Everyone should make a winter bucket list and take advantage of the differences that each season brings. It may be cold outside but that doesn’t mean your adventures needs to wait.
This winter why not try skiing or even take a polar plunge in the cold freezing water. Or go dog sledding or even have a drink in an ice bar.
Well, that may not be your idea of fun but maybe reading a book by the fire is more your speed. Or even planning a game night with the family. These are some ideas to make you happy while enjoying the winter months.
So take a look at this winter bucket list and try something new this season!
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Table of Contents
Go Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing is skiing on flat areas. It’s considered one of the best exercises anyone can do during the winter months. It’s an activity that you can do at your own pace and enjoy a day outdoors.
There are numerous places across the United States to go cross country skiing. Many areas of the country have trails including the rail trail system across the states. During the winter months, rail trails transform from biking trails that are just perfect for cross country skiing use.
Take a Hike in the Snow
Taking a hike in the snow is beautiful. It’s a great time to use snowshoes and if you haven’t experienced using them, boy it’s fun! The woods are always peaceful but with snow all around you, the beauty of mother nature really shines.
This is a new activity (well in my area anyway) that has become very popular over the last few years. Many restaurants have these igloo domes outside during the winter months and offer packages for meals and drinks in the dome. You can dine with the snow around you and enjoy the warmth inside the dome. It has become so popular in many areas that you will need to book weeks and even months in advance.
Now you can even find these domes and purchase them to enjoy at your home.
Rent a cabin and enjoy a quiet winter weekend
Getting away can make for a great winter weekend. Rent a cabin in the woods and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Make sure it has a fireplace where you can cozy up with wine (or the cocktail of your choice) and truly relax.
There are places all over the United States for you to enjoy even in winter so check out your favorite location below and just do it! After all, you deserve it.
Plan a Trip to go Dog Sledding
This is on my bucket list to experience dog sledding. Everyone thinks you need to go to Alaska to experience dog sledding, but you would be surprised to find out the many states in the lower 48 which offer dog sledding experience. Yes, it is expensive but it’s something that you won’t do every day or even once in a while, but you should experience it at least once in a lifetime.
These following states can make that happen: Colorado, California, Wyoming, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and even Maryland.
Go Camping in your Living Room
This is great especially if you have young children. You can set up a tent in your living room, make all your favorite camping foods, and even have a scavenger hunt. In addition, playing games about the outdoors will add to the fun.
Go to an Ice Bar
You’ll have to travel if you are looking for an ice bar experience but it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Here is the best in the United States.
With over 90 tons of ice, this controlled temperature attraction (bar) has three locations in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort, Venetian Resort, and the LINQ Promenade.
Everything is made of ice including the walls, chairs, and even your drink glasses. For more information or want to book your experience click here.
Ice Bar Orlando
Ice Bar Orlando is a year-round ice bar in Orlando Florida. It is the largest permanent ice bar in the United States. You will be provided with coats and gloves during your visit. With over 70 tons of craved ice throughout, it’s a one of a kind experience you should do at least once in your lifetime.
Samoset Resort Rockport Maine
Every year in January (dates vary so check their website), the Samoset Resort in Rockport Maine transforms an area into the “Glacier Ice Bar”. It takes 20,000 pounds of ice and many hours of skilled ice craving to make this outdoor bar come to life. It’s a must-see in Maine in January.
Go Someplace Warm
This is my favorite thing to do during the winter. Being from the northeast, our winters are cold and there is nothing better than going to a warm destination for a few days.
Polar Bear Plunge
The polar bear plunge is when you go into the ocean or other body of water during the winter months and take a dip despite the freezing cold temperatures. These organized events are held to raise money for charities.
Many of these events take place on New Year’s Day while others happen between January and March. You can find them in Seattle, Colorado, New York City (Coney Island), Lake George NY, Boston, Milwaukee, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Minnesota, Maryland, and Illinois.
The biggest event in the country is held in Sandy Point State Park in Maryland and Long Beach New York on Long Island (held on Super Bowl Sunday). These events raise millions of dollars for charities such a Make-A-Wish and Special Olympics.
This is totally not for me however some people enjoy these annual events and after all, are doing it for a good cause.
Have a Game Night
Family game nights are great activities for a winter evening. They bring families of all ages together to spend quality time and make family memories.
I grew up playing games with my siblings and cousins and still laugh about many of those memories today. With so many games to choose from, teams are formed within the family and the competition begins. It teaches our children to work and laugh together and to just have some fun.
Play Laser Tag or go to an Escape Room
It’s that time of year to enjoy inside activities with family and friends. We try to have a family laser tag day every January where we get together with our siblings and their children and enjoy an afternoon playing laser tag and then we go out for pizza. It’s a great fun family day and breaks up the winter boredom too.
Play in the Snow and make Snow Angels
Just go outdoors on a snowy day and just have some fun playing in the snow and of course making snow angels with the whole family.
