48 Things to Do in the Winter No Matter Your Mood

Whether you want to stay indoors or venture outside

things to do in winter


things to do in winter
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It can be difficult to get inspired to partake in activities in the dead of winter. It's easy to veg out on the couch, scroll through your phone, and daydream about warmer days ahead. But even when cold weather and snow seem to have lost their appeal, it's possible to restore your love for the season. Whether you prefer to stay cozy indoors or venture out into a winter wonderland, there are plenty of fun things to do in the winter, no matter your mood.

From winter workouts, like skiing and snowshoeing, to cozy indoor leisure, like making s'mores or lighting festive candles, we've got the winter activities for you.

Ahead, find 48 fun winter activities for your every moon.

01 of 48

Build a Fire


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Set up shop in front of the fireplace. When it's freezing cold outside, few things compare to cozying up by the fire in the comfort of your own home.

02 of 48

Read a Book

woman reading a book

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A good book is always a welcome pastime while keeping cozy. Check out the current best-sellers if you're feeling at a loss of what to read.

03 of 48

Make Mulled Wine or Spiced Cider

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Brewing up a hot batch of a seasonal drink is a delicious way to stay warm. Spiked for you, and virgin for the kids!

04 of 48

Write a Note

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A handwritten note or card to an old friend is always appreciated. Skip the text message or email and write a card or letter to a loved one you haven't spoken to in a while.

05 of 48

Bake a Pie

apple pie

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Nothing ups the coziness of your home quite like the aroma of a pie baking in the oven. If you need a new recipe, try a pecan pie.

06 of 48

Light Some Candles


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Create a cozy home the Scandinavian way by practicing hygge. It smells good and created a great ambiance.

07 of 48

Draw a Hot Bath

woman in bath

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If you're looking to warm up, indulge in a soothing bath. Try deep soaks for ultimate relaxation.

08 of 48

Drink Eggnog


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The holidays may have come and gone, but it's never too late to enjoy some tasty eggnog. Make it yourself, or cheat and pick some up at the grocery store.

09 of 48

Have a Movie Marathon

watching movie on couch

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Curl up on the couch to take in the classics or discover new favorites. How about a collection of holiday movies?

10 of 48

Bake Cookies

christmas cookies

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Whether you prefer chocolate chip, oatmeal, or sugar, pop a batch of cookies in the oven. When you're done, you might even want to invite your friends over to share in your yummy riches.

11 of 48

Play Board Games

playing game

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Gather with friends and family for a game night in. Start a rotating tournament if you're feeling really competitive.

12 of 48

Whip up a Stew

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They're steamy, hearty, and comforting. Plus the leftovers make for an easy lunch the next day!

13 of 48

Make Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate with whipped cream

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Whip up an old favorite or try a new recipe. It's a favorite for children and adults alike.

14 of 48

Do a Face Mask

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Self-care is always a good idea. Try a hydrating face mask to replenish your winter-ravaged skin.

15 of 48

Tackle Your Inbox

woman on laptop with dog

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Inbox zero can be achieved, and maybe this is your time to make it happen. We promise: It's going to make you feel so much better once you're down to zero.

16 of 48

Sample an Online Workout

woman working out with laptop

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Can't get to the gym? There are endless workouts to stream that may strike your fancy. Try Barre3, Obé Fitness, or ClassPass Live.

17 of 48


woman napping with dog

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After your sweat session, take a post-shower nap. We promise—we won't judge.

18 of 48

Take an Online Class or Tutorial

woman on laptop

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Brush up on photography tips, watch those cooking videos you've bookmarked months ago, or dig into a totally new subject. You might even develop a new skill you didn't even know you needed.

19 of 48

Discover a New Podcast

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Podcasts about podcasts like The Big Listen are a good place to start. Ask your friends—we're sure they have tons of recommendations.

20 of 48

Finish That Scrapbook


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You know, the one with loose photos wedged between its pages from years ago. You'll be glad you have it when it's complete.

21 of 48

Try Feng Shui

burning sage

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This will help you create optimal balance and alignment in your space. Not to mention that it's a great excuse to de-clutter as well.

22 of 48

Catch up with Family and Friends


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Give Grandma a call or FaceTime your college friend you've been struggling to connect with because time zones can be tricky. It's so much better to see someone's face than just texting.

23 of 48

Completely Unplug

woman with crossword puzzle

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Try Sudoku, a coloring book, or a crossword puzzle. Go for anything that doesn't require a screen.

