For those not fortunate enough to winter in Costa Rica, you may be wondering what you’re going to do with all those dark, cold hours. Winter is a fantastic season to get your hygge on, but too much time spent indoors been known to drive kids stir crazy. Fear not. We’ve got more winter activity ideas than you can shake a three-foot icicle at.
On an overnight camping trip, you’d just toast a few marshmallows, tell some ghost stories, and that would be it. A whole winter, however, can present challenges as far as filling all that time goes.
Whether you have a minimalist cabin in the woods or an elegant home designed with a rustic feel, the activities below should present you and your family with countless hours of ideas and fun for inside your warm cabin and outside in the snow.
Winter Activities for the Mind
Just because you’re not camping, this doesn’t mean you can’t have some marshmallows. If you have a fireplace, that’ll do just fine. You get bonus points if you make some hot chocolate to go with them or even better, make s’mores.
While you’re preparing those marshmallows, why not have someone read a story? Reading aloud is great practice for the kids and can help increase their language skills. You can help them with difficult pronunciations and quiz them on the meanings of different words.
Board games are always an excellent indoor activity, especially if they challenge the mind. It seems like there are always new board games coming out, as well as old classics like Monopoly and Scrabble. Don’t forget about checkers or chess. Checkers is simple enough that anyone can play, and chess can help develop critical thinking skills. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of games you can play that don’t cost anything at all!
How about a scavenger hunt? The adults can make a list of interesting objects and trinkets around the house or cabin, and the kids can try to find them. You could also paint some Easter eggs, regardless of the time of year, and then hunt for those.
Do you have any aspiring magicians in the family? You’ll find magic kits at local hobby stores, and there are plenty of card tricks if you have a deck or two. We’ll even let you use the internet for 20 minutes to learn a couple.
Have a piano or guitar laying around, along with someone who knows how to play them? What’s more wintery than a family making their own music and singing carols around the fire? It’s also a great time to teach your children how to play an instrument!
Winter Activities for the Body
Just because it’s cold outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun outdoors. So long as it isn’t North Pole-cold, you should be fine. Just be sure and bundle up.
A snowball fight is an obvious choice, just make sure to wear protective goggles. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. If you want to go for something a little safer, how about making snow angels? Everyone can do that, and people don’t usually get injured as a result.
Ice hockey is the perfect winter sport if you’re into winter sports, and if you know how to skate. You can also play snow soccer. To make it more fun you could build goal posts out of snow.
You can also use those snow-building skills to make a fort. You can also build a snowman to watch guard over your fort, or just skip the fort and build a snow family instead.
If you have sleds and hills nearby, sledding is great winter-time fun. So is snowshoeing, though it’s much more work. However, there’s nothing wrong with encouraging the kids to get some physical exercise outdoors, even when it’s cold.
In some parts of the country, winter means ice-fishing. If sitting over a hole in the ice all day sounds like fun, give it a try. Keep in mind that ice-fishing comes with risks, so you’ll want to do it safely.
If you have some dry wood for the fireplace, why not build an outdoor campfire? You can move your s’more-production out there as well.
Winter Activities for the Soul
If your family is more into arts and crafts, there is an unlimited number of creative winter activities to try. If it’s Christmas time, you can make wreaths, ornaments, or even gifts! Even if it’s after Christmas, you can still make them for next year.
Making paper snowflakes is fun any time of the year, and likely something that everyone already knows how to do. The question is: Who can make the best paper snowflake?
When it comes to art projects, you’re really only limited by your imagination, as you can upcycle anything and turn it into art. Who doesn’t want to turn trash into treasure? Best of all, it won’t cost much.
Even if you’re not into art projects, we bet you’re into eating. When it’s freezing outside, that’s the perfect time to get cooking in the kitchen. Snowman pancakes, anyone? How about eating your snowman pancakes à la mode with homemade ice cream?
Eating good homemade food is one of the great joys in life. Why not combine that with everyone’s joy of eating cookies and bake your own.
Coloring books have had a resurgence in recent years and are no longer just for kids. Some can be very elaborate in their designs. Even people who aren’t creative enough to make things from scratch can still color inside the lines — or not inside the lines; go ahead and be a rebel.
Regardless of what sort of winter-time cabin-inspired activities you’re interested in, one thing is certain: With all this variety to choose from, if you’re bored this winter, you only have yourself to blame.