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Cheap and Free Winter Activities for Kids

In this article I am going to share 75+ fun cheap and free winter activities for kids and families!

These are great ideas for cheap and free winter activities that will help you keep your kiddos entertained throughout the winter months! Find both activities to do at home and activities to do when you are ready to get out of the house and enjoy some outdoor fun or fun on the go!

And you can definitely use this list of fun cheap and free winter activities to make an awesome winter bucket list for your family!


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75+ 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 more than 75 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 (or a whole snow family!).

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.

Do a hot cocoa bar, where you get out all of your favorite hot cocoa toppings: marshmallows, candy canes, peppermint candies, whipped cream, and so on.

Make and decorate Christmas cookies.

Make banana splits or hot fudge sundaes.

Make caramel popcorn.

Make and decorate gingerbread men or gingerbread houses.

Make Christmas cards for family or friends.

Play dolls or superheroes.

Play pirates or ships.

Build a race track and have a race.

Sing Christmas carols.

Sing other favorite Christian songs.

Read the Bible together.

Read the Christmas story (the story of Christ’s birth, such as from Luke 2), The Night before Christmas, or other favorite Christmas classics.

Make a gratitutde chain or box, where you have your children write down one thing each evening that they are grateful, and add it to the chain or box.

Decorate Christmas stockings that you get from the dollar store (or another store).

Watch a favorite Christmas movie.

Do a family Christmas movie marathon.

Make Christmas-colored (red and green) pancakes or waffles.

Make Christmas-colored Jell-o waffle cookies (they’re delish!).

Make a Christmas bucket list, and schedule time to do your top Christmas-related activities.

Plan a family campout under the Christmas tree.

Make or put up Christmas decorations.

Decorate the Christmas tree.

Make homemade Christmas tree ornaments.

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

Write and act out a simple Christmas or other play.

Act out the Christmas story (the story of the birth of Christ).

Color or marker together, such as a Nativity or winter scene.

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 :)).

Make construction-paper chains out of green and red paper to count down the days until Christmas.

Make dinner, a plate of cookies, or another treat to share with a neighbor.

Go on a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt.

Go on a treasure hunt for candy canes. (Like an Easter egg hunt.)

Draw a map and go on a treasure hunt to find ornaments (nonbreakable) or other fun items.

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.

Learn about Saint Nicholas (you can learn all about Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus here).

Celebrate St. Nick’s Day.

Write letters to Santa (and if you want your child to receive a reply from Santa, go here to learn how!).

Have a chocolate fondue fountain.

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

Dance together.

Host a simple Christmas luau.

Do aerobics or other exercises together.

Do simple (sometimes edible) Christmas (or other) crafts together.

Give the kids a bubble bath.

Play age-appropriate board games and card games together. (Check out these fun Christmas-themed games!)

Build the town of Bethlehem or a Nativity scene out of wooden blocks.

Play with marble tube games.

Build a winter scene out of plastic building blocks.

Do Christmas, winter, or other puzzles together.

Do chalk art to build a winter or Christmas-related picture.

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.


Final Thoughts on the Best Winter Activities for Kids

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 free and cheap 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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