When I set out to write a winter bucket list, I was basically tired of feeling like the cold was keeping us from making the most of our weekends as a family. I am one of those people who totally hibernates in winter. I really should live somewhere warm because I hate to go out in the cold. When we were living in New York City and didn’t have kids, I legit hibernated during winter. With all the delivery options, you don’t really ever need to leave your apartment if you don’t want to. You can basically order everything you need to survive the winter. But now that we have kids, the cabin fever is real, and we can’t just keep them cooped up inside all day. They need to leave the house and do stuff, or we’ll all go nuts. Enter: My winter bucket list, which is a list of wintertime activities we can do as a family that we can reference over the next few months.
I love having a winter bucket list of activities because we aren’t good at planning out our weekends, and then we end up being lazy and watching Encanto (for the 1000th time), eating my new favorite healthy french toast recipe, and fighting over the fact that we’re not doing anything while poor James and Charlotte run after each other trying to get some energy out. It hasn’t helped that Covid is rampant and we’re limited in what we can do in terms of indoor activities especially. But after spending too many days cooped up inside, I have decided we need to plan ahead to make sure we’re making the most of our weekends until spring gets here. I know we’ll be glad we made the most of this time with the kids and doing activities is a fun way to make memories that we’ll always treasure as they get bigger.
Sadly, when I started researching winter activities for toddlers, I realized that almost all of them are centered around the holidays like making Christmas cookies, decorating the tree, etc. and there weren’t a ton of ideas for things to do post-holiday during the never-ending winter doldrums. So I have created a different kind of winter bucket list filled with activities you can do from January through March (since let’s face it, winter isn’t really over until April usually). Hopefully this helps you survive the next few months as well. We can do it!
Build a Snowman
Visit the Natural History Museum (Covid permitting)
Movie: I highly recommend Clifford, Encanto and Sing 2 if you haven’t seen them yet.
Go to the Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk (Covid permitting)
Visit the Norwalk Aquarium (Covid permitting)
Indoor painting: I hate the mess it makes but the kids love it
Bake our favorite healthy muffins (And learn some new recipes.)
Learn to use our slow cooker (Literally haven’t touched it since our wedding. Any amazing, healthy recipes we need to try?)
Have a Super Bowl party: Basically, just so I have an excuse to make all my favorite appetizers and junk food. Not sure if Covid will allow us to invite friends, but I am finding every reason to throw a party and plan something fun with the kids.
Bake and decorate cookies or cupcakes: It doesn’t have to be the holidays to bake, right?
Take kids skiing: We actually signed up James for ski school at a local mountain not too far from our home so we’ll be doing that some weekends. I’d also love to take the kids out on our own on weekends we have nothing planned.
Ice Skating: James is taking skating lessons on Saturday mornings and loves it. We may need to introduce Charlotte to the ice at least one time this winter too.
Escape to the beach for a weekend: We’re in desperate need of an escape from this cold. Not sure if Covid will allow, but if it does, I would love to take the kids on vacation in February.
Have a DIY taco night: Andrew and I both love Mexican food, but there aren’t that many great Mexican restaurants in our area and we don’t get to hit up our faves in the city that often anymore. I’d like to start making our own and perfecting our own recipes. We already have guac on lock, so it’s just figuring out how to make some good tacos and fajitas (my fave).
Go to brunch somewhere new: We always hit up our faves, mostly because they’re kid-friendly enough, but I’d like to try someplace new this winter.
Big Apple Circus. I’m not sure we’ll make it this year with Covid, but I’m keeping it on the bucket list, because it’s just such a quintessential experience I’d love the kids to have.
Clean out the house: I am a big fan of taking advantage of these cold, dark days to do some spring cleaning. From the kids’ clothes to their toys and our own closets, I want to clear out the clutter and get ready for a fresh start.
Play paddle: Paddle is a recent discovery that has really helped changed the winters for me. I like to do a weekly women’s paddle game that I can easily just sign up for and includes wine, making it all the better. Andrew plays all the time and he loves that he can do it at night with the guys and not get shit from his wife for not being home to help with the kids because it starts after they go to bed (and I love being able to watch my shows in peace). We’re going to try taking the kids out on the court to introduce them to the game this year as well.
Organize all the family photos: I’m finally going to convert all the family photos from my iPhone to actual photo books. It’s a great winter activity that I can do during naps or while waiting for doctor’s appointments thanks to Chatbooks.
Family game night (or day): I said we’d do this more, and we haven’t at all. James got a bunch of games for his fifth birthday, and I think he’s finally at an age where we can play. It’s a fun alternative to movie night where we can connect with the kids.
Bowling (Covid permitting)
Sleigh Ride: We did this in Park City and 10/10 recommend.
Any I should add to our list? Let’s help each other get through the winter!