Unleash the Fun: 10 Must-Try Winter Activities for Families

Krystal DeVille

kid with a girl buying sweets during christmas.

As winter wraps the world in its chilly embrace, families everywhere seek ways to create warmth through shared moments and memories. The season, with its sparkling snow and cozy nights, offers a ton of opportunities for bonding and fun.

From snowball fights under a silver sky to sipping hot cocoa by a roaring fire, winter activities for families turn the coldest months into the warmest memories. Let’s get into the list as we explore a wonderland of activities perfect for every family looking to make the most of this enchanting season.

Outdoor Winter Activities

parent and kid outdoor in the snow skiing.
Image Credit: JumpStory

Families and kids can create cherished memories and embrace the joys of the winter season together.

In the winter season, snow shoes are among kids’ favorite delights. Thus, outdoor activities are where the fun truly begins! In this section, we’ll dive into a world of snow-covered adventures that will get the whole family excited.

From snow castles to snow angels to gliding gracefully on ice skates to zooming down snowy slopes on sleds and skis, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s start off with a few drops of enticing outdoor winter activities!

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a cherished winter pastime that promises fun and fitness.

Whether beginner or expert, there’s a rink for you. Cities often boast outdoor rinks for frosty glides, while indoor rinks ensure cozy conditions. Many offer lessons and skate rentals. So, lace up and relish a winter skate with your family. Enjoy and stay warm!


Sledding is a popular winter activity for families, offering fun and excitement for all ages.

Here are some tips to make the most of your sledding experience:

  1. Choose A Safe Location: Look for designated sledding hills or open areas with a gentle slope and no obstacles.
  2. Check The Conditions: Make sure the snow is packed enough for a smooth ride, and avoid sledding on icy or dangerous surfaces.
  3. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress warmly in layers and wear waterproof pants and gloves to stay dry and comfortable.
  4. Use The Right Sled: Opt for a sturdy sled with good steering and braking capabilities, such as a flexible flyer or toboggan.
  5. Practice Safety Measures: Teach children to sled in a feet-first position and avoid overcrowding on the hill to prevent collisions.

Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy the thrill of sledding with your family!

Skiing and Snowboarding

When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, there are a few important factors to consider for a great experience on the slopes.

Make sure you have the right gear and equipment for skiing or snowboarding:

  • Properly fitted boots
  • Skis or a snowboard
  • Helmet

Taking lessons from a qualified instructor can help improve your skills and prevent injuries. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to advance your technique, skiing and snowboarding lessons can be beneficial. Check the weather and slope conditions before hitting the slopes. Remember that fresh snow and groomed trails can enhance your skiing and snowboarding experience.

Lastly, stay on designated trails, pay attention to warning signs, and use proper techniques to reduce the risk of skiing and snowboarding accidents.

KinVibes Pro-tip: Remember to warm up and stretch before hitting the slopes to prevent muscle injuries and enhance your skiing and snowboarding performance.


Snowshoeing is a popular winter activity that offers a unique way to explore snowy landscapes.

Here are some key points to consider when engaging in snowshoeing:

  • Plan your route and let someone know where you’ll be going. Carry essential safety gear, such as a map, compass, headlamp, and a first aid kit.
  • Invest in a good pair of snowshoes that fit your weight and the type of terrain you’ll be exploring.
  • Dress in layers to stay warm and dry. Wear moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer layer.
  • Learn the proper snowshoeing technique to make your adventure more enjoyable. Take smaller steps and lift your feet slightly higher to prevent tripping.
  • Choose trails that are suitable for snowshoeing and check the local weather and snow conditions before heading out.

Building Snowmen and Snow Forts

To build a snowmen and snow forts, carefully choose a spot with densely packed snow. Then gather tools like shovels, buckets, and snow molds. To efficiently make a snowman, firmly pack snow into large balls for the body.

