It’s almost time for winter break. The kids will be off school soon and to avoid going crazy, you need to plan fun activities. To keep with the wealth building theme, check out these ideas for affordable winter fun.

Low Cost Winter Fun:

With the cold weather upon us there are lots of fun winter activities. And for those in the warmer climates, we’ve got tips for you as well. Put the ideas in a jar, and let the kids pick. No kids? No worries, these activities are great for grown ups too.

free fun reading


  1. Family sledding at a golf course. There is nothing more fun than sledding with the kids and playing in the snow. No kids? Go with a friend or partner.
  2. Build a snow man or girl. You can send the kids out in the yard (where you can see them) and watch them build in the snow.
  3. Make snow ice cream.
  4. Bundle up and go for a hike in the town or in the country.
  5. Baking is a cheap and fun family activity. Make cookies, cakes, and candy for the family and to give as gifts. If you’re feeling ambitious, try your hand at a gingerbread house.
  6. Visit the Dollar Stores for craft supplies. Paint, build, draw and create.
  7. Build an inside fort in the living room and go camping at home. Cook marshmallows in a toaster oven.
  8. Make an indoor scavenger hunt. Hide little prizes around the house and write out clues for the little ones to follow.
  9. Go bowling. Look for coupons and treat the family to a day at the lanes.
  10. Do a pet experiment. Observe your pet, and write out the findings. Or teach your dog a new trick.
  11. Have a family charity day and serve meals at the food bank or help at a Habitat for Humanity build.
  12. Rent old holiday movies to get in the holiday spirit.
  13. Take a drive to a nearby town. Go without an agenda and explore. Or better yet, save fuel and take a train or bus.
  14. Make a time capsule of things that are important to you now. Put in items that remind you of now; photos, small mementos, stories, newspaper or internet news from today. Label the capsule and hide it away in storage, to be looked at in the future. No capsule? Use a box and decorate it.
  15. Write a family story together, type it up, make a cover page, and have it bound at the local UPS or Fedex Kinko’s.
  16. Play board games or do puzzles. Learn a new game. Play charades.
  17. Sew by hand or machine. Make a pillow, a stuffed toy, or a bag. Visit the remnants table at your local sewing store for cheap fabric.
  18. Buy some paint and decorate old vases, boxes, or anything laying around the house. Paint several items the same color for big impact.
  19. Have a no technology day! Put the gadgets, computers, television away and write, read, walk, play, sing, and create.
  20. Do exercise videos together as a family.
  21. Have a wii or xbox? Have a tournament, keep score, and give awards to the winners.
  22. Go to the park; play basketball, football, frisbee, or soccer in the park.
  23. Put on some rockin’ music and have a family dance hour. Have fun and get fit!
  24. Grab some branches, leaves, a vase, cardboard, paint, and a glue gun. Create some winter crafts.
  25. Go on a treasure hunt in the attic or basement. See what you find. When you uncover unused stuff, donate it to a local charity
  26. Visit Pinterest for inspiration and ideas.
  27. Take a neighborhood night walk to enjoy the holiday lights and decorations.
  28. Host a holiday pot luck party and gift exchange.

More Holiday Reading

What are  your cheap fun activities? 

image credit; google images-free fun for the kids dot com

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  1. Kim@Eyesonthedollar
    November 20, 2012 | 10:11 pm

    Some good ones there. If only it would snow! We do visit the Dollar Store. They have great craft supplies. We love the library and the programs they provide as well.

  2. Justin@TheFrugalPath
    November 20, 2012 | 10:20 pm

    When I was young we’d spend hours and hours outside building snow caves. They weren’t exactly forts, but all of the mounds of snow created by shoveling the driveway created an ideal setting to dig snow caves. It was a great/cheap way to keep us out of our mother’s hair.

  3. Barb
    November 21, 2012 | 11:17 am

    @Kim, As I was hitting the “publish” button, I thought about the library as well. Thanks for adding it!
    @Justin-There is little to compete with the fun of building in the snow!!!! Forts, snow people, sledding….. the possibilities are endless:) (We even put our cat on a sled)

  4. krantcents
    November 21, 2012 | 11:57 am

    There is no shortage of things to do on the holidays! It is an additional time to get together and enjoy the the shared experiences.

  5. John S @ Frugal Rules
    November 21, 2012 | 1:57 pm

    Great tips! One of our favorite things is to drive around and look at Christmas lights. There are a few neighborhoods (where the Joneses live) and they pay to have their houses decorated. We take some hot chocolate and cookies for the kids and it’s a great time.

  6. Little House
    November 21, 2012 | 4:57 pm

    I love riding my bike to a restaurant for a drink or two. Still inexpensive. ;) No snow, just sunshine that I like to revel in.

  7. Barb
    November 22, 2012 | 7:55 pm

    @Krantc- WE just spent a lovely hour walking around the beautiful downtown area of our city. So much fun!!
    @John, Our family loves this activity as well. I can’t believe people pay to have their homes decorated. Sounds like a good business opportunity for the industrious.
    @Little House- Delightful idea. And no designated driver needed :)

  8. Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin
    November 26, 2012 | 2:25 pm

    I really like #6 my daughter has been in a coloring frenzy these past couple months. She will literally spend hours at the table drawing and coloring. Great ideas!

  9. Barb
    November 26, 2012 | 8:00 pm

    @Brick-I completely understand. Arts and crafts are so fun and engaging and can cost almost nothing!! Great for the whole family.

  10. Wayne @Young Family Finance
    November 26, 2012 | 8:44 pm

    Great list! My wife is a little obsessed with the wonders of Pinterest. I have to admit she has found some pretty good ideas on there! Our family also likez birdwatching. Our kids love to see how many different kinds they can see in a trip.

  11. Barb
    November 27, 2012 | 11:14 am

    @Wayne-Pinterest is a delight for the creative!! Has she found craft or shopping ideas there? Birdwatching is a wonderful hobby, with so many economical possibilities for fun!!!

  12. […] FRIEDBERG @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance writes 28 IDEAS FOR CHEAP HOLIDAY FUN – Cheap winter fun ideas. Save money creatively. Crafts, hikes, parties and […]

  13. […] your best holiday ever and don’t blow the […]

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