Activities to Add to Your Winter Bucket List

Cocoa, Christmas cookies, and sleigh rides—print our free winter bucket list and stay busy all season long.

There's nothing more magical than drinking a warm mug of hot cocoa, watching fresh snow fall, and listening to cheery Christmas music. But winter isn't just about the holidays—and it's often during the days and weeks after Christmas that we feel the most stir-crazy. If you're feeling the winter slump while snowbanks or sleet cover the neighborhood, try a few things from our curated bucket list to keep you busy.

Whether you decide to build a puzzle by the crackling fire, read a Christmas novel, or make a truly epic gingerbread house display, this editor-approved list is sure to keep your household entertained until spring. We've even got ideas for ways to do good after the hectic holiday season. Download our free printable winter bingo card and hang it up so you can check things off as you go.

Winter Bucket List Bingo

winter bingo card

1. Decorate Cookies

Baking cookies is one of our favorite winter activities, because using the oven keeps the whole kitchen toasty warm—and we get to eat cookies. We have more than 35 insanely good Christmas cookie recipes to try this year, and our Santa sugar cookie tutorial will help you make the most adorable cookies.

2. Build a Snowman

Do you want to build a snowman? No, we're not talking about watching Frozen 2—next time your neighborhood gets a heavy dusting of snow, head outside and build your very own Frosty. If you don't get snow this year, make a snowman wreath for your front door instead.

3. Read a Book

Since we'll be staying home for much of the winter, we're on the hunt for relaxing at-home activities. If you like to curl up with a good book, consider a Christmas-themed book with a guaranteed happy ending (something we could all use).

gingerbread forest cookie woodland scene on tabletop
Jacob Fox

4. Make a Gingerbread House

We love a classic gingerbread house, but there are so many fun new cookie house kits on the market. Get creative and make a colorful confetti house, or go for an entire woodland scene.

5. Do a Puzzle

We're always looking for indoor activities that don't involve screen time—especially when it's too cold to go out. Puzzles are one of our editors' favorite hobbies, and we love that it can be a solo project or a group effort.

6. Host a Family Game Night

For a memorable winter evening, everyone will enjoy, host a family game night. Make a party mix, cookies, and finger foods, and set out your favorite games.

7. Make Snow Angels

There's nothing more magical than playing in fresh snow, and this classic winter activity always reminds us of childhood. You're never too old to make a snow angel.

8. Watch Holiday Movies

We love a good movie night cuddled up under the blankets. Make your way through the classics, cue up Disney+, or make a plan to watch all of Hallmark's Christmas movies.

9. Sip Hot Chocolate

Making homemade hot chocolate is a must-do in the winter, and we're mixing up delicious flavors. Make a batch of peppermint hot chocolate for your next movie night, spend the next snow day cuddled under a blanket with a steaming mug of cinnamon hot cocoa, or deck out a festive cocoa charcuterie board.

10. Do a Random Act of Kindness

The months leading up to the holidays can be stressful for everyone, so we like to squeeze in a few extra acts of kindness this time of year. It doesn't have to be anything big: Pay for a stranger's drink at the drive-through, or surprise a coworker with a few sweet words of encouragement via text or email. If you're expecting a lot of deliveries, you could put out a sweet or savory surprise for your delivery drivers.

11. Wrap Gifts

While you may not be gathering in person to exchange gifts, you can still make sure this year's gifts are wrapped in festive paper and topped with a bow. If you need a quick refresher, here's how to wrap a gift like a pro—and how to make your own gift bows out of ribbon.

12. Listen to Christmas Music

We'll admit it: We started listening to Christmas music way before Thanksgiving this year, and we don't plan to stop any time soon. Play a favorite Christmas album or stream the classics on Amazon Music.

13. Shovel a Neighbor’s Driveway

Shoveling snow likely isn't anyone's favorite thing to do, which makes it a sweet surprise to walk out of your house and see that a neighbor has done it for you. If you have neighbors who don't get around well, make an extra effort to keep their driveway and sidewalks clear of snow and ice this winter.

hands with cash and a small wrapped gift near a Christmas tree
Thitikorn Kinsorn, EyeEm/Getty Images

14. Make a Donation

Donating to charity is something we try to do every holiday season, but the process of deciding where to give (and how much) can be overwhelming. Study charity ratings via organizations like GuideStar.

15. Go for a Sleigh Ride

Take your winter up a notch with a sleigh ride. While you can take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, you can also do it at home—decorate a sled with a festive garland, bells, and bows, then take turns pulling each other around in the snow.

16. Send Holiday Cards

Sending out the annual holiday cards is always at the top of our minds as we enter December, but without any vacation photos or major milestone updates from the year, you may be wondering what to send. Not to worry: Send a family photo card, or just grab a set of boxed holiday cards.

17. Put up Holiday Decorations

No matter what winter holidays you celebrate, decorating for the season is always fun. Gather the family to trim the Christmas tree, or deck the halls with some of this year's most popular Christmas decorating trends. If you celebrate Hanukkah, these gorgeous menorahs will help you light the candles in style this season.

how the grinch stole christmas
Universal/Getty Images

18. Watch ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

While 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' is technically a Christmas movie, we love to watch it all winter. You can pick up a DVD copy ($10) and binge-watch Max and Cindy Lou Who all winter long.

19. Have a Snowball Fight

There's only one thing to do after a particularly heavy snowfall—have a snowball fight. Grab your gang, dress in your warmest clothes, and establish the rules. When everyone is tired out, head inside for some hot apple cider.

red and white wrapped gifts decorated with wreaths and supplies
Jason Donnelly

20. Adopt a Family

If you have the financial means to buy extra gifts this year, adopting a child or family from an angel tree is one of our favorite ways to give back. Get the whole family involved in picking out the perfect gifts. Local churches, businesses, and schools often have information about how to sign up—and they'll sometimes be able to give you a specific wishlist as well.

21. Go Sledding

Sledding is a fun, affordable activity the whole family can enjoy. Grab an inexpensive sled ($6) and find a snowy hill in your area. Be sure to bundle up before you head out into the cold.

22. Relax by the Fireplace

If you're lucky enough to have an indoor fireplace, take advantage by planning a relaxing evening at home. Read a book, drink hot chocolate, or catch up on your favorite shows while the flames crackle away. If you don't have a fireplace (and if you don't live in a super cold climate), you might still have time to build your own DIY fire pit outside.

23. Look at Christmas Lights

Once you've hung your own Christmas lights, take a drive around the block to admire your neighbor's lights and debate which is better: White lights or multicolor lights? Check out one of the gorgeous light displays at public botanical gardens around the country.

24. Make Paper Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes are one of the easiest (and least messy!) winter crafts to make indoors. Grab a few pieces of plain white paper, fold them over a few times, and cut! If you're feeling extra festive, hang them from the ceiling with fishing line ($3) to create an indoor winter wonderland.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles