Winter gets the short end — of daylight, but also as one of the more dreaded seasons. It can feel as though colder days make us feel frozen in place, but the truth is that winter offers a ton of opportunities to have fun both indoors and out.
Whichever hobby you choose will depend on what you and your family like to do. If you're a sporty group, find something physical, like indoor rock climbing or snowball fights. Have you always dreamed of being an Olympic figure skater? Find a local rink that offers weekly lessons and try it out.
More creative? Pull out the coloring books for both kids and adults. If you're a family of crafters, you can always try knitting, crocheting, or embroidery, with easy and stylish patterns online for all ages — this is not your grandma's needlepoint!
Getting or staying active in the winter offers the added benefit of warming up while you strengthen your body and mind. Pick up indoor swimming, which can work for the whole family. If you have a local sports club, YMCA, or gym that has an indoor pool, take some time each week to slip into a bathing suit and trick yourself into believing it's warm out there.
There are a ton of options when it comes to indoor exercising, from yoga at home or classes at the gym, to living room obstacle courses or workout regimens. Choosing something the whole family can contribute to or participate in keeps everyone's blood pumping and also lets them expend all that extra energy they're feeling from being a little more cooped up than usual.
Sledding and other winter activities — snowman building, snow angel making, snowball fights — are great ways to get excited about the winter months. You don't need to have kids to enjoy these. Play brings joy and delight even in the colder and darker months, and doing something fun outdoors will remind you to see the light in any season. Just make sure that if you are including little ones, that they have warm snow pants, kids' gloves, hats, and other winter accessories. Choose one activity a week that you spend some time on in the evenings or during the weekend.
Depending on where you live, stargazing is another wonderful winter hobby to pick up. Winter months often offer super clear skies, so grab a blanket and a hat and download an app that shows which constellations you're looking at. You can turn this one into a multi-day hobby, picking one constellation each time to learn more about once you're indoors. If you live in a city and can't see the stars as well, brisk walks up city blocks to grab a hot cocoa or warm slice of pie can always send you over the moon.
Although it doesn't sound like a hobby, some people make self-care their priority, while others need to add it to the always-growing list of things they have to do. If you approach the idea of taking time for yourself as an activity, rather than either a lifestyle or a chore, you might try practicing it more often.
Rent a tiny home or woodsy cottage once a month for a solo getaway, or plan to go with your partner or a group of close friends. Pack your women's weekender bag with items that will fit the mood — anything from wine to snowshoes will do! Make a list of things you'd love to do during your trip or go with only one plan in mind: cozying up to the fire.
Winter is a time for rest and repose. If you're constantly on the go, consider picking relaxing up as a hobby. It might sound silly, but mindfulness and meditation can help you be more effective when you're ready to get things done. If the thought of hibernation makes you anxious, don't worry, it's simple. Just get a set of matching family pajamas and insist that they be worn once a week, for cozy and calm family couch time under your fuzzy throw blankets.
Give Some Time to Others
If you feel the need to get out, but can't find a good reason to step outside, consider volunteering your time for an organization you believe in. You can offer your time and services to your local food bank, elder home, library, or pet shelter to add warmth to someone else's fire, as well as your own. If you include the family in your plans, you'll be setting the stage for a gracious and grateful season.
Hobbies are meaningful because they spark excitement, fulfillment, and delight to your life in a way that somehow feels both structured and freeing. More than that, they offer a chance to gather together and form memories that last a lifetime. Game nights, theme nights, movie nights, or boogie nights will do, as long as you stick with them and they help you pass the time!