwarming movie on television? There is always something to be grateful for—always.
Need help with coming up with things to be grateful for? Read my article on Being Grateful: 100 Things to Be Thankful For Today
9. ✦ Binge Watch a TV Series
How about getting in your comfy jammies, grabbing a cup of hot chocolate and spending chill time binge watching a fun TV series? This is an easy way to spend time together with the kids, as a couple or even solo.
From comedy to suspense, Netflix and/or Amazon Prime has everything to offer so you can have fun watching back-to-back episodes! It can be a TV show that you’ve loved and are eager to watch again or maybe you’d like to try out a new one.
Schitt’s Creek, Friends and Grey’s Anatomy are pretty popular series, but if you are struggling to find a show, then the 33 of the best TV shows to binge-watch list will help you out.
10. ✦ 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.
11. ✦ Go Tubing or Sledding
Who doesn’t love sledding down the mountain? It’s one of those winter activities that’s fun for the whole family. So, find a snowy hill (or ski resort who offers other activities besides skiing) and take a fun ride down!
12. ✦ Soak in a Natural Hot Springs
There’s nothing quite like soaking in a warm body of water while the weather outside is chilly. Research natural hot springs nearby, and take a road trip to soak in one.
Not only is it relaxing, but they are known to improve blood flow and offer glowing skin at your fingertips—bonus! If you can’t find a natural one, do the next best thing at find an outdoor hot tub at a local spa.
13. ✦ See the Nutcracker Ballet
Whether it’s just on a small local stage or a big city production, a quintessential thing to do during the holidays is to escape into a dreamland with the exquisite ballet performance of the Nutcracker. This classic Christmas story is centered around a young girl’s Christmas Eve celebration and is a must thing to do at least once in your lifetime!
14. ✦ Read by the Fire
The fire is even better when you have a great book to read. Amazon even has hundreds of free books to download to your Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? No problem, just download the Kindle app to your smartphone or tablet (you can even download my book on Amazon—shameless plus!). Like to flip the pages of a book? Hit up your local thrift store where you can typically pick up a paperback for under a dollar.
If you love the classics then check of the Classic Books Bucket List: 25 of the Best Must-Read Novels
15. ✧ 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.
16. ✧ CAMP OUT IN THE FAMILY ROOM
How fun would it be for the whole family to have an evening camping in the living room? Move the furniture out of the way and set up a pop up tent right in the middle of the room. Then gather up you pillows, blankets, snacks, books and any other for activities you want to do while you are disconnected.
17. ✧ MAKE A POT OF MULLED WINE
Mulled wine, also known as glühwein, is a warm, spiced drink that is a huge hit in the winter months. It’s really easy to make and Country Living has shared 25 easy mulled wine recipes to warm you up.
18. ✦ KNIT A SCARF OR HAT
For beginner knitters, scarves make easy projects and can be worn in a variety of ways to cover up any silly mistakes. Plus, those who master the art, won’t ever need to buy Christmas presents again!
You can find several different How-To videos on YouTube, but this step-by-step video on How to Knit a Scarf for Beginners is one of the best.
19. ✧ 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.
20. ✦ TAKE A COOKING CLASS
Being a restaurant owner and chef, I enjoy taking cooking classes when traveling around the world (but, you could also find some close to home).
If you are looking for the best class in a different country or for a cooking school vacation, check out these articles:
21. ✦ 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 some bonus bucket list points if you can learn to ice skate backwards.
If you can’t find a lake or such, outdoor ice skating rinks start popping up everywhere during the winter season-even in places that have no snow! Put on a pair of blades and glide around the rink. Don’t forget to follow it up with a cup of hot cocoa.
22. ✧ MAKE APPLE CIDER
Only second to hot chocolate, apple cider is a great way to stay warm when the weather is not. It only takes a few ingredients and this easy hot apple cider will give you a cup in less than half an hour.