Remember to gently place the balls on top of each other, with a notably smaller one for the head. Additionally, you can use sticks for arms, smoothly rounded rocks for eyes, and a freshly picked carrot for the nose. If you passionately want a snow fort, diligently pile up snow to form sturdy walls.

Don’t forget to add tunnels and rooms for extra fun!

True Story: When I was little, my family and I spent hours building an elaborate snow fort in our backyard. We created multiple rooms and a tunnel and even added a flag on top. It was so much fun defending our fort during snowball fights and it became the neighborhood hotspot for winter games. Building snowmen and snow forts truly brings joy and creates lasting memories for families.

Winter Hiking

Find hiking trails that are suitable for winter conditions and choose one that matches your skill level. You should always remember to check the weather forecast before embarking on your winter hike to avoid extreme conditions and plan accordingly.

Be sure to wear moisture-wicking base layers, insulating middle layers, and a waterproof outer layer. Furthermore, to prevent slips and falls, wearing insulated and waterproof boots with good traction for your winter hike is essential.

Don’t forget to pack important items such as:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Map
  • Compass
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Headlamp
  • Extra Clothing

As a beginner, starting with shorter and easier trails and gradually increasing the difficulty level as you gain more experience in winter hiking is advisable. Before hiking, inform someone about your plans and expected return time. Remember that it is crucial to familiarize yourself with basic survival skills and know how to react in case of unexpected circumstances during your winter hike.

Lastly, it is important to respect the environment by leaving it as you found it and following “Leave No Trace” principles during your winter hiking expedition.

As we talk about winter activities, let’s not forget special occasions. If a birthday is on the horizon, check out our guide on Things to do with your family on your birthday for memorable ways to celebrate as a family.

Indoor Winter Activities

father and daughter ice skating indoors.
Image Credit: JumpStory

Looking for exciting ways to beat the winter blues? Here’s what we have for you!

There’s something for all, from indoor ice skating thrills to water park splashes and the exhilaration of trampoline parks and rock climbing. We’ve got a list of indoor winter activities that will keep your family entertained throughout the chilly season.

Indoor Ice Skating

Indoor ice skating rinks are easily accessible and provide a controlled environment.

Unlike outdoor skating, indoor rinks allow you to enjoy ice skating regardless of the weather. These indoor rinks are climate-controlled, ensuring a comfortable temperature for skating.

You can also expect that these activities are beginner-friendly and often offer lessons and practice sessions for beginners, making it easier to learn and improve your ice skating skills. Overall, indoor rinks provide a safer environment with smoother ice surfaces and proper lighting.

KinVibes Trivia: Indoor ice skating began in late 19th-century London with the first artificial rink. This allowed skating, irrespective of weather, to broaden its appeal. Today, it’s a favorite activity globally for all ages.

Indoor Water Parks

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting indoor activity for the whole family, consider visiting one of these fantastic indoor water parks.

Indoor water parks are an excellent choice for families seeking entertainment and physical activity during the winter months. These indoor water parks provide various attractions and activities suitable for all age groups.

  • Indoor water parks provide year-round water fun, regardless of weather.
  • They feature attractions from exciting slides to lazy rivers, catering to all ages.
  • Safety is paramount, with lifeguards and controlled conditions
  • With amenities like changing rooms and food options, they’re family-friendly.
  • They have areas for young kids and activities for adults and teens.
  • With extended hours, these parks fit easily into families’ schedules.

Indoor Trampoline Parks

Indoor trampoline parks provide a secure environment for kids and adults to enjoy the exhilaration of bouncing and jumping on trampolines.

Some well-known chains of Indoor Trampoline Parks include:

  • Sky Zone
  • Urban Air Adventure Park
  • Rebounderz

They often feature a variety of activities and attractions, including dodgeball, foam pits, and basketball hoops. Overall, these parks are an excellent way to stay active and release energy, especially when outdoor activities may not be possible due to cold weather.

Indoor Rock Climbing

KinVibes Trivia: One of the first recorded climbs was in 1492, by Antoine De Ville, when ascending Mount Inaccessible, Mont Aiguille, a 300-meter rock tower south of Grenoble, France. 

