Do you spend more money on family entertainment in the winter than you do in the summer? For families living in cooler climates, the cold weather brings with it challenges of what you can do on the weekends. Some resort to the shopping mall or movies while others may enjoy activities such as bowling or visiting the museum. The one thing these activities have in common is that they all cost you money.
Winter heating bills, holiday shopping and family feasting can quickly eat away at the bank account in a very short period of time. If you’re interested in saving money while avoiding cabin-fever during the winter months, take a look at these 7 frugal family activities for the cold weather.
Have an indoor camp-out: Build a fort out of blanks and chairs, or setup a pop-up tent in the living room. Play cards and boardgames, roast marshmallows in the fireplace and tell campfire stories at bedtime. The whole family can sleep on the floor in sleeping bags just as if you were camping.
Do a kid exchange with another family: I remember as a kid always thinking my friends must to be doing something more interesting at their house when I was bored at home. So why not swap kids every so often. Get with your friends and plan a kid exchange. You take their kids for a day and next week they’ll take yours. Not only will the kids have fun playing together but when it’s your turn to drop them off with your friends, you get a nice break too.
Invite friends over for a picnic: Instead of just the kids coming over for a kid exchange, invite the whole family and have an indoor picnic. Spread out a few blankets on the floor and enjoy some fried chicken, potato salad and fruit, sans ants.
Go puddle jumping: When was the last time you threw on a pair of boots and just let loose? I bet it’s been awhile and you’re probably always telling the kids not to do it either. As the fall and winter rain settle in, bundle up the family and head for the biggest puddles you can find. Forget your cares and turn back into your eight year old self.
Have a snowman/snow-angel contest: If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that receives an abundance of snow, invite the neighborhood out for a snowman building competition. Have each family build one in the front yard and let the kids be the judges.
Play Nature Eye-Spy: Another great free activity is to grab a thermos of hot cocoa and head to the closest park or nature trail for a game of Nature Eye-Spy. As the leaves shed from the trees you can often spy things through the branches that you normally wouldn’t be able to see. This also helps build your childs ability to describe their environment as well.
If you have other suggestions on some great winter activities, please share in the comments below.