23. ✧ HAVE A BONFIRE
Who doesn’t love sitting next to a warm fire pit when it’s cold outside? Call your friends and gather your family for an exciting outdoor bonfire experience. You can sit around the flames, tell ghost stories, and enjoy your favorite food at the same time.
For an extra bucket list worthy experience, you can do some outdoor camping at the same time, and enjoy a starry night.
24. ✧ HAVE AN INDOOR PICNIC
Picnics aren’t just for the outdoors—clear a space on your living room floor and recreate a memorable dining experience. You can even pack a traditional wicker basket with your favorite picnic foods and enjoy the feast without going too far.
25. ✦ DECORATE SUGAR COOKIES
Decorating sugar cookies will be the perfect thing to do with your kids, though my husband and I had a blast doing it on our own! Just follow Alton Brown’s perfect sugar cookie recipe, then pick any cookie cutter shape you desire. The best part is that you can eat the outcome of your activity. Fun!
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the traditional gingerbread cookie cutter, but there are also tons of other fun shapes—like these:
26. ✧ Do a Family Winter Photo Shoot
Any time you can get the entire family together it is a blessing, but a photo memory of the event is even better! If you are stumped for theme ideas check out 50 Family Photoshoot Ideas and 100 Fun Family Photo Ideas.
27. ✦ Do a Random Act of Kindness
Random acts of kindness are some of the most fulfilling and most humane and human things you could ever do. Especially when it is done for a complete stranger.
- Donate some food
- Pay the bridge toll for the person behind you
- Go to an animal orphanage and help out for the day
- Feed someone’s parking meter.
The possibilities are endless. The best way to approach this is to look at your local community and see what it is they need the most. Or check out my post for ideas: 75 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas: Examples of Kind Things to Do.
28. ✧ Drive a Snowmobile
Do you love speed and exciting activities? Driving a snowmobile can help with that, and will serve as the perfect addition to your winter bucket list.With thousands of miles of snowmobiling opportunities around the world, find your perfect location to hop on and tear through the snow-filled, rolling hills.
29. ✦ Have a Game night
Stay in for the evening, get cozy in your jammies and have a game night marathon. There are different games for all ages, but Bingo and Scrabble are favorites for almost friends and everyone in the family (this bingo set comes with everything you need!).
You can make it even more fun by adding prizes for the winner, like store gift cards, candies or extra TV time for the kids.
My favorite adult game night involves a few fierce rounds of Cards Against Humanity, but Smart Ass and Drink-A-Palooza will also make it a lively night. If you want to make your game night more family friendly for the kids then look at these family games. Still unsure of which games to play? Check out this list: Board Games Bucket List: 50 of the All Time Best Ones to Play
30. ✦ 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 (like me!). Make the most out of your experience by staying at a cozy lodge and enjoy some apres-skiing at the end of the day. Or should I say apres-snowboarding?
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.
31. ✦ Bake a Pie
There’s an art to making the best homemade pie. It’s all about the fruit inside, creating the perfect pie crust and making it with a touch of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s apples, lemons or peaches – choose whatever is sure to make your mouth water.
32. ✧ 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.
33. ✦ Go Bowling
Yes, you can go bowling anytime of the year, but bowling during the winter season is a great way to escape the chilly weather outside. You can enjoy removing your layers of winter clothes, putting on those oh-so-cute shoes and taking your best shot at getting a strike. Bonus bucket list points if you bowl a turkey—three strikes in a row!
34. ✧ Volunteer at a Food Kitchen
There is nothing better than giving back to society, and the cold winter season is the perfect time to volunteer at a food kitchen and help those in need. You can also donate winter clothes and items during the season, but volunteering at a food kitchen will let you connect with society and do your part in making it better for everyone.
You can serve hot soup and delicious food to those who do not have anyone to care for them. Do a good deed this winter season.
35. ✦ Relax at a Spa
Whether you have had a long and exhausting day or an easy breezy one, relaxing at a spa is the perfect solution. You can not only relax your tense muscles, but the steam-filled spa experience will also offer a comfortable sensation amidst the winter season. You can get glowing skin, sweat out impurities, relax your muscles, and let the steam take your mind off the winter season.
