50 Things to Do in the Winter No Matter Your Mood

Whether you want to stay indoors or venture outside

Updated 11/08/19
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 pastimes to check off your list before spring. And for those who'd rather take advantage of potential downtime, there are ideas to do just that, too.

Personally, we're excited for snow and freshly brewed mulled wine next to a crackling fireplace. We're also looking forward to some alone time and a good corner to read all the books we haven't had a chance to yet.

If you're ready to get into the season's fun, here are 50 things to do in the winter no matter your mood.

If You're Looking to Stay Cozy

Open journal on hard surface with hands poised to write
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Build a fire and cozy up by the fireplace. When it's freezing cold outside, few things compare to cozying up by the fire in the comfort of your own home.

Read a book. A good book is always a welcome pastime while keeping cozy.

Make mulled wine or spiced cider. Brewing up a hot batch of a seasonal drink is a delicious way to stay warm.

Write a handwritten card to an old friend. As you unwind, take things slow by writing a card or letter to a loved one you haven't spoken with in a while.

Bake a pie. Nothing ups the coziness of your home like the aroma of a pie baking in the oven, like this pecan pie.

Light some candles. Create a cozy home the Scandinavian way by practicing hygge.

Draw a hot bath. If you're looking to get warmer, indulge in a soothing bath. Try these soaks for ultimate relaxation.

Things to Do in Winter
 Michela Buttignol/MyDomaine

Drink eggnog. The holidays may have come and gone, but it's never too late to enjoy some tasty eggnog.

Have a movie marathon. Curl up on the couch solo or with company to take in the classics or discover new favorites. How about this collection of holiday movies?

Bake cookies. Whether you prefer chocolate chip, oatmeal, or sugar, pop a batch in the oven.

Make a freshly baked batch of cookies to instantly warm up your home.

Play board games. Gather with friends and family for a game night in.

Whip up a stew. They're steamy, hearty, and comforting.

Make hot chocolate. We've rounded up some of our favorite recipes.

Do a face mask. Because self-care is always a good idea.

Tackle your inbox. Inbox zero can be achieved, and maybe this is your time to make it happen. Fast Company can get you there in seven steps.

Sample an online workout. Can't get to the gym? There are an interminable amount of workouts to stream that my strike your fancy. Try Barre3, The Be.come Project for seamless pilates and yoga-inspired choreography, or ClassPass Live for an interactive HIIT workout.

A woman napping.
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Nap. After your sweat session, take a post-shower nap.

Take an online class or tutorial. Brush up on photography tips, watch those cooking videos you've bookmarked months ago, or dig into a totally new subject.

Discover a new podcast. Podcasts about podcasts like The Big Listen are a good place to start.

Finish that scrapbook. You know, the one with loose photos wedged between its pages from years ago.

Feng Shui your space for optimal balance and alignment.

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Catch up with family and friends. Give Grandma a call or FaceTime your college friend you've been struggling to connect with because timezones can be tricky.

Completely unplug. Try Sudoku, a coloring book, or a crossword puzzle; anything that doesn't require a screen.

Revisit your hobbies. Dust off that guitar or those neglected paintbrushes and do something with your hands other than scrolling, texting, or swiping.

Brainstorm your next get-together. A wine tasting, or themed dinner party perhaps?

Practice storytime with kids. Bring out the books and light up their imaginations.

Visit your local museum of theatre. Don't wait for out-of-town visitors to take advantage of what's available in your own "backyard."

If You're Enjoying a Snow Day

Have a snowball fight. You're never too old to enjoy a snowball fight.

Build a snow fort. A prerequisite for any serious snowball fight.

Go sledding. Find the best hill in your neighborhood and sled away.

Catch snowflakes. This simple act takes us right back to past winters.

Build a snowman. Create your own in your front yard.

Make a snow angel. Make your mark in the fresh snow.

Go ice skating. Lace up and test your skills on the ice.

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

Go snowshoeing. For a break from the slopes, rent some snowshoes.

Go winter camping. Take in the wilderness on a weekend winter camping trip.

Go on a winter hike. While you're in the great outdoors, suit up in the right shoes and gear and explore.

Build a bonfire and make s'mores. After a long day, thaw out by the fire and indulge in some s'mores.

Go ice fishing. 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.

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If You're Looking to Get Out of Town

People in hot spring, the sun in the sky, snowy mountains in background.
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Spend time at an out-of-state ski resort. Make the most of the ski season by venturing to a destination resort.

Travel somewhere warm with a beach. If you're done with the cold, treat yourself to a quick getaway somewhere you can put your toes in the sand. We asked a professional traveler to name her top U.S. beaches.

Visit a hot spring. What better way to thaw from the cold than with a dip into a natural hot spring?

Take advantage of winter flight deals. For many destinations, winter is the cheapest time to fly.

Plan your summer vacation. There's no time like the frigid present to begin dreaming up your warm-weather jaunts.

Spend time in the desert. Perpetual sun-seekers will love this option. Hint: Head Southwest.

If You're Feeling Altruistic

Person shoveling snow in the driveway.
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Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Find a local place to donate your time with Hunger Free America and read these tips before you arrive.

Offer to shovel snow for someone in need. Or, go ahead and clear that driveway anyway; we're sure your neighbor (and the karmic universe) will appreciate it.

Take the Polar Bear Plunge. If your heart's in good shape, this New Year's Day event happens across the country and raises funds for various non-profits.

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