4 Fun Things to Do When It's Too Cold to Be Outside

Laura Bailey

Author of Beyond the Noise
Published Jan 10, 2024
4 Fun Things to Do When It's Too Cold to Be Outside

Winter won't last forever, and spring will be here soon. And while these suggestions are perfect for being stuck indoors, no one says they can’t be enjoyed year-round.

My children and I wait anxiously for the first snowfall. We jump for joy at the opportunity to bust out our gloves, hats, and snow boots. We can’t wait to slide down hills, build snowmen, have an epic snowball fight, and make snow cream. We live in the south, so we don’t get a ton of snow, and compared to other parts of the country, our winters can be pretty mild. On the rare occasion we get an inch or two of snowfall, it quickly turns to ice, making the decks, sidewalks, and roads slick and dangerous– not optimal for outside frolicking. Winter generally means more time indoors, no matter where you live. Spending time inside can take its toll on small children and even adults. If you find yourself trapped inside, try out these four fun things when it is too cold to be outside.

1. Snuggle Up with a Good Book or Series

One year, we had an unusual amount of snow that fell on a Wednesday night. I didn’t have remote access to work at the time, so I lucked up with a four-day weekend. I love to read, so I was not upset that I had 96 hours to knock out a few books on my “to-read list.” Cold weather is an excellent excuse, as if you needed it, to kick back with a good novel. For the bookworms out there, challenge yourself with a certain number of books at the beginning of winter or try to read multiple genres. Make a game of reading new authors or work your way through a series.

 Not a reader? No problem! There are countless ways to listen to books through an app, many of which are free. Put on a book while you wash clothes, clean the house, or work out. If books aren’t your thing, try out podcasts or mini-series. There are endless podcasts available that cover a broad range of topics. Take this time to catch up on your Bible reading or listening, whichever you prefer. Go deeper into a particular book or journal and reflect. 

2. Start a New Hobby, or Pick Back Up an Old One

As a kid, I loved cross-stitching. I still remember the Christmas I gave everyone in my family a cross-stitched ornament; I felt pretty proud of myself. Something about watching the little Xs turn into a design gave me joy. I could sit for hours, weaving the thread in and out of the tiny holes, my attention locked on filling those little holes in the fabric.

 And then, well, life happened. I grew into a teenager who went to college, worked, married, and grew a family. Most days, I barely have enough time to read the permission slip before I nod off; sitting down and cross-stitching will not happen. But, give me snow or a weekend of wet weather, and I revert to that fourth-grade girl, all my anxious energy channeled into stitching Mount Rushmore in a 3x3 inch square.

Is there something you’ve always loved doing but can’t ever find the time? Or maybe when you relax, you feel guilty staying indoors because it’s a nice day outside? Shake off that shame, dust off your old hobby, and embrace the gift of colder temperatures and earlier nights.

3. Stroll Down Memory Lane

As I mentioned, we don’t often need our snowsuits. So, when we aren’t using them, 99.9% of the time, we keep them in the attic. A few years ago, I opened my memory box from high school, looking for our ski bibs. I didn’t make it much past the opening before I plopped on the floor and rummaged through old yearbooks, letters from friends, and memorable.

The kids, worried a giant attic mouse had eaten me, eventually came upstairs searching for their dear old mom. After they got over their initial confusion, “Wait, mom didn’t always look like this,” we enjoyed a few hours going through the memorabilia.

This would also be an excellent time to catch up on your children's memory books or other significant events. Is your child about to graduate college? Collect pictures from each grade, and write something funny you remember about each year. Did your family lose a precious family member? Locate their photos, write down a memory or two, and share them at your next family gathering.

4. Get Ahead of the Game

Life is busy. There is always something to do, even for those trying to keep calm, stress-free schedules with families. If you have a free weekend or a couple of days at home due to inclement weather, use the time to catch up and plan. For some, your type A hearts delight in organization, planning, and executions. For my type B friends, you think, “I thought you said this was a list of fun things to do, not dread.” I understand both sides. But, by using this time to get ahead of the game, checking things off your list that must be done, you'll be prepared when the weather is nice.

Go ahead and schedule your family’s wellness check-ups, dental exams, haircuts, and any other specialty appointments you need to make. Meal plan for next month, making out weekly grocery lists. If you are up to it, make general meal plans for the next few months. Leave room for special occasions, but know what you will fix each week.

Pay bills, update your budget, file documents, and prepare for tax season. Insert sigh here. This isn’t the most exciting thing on the list, but it’s important. Having all your documents together and organized in one place will help things go smoother during tax season.

Winter won't last forever, and spring will be here soon. And while these suggestions are perfect for being stuck indoors, no one says they can’t be enjoyed year-round.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/DGLimages

Laura Bailey headshotLaura Bailey is a Bible teacher who challenges and encourages women to dive deep in the Scriptures, shift from an earthly to an eternal mindset, and filter life through the lens of God’s Word.  She is the author of Beyond the Noise, and loves any opportunity to speak and teach women of all ages. She is a wife and momma to three young girls. Connect with her on her website,  www.LauraRBailey.com, Facebook and Instagram.