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50 Winter Break Ideas for Kids & Tweens

Nobody likes to be cooped up, and while blanket forts work for all seasons of the year, there are a few winter break ideas that become extra special when the sun is setting early and the air is crisp.

These winter break ideas are ideal for kids and teens of all ages, from those who prefer to stay indoors, to the more adventurous young souls. Rather than worrying about keeping kids and teens out of trouble during school vacations, you’ll find everything from the educational to the charitable and creative types of activities. Enjoy!

  1. Stay warm and active by bouncing at a trampoline park like Launch – trampolines are great exercise!
  2. Build a regular jigsaw puzzle or try and tackle a 3D puzzle.
  3. Draw a mural on large craft paper then let the kids color it in.
  4. Volunteer at a soup kitchen and teach kids about generosity and gratitude.
  5. Find the biggest hill in town and go sledding.
  6. Take skiing lessons and/or go skiing.
  7. Buy a day pass and head to a local hotel pool to go swimming.
  8. Go ice skating at your local ice skating rink.
  9. Go on a hot chocolate date by sampling hot chocolate at several different shops.
  10. Join in on a winter stroll (many towns have winter 5k’s or walks in the winter)
  11. Winter hiking or ski-boarding through trails (best benefit of winter hikes: no ticks!)
  12. Visit a museum.
  13. Play a board game.
  14. Create your OWN board game!
  15. Stage a snowball fight between siblings.
  16. Go to the theater and see a play.
  17. Have the kids come up with and put on their OWN play.
  18. Find a trail and go cross-country snowshoeing.
  19. Have a baking day where you make cookies for friends and neighbors.
  20. Make origami (you could try making cranes, then move on if you’re so inclined.)
  21. Go to a hardware store and get a kit to build something, like a bird house.
  22. Go to a craft store and get supplies to make a scrapbook.
  23. Make necklaces.
  24. Come up with a secret handshake.
  25. Go to a concert (like the Philharmonic).
  26. Build a model, like a race car or F-16.
  27. Go snow tubing locally or at a snow tubing park.
  28. Have a movie night where they pick the movies.
  29. Have a movie night where you get to show them your favorite old movies from when you were a kid.
  30. Go out to the movies as a family and see the latest flick.
  31. Plan a winter star-gazing night (bring heavy coats and boots!)
  32. Teach the kids how to build a fire in the snow (or in your fireplace) – an excellent opportunity to teach fire safety!
  33. Come up with a secret language only you know.
  34. Do a parent date exchange – take turns with play dates so each set of parents can have some adult time while the kids play with their friends.
  35. Take a local all-ages art class – many churches offer classes during summer and winter breaks.
  36. Teach kids how to cook a few simple staples.
  37. Walk your kids through doing the laundry.
  38. Teach children how to sew (maybe with the goal of them creating their own shirt or pillow by the end of vacation.)
  39. If you’re having a sick day, ask your kids to be the chef for the day (expect lots of peanut butter sandwiches and bouillon).
  40. Have a “donation day” where you go through stuff after or before the holidays and donate used clothes and toys.
  41. Make handmade gifts for grandparents and relatives that kids can give out at birthdays and holidays.
  42. No puppy for the holidays? Volunteer at a local animal shelter with your children.
  43. Fix something by finding something broken in the house (even a flashlight) and showing your children how to take it apart and put it back together.
  44. Write letters to a grandparent or loved one.
  45. Make tie-dye shirts for summer (or use glitter glue!)
  46. Have a karaoke night in your living room.
  47. At night, sit in a circle with a flashlight and tell ghost stories.
  48. Buy a large canvas and a large set of acrylic paints, then let the kids cover the whole canvas with their designs together. Once it’s dry, frame it!
  49. Use scissors to make snowflakes and hang them around the house until spring.
  50. Make a new signature recipe with the kids from scratch with special ingredients so that you can share with people and say that the recipe a “family secret.”

When families do activities together during school breaks, it can be therapeutic for kids and teens who lack and need structure. The next time your child think they’ll be squatting in front of the TV set with a game controller for winter break, prep them with this list of winter break ideas for them to choose from.

All cooped up with nowhere to go? Do the kids need to bounce their sillies out? Find your nearest Launch location!