61 Cheap Winter Indoor Activities: Best Fun Things to Try

61 Cheap Winter Indoor Activities: Best Fun Things to Try
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Introduction to Cheap Winter Indoor Activities

Winter is a season that many people dread due to the cold weather and shorter days. It can be tempting to stay indoors and hibernate until the warmer months arrive. However, there are plenty of fun and engaging cheap winter indoor activities that can keep you entertained during this season.

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Challenges of Staying Active During the Winter Months

There are plenty of inexpensive and fun indoor activities for winter fun that you can do from your own home that will help keep you occupied and engaged as well as prevent the uncomfortable feeling of being cooped up indoors all day.

By introducing a variety of interesting activities into your daily routine you can help reduce stress levels while also helping boost your overall physical stamina and energy. 

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Importance of Engaging in Indoor Activities for Physical and Mental Well-Being

Whether you enjoy finding new ways to stay active or would just rather relax at home in front of a fire, there is something enjoyable that everyone can do indoors this winter. 

There are plenty of activities you can do indoors – from fitness, artistic pursuits, cooking/baking, games, and movies to reading, indoor gardening, and learning new skills that don’t cost a fortune. Read on to get more great ideas!

Fitness and Exercise in the Wintertime

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to give up on your fitness routine.

1) Creating a Home Workout Routine

Creating a home workout routine can be a perfect way to maintain your fitness during the wintertime.

2) Yoga or Pilates Sessions

If you prefer a more calming and meditative approach to exercise, consider incorporating yoga or pilates into your wintertime routine. 

3) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 

For those looking for a more intense workout, consider adding some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine. 

4) Dance Classes

Who says working out can’t be fun? Dancing is a great way to get your heart rate up and work on your coordination, and it’s also a fantastic mood booster. Take lessons or simply put on some music and let loose in your living room.

a family dancing around the living room- cheap winter indoor activities

5) Indoor Exercises for All Ages

Simple activities like jumping jacks, push-ups, and squats can provide a good cardiovascular workout while also building muscle strength. 

6) Martial Arts or Self-Defense Classes

If you are interested in learning a new skill while also getting a great workout, consider taking up martial arts or self-defense classes. 

7) Exercise Equipment

Resistance bands, dumbbells, and stability balls are all relatively inexpensive and versatile pieces of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises. I’ve gotten some nice exercise equipment at thrift stores and on Facebook Marketplace. 

Creative Pursuits in the Winter Months

Aside from physical exercise, winter is also a great time to explore different creative pursuits. 

Arts and Crafts Projects

With so many different types of crafts to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests and skill level. 

8) Knitting or Crocheting

 These are a popular choice for many, as it’s relatively easy to get started and can be done indoors. 

someone is knitting - cheap winter indoor activities

9) Sewing or Quilting

If you have a sewing machine at home, consider using it to create your own unique clothing or home decor items. 

10) Or, try hand-sewing, such as cross-stitching, for a more mindful and meditative experience.

11) Latch Hooking or Rug Making

These types of projects are perfect for cozy winter days, and the end result is a beautiful piece of home decor. 

12) Seasonal Decorations 

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s an excellent time to get into the festive spirit by making your own seasonal decorations. From homemade ornaments and wreaths to handmade gifts for loved ones, there are endless possibilities for DIY projects.

YouTube video
DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas

13) Painting

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at painting? You don’t have to be an expert artist to enjoy this creative pursuit. You can do it all from the comfort of your own home with acrylic, watercolor paints, or even paint-by-number. 

a mother and two children are painting - cheap winter indoor activities

14) Drawing and Sketching

If painting seems a bit daunting, try starting with some simpler artistic pursuits such as drawing or sketching. There are a ton of Youtubes to help you get started.

15) DIY Winter-Themed Crafts

From snowflake garlands and pine cone wreaths to hand-painted mugs and holiday-themed candles, there are lots of possibilities for DIY projects that will add a touch of warmth and cheer to your home during the colder months.

Writing and Journaling

Reflective writing or journaling is a great indoor winter activity. Use this quiet and contemplative season as an opportunity to reflect on the past year, set goals for the future, or simply express your thoughts and feelings. 

16) Starting a Winter Journal

Starting a winter-themed journal can be a fun and creative way to get into the habit. You could decorate your journal with wintery designs or prompts. If you’re new to journaling you can get some pointers from Why We Journal.

someone is writing in a book - cheap winter indoor activities

17) Poetry or Short Story Writing

Winter can also be a great time to get creative with your writing. Use the cold and dark days as inspiration for writing poetry or short stories. 

Cooking and Baking

With short days and colder temperatures, staying indoors and cooking up some warm and comforting meals is a great way to embrace winter. 

18) Trying Out New Recipes

While engaging in some fun activities, one of the best winter indoor activities is cooking or baking. Trying out new recipes is an engaging and exciting activity that can bring the whole family together. 

19) Comforting Soups and Stews

You can try out different variations of your favorite soups and stews or experiment with new recipes. Plus, they are perfect for freezing and saving for those extra chilly days when you don’t feel like cooking. Warm and comforting, soups and stews can be a great way to boost your immune system during the colder months.