So, expect these benefits from this indoor winter activity!

Full-Body Workout: Boost strength, flexibility, and endurance, ideal for staying active during colder months with fewer outdoor options.

Problem-Solving: Indoor climbing requires strategy, fostering mental agility as climbers navigate and plan moves.

Teamwork: Climbing often involves partnership or group collaboration, enhancing cooperation, communication, and trust among participants.

Safety: Indoor facilities emphasize safety with trained staff and rigorous measures, allowing novices to learn in a controlled, secure environment.

Fun: Scaling walls offers a thrilling experience, giving families a chance to create cherished memories.

Visit Museums and Indoor Attractions

Don’t forget to enjoy winter activities with your family when visiting museums and indoor attractions. These venues provide a warm and educational experience for all ages and offer interactive exhibits or educational programs specifically designed for children.

Some of the indoor attractions that can provide hours of entertainment and physical and mental activity are as follows:

  • Trampoline park
  • Indoor water parks
  • Museums

Make sure to take advantage of the cultural and recreational opportunities available at museums and indoor attractions this winter season. By all means, indoor activities are a great option for family fun during the cold weather.

Festive Winter Activities

christmas market outdoor with several people and christmas lights.
Image Credit: JumpStory

In this section, we’ll dive into the excitement of ice festivals, winter carnivals, Christmas markets, holiday light displays, and other ideas for winter parades.

Let’s check out and explore some of the delightful festive winter activities!

Immersive delightArtistic marvelsEntertainment galoreNighttime enchantmentUnique winter fun
Prepare to be astounded as you witness the remarkable ice sculptures up close, providing a visually breathtaking experience.Marvel at the sheer creativity and skill of talented ice sculptors as they skillfully transform solid blocks of ice into intricate and captivating works of art.Delight in an array of live performances, captivating cultural shows, and various entertainment options that are often featured at ice festivals.Prepare to be spellbound as many ice festivals transform into a mesmerizing wonderland with stunning illuminations and dazzling light shows, creating an atmosphere that feels truly magical.Engage in thrilling winter activities such as ice skating, exhilarating ice slides, or navigating through enchanting ice mazes, all of which are commonly found at these festivals, making them an absolute blast for families and friends.

Ice Festivals

Ice festivals are a beloved tradition in several countries across the globe. These festivals are renowned for their spectacular ice sculptures, enthralling ice carving competitions, and a multitude of winter-themed activities.

Attending an ice festival is a memorable experience for all ages, blending winter’s charm with the artistry of ice sculptures.

Winter Carnivals

Winter carnivals are festive events that celebrate the beauty and joys of winter. They offer a wide range of winter activities for families and kids of all ages, from ice sculptures to snow games and live performances.

Winter Carnivals bring people together, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.

You can participate in thrilling activities like:

  • Ice Skating
  • Snowboarding
  • Tobogganing
  • Snowman-building contests

These activities often showcase local traditions, music, and cuisine, providing a unique cultural experience.

Families can enjoy live music, parades, fireworks, and other performances that add excitement and entertainment to Winter Carnivals. Kids will be delighted in decorated venues, radiant light displays, and captivating ice sculptures.

Christmas Markets

Christmas markets are a beloved tradition during the winter season, attracting visitors with their festive and enchanting atmosphere. These markets serve as a hub for holiday celebrations, offering an array of activities and attractions that make them a must-visit destination.

For a unique shopping experience, delve into the magic of Christmas markets where numerous vendors showcase their handmade crafts, local products, and collect items and charming gifts.

You can also indulge in the delectable flavors of the season at Christmas markets like:

  • gingerbread cookies
  • mulled wine
  • roasted chestnuts
  • other festive delicacies

Live performances, joyful carolers, and an array of entertainment options create an atmosphere filled with joy and cheer, appealing to visitors of all ages. Families and little kids can immerse themselves in the festive ambiance created by beautifully decorated stalls, twinkling lights, and enchanting ornaments.