Ice fishing is when you fish on a lake after it freezes. You would drill a hole in the ice and put your line with bait down around 20 feet in the water. Caution needs to be taken To walk on the ice you need at least 4” thickness and to take a snowmobile on the lake at least 6” thick. Many large lakes will set up areas to go ice fishing and other lake activities such as snowmobiling once this criterion occurs.
The most popular destinations to go ice fishing in the United States are Higgins Lake, Michigan, Devil’s Lake in North Dakota, Lake of the Woods in Minnesota, Andero Reservoir in Colorado, Moosehead Lake in Maine, and Tupper Lake and Champlain in New York. You can also have fun ice fishing on any lake if it meets the ice thickness criteria and safety first is considered.
Take a Class
The winter is a great time to try something new. Taking a class like cooking, yoga, quilting, art and so many more can pass the cold winter months and get you out of the house for a little while and meet new people. Many area schools and university offer nighttime education at an affordable price.
There is nothing better on a cold day than baking cookies with your kids and eating them hot right out of the oven!
Host a Soup Party
Hosting a soup party is a great winter bucket list activity. It gives family and friends an excuse to get together by enjoying different kinds of soup. Everyone can bring their favor soup and enjoy good company and laughs.
Do a Puzzle
If you are not an outdoor winter person you can stay nice and warm and take on a 1000+ piece puzzle. There are so many benefits too including challenging your brain, it’s relaxing and it’s a great family activity.
Ski resorts have all ability level slopes for downhill skiing from the bunny hills to the advanced courses. Downhill skiers travel down the slopes averaging 20 to 40 miles per hour. Most ski resorts offer chair lifts, ski lessons, ski patrols, and have the ability to make snow so you can enjoy skiing all winter long regardless of the winter snows.
Sledding can be done anywhere they are hills to go down. I lived across from a big New York City park growing up and during the winter months all we did was go sledding.
Snowtubing has been a popular activity at ski resorts. It differs from skiing as it can be enjoyed by almost anyone since you really don’t need any special skills. It can be done on slopes or hills where gravity will get you to the bottom. Snowtubing is fun for all ages.
Visit a Museum
A great indoor activity to add to your winter bucket list is to visit a museum. As a matter of fact, visiting a museum offers many benefits especially that you can learn something in an enjoyable way. With so many museums around you can learn about art, science, sports and the ways of life in prior generations. There are whaling museums, logging museum and so much more. There are museums for all different interests and winter is a great time to explore a new one.
If you never tried snowmobiling it must be added to your winter bucket list. It’s so much fun driving around in the woods during winter. Many of the northern states have extensive snowmobile trails that go on for hundreds of miles. In most of these winter areas, the towns rely on snowmobiling for much of their winter tourist activities. You should give it a try.
Take up a New Hobby
Life is very busy in the warmer months, but winter seems to drag so why not spend your time by taking up a new hobby. There are so many indoor hobbies you can learn like cooking, crafting, woodworking and sewing to name a few.
Enjoy a Romantic Evening at Home
Nothing is better than a glass of wine or hot chocolate and sitting by the warm fire with someone you love. So take a night during the winter and enjoy a romantic evening at home.
Drink Hot Chocolate and Read a Good Book
Nothing like a cold winter day to stay inside in your pajamas all day under a warm blanket and read a good book. You can have some hot chocolate too and just enjoy a quiet day by yourself relaxing. This is one of my favorite things to do in winter since I’m not a winter, cold-weather person.
Build a Snowman
You may not live where you get snow but if you do, building a snowman is so much fun during the winter months.
Take a Ski Lesson
Skiing is a big activity that is fun to do during the winter. However, if you don’t ski you may have some fears about going skiing for the first time. The best way to get over this is to take a ski lesson. It will give you the confidence to get on the slopes and have some fun.
Lessons are given at ski resorts for beginners and intermediate and can be given in private or in groups. For your safety, all new skiers should take lessons to learn from an expert some valuable fundamental skill of skiing. Most ski resorts offer all types of lessons for the whole family.
Have a Snowball Fight
Growing up in New York we had snowball fights all the time. It’s just fun running around in the snow. We even froze the snowballs so we can have a snowball fight in July!
Relax in an Outdoor Hot Tub
Nothing better than an outdoor hot tub in winter sipping your favorite beverage while steam is coming off the hot water. It’s a way to truly relax on a cold winter day.
Have Friends over for a Chili Cookoff
A chili cookoff is a different idea for a get together with family and friends. Everyone can make their favorite chili and you can have a contest to see which chili is liked the best. It’s just another great way to spend a winter day.
Go Ice skating
Ice skating is another outdoor winter activity that you can share with your whole family. In most cold-weather areas, outdoor rinks open up during the winter months. So just go out on the rink and have some fun.
Although we dread the long cold days of winter, I hope this winter bucket list gave you some ideas on how to spend your winter days having some fun.