Winter Bucket List: 60 Fun Activities & Things to Do When its Cold

21. ✦ Ice Skate on a Lake

Frozen ponds, lakes or rivers can provide you with some of the most scenic ice skating rinks around the world. Glide along, enjoying the fresh air—score some bonus bucket list points if you can learn to ice skate backwards. If you can’t find a lake or such, outdoor ice skating rinks start popping up everywhere during the winter season-even in places that have no snow! Put on a pair of blades and glide around the rink. Don’t forget to follow it up with a cup of hot cocoa.

22. ✧ Make Apple Cider

Only second to hot chocolate, apple cider is a great way to stay warm when the weather is not. It only takes a few ingredients and this easy hot apple cider will give you a cup in less than half an hour.

23. ✧ Have a Bonfire

Who doesn’t love sitting next to a warm fire pit when it’s cold outside? Call your friends and gather your family for an exciting outdoor bonfire experience. You can sit around the flames, tell ghost stories, and enjoy your favorite food at the same time. For an extra bucket list worthy experience, you can do some outdoor camping at the same time, and enjoy a starry night.

24. ✧ Have an Indoor Picnic

Picnics aren’t just for the outdoors—clear a space on your living room floor and recreate a memorable dining experience. You can even pack a traditional wicker basket with your favorite picnic foods and enjoy the feast without going too far. Real Simple magazine can help you out with their Picnic Packing Checklist. If you want to set up an Instagrammable picnic, here’s a cute red checkered picnic basket you can use.

25. ✦ Decorate Sugar Cookies

Decorating sugar cookies will be the perfect thing to do with your kids, though my husband and I had a blast doing it on our own! Just follow Alton Brown’s perfect sugar cookie recipe, then pick any cookie cutter shape you desire. The best part is that you can eat the outcome of your activity. Fun!

There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the traditional gingerbread cookie cutter, but there are also tons of other fun shapes—like these:

26. ✧ Do a Family Winter Photo Shoot

Any time you can get the entire family together it is a blessing, but a photo memory of the event is even better! If you are stumped for theme ideas check out 30 Creative Family Photo Ideas and 100 Fun Family Photo Ideas.

27. ✦ Do a Random Act of Kindness

Random acts of kindness are some of the most fulfilling and most humane and human things you could ever do. Especially when it is done for a complete stranger.

  • Donate some food
  • Pay the bridge toll for the person behind you
  • Go to an animal orphanage and help out for the day
  • Feed someone’s parking meter.

The possibilities are endless. The best way to approach this is to look at your local community and see what it is they need the most. Or check out my post for ideas: 75 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas: Examples of Kind Things to Do.

28. ✧ Drive a Snowmobile

Do you love speed and exciting activities? Driving a snowmobile can help with that, and will serve as the perfect addition to your winter bucket list.With thousands of miles of snowmobiling opportunities around the world, find your perfect location to hop on and tear through the snow-filled, rolling hills.

29. ✦ Have a Game night

Stay in for the evening, get cozy in your jammies and have a game night marathon. There are different games for all ages, but Bingo and Scrabble are favorites for almost friends and everyone in the family (this bingo set comes with everything you need!). You can make it even more fun by adding prizes for the winner, like store gift cards, candies or extra TV time for the kids.

My favorite adult game night involves a few fierce rounds of Cards Against Humanity, but Smart Ass and Drink-A-Palooza will also make it a lively night. If you want to make your game night more family friendly for the kids then look at these family games. Still unsure of which games to play? Check out this list: Board Games Bucket List: 50 of the All Time Best Ones to Play

30. ✦ Learn to Snowboard

Put away those skis this season and try your hand at snowboarding, even if you only make it down the bunny slope (like me!). Make the most out of your experience by staying at a cozy lodge and enjoy some apres-skiing at the end of the day. Or should I say apres-snowboarding? 

You can take a class at your favorite ski resort or the Snow Professor has made a helpful video to get you started, How to Snowboard: Step 1.

31. ✦ Bake a Pie

There’s an art to making the best homemade pie. It’s all about the fruit inside, creating the perfect pie crust and making it with a touch of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s apples, lemons or peaches – choose whatever is sure to make your mouth water.

You can always find great pie recipes on All Recipes, but for something extra special Saveur created a list of the best pies to bake right now.

32. ✧ Make a Gingerbread House

Spend an afternoon putting together a gingerbread house that is filled with all the sweets and treats of the season. This is such a fun activity to do with children! Good Housekeeping has given us inspiration with 34 Amazing Gingerbread Houses or, for an easier option, you can purchase a pre-baked Gingerbread House kit and add your own goodies.

33. ✦ Go Bowling

Yes, you can go bowling anytime of the year, but bowling during the winter season is a great way to escape the chilly weather outside. You can enjoy removing your layers of winter clothes, putting on those oh-so-cute shoes and taking your best shot at getting a strike. Bonus bucket list points if you bowl a turkey—three strikes in a row!

