winter carnival in quebec; Courtesy of Quebec CVB
All Ages

14 Best Winter Activities for Kids

See recent posts by Amanda Norcross

Skiing, snow tubing, sledding and ice skating are popular activities for many families this time of year. But if you’re wondering what else you can do to stave off boredom and the winter blues, we’ve found some great winter activities for kids, from travel-inspired games at home to planning your next family vacation.

Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival DOnkey Jump; Courtesy of Steamboat Springs Chamber/ Rory B. Clow

1. Go to a Winter Festival

Christmas and Hanukkah aren’t the only reason for the season! Many destinations host themed celebrations in January and February, with popular winter festivals including Winter Carnival in Quebec City.

Brass band of six musicians play music and child looks at their on playground at winter day, ; Courtesy of Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

2. Enjoy a Concert or Show

If you’re going to be stuck inside, you might as well enjoy it! Book tickets to a concert, sporting event or Broadway show.

Related: 20 Best Broadway Shows for Kids in 2020

Banff, Canada Upper Hot Springs; Courtesy of TripAdvisor Traveler/Nancie B

3. Plan a Winter Vacation

You don’t have to be a family of skiers to take a winter vacation! In fact, some of the best winter vacations don’t involve skiing at all! Here are some great winter vacation ideas:

Club Med Punta Cana; Courtesy of Club Med Punta Cana

4. … or an All-Inclusive Vacation 

Winter is prime time for all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. Trade the cold and snow for warmth and sunshine with these all-inclusive family vacation ideas:

Titusville, FL; Courtesy of Florida Space Coast Office of Tourism

5. … or a Spring Break Vacation

Spring break isn’t just for college co-eds. If your kids have a mid-winter or spring break, consider planning a family vacation around it. These are the 14 Best Family Spring Break Vacations for 2020.

Plymouth, MA; Courtesy of Plimoth Plantation

6. … or a Summer Vacation

It’s NEVER too early to start planning your annual summer vacation. In fact, we’ve already mapped out some of the best family vacation ideas for 2020:

The Strong National Museum of Play; Courtesy of The Strong National Museum of Play

7. Explore a New Museum

When hot cocoa and movies just won’t do the trick, pack up the kids and explore a local museum (or plan a road trip to a museum elsewhere). These are some of our favorite museums for kids and toddlers.

Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells; Courtesy of Wisconsin Dells CVB

8. Head to an Indoor Water Park

Indoor water park resorts are typically open year-round, but the best time to go is the winter, when you can trade single-digit temps for 80-degree weather! Great Wolf Lodge is a favorite for families, with locations across the U.S. (plus one in Canada), but there are so many other great indoor water park resorts to enjoy, too. These are the best indoor water park resorts for 2020.

9. Go to an Indoor Amusement Park

Yes, indoor amusement parks exist! In fact, the largest one in North America—Nickelodeon Universe—just opened in Rutherford, New Jersey, at the American Dream mall. With roller coasters, rides and games at indoor amusement parks across the U.S., there’s no need to put theme park thrills on hold until summer.

Smiling african american father and daughter baking in the kitchen;Courtesy of bbernard/Shutterstock

10. Have a Travel-Inspired Snow Day

It’s only 9 a.m. and the kids are already fighting while you’re on a conference call (or are forced to take the day off from work). Sound familiar? Check out these 6 Travel-Inspired Snow Day Activities for Kids to get some respite (and maybe even enjoy yourself).

Father and son are reading a book and smiling while spending time together at home; Courtesy of George Rudy/Shutterstock

11. Cozy Up With a Book

Build a fire, pull out the fleece blankets, and curl up with a good book (or several) this winter. If you’re looking for recommendations, we’ve got plenty:

mother and daughter playing at home in a tent;Courtesy of Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

12. Build a Fort

Nothing beats building a fort on a cold winter’s day. You can use pillows, sheets, blankets, chairs and other household items, or try a build-a-fort kit for kids.

Happy family at home in the couch playing classic table games; Courtesy of David Prado Perucha/Shutterstock

13. Play a Game

We’re not talking about games on the iPad, either. Stock up on good, old-fashioned board games you can enjoy with snacks (and wine). These are some of our favorite family board games.

Mother And Daughter At Home Looking Through Photo Album; Courtesy of Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

14. Make a Photo Album or Scrapbook 

Are all those vacation photos from last summer still sitting on your phones or cameras? Use a cold and dreary weekend to create a commemorative photo book or album of your trip (and dream about your next vacation together).

Related: 9 Best Travel Cameras for Kids 

What to Pack for Your Next Trip

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