12 Family Activities for This Winter

As the COVID-19 Pandemic lingers on, some of us may be running out of ideas to pass the time.  With that sentiment in mind, this list of a dozen activities may offer some suggestions on passing the time.


  • Take a hike! Hitting a local trail with your family – and a canine friend, if applicable – is a great way to pass the time.  AllTrails is a convenient phone app that has trails listed for many parts of the country.
  • Investigate local plants. Are you going for a hike or even a walk around the block?  See which plants you can spot that are native to your area.  The National Wildlife Federation has a research tool that is zip code specific for just this purpose.
  • Play a new board game. Boardgames can be a bonding experience for families. You can try one of the board games release in 2020, such as Pandemic Legacy, Sleeping Gods, The Crew: Quest for Plant Nine. Alternatively, an old standard like Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Clue, and Parcheesi are still popular.
  • Finish a puzzle. Jigsaw puzzles can be a fantastic family/team-building exercise. You can work as a team or assign specific parts of the puzzle to a family member group.
  • Have a favorite movie?   Why not reenact the film or a favorite movie scene?  A little online research should provide you with a script, and then it is up to your imagination.
  • Try a new recipe. Bake a new recipe, or even an old favorite. Children will have math skills reinforcing, family members may learn new skills and know a new tradition may be born.  If you need inspiration, you could start with this website:  d a new holiday recipe and bake it together. www.emersonhospital.org/articles/healthy-holiday-food-recipes-tips   
  • Help the birds. Birds are still active in the Winter.  Children usually love to watch our feathered friends up close.  Consider building a simple bird feeder, or buy one and let the fun begin.
  • Family Talent Show.   Do family members have a unique talent? Showcase it.  Maybe even go live or record it for Instagram Stories.  Maybe you could all learn the same dance that you could share with relatives and friends.
  • Become a Crime Solver. Spice up family game night with a murder mystery game.  Older children may enjoy solving a fictional murder.  Liven it up with food and decorations that go with the storyline. Adding costumes and accessories, and character backstories will add to the fun.
  • Post-pandemic escape plans. Now that the Covid-19 vaccines are starting to be distributed it might be time to think of what to do this summer and fall. Involve children in the process as well.  Is a family trip part of the plan?  Where will you go?  What will you see? 
  • S’mores. If you have space or know someone that does, is there anything better for a family to do on a winter evening than eating S’mores around a campfire?
  • Showing you Care.  Create homemade greeting cards for first responders and those that are isolated during the Pandemic.  Nursing home residents often appreciate even small gestures showing they are not forgotten.  Many first responders are becoming fatigued as the Pandemic lingers on.  Consider adding a bright spot to their day and remember teachers as well.  Create the cards and drop them off at the nursing, home, hospital, fire station, or school.
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