24 of 48

Revisit Your Hobbies

woman with guitar

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Dust off that guitar or those neglected paintbrushes and do something with your hands other than scrolling, texting, or swiping. You'll likely quickly forget why you ever gave it up.

25 of 48

Brainstorm Your Next Get-Together

friends drinking wine

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A wine tasting or themed dinner party perhaps? Send out an email to all your friends—it's likely they'll all be game for the same!

26 of 48

Practice Storytime With Kids

reading to children

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Bring out the books and light up their imaginations. Creating memories of this sort for them is so important.

27 of 48

Have a Snowball Fight

adults snowball fight

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You're never too old to enjoy a snowball fight. You might even want to get the whole neighborhood involved.

28 of 48

Build a Snow Fort

snow fort

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Take advantage of an abundance of snow and turn it into a fort. Grab a hot toddy, blanket, and cozy up in the great outdoors.

29 of 48

Go Sledding

sledding new york central park

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Find the best hill in your neighborhood and sled away. You'll feel just like a kid again—in the best way possible.

30 of 48

Catch Snowflakes

catching snowflakes

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This simple act takes us right back to childhood. Just loop up, close your eyes, and stick your tongue out.

31 of 48

Build a Snowman


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Create your own in your front yard, complete with a carrot nose. You might even want to add a few winter essentials, like a knit hat and scarf for a bit of personality.

32 of 48

Make a Snow Angel

snow angel

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Make your mark in the fresh snow. It will look completely magical—until it starts to melt.

33 of 48

Go Ice Skating

ice skating wollman rink new york central park

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Lace-up and test your skills on the ice. Might we suggest you seek out an outdoor rink? It makes it so much better as the snow falls.

34 of 48

Hit the Slopes

skiing squaw valley california

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Go skiing or snowboarding. Now's the time for the best snow on the slopes.

35 of 48

Go Snowshoeing


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For a break from the slopes, rent some snowshoes. It's a quiet scenic activity that's also quite the workout.

36 of 48

Go Winter Camping

winter camping

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Take in the wilderness on a weekend winter camping trip. Just make sure to pack tons of winter layers.

37 of 48

Go on a Winter Hike

winter hike

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While you're in the great outdoors, suit up in the right shoes and gear and explore. Don't forget your camera!

38 of 48

Build a Bonfire

winter bonfire

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Grab all the fixins' and you're ready to roast the best sweets ever. After a long day, thaw out by the fire and indulge in some s'mores.

39 of 48

Spend Time at an Out-of-State Ski Resort

whistler ski resort

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Make the most of the ski season by venturing to a destination resort. It's a great way to enjoy a change of scenery.

Whether you haven't skied before or don't want to deal with traveling with loads of equipment, consider renting everything from boots to poles, helmets, and more once you arrive.

40 of 48

Go Ice Fishing

woman ice fishing

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Try your hand at ice fishing. Cottage Life's got a beginner's guide, while InsideHook's got suggestions on where to try it, from Alaska to Colorado and Montana to Vermont.

41 of 48

Travel Somewhere Warm With a Beach

beach hammock

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If you're done with the cold, treat yourself to a quick getaway somewhere you can put your toes in the sand at one of the top U.S. beaches. It's a great excuse to stock up on all new swimwear, too.

42 of 48

Visit a Hot Spring

woman in hot spring

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What better way to thaw from the cold than with a dip into a natural hot spring? Not to mention that it's a totally bearable way to play around in the water while snow is falling around you.

43 of 48

Take Advantage of Winter Flight Deals

winter airport

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For many destinations, winter is the cheapest time to fly. Whether you're flying to the mountains or the beaches, now is the time to travel.

44 of 48

Plan Your Summer Vacation

planning a trip

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There's no time like the frigid present to begin dreaming up your warm-weather jaunts. Europe? Upstate? No matter where you're going, start getting excited.

45 of 48

Spend Time in the Desert

woman in desert

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Perpetual sun-seekers will love this option. Hint: Head Southwest.

46 of 48

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

volunteer in a soup kitchen

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Find a local place to donate your time with Hunger Free America. And this doesn't only go for the winter months!

47 of 48

Offer to Shovel

Person shoveling snow in the driveway.

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Help out someone in need. Go ahead and clear that driveway—we're sure your neighbor (and the karmic universe) will appreciate it.

48 of 48

Take the Polar Bear Plunge

polar plunge

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If your heart's in good shape, this New Year's Day event happens across the country and raises funds for various non-profits. It will truly take your breath away, though, so be warned!

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