10 Inexpensive Winter Activities

winter fun

With winter now upon us, many people are planning their weekend getaways or fun winter activities. There are so many different activities to partake in during the winter, but fortunately, not all of them are as expensive as skiing. If you’re trying to save some money and aren’t keen on the idea of spending hundreds for a winter weekend getaway, why not try out one of the many inexpensive winter activities?


One of the best winter activities that kids are likely to remember for a lifetime is sledding. Of course, in order to go sledding, you’re going to need a hill. If you live in a city without any decent sledding locations, you can always try and go outside the city by borrowing a car or taking public transportation. Sledding a great winter activity that costs next to nothing as plastic sleds are fairly cheap at most stores.


A pair of ice skates can be expensive, but fortunately, a lot of public ice rinks let you rent skates for a reasonable rate. While the price varies by location, renting skates to skate on a public rink is another great inexpensive winter activity! If skating outside on a frozen pond or skating rink isn’t your idea of fun, you can always check out indoor rinks. Some indoor skating rinks offer free public skating times during the winter.

Playing in the Snow

If you live in a location that sees a lot of snow each season, you probably have a love or hate relationship with snow. If you’re someone who enjoys the snow, go outside and enjoy it! Having a snowball fight or making a snow fort or snowman isn’t going to cost you anything. Just make sure you bundle up before you step outside!


Do you live somewhere that doesn’t get much snow during the winter? Or maybe it just hasn’t snowed yet. If it’s not frigid outside, go take a hike in a local park or forest. Many people usually hike during the warmer months, so you won’t have to worry about encountering a lot of other people. Hiking during the winter months will give you a different view of nature than hiking during the summer months and many people think that hiking in national parks during the winter is the best time to see them due to absence of crowds.


To build off the previous point, if it has snowed in your area, don’t rule out hiking just yet! Strap on a pair of snowshoes and take a hike anyway. If you don’t own snowshoes, you can find them for a decent price online or by buying used pairs. If you don’t want to buy one, you could also make your own. There are plenty of instructional videos and websites on how to make your own snowshoes. Once you have a pair, get outside and enjoy your winter walk.

Light Displays

Around the holidays, many residences or businesses put up decorative lights for the enjoyment of their neighbors or customers. If you don’t mind braving the cold, go take in some of the light displays. A lot of towns or cities host light festivals to show off their holiday light displays. Some zoos, museums, and parks also offer free admission to their personal holiday displays. Checking out the beautiful and fun displays is a great way to spend an evening during the winter.

Sleigh Ride

Most of have heard countless renditions of holiday songs that cheerily mention going on a sleigh ride. You might think it’s a quaint if archaic tradition that no one really practices anymore, right? Wrong! There are plenty of farms and organizations that still offer sleigh rides through rural snowy fields and woods. These sleigh rides often charge a small fee, but it’s a wonderful activity you should experience at least once.

Fairs, Fests, and Expos

The winter season seems to make people even more excited to host big expos or specialized fairs and fests. For example, you could visit a holiday craft fair, or a wine and food fest to get ideas for holiday meals, or a skiing or snowboarding expo. While some of these events might be expensive, there are plenty of others that have a small fee or are free to attend. Many of these events can be found on the website for your town or city’s convention centers or public meeting locations.

Game Night

Are you one of those people who doesn’t want to even venture outside during the winter? Would you rather spend time curled up under a blanket inside? If staying inside is your idea of fun, why not host a weekly game night during the winter? It’s something low key, fun, and a great way to beat those winter blues.

Host a Potluck

Why not also host a potluck this winter? Invite over your friends – or family members – and ask them all to bring one or two dishes. This can either be centered around a holiday or set after the holidays to break up your weekend or weeknight monotony.

(Photo courtesy of Lotzman Katzman)

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4 Responses to 10 Inexpensive Winter Activities

  1. I love some hiking. I would do that all year round if I could. It is especially fun when hiking in the snow. There is just something about the cold, crisp air that really lets you relax. I love the cold weather, so it doesn’t bother me when camping out after a nice hiking trip in the snow!

  2. jay says:

    Cross Country Skiing (with all the usual safety caveats, including a beacon and/or transceiver)

  3. I don’t have any snow, so I guess it’s hiking for me!

    I used to love looking at Christmas lights, but I find that where I live there aren’t any great displays. Growing up on Long Island, there were several neighborhoods where every house was decked out in fantastic displays. There were also a few houses that used Christmas displays as fund raisers, so they had a little box where you could donate to some charity. The decorations were so amazing that they brought in visitors from all over the area.

  4. I’m doing snowshoeing for the first time this year, and it’s going to be pretty cheap! Also, I’mm all about the lights, and you can find the best neighborhoods online for lights. My wife and I are going to do some evening driving in the very near future 🙂

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