Christmas Markets serve as a meeting point for locals and tourists alike, uniting people from different backgrounds to celebrate the joy of the holiday season together.

Holiday Light Displays

Holiday light displays are a popular attraction during the winter season. They add a festive touch to any neighborhood or city.

Here are some reasons why holiday light displays are worth visiting:

  • Holiday Light Displays create a magical and joyful atmosphere, adding mood and ambiance to any location.
  • Many families have a tradition of going to see Holiday Light Displays every year, making it a special and cherished activity.
  • Showcases the creativity and artistry of the designers, bringing the world of lights to life.
  • Visiting Holiday Light Displays often brings people together, fostering a sense of community and connection.
  • It provides a perfect backdrop for memorable family photos or selfies, creating great photographic opportunities.

Winter Parades

Winter Parades are enchanting events that unite communities to rejoice in the wondrous winter season. These parades showcase a magnificent display of colorful floats, marching bands, and vibrant performers in dazzling costumes.

Discover why attending a Winter Parade is an absolute must!

Festive AtmosphereWinter Parades create a joyful and magical ambiance, where participants radiate holiday cheer and fill the air with excitement.
Spectacular DisplaysThese parades exhibit breathtaking floats adorned with captivating lights and decorations, captivating the hearts of both young and old.
Community SpiritWinter Parades foster a sense of unity and pride within the community, as friends, family, and neighbors gather together to revel in the festivities.
Entertainment for AllIt offers entertainment for individuals of all ages, encompassing melodious music, captivating dance performances, and delightful appearances by beloved characters.
Holiday TraditionsFor many families, attending a Winter Parade has become a cherished holiday tradition, creating enduring memories that will be treasured for years to come.

KinVibes Pro-tip: Remember to bundle up warmly, bring along hot beverages, and secure a fantastic spot along the parade route to fully immerse yourself in the enchanting magic of Winter Parades.

Preparing for Winter Activities

grandmother with her grand child preparing food for christmas.
Image Credit: JumpStory

As the snowflakes start to fall, it’s time to gear up for some fantastic winter activities and spend time together with your family. We’ll guide you through preparation and offer vital tips for unforgettable moments.

Dressing in Layers

Ensuring you are dressed in layers is crucial for maintaining warmth and comfort during winter activities.

Here are 7 simple steps to follow:

Step 1. Commence with a moisture-wicking base layer, which will help to keep perspiration away from your body.
Step 2. Incorporate an insulating layer, like a fleece or down jacket, to effectively trap your body heat.
Step 3. Wear an outer layer that is both waterproof and windproof, ensuring protection against snow, rain, and wind.
Step 4. Remember to don thermal socks and waterproof boots to keep your feet dry and warm.
Step 5. Guard your hands against the cold with insulated gloves or mittens.
Step 6. Cover your head and neck with a hat or beanie, coupled with a scarf or neck gaiter.
Step 7. Consider adding thermal leggings or pants beneath your outer layer.

Choosing the Right Gear

When choosing the right gear, you should first conduct thorough research on the recommended gear for each activity. You should also take into account various factors such as temperature, wind chill, and precipitation levels. This will help you choose gear that offers adequate insulation and protection.

Also, prioritize trying on the gear first to ensure a proper fit that allows for movement and flexibility. Remember to invest in high-quality gear that can endure the demands of winter activities, ensuring its longevity for multiple seasons. These features are crucial in minimizing the risk of injury.

Most importantly, look for gear equipped with safety features. You can acquire equipment such as:

  • Helmets for skiing and snowboarding
  • Padded gloves for ice skating

Safety Precautions

By following these safety precautions, you can enjoy a safe and memorable winter experience with your family.

Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers to stay warm and protect against frostbite. Wear a waterproof outer layer to stay dry.

Use The Right Gear: Ensure everyone has appropriate equipment, such as helmets for skiing and snowboarding and ice grippers for walking on slippery surfaces.