34. ✧ Volunteer at a Food Kitchen

There is nothing better than giving back to society, and the cold winter season is the perfect time to volunteer at a food kitchen and help those in need. You can also donate winter clothes and items during the season, but volunteering at a food kitchen will let you connect with society and do your part in making it better for everyone. You can serve hot soup and delicious food to those who do not have anyone to care for them. Do a good deed this winter season.

35. ✦ Relax at a Spa

Whether you have had a long and exhausting day or an easy breezy one, relaxing at a spa is the perfect solution. You can not only relax your tense muscles, but the steam-filled spa experience will also offer a comfortable sensation amidst the winter season. You can get glowing skin, sweat out impurities, relax your muscles, and let the steam take your mind off the winter season.

36. ✦ Visit a Museum in Your Town

Sometimes we take for granted what is in our own backyards. I am definitely guilty of this—don’t be like me! Do some research of local museums and then make a plan to visit one. You can roam through the rooms discovering new things on your own or participate in an educational tour. 

37. ✦ Do a Jigsaw Puzzle

So you’re indoors and it’s cold outside. Brainteasers are the perfect winter activity for those who enjoy a challenge, and completing a jigsaw puzzle is one of them. Grab some apple cider (or a bottle of wine) and spend some quality time sitting around the table looking through and joining the tiny pieces. 

Not sure what puzzle to complete? Check out the best 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles for adults (& tips to complete one)

38. ✦ Catch Snowflakes on your Tongue

Who doesn’t love watching the snowfall? Awaken your inner child and try catching a snowflake on your tongue!

39. ✧ Stick to an Indoor Workout Routine

Have you been trying to get yourself into shape for years now? Well, take advantage of the coming winter season, and stick to a regular workout routine. It doesn’t have to be a really difficult or challenging one. YouTube is filled to the brim with workout videos and channels, making it easy to work out for free at home! At most you’d have to purchase some basic weights and a yoga mat, but that small investment will be worth it. With workout styles varying from yoga and pilates to dancing, weight lifting and even boxing, you are bound to find a fit for your fitness routine. Blogilates and Popsugar Fitness are excellent channels to start from.

40. ✦ Sleep in an Ice Hotel

Each year in different chilly locations around the world, hotels are built from natural ice and snow. The IceHotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden and The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel that is nestled in the wilderness of Northern Norway are two of the best. They both are art exhibitions as much as hotels, where the canvases span from floor to ceiling. Spend the night in one of their negative-five-degree rooms, where you will be surrounded by artistically chiseled ice. It’s a bonus that there is also a chance of seeing the Northern Lights from either location!

41. ✦ Write a Thank You Note to Someone Who Deserves It

So often people want to tell a company or friend how they feel when they are not satisfied. Instead write a thank you to show your appreciation for a job well done.

Writing your note on a simple sheet of paper is fine, but stocking up on blank greeting cards may be a good idea instead. I bought these cute blank bird greeting cards which are perfect for a bunch of different occasions, including a simple thank you.

42. ✧ Watch all the Oscar Winning Movies

Make some popcorn and cuddle on the couch with a blanket and start your bucket list quest to watch all the best picture Oscar winning movies ever made. A subscription to Netflix is a great way to accomplish this goal, they have almost every one available for rental!

Click here for a list of the Best Picture Winners.

43. ✦ Make Homemade Soup

There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day. So whip up one of your favorites and enjoy it with some of that crusty bread you also made.

44. ✧ Have a Pajama Day

It’s a luxury to be able to spend all day in your PJs and you’ve already got plenty of great ideas listed here to make your pajama day complete! Put on your most comfy pair and opt to watch movies, play games or just eat lots of yummy food.

Don’t have a comfy and cute pair of PJ’s? Try Pretty Garden’s cheetah print pajama set or  the dreamy cloud set that can be monogrammed.

45. ✦ Try a New Restaurant

Let’s face it—we tend to get stuck in our same restaurant routines. eating at the same handful of places. Break out of that routine and try something new! It could be a place similar to your favorite Mexican joint, or an entirely different cuisine that you have never tried before. 

46. ✦ Bake Cookies

Who doesn’t like a home filled with the smells of fresh-baked cookies? It doesn’t matter whether it’s snickerdoodles, oatmeal raisin or simple chocolate chips, spend an entire day just baking. Make it even more fun by inviting friends and family to participate.

For some delicious cookie ideas see the Epicurious’ 113 Favorite Cookie Recipes (and send me a dozen of the spiced molasses cookies!). Don’t forget the cookie sheets! The Rachael Ray Yum-o! Nonstick Pans are amazing, or at least get yourself some silicone baking mats that make the process so much easier!

