30+ Things to Do When It’s Too Cold to Go Outside

kids in a fort
© photo by Peopleimages.com – YuriArcurs for Canva

The days are getting shorter, the air is colder, and your kids might start to get more restless without the outdoors as a place for them to expound some energy.

Whether it’s too cold to go outside, or you’re just looking for quality family time at home, we have gathered a long list of indoor activities when it’s just too cold to play outside. Just don’t do it all in one day – pick one or two things to drag out through one day. You will want a fresh list of ideas for the next snowy day.

Indoor Activities for the Whole Family

There’s a long list of “rainy day” activities your whole family can take part in. Dig through your video game, board game, or puzzle collections. Dust them off, cozy up, and dive in for the day! Make your favorite cookie recipe or try a new one. Let the kids measure out ingredients and make a mess – it’s the best way they learn!

Try out a new exercise. Pull up a Youtube video or download a fitness app that has instructional videos. Involve the kids – they love to jump around (and don’t realize it’s ‘work’). We love Cosmic Kids Yoga and GoNoodle

Have a Dance Party! Once a year in February, my family dresses up and has a Friday night dance party in our basement. It’s a four-year tradition that we each look forward to. We all get to pick songs, and this year we even set a black-and-white dress code. We kick of our shoes and bring out our best moves. It has created some of our best family memories so far!

Be strategic with screen time. There’s no need to ignore screens, just make sure everyone (including the parents) is taking breaks. Download a new educational app or explore a learning game like Prodigy. Relax with an audiobook while you clean out your closet, or introduce your kids to old classic films like Goonies, Back to the Future, or Wizard of Oz.

Inside, but somewhere else.

Sometimes the weather is nice enough that you can venture outside of the house – just not in your home. Go jump around at a trampoline park like Sky Zone in Grimes or Get Air in Urbandale. Explore playground equipment indoors at Rainbow of the Heartland. Take swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School or through your local YMCA or gym. Explore your city’s parks and recreation departments for indoor classes – that’s where I learned about beekeeping and my daughter learned how to sew!

Did you know you can rent out a movie theater? Screen a new movie with just your friends, or share your joy of a classic. This checks off all the boxes: You are indoors, you don’t have to cleanup, you can enjoy movie popcorn and you can invite your friends!

Visit your local library and check out a new video game, leave with a stack of new books for the family to dive into!

Whether it’s taking on a task of your own, or involving your entire family, here are more things to do indoors to avoid winter boredom!

  • Build a fort and read books with flashlights
  • Write down your bucket list or dreams
  • Rearrange your bedrooms or living spaces
  • Take a nap!
  • Have a bubble bath
  • Put on a tea party, with or without stuffies
  • Take a Masterclass
  • Make a family playlist
  • Have a picnic on the carpet
  • Meal plan
  • Read a book, or 10!
  • Clean and organize
  • Review your finances. Maybe you’ll find ways to save!
  • Connect with another mom. Have a FaceTime, send an email, or reach out via text
  • Send some snail mail
  • Make a chore chart or sticker chart for your kids
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Do an at-home spa treatment. Involve the whole family!
  • Binge an old TV show
  • Learn a new craft or hobby
  • Do a toy purge!
  • Clean out your closet and list your items on Poshmark
  • Try indoor camping. Set up a tent and let the kids sleep in the tent for the night.
  • Doo a science experiment. No need for fancy kits, you may have items in your home!
  • Bake together!
  • Toss a big pile of supplies and make a craft challenge.
  • Host a birthday party for your favorite stuffed animals. Your kids can make the invites, bake a cake, and sing to their stuffy!

What are your favorite indoor activities? 


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