36. ✦ Visit a Museum in Your Town
Sometimes we take for granted what is in our own backyards. I am definitely guilty of this—don’t be like me! Do some research of local museums and then make a plan to visit one. You can roam through the rooms discovering new things on your own or participate in an educational tour.
37. ✦ Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
So you’re indoors and it’s cold outside. Brainteasers are the perfect winter activity for those who enjoy a challenge, and completing a jigsaw puzzle is one of them. Grab some apple cider (or a bottle of wine) and spend some quality time sitting around the table looking through and joining the tiny pieces.
Not sure what puzzle to complete? Check out the best 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles for adults (& tips to complete one)
38. ✦ CATCH SNOWFLAKES ON YOUR TONGUE
Who doesn’t love watching the snowfall? Awaken your inner child and try catching a snowflake on your tongue!
39. ✧ STICK TO AN INDOOR WORKOUT ROUTINE
Have you been trying to get yourself into shape for years now? Well, take advantage of the coming winter season, and stick to a regular workout routine. It doesn’t have to be a really difficult or challenging one. YouTube is filled to the brim with workout videos and channels, making it easy to work out for free at home!
At most you’d have to purchase some basic weights and a yoga mat, but that small investment will be worth it. With workout styles varying from yoga and pilates to dancing, weight lifting and even boxing, you are bound to find a fit for your fitness routine. Blogilates and Popsugar Fitness are excellent channels to start from.
40. ✦ SLEEP IN AN ICE HOTEL
Each year in different chilly locations around the world, hotels are built from natural ice and snow. The IceHotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden and The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel that is nestled in the wilderness of Northern Norway are two of the best. They both are art exhibitions as much as hotels, where the canvases span from floor to ceiling.
Spend the night in one of their negative-five-degree rooms, where you will be surrounded by artistically chiseled ice. It’s a bonus that there is also a chance of seeing the Northern Lights from either location!
41. ✦ Write a Thank You Note to Someone Who Deserves It
So often people want to tell a company or friend how they feel when they are not satisfied. Instead write a thank you to show your appreciation for a job well done.
Writing your note on a simple sheet of paper is fine, but stocking up on blank greeting cards may be a good idea instead. I bought these cute blank bird greeting cards which are perfect for a bunch of different occasions, including a simple thank you.
42. ✧ 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.
43. ✦ Make Homemade Soup
There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day. So whip up one of your favorites and enjoy it with some of that crusty bread you also made.
44. ✧ Have a Pajama Day
It’s a luxury to be able to spend all day in your PJs and you’ve already got plenty of great ideas listed here to make your pajama day complete! Put on your most comfy pair and opt to watch movies, play games or just eat lots of yummy food.
45. ✦ Try a New Restaurant
Let’s face it—we tend to get stuck in our same restaurant routines. eating at the same handful of places. Break out of that routine and try something new! It could be a place similar to your favorite Mexican joint, or an entirely different cuisine that you have never tried before.
46. ✦ Bake Cookies
Who doesn’t like a home filled with the smells of fresh-baked cookies? It doesn’t matter whether it’s snickerdoodles, oatmeal raisin or simple chocolate chips, spend an entire day just baking. Make it even more fun by inviting friends and family to participate.
For some delicious cookie ideas see the Epicurious’ 113 Favorite Cookie Recipes (and send me a dozen of the spiced molasses cookies!). Don’t forget the cookie sheets! The Rachael Ray Yum-o! Nonstick Pans are amazing, or at least get yourself some silicone baking mats that make the process so much easier!
47. ✧ DIY Snow Globes
Who doesn’t love a good winter snow globe? You don’t need to spend lots of money on one because it’s pretty easy to make your own and is one of the best activities for families!
