15 Inexpensive Winter Activities

Searching for ideas for free or inexpensive family activities this winter? Look no further.

Ali Hardy Dec 19, 2019

It may be chilly outside, but there are still plenty of fun activities that you can enjoy without breaking the bank.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #1: Bake and Decorate Sugar Cookies

A fun holiday tradition is baking and decorating sugar cookies. Keep them to yourself or share your treats with friends and neighbors. If you’re not a fan of sugar cookies, consider decorating a gingerbread house or holding a family bake-off instead.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #2: Game Night

If the weather outside is frightful, hold a family game night or host a game night with friends. You can’t go wrong grabbing some pizza and playing a good game of Risk. Not a fan of board games? Try a local Escape Room.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #3: Visit a Museum

Have you checked out your local museums lately? If not, winter is an excellent time to enjoy the latest exhibits.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #4: Have a Movie Marathon

Whether you prefer Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings — a snow day is an excellent opportunity to binge your favorite trilogy or collection. This list includes ideas and runtimes for some popular options.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #5: Family Book Club

Host a family book club or hold one with friends. Bake some cinnamon rolls, sip some hot cider and discuss the book. Goodreads is a great resource for popular family book club books.  

Inexpensive Winter Activity #6: Attend a Sports Game

Winter is a great time to grab some tickets and cheer on your local basketball or hockey team. Looking for a cheaper option? Attend a local high school game rather than going to watch a professional team.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #7: Have a Bonfire

Build a fire in your fireplace or have a bonfire outside. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows and sip hot cocoa.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #8: Go Sledding or Tubing

If your area has received some snowfall, take the family sledding or tubing. You could also hit the slopes, have a snowball fight or build a snowman.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #9: Do Some Decluttering

Stay inside and do some not-so-spring cleaning this winter. Organize and label your pantry like The Home Edit or tidy like Marie Kondo. Donate items like clothes, coats and toys to charitable organizations in your community.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #10: Attend a Play

Attend a play this winter. Check your local playhouse, community center or area high schools to see what performances are available.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #11: Visit a Hot Spring

Don’t put your swimsuit away just yet! Find a local hot spring and enjoy a relaxing dip. Check out this map of thermal hot springs across the U.S.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #12: Host a Party

Host a Favorite Things Party or Superbowl Party. Prepare your favorite appetizers or make it a potluck.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #13: Take a Cooking Class

Enroll in a local cooking or baking class. You could learn a new skill like how to perfect macarons, make homemade pad thai, or how to bake homemade bread.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #14: Volunteer in Your Community

The holidays are a great time to serve your community. Need ideas? Visit for a list of local volunteer opportunities near you.

Inexpensive Winter Activity #15: Go on a Christmas Lights Car Tour

Drive around your neighborhood and take a tour of holiday lights and displays. For a database of decorated homes in your community, go to

Whether you decide to stay inside or get out and brave the cold this winter, we hope these ideas inspire you to have some extra fun this season!

Ali Hardy is a freelance writer for Zions Bank.

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