47. ✧ DIY Snow Globes

Who doesn’t love a good winter snow globe? You don’t need to spend lots of money on one because it’s pretty easy to make your own and is one of the best activities for families!

Some of the best DIY snow globes for you to make:

48. ✦ Clean Out & Organize Your Closet

It is surprisingly rewarding to be able to purge some clothes, plus it is purely a bonus that you can donate or consign them! If you are anything like me then it’s pretty hard to decide what to keep and what to give away, so either ask yourself Marie Kondo’s mantra, “does it bring you joy?” or use these 17 Invaluable Tips For Anybody With Too Many Clothes.

49. ✦ Spend the Night in a Cozy Cabin

Whether it’s in the middle of the forest or atop a snowy mountain, there’s nothing quite like being holed up in a cozy little cabin. I checked this off my winter bucket list in California’s Yosemite Valley where on Christmas morning we woke up surrounded by a blanket of white. It was dreamy.

To find your perfect cabin check out Travel and Leisure’s Best Winter Lodges. Read More: Yosemite Valley Bucket List: 9 Best Things to Do in the Winter

50. ✧ Make an Ice Sculpture

I’ll be honest, you might need to sign up for a class to complete this bucket list goal, but it will be worth it! You can pick the perfect shape, learn how to use all the tools required, and build yourself a frozen masterpiece. Make sure to take a class close to a time when you are having a party or attending one so you can show off your work of art!

51. ✦ Donate Toys

There are so many needy families around the world, and many of them have young children who would miss out on the joy of Christmas if it weren’t for a generous helping hand. For this Winter Bucket List idea gather toys and donate them to a good cause to put a big smile on a child’s face. I organized a successful Toys for Tots drive at my restaurant, but there are other amazing organizations, like The Salvation Army or United Way.

52. Bake a Loaf of Bread

Did you ever have a loaf of bread that was so good that you wanted to make your own? Well, now is the time to get your hands on this experience, and you can use the coming winter seasons to learn how to bake a loaf of bread. Get the ingredients, watch an online tutorial, call someone for help, and taste your first slice of bread. 

53. ✦ Go on a Sleigh Ride

Rudolph may not be pulling the sleigh and Santa may not be riding on it with you, but take a quiet sleigh ride through the winter wilderness. Add a cozy blanket and some hot chocolate to make this a ride to remember.

 54. ✧ Create a Winter Song Playlist

Music is a great way to get you geared up for any season, especially one made for chilly days spent by the fire. If you have young children, make sure you keep them entertained with music and educational songs that are suited to their age so they have the opportunity to carry on learning through the winter. You can check out this channel on YouTube for suggestions.

Having a hard time thinking of songs for adults? Spotify has made it easy with this Winter Chill playlist.

55. ✦ Send a Care Package to a Soldier

Sending a care package to a soldier is the best idea for any season, but especially during all the winter holidays. It was one of my most memorable bucket list checks (I did it on my birthday!) and you can get some tips from my article.

Sending a care package to a soldier is one of the best things to do

56. ✦ Have a Snowball Fight

With so much fresh snow outside can you really restrict yourself only to the indoors. Get outside for a good old fashioned snowball fight! Invite some friends, make teams and let’s see who wins the war of snow.

Don’t get out there unarmed, learn How to Make the Perfect Snowball first!

57. ✦ Make Your New Year Bucket List

Take a look at your master bucket list and determine which of those goals will be high priority in the new year. If you don’t have a bucket list yet, then you’ve come to the right place!

Here are some articles to help you:

58. ✧ Make a Pine Cone Wreath for Your Front Door

Get the hot glue gun out and get a little creative by making a pine cone wreath to hang on your front door. Pinterest is loaded with plenty of creative ideas and A Piece of Rainbow has a step-by-step guide.

59. ✦ Take a Warm Bubble Bath

Warm bubble baths are not just for the children with rubber duckies, they are a relaxing way for adults to destress. It’s a nice way treat yourself! Turn on some tunes, light a candle and let your anxieties dissolve along with the salts and bath bombs.

FYI: If you are worried about soaking your sensitive skin, Aveeno’s Soothing Bath Treatment is perfect, and the Bubbly Belle Bath Bombs set will add a drop of soothing aromas to your tub.

60. ✧ Donate Warm Mittens & Jackets to a Homeless Shelter

Think about other people this winter season who can’t afford to buy warm mittens and jackets. Do your best to help out by collecting and donating these much needed items. It will not only be helpful to them, but it will make you feel good. 

61. ✦ Find You Favorite Tea

Tea is your soulmate during the harsh winds of the winter season, and it is time you find the perfect herbal soulmate for yourself.  Some people love chamomile tea, while others adore the oolong tea. I love jasmine green tea. What do you love? If you haven’t found the perfect tea for you the Twinings Tea Bag Sampler Set has over 20 different kinds to choose from!

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