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free winter activities for kids

Cheap and Free Winter Activities for Kids

In this article I am going to share 61 fun cheap and free winter activities for kids and families! 

 

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61 Cheap and Free Winter Activities for Kids and Families

Honestly, even though I enjoy a lot of different winter activities for kids, I kind of dread the colder weather and being largely cooped up inside. During the summer (and the warmer parts of spring and fall) my kids spend much of the day outside in the backyard.

The kids still enjoy doing things outside during the winter, but it sometimes feels like the options are more limited when there is three inches of snow on the ground—or worse, when it’s just bitterly cold and there’s no snow to play in but instead just mud and slush and ice.

But there really are a lot of fun free and cheap winter activities for kids. Here I mention 61 of our favorite cheap and free winter activities for kids and families. 

 

Free and Cheap Winter Activities for Kids That You Can Do at Home

Build a snowman.

Make snow angels.

Make ice cream (use snow, milk, sugar, and any added flavorings of your choice).

Paint the snow (add a few drops of food coloring to water in a spray bottle—so fun for the kiddos!).

Make hot cocoa and make and decorate homemade donuts.

Make and decorate cookies.

Make banana splits or hot fudge sundaes.

Make caramel popcorn.

Make and decorate gingerbread men or gingerbread houses.

Play dolls or superheroes.

Play pirates or ships.

Build a race track and have a race.

Sing Christmas carols.

Sing other favorite songs.

Read together.

Read the Christmas story (the story of Christ’s birth), The Night before Christmas, or other favorite Christmas classics.

Watch a favorite Christmas movie.

Make or put up Christmas decorations.

Decorate the Christmas tree.

Help the kids plan and host a simple Christmas party for their friends.

Write and act out a simple play.

Color or marker together.

Play house (or family, as my five-year-old daughter likes to call it) or school or bakery (or ice cream shop—you get the idea J).

Go on a scavenger hunt.

Draw a map and go on a treasure hunt.

Paint together.

Do finger painting.

Have your children invite a handful of friends over to play simple games like “Duck, Duck, Goose,” “Musical Chairs,” “Hot Potato,” “London Bridges,” “Follow the Leader,” and so on.

Have a tea party.

Play dress-up.

Form a band (create or gather together simple musical instruments to play together as a family or with friends).

Dance together.

Do aerobics or other exercises together.

Do simple (sometimes edible) crafts together.

Give the kids a bubble bath.

Play age-appropriate board games and card games together.

Play with wooden blocks.

Play with marble tube games.

Play with plastic building blocks.

Do puzzles together.

Do chalk art.

Blow bubbles.

Build a fort out of chairs or sectional furniture and large sheets or blankets.

Let the kids help to make a simple meal.

Go “camping” in your family room for the night.

Watch a movie together (let your kids pick it).

Ask your children what they want to do, and then do it.

Free and Cheap Winter Activities for Kids on the Go

Go sledding or tubing.

Visit cousins or set up a play date with friends.

Go to a live Nativity or to an exhibit of Nativities.

Go to a free or inexpensive music or Christmas concert.

Drive around to see Christmas lights.

Go to an indoor pool.

Go out for (inexpensive) ice cream.

Go to a kid-friendly restaurant with a play area and buy ice cream or inexpensive food the kids can eat for a snack, and then let them play for an hour (or three).

Go to an inexpensive movie (dollar theater).

Bundle up and go for a walk (or short hike if you can do so safely).

Make simple snowshoes and go for a walk on the snow.

Visit free or inexpensive museums or aquariums (or go on a day when admission is free or reduced).

Go to activities or to read at the library.

Go to an inexpensive, indoor fun center or trampoline park.

 

Conclusion

Even though it’s cold outside, there are still a ton of free and cheap winter activities you can do to have fun with your kids and help keep them entertained (without sitting in front of the TV or other electronic device all evening long).

 

Let me know in the comments below the fun winter activities for kids that you and your family do during the colder months! I’d love to hear your ideas!

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