Some of the best DIY snow globes for you to make:
- 13 DIY Snow Globes That Will Get You Excited For Christmas
- Cute Personalize Photo Snow Globe
- Whimsical Flamingo Snow Globe
48. ✦ Clean Out & Organize Your Closet
It is surprisingly rewarding to be able to purge some clothes, plus it is purely a bonus that you can donate or consign them! If you are anything like me then it’s pretty hard to decide what to keep and what to give away, so either ask yourself Marie Kondo’s mantra, “does it bring you joy?” or use these 17 Invaluable Tips For Anybody With Too Many Clothes.
49. ✦ Spend the Night in a Cozy Cabin
Whether it’s in the middle of the forest or atop a snowy mountain, there’s nothing quite like being holed up in a cozy little cabin. I checked this off my winter bucket list in California’s Yosemite Valley where on Christmas morning we woke up surrounded by a blanket of white. It was dreamy.
To find your perfect cabin check out Travel and Leisure’s Best Winter Lodges. Read More: Yosemite Valley Bucket List: 9 Best Things to Do in the Winter
50. ✧ Make an Ice Sculpture
I’ll be honest, you might need to sign up for a class to complete this bucket list goal, but it will be worth it! You can pick the perfect shape, learn how to use all the tools required, and build yourself a frozen masterpiece. Make sure to take a class close to a time when you are having a party or attending one so you can show off your work of art!
51. ✦ 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.
52. Bake a Loaf of Bread
Did you ever have a loaf of bread that was so good that you wanted to make your own? Well, now is the time to get your hands on this experience, and you can use the coming winter seasons to learn how to bake a loaf of bread. Get the ingredients, watch an online tutorial, call someone for help, and taste your first slice of bread.
53. ✦ 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.
54. ✧ Create a Winter Song Playlist
Music is a great way to get you geared up for any season, especially one made for chilly days spent by the fire. If you have young children, make sure you keep them entertained with music and educational songs that are suited to their age so they have the opportunity to carry on learning through the winter.
You can check out this channel on YouTube for suggestions.
Having a hard time thinking of songs for adults? Spotify has made it easy with this Winter Chill playlist.
55. ✦ Send a Care Package to a Soldier
Sending a care package to a soldier is the best idea for any season, but especially during all the winter holidays. It was one of my most memorable bucket list checks (I did it on my birthday!) and you can get some tips from my article.
56. ✦ Have a Snowball Fight
With so much fresh snow outside can you really restrict yourself only to the indoors. Get outside for a good old fashioned snowball fight! Invite some friends, make teams and let’s see who wins the war of snow.
Don’t get out there unarmed, learn How to Make the Perfect Snowball first!
57. ✦ Make Your New Year Bucket List
Take a look at your master bucket list and determine which of those goals will be high priority in the new year. If you don’t have a bucket list yet, then you’ve come to the right place!
Here are some articles to help you:
- How to Make a Bucket List: 5 Easy Steps to Create a Great One
- 1000+ Ideas for Your Bucket List
- 10 Incredible Ways a Bucket List Can Improve Your Life
- 5 Tips to Help Conquer Your Bucket List
- Bucket List Meaning: What’s the Definition and What is it?
58. ✧ Make a Pine Cone Wreath for Your Front Door
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 A Piece of Rainbow has a step-by-step guide.
59. ✦ Take a Warm Bubble Bath
Warm bubble baths are not just for the children with rubber duckies, they are a relaxing way for adults to destress. It’s a nice way treat yourself! Turn on some tunes, light a candle and let your anxieties dissolve along with the salts and bath bombs.
60. ✧ Donate Warm Mittens & Jackets to a Homeless Shelter
Think about other people this winter season who can’t afford to buy warm mittens and jackets. Do your best to help out by collecting and donating these much needed items. It will not only be helpful to them, but it will make you feel good.
61. ✦ Find You Favorite Tea
Tea is your soulmate during the harsh winds of the winter season, and it is time you find the perfect herbal soulmate for yourself. Some people love chamomile tea, while others adore the oolong tea. I love jasmine green tea. What do you love? If you haven’t found the perfect tea for you the Twinings Tea Bag Sampler Set has over 20 different kinds to choose from!
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