Stay Hydrated: Despite the cold weather, it’s essential to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated during winter activities.

Know Your Limits: Participate in activities suitable for your skill level and physical ability. Don’t push yourself or your family beyond their capabilities.

Be Aware Of The Environment: Check weather conditions and be mindful of potential hazards such as thin ice, avalanches, or falling tree branches.

Facts About Winter Activities for Families:

  • ✅ According to Verywell Family, spending quality time together as a family during winter can improve physical and mental health.
  • ✅ Engaging in both indoor and outdoor winter activities allows for a variety of experiences and fun as stated by Country Living.
  • ✅ Today.com also claims that winter activities for families can include building snowmen, going sledding, and making snow angels.
  • ✅ Another research from Verywell Family states that indoor activities like baking and decorating cookies, coloring together, and doing puzzles are enjoyable during colder months.
  • ✅ Outdoor activities such as attending parades, ice skating, and going on snowy hikes create lasting memories for families based on County Living studies.

FAQ – Winter Activities for Families

What are some fun indoor winter activities for families?

Indoor winter activities for families include baking and decorating cookies, crafting DIY wreaths, organizing the living room, hosting a family movie night with hot cocoa, and cooking comfort food recipes.

What are some outdoor winter activities for families?

Outdoor winter activities for families include building a snowman, going on snowy hikes, ice fishing, setting up a backyard ice rink, participating in a snowman challenge, and going to an outdoor rink for ice skating.

How can families stay warm during outdoor winter activities?

To stay warm during outdoor winter activities, families should wear warm jackets and coats, bundle up in layers, wear hats and gloves, and drink hot chocolate to keep warm. It’s also important to take breaks and warm up indoors if needed.

What are some creative winter crafts that families can do together?

Some creative winter crafts that families can do together include making snowman-shaped pancakes and hot chocolates, crafting a winter centerpiece for the dining table, creating handmade wreaths, and decorating pinecones.

Are there any family-friendly holiday events during the winter season?

Yes, there are many family-friendly holiday events during the winter season. Families can attend Santa Claus parades, watch a production of “The Nutcracker,” visit an aquarium to see snowy scenes, and participate in winter solstice celebrations.

How can families give back to their community during the winter season?

Families can give back to their community during the winter season by collecting socks or other warm items for the homeless, volunteering at a soup kitchen, and donating food or necessities to local charities. They can also participate in fundraisers or organize winter-themed events to support those in need.

Wrapping Up – Take Your Family On Your Next Winter Adventure

Winter is a time of magic, reflection, and bonding for families. Whether it’s the rush of a downhill sled ride, the serenity of a snowy hike, the warmth of indoor activities, or settling in for a movie marathon, winter provides countless opportunities for families to come together. Embracing the season’s offerings not only strengthens family ties but also promotes physical and mental well-being.

Preparation, safety and the right gear further enhance the experience, ensuring memorable moments are filled with laughter rather than discomfort. So, as the first snowflake touches the ground, remember that winter is more than just a season; it’s an opportunity to create, bond, and cherish moments with loved ones.

While winter provides a magical backdrop for outdoor adventures and cozy indoor moments, it’s also the perfect season for family gatherings. And what’s a gathering without some friendly competition and laughter? If you’re looking for game ideas to elevate your family time, don’t miss our comprehensive guide on Games for Family Get-Togethers. It’s packed with fun and engaging games that are sure to become new family favorites!

About Krystal DeVille

Hello! I’m Krystal DeVille. By day, I wear many hats: a homeschool teacher, wife, and mother. By night, I’m a fervent journalist, pouring my thoughts and experiences onto paper. Parenthood, for me, has been an exhilarating roller-coaster filled with emotions, invaluable lessons, and moments of sheer joy. With three wonderful kids of my own, I’ve journeyed through the highs and lows — from sleepless nights to their very first steps and those unforgettable proud parent moments.

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