The holiday season is supposed to be full of joy, but if you’re a mom on a budget, it can also feel financially stressful trying to keep the kids happy and occupied during the long winter months. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to have family fun and make memories this winter. There are so many great activities that are low-cost or completely free if you get a little creative!
In this post, I’ll share over 10 ideas to cure cabin fever and keep your little ones smiling without going into debt. We’ll cover both classic outdoor options and new indoor pursuits so you can mix and match activities based on the weather and your family’s interests. Follow along for tips on winter magic that won’t drain your wallet!
Outdoor Winter Activities On A Dime
- 1. Build Snow Creations
- 2. Go Sledding
- 3. Take A Winter Nature Walk
- 4. Ice Skating
- 5. Go Geocaching
Remember when you were a kid creating snowmen, forts, snow angels, and more? Relive the magic with your own kids! Head outside after a good snowfall and see what you can dream up together using this blank winter canvas. Have contests for the most creative snow sculptures.
A old-fashioned sledding session at a local hill is still a winter staple for all ages. If you don’t have sleds already, you can often find very inexpensive and gently used options at thrift stores. Pick a nice big hill, bundle everyone up, and enjoy an exhilarating free activity.
If cabin fever is setting in, get outside for a refreshing walk in a local park or nature area. Look for animal tracks in the snow, snap photos of icicles and snow-covered trees, and just enjoy the quiet serenity of winter. Stop for hot cocoa to warm back up after.
From outdoor community rinks to frozen ponds, lace up those skates for old-fashioned winter fun. Scout your area for free public skating spots or check sites like Groupon for deals on rink admissions. If you have access to a solidly frozen pond, make sure to test the ice first for safety.
Modern technology meets outdoor winter adventure with geocaching. Use a GPS device or phone app to find hidden caches cleverly stashed in parks and other winter wonderlands near you. It’s like a frosty treasure hunt!
Indoor pursuits for chilly days
- 6. Bake Up A Storm
- 7. Craft Winter Decor
- 8. Stage Winter Concerts & Plays
- 9. Construct Cozy Forts
- 10. Mix Up Homemade Hot Cocoa
- 11. Host Friends for Chili & Board Game Night
- 12. Screen Winter Classics
For many kids, time in the kitchen with mom whipping up sweet treats or fresh bread makes memories that last a lifetime. And you get delicious goodies without having to spend money eating out! Bake cookies, bread, or healthy snacks together while homebound on icy days.
Create beautiful wintery decorations for your home on a budget using supplies you likely already have at home. Paper snowflakes are holiday classic, or get creative with pine cones, ribbons, glitter, salt dough creations, and more! Display your homemade frosty masterpieces proudly.
Let those creative juices flow! Have the kids write a winter-themed play, song lyrics, or choreograph an interpretive dance piece and then put on performances for you. Craft props and costumes from stuff around the house for added fun.
On lazy weekends, challenge the kids to transform your living room into an epic blanket fort worthy of hibernating bears! Raid your linen closet for sheets, blankets, and pillows and watch their innovation at work. Then let imaginations run wild with stories and adventures inside.
For the ultimate winter comfort drink that kids love helping stir up, create gourmet hot chocolate flights at home. Use milk or non-dairy alternatives and get creative blending cocoa powders, spices like cinnamon, peppermint sticks, chocolate chips, homemade whipped cream, and other yummy mix-ins. Top with marshmallows!
For an inexpensive night in with friends, have everyone bring a potluck dish like chili, cornbread, salad, or treats to share. Supply hot cocoa and apple cider. Then break out classic board games for hours of free competitive fun! The kids will have a blast.
Make popcorn and snuggle up as a family to enjoy beloved funny and heart-warming winter-themed movies you likely already own or can borrow from your local library DVD selection. The classics never get old!
I hope this list sparks ideas to keep your kids smiling all winter without spending a fortune. With a little creativity, you can design magical moments they’ll remember for years to come – no huge credit card bills required! Simply spend time together doing activities you all enjoy.
What favorite cheap or free winter family fun would you add to this list? Share your ideas and advice in the comments to help other moms beat wintertime boredom in affordable style!