20) Homemade Baked Goods and Treats

Baking during the winter season can be a cozy and comforting activity. The warmth of the oven and the delicious smells of baked goods can fill your home with love and joy. 

someone is rolling dough - cheap winter indoor activities

Involving Family Members in the Kitchen

Cooking and baking can also be a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones. Involve your kids or partner in the kitchen, and make it a fun activity for everyone. You can assign tasks according to age and skill level, making sure that everyone feels included. 

21) Family Cooking Night

Designate a specific day of the week as “family cooking night” where everyone comes together to prepare a meal or dessert. This can be a great way to bond and create fun memories while also teaching your kids valuable skills in the kitchen.

a mother, father, and two children are cooking in the kitchen - cheap winter indoor activities.
Father Preparing Family Breakfast In Kitchen

Board Games and Puzzles

When the weather is too cold to go outside, staying in and playing board games or solving puzzles can be a great way to pass the time. 

22) Rediscovering Classic Board Games

Whether it’s the simplicity of Rummikub or the strategic complexity of Risk, these games have proven to be timeless and incredibly fun! Not to mention, it’s a great opportunity to bond with family, friends and neighbors over some friendly competition. 

23) Monopoly, Scrabble, or Chess

Some popular choices to consider for your next game night are Monopoly, Scrabble, and Chess. Monopoly is a game of strategy and luck that has been around since the early 1900s. Scrabble is a classic word game that challenges players’ vocabulary skills while also providing endless entertainment. Chess is the ultimate battle of wits and strategy.

Monopoly board with a hotel and dog token - cheap winter indoor activities.
The game, Monopoly

24) Strategy Games for All Ages

If your family or friends are fans of strategy games, there are plenty of options to choose from. Stratego, Settlers of Catan, and Ticket to Ride offer a mix of luck and skill that can keep players engaged for hours. For younger children, games like Connect Four or Chutes and Ladders provide an introduction to strategic thinking while also being entertaining and easy to learn. 

25) Completing Jigsaw Puzzles Alone or as a Group

Another excellent option for indoor entertainment is jigsaw puzzles. Not only are puzzles entertaining, but they also help improve cognitive skills such as problem-solving and spatial awareness. 

Choosing Different Difficulty Levels

If you’re new to puzzles, it’s best to start with a smaller puzzle with simpler pieces. As your skills improve, you can challenge yourself with larger and more complex puzzles

someone is doing a jigsaw puzzle - cheap winter indoor activities

26) Reading and Movie Night

Another classic indoor winter activity is movie and reading nights.

Creating a Cozy Setup

Creating a cozy setup for reading a good book or watching a great movie is so much fun and can be done with just a few simple steps. 

First, choose a comfortable spot in your house where you can snuggle up with blankets, pillows, and snacks. Then, add some string lights or candles to create a warm ambiance. Choose a movie or book that you’ve been dying to see or read. If you need help in picking out a movie, look here: Good Movie Finder.

a family sitting on a couch eating popcorn - cheap winter indoor activities.

Snacks and Drinks

To take your movie or reading night to the next level, consider making some themed snacks and drinks to go along with your chosen movie or book. Or you can consider making some hot chocolate or warm apple cider as a cozy and comforting addition to your night. 

27) Indoor Gardening

Even though winter can be a harsh season for outdoor plants, you can still enjoy gardening indoors. 

Growing Winter-Friendly Plants

With just a few supplies like soil, pots, and seeds or plants, you can create your own little indoor garden oasis. Not to mention, it’s a great way to destress and improve air quality in your home. So why not try your hand at indoor gardening this winter and watch your plants thrive!

someone is potting plants - cheap winter indoor activities

28) Herbs on the Windowsill

One easy and affordable and fun way to start your indoor garden is by growing herbs on your windowsill. These plants are compact, low maintenance, and perfect for adding fresh flavor to your winter dishes. 

Planning for Spring Gardening Projects

While indoor gardening is a great way to get your green thumb fix during the winter, it’s also a good time to start planning for your spring gardening projects. Use this time to research and plan out what types of plants you want to grow in your outdoor garden. 

29) Seed Starting and Garden Design

Another way to get a head start on your spring gardening is by starting seeds indoors. This allows you to extend your growing season and have healthier, more robust plants when it’s time to transplant them outside. 

Learning and Exploring

Learning and exploring during the wintertime can not only keep your mind active and help you to attain new knowledge and skills.

30) Online Classes

With a vast array of subjects available at our fingertips, we can delve into anything from coding to creative writing, from history to horticulture on a cold winter day. Not only does this open up new avenues of knowledge, but it also gives us the chance to meet like-minded individuals from around the world. 

someone is watching a class on a tabet and taking notes - cheap winter indoor activities.

31) Exploring New Topics Through Documentaries or Educational Content

Another fantastic way to continue learning and exploring during the winter is by watching documentaries or educational content. There are endless options available, from nature documentaries to historical documentaries, and everything in between. You can also find educational videos on platforms like YouTube that cover a variety of topics. 

