- Maintaining a healthy routine and finding activities to keep yourself busy while stuck indoors during the winter season may help alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
- Adults and kids alike can benefit both mentally and physically from regularly staying active indoors when unable to venture outside.
- Use your time inside as an opportunity to strengthen or build bonds between family members by planning fun and engaging activities for the whole family to enjoy.
11 Fun Indoor Winter Activities For Families
The winter season, while sometimes a welcome relief from the intense heat of summer, can be somewhat mundane and stressful. The holidays are certainly a time of joy, but running around here and there quickly builds up stress. Not to mention, once the holidays are finished, there are still a few months of bitter cold left to endure. Trapped inside by cold weather, many people may experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs due to the change in seasons. Finding ways to have fun indoors and maintain a healthy routine can be a great way to improve symptoms of SAD and relieve stress. After all, inclement weather and illnesses may also lead to increased stress during the wintertime.
In this article, we will cover a variety of indoor winter activities for families that appeal to all ages and lifestyles. Whether you have an adventurous family or one that prefers some well-earned rest and relaxation, our winter activities list will inspire you to make the most of your winter season, even when you’re stuck inside.
Fun Indoor Winter Activities For Adults
Let’s begin by talking about some fun indoor winter activities for adults. After all, the kids can’t have all the fun by themselves! Whether it’s commuting to work in cold weather, shoveling snow, or even hanging decorations, spending too much time outside in winter is not only dangerous, but a major source of stress. Use these indoor winter activities for adults to find some much needed respite from the cold and have fun doing it!
- 1. Redesign your space. Do you have projects you’ve been meaning to start around the house, but you’ve never found the opportunity to do them? Well, what better time than winter? Take advantage of your time spent indoors by rearranging the furniture in your office, living room, or bedroom to refresh your mind and keep the home feeling lively. In a season where you may already be feeling down, the mental health benefits of brightening up your living space can’t be underestimated, especially when it comes to giving yourself a sense of accomplishment and harmony (1).
- 2. Experiment with recipes. Hop online or snag a cookbook to find some new recipes that utilize fresh winter ingredients. Grapefruit, kiwis, mandarins, oranges, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and more are all available during the winter season (2). Vegetables make great additions to soups, stews, and casseroles, while fruits can make a refreshing smoothie. And, since winter is the season of warm beverages, you may even want to try your hand at becoming a stay-at-home barista by brewing your favorite coffee or tea!
Fun Indoor Winter Activities For Couples
Don’t let the chilly weather freeze your romance! There are tons of fun indoor winter activities for couples to do together too. After all, the possibilities for fun are truly endless when spending time with someone you love. We’ve taken the liberty of providing a few indoor date ideas below to help get your romantic inspiration flowing.
- 3. Try a new hobby. Getting into a new hobby is oftentimes much easier and more fun when you have a buddy. Whether it’s painting, crafting, writing, reading, or learning a new instrument or language, you’ll benefit from having someone you trust alongside you to share in your new experiences. Plus, your enthusiasm to stick with your new hobby will be bolstered by being able to discuss your interests in depth with your favorite person!
- 4. Throw a party. Parties are excellent indoor winter activities for couples who love to entertain. It can be as casual or as formal as you like, whether it’s a simple game night or a themed affair featuring decorations and costumes. Working together with your significant other and bringing both sides of your friends and family under one roof is a great way to bond as a couple and learn more about each other at the same time.
Having fun indoors doesn’t necessarily have to mean staying home. There are plenty of indoor facilities you can venture to for a day of fun with the whole family as well. A quick web search should reveal indoor activity places like the ones listed below near your location!
- 5. Indoor amusement park. You can find safe and fun indoor amusement parks all over the country. Though they may not have the same gravity-defying rides as outdoor parks, indoor parks still have plenty to offer for a day out in the winter. Bumper cars, carousels, scramblers, and even spooky rides provide a variety of activities for family members of all ages to enjoy. Not to mention, the bright lights, games, and prizes galore are sure to make any child’s eyes light up with excitement.
- 6. Indoor snow room. A somewhat recent trend in winter wellness, indoor snow rooms allow you to experience the benefits of exposure to cold weather without any danger of overdoing it. Exposure to cold temperatures has been used to improve both inflammation and blood flow, but plunging the body into ice water is often too intense of a sensation for most people to enjoy (3). Indoor snow rooms provide a more comfortable cool environment that accomplishes the same effect without jarring the senses. It’s also simply a fun and unique experience to be able to play with snow indoors.
- 7. Indoor playground. Similar to an indoor amusement park, indoor playgrounds are excellent places for children to run off extra energy and socialize with friends. This can be especially helpful among indoor physical activities for 3-5 year olds, as they will most likely be able to take advantage of all the play equipment.
Indoor Activities For Kids
Winter can be a little challenging for parents, as kids are unable to expend their excess energy by playing outside when it’s too snowy, icy, or cold. However, indoor activities for kids can be just as engaging as playing outside, especially when they stimulate both the mind and the body. Check out our list below if you find yourself in need of some fun and free indoor activities for kids this winter season.
- 8. Find a new board game, card game, or puzzle. There is certainly no shortage of indoor games for kids, especially when it comes to video games. But, if you’re looking to reduce your family’s overall screen time, card games and board games are an excellent and engaging alternative. Board games are available in all manner of skill levels and interests, so search around for one that fits your family’s playstyle. Even simply working on a jigsaw puzzle together while listening to music or an audiobook can be a great way to spend quality time with the family screen-free.
- 9. Build a fort. Working together to build a fort not only teaches kids about collaboration and sharing, but it can also be a great form of educational activities for kids. For example, you could theme your adventure around a certain habitat and teach your children some facts about the animals living there. Or pretend your fort is a time machine and travel to a different era of history to help immerse kids in the events that happened then. The possibilities are endless, so indulge your children’s interests and remember to have fun!
Winter Break Activities During Covid
Being cooped up in your home for winter break may sound maddening at first, but there are still plenty of things to do at home during covid-19 that you might not have the opportunity to do otherwise. It’s a chance to spend a little extra time with family while keeping yourself and others safe. If you’re stuck on how to make lasting memories with your loved ones this season, consider trying some of these winter break activities during covid.
- 10. Family sleepover. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to lounge around in your pajamas all day long. Turn staying home into a fun family sleepover accompanied by snacks, warm drinks, cozy pajamas, movies, and maybe even a few games. If you’re feeling extra creative, you might even adhere to a wintry or holiday theme and plan some crafting activities to do with the kids as well.
- 11. Living room olympics. If laidback movie marathons aren’t your style, try hosting your very own living room olympics! Come up with different challenges or create obstacle courses out of furniture and cushions for family members to compete against one another. At the end of the day, you can even hold a closing ceremony with the winners getting some sort of special treat or prize. This is a great way to help kids burn energy without having to bundle up and head outside.
- “Why Rearranging Your Space Can Make You Feel Better.” WPM Real Estate Management, 2 January 2019, https://www.1111lightstreet.com/blog/why-rearranging-your-space-can-make-you-feel-better.
- “7 Tips for Staying Healthy Over Winter.” Heart Foundation, 2022, https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/blog/7-tips-for-staying-healthy-over-winter.
- Brenninger, Sarah. “Indoor Snow Rooms Offer Winter Wellness Benefits All Year Long.” Well Defined, 1 June 2021, https://welldefined.com/indoor-snow-rooms-offer-winter-wellness-benefits-all-year-long.
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