32) Tutorials and How-To’s

With more time spent indoors, winter is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or skill. Tutorials and how-to videos are easily accessible online and can teach you anything from cooking to painting to DIY projects. These tutorials not only provide a fun activity but also allow you to develop new talents and interests. 

Ideas to do with Kids

Winter can be a challenging time for parents, especially with children at home all day. However, it can also be an opportunity to bond and have some indoor fun. Here are some ideas of fun activities you can do together during the winter to keep kids entertained: 

34) Indoor scavenger hunt

35) Have an inside picnic

35) Tea party

36) Movie marathon with homemade snacks

37) Building forts with blankets and pillows 

38) Baking cookies or other treats 

39) Virtual museum tours or online educational games 

40) Living room campout

41) Make sock puppets

sock puppets - cheap winter indoor activities.

42) Make paper snowflakes

43) Make homemade playdough

44) Indoor obstacle course

45) Baking cookies

46) Mini golf or bowling using household items

47) Science experiments 

48) Writing and illustrating a storybook together  

49) Arts and crafts projects using recycled materials, such as toilet paper rolls

someone is making a Christmas tree with toilet paper rolls - cheap winter indoor activities.

Misc Ideas

If you’re looking for more low-key indoor activities, here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

50) Declutter and organize

51) Learn a new language

52) Create a cozy reading nook

53) Start a virtual book club with friends or family 

54) Catch up with family and friends

55) Plan your summer vacation

56) Plan a virtual game night with friends 

57) Start a blog as a business idea : Margaret Bourne has helpful information, tips and tools.

58) Learn Calligraphy  

calligraphy, ink and pen - cheap winter indoor activities.

59) Create a vision board for the upcoming year

60) Family Photoshoot with fancy clothes or costumes

61) Attend virtual concerts or shows 

Conclusion to Cheap Winter Indoor Activities

Winter may seem like a dull and uneventful season, but with the right mindset and activities, it can be just as enjoyable as any other time of year. 

Diversity of Indoor Winter Activities 

While winter may seem like a restrictive season due to the cold temperatures, there are actually many fun and educational cheap winter indoor activities you can do indoors. From cozy self-care practices to educational documentaries and tutorials, to bonding with loved ones and learning new skills, there truly is something for everyone during the cold winter months to beat off winter boredom. 

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Three pictures: someone kneading dough, a family dancing in the living room, a mother and children painting with the title, "61 cheap winter indoor activities".

Encouragement For a Balance of Physical, Creative, and Relaxing Pursuits 

It’s important to strike a balance between physical activity, creative expression, and relaxation during the winter. While it may be tempting to spend all day on the couch binge-watching TV shows, incorporating different types of activities will keep you and your loved ones engaged, healthy, and fulfilled.

Invitation to Share Your Favorite Indoor Winter Activities 

I hope I’ve given you lots of fun cheap winter indoor activitites and some inspiration for fun and meaningful ideas to do inside during the winter. I would love to hear from you about your favorite cheap winter indoor activities, so please share in the comments below! 


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      1. My wife and I have this tradition of playing the card game Dominion in December. It is such an engaging game and the best of it is that every round you play is completely different!
        Love this post, thank you for sharing 🙂

      2. I love cooking and playing family board games. Yoga is also a great idea, and something I need to get back to doing!

      3. I love these ideas! I do several of them now and want to add on a few that I am not doing. There is no excuse for people to say they are bored and have nothing to do.

        1. Actually, Ann, I never have a day I can call boring – there’s always so much stuff to do and not enough time!

      4. There are so many great ideas here! My partner and I love doing puzzles and games when it gets chilly. And I love the idea of seeking out classes and tutorials! This will definitely help keep me occupied this winter!

        1. I really enjoy puzzles, Christine. As a child I did a lot of puzzles with my grandparents and I still love puzzles today.

      5. I am always looking for frugal activities to do with my family. Especially when it gets cold and you don’t want to go outside. Thanks for this comprehensive list.

        1. Your post on cheap winter indoor activities is an absolute lifesaver! 🌟 The range of ideas, from fitness routines to creative pursuits and family games, is fantastic. Tried a couple already, and they added so much joy to my winter routine. Thanks for turning the season into a canvas of possibilities! Looking forward to more inspiring content. 👏❄️

          1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Ambra! I’m thrilled that you found lots of things to add to your winter routine!

      6. I like these cool winter indoor ideas. Usually, I don’t like winter because I have to entertain my young kids at home for four months. This winter, we will try dance classes and baking new recipes!

      7. Oh, I have a bucket list now. Thank you. I appreciate this post because it highlights that we can still have fun in winter.

      8. Wow, so many wonderful ideas for winter Indoor activities! Art and creative activities will be mine! 🙂

      9. Love these indoor winter activity ideas. It’s a bonus that they are all so cheap. A little creativity goes a long way. Thanks for sharing!

      10. These are all such great and cheap winter family activities to do indoors to have fun as a family. My husband and I love doing jigsaw puzzles in the cold, winter months. It’s great to set it up and work on it a little each night while we catch up on our day.

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