It's all too familiar during the winter. You are stuck inside, yet again, due to the latest snowstorm, bitterly cold polar vortex, or gloomy rain. But it doesn't need to be an all-day drag when there are many fun activities at hand. Try any of these entertaining ideas, and note that catching up on extra work and doing chores are not on the fun list!
1. Plan Your Summer Vacation
What better time to get excited for your summer vacation than on a cold winter's day? Check out warm weather websites and magazines, and plan a future getaway with friends and family while you have the downtime.
2. Make an Awesome Breakfast
Time to step it up from the on-the-run breakfast you usually have and make some French toast, bacon, or eggs to enjoy. Or try something different, but easy, like skillet apple pancakes.
When was the last time you had a daytime nap? Relive your childhood and take an uninhibited, no alarm clock, midday nap in a cozy place.
4. Make Candy
Have fun experimenting with some fun and easy candy recipes that you or the whole family can take part in. You can also make your candy into little gifts to give out later.
5. Take an Online Class or Tutorial
Take advantage of the time to learn something new for a few hours by taking an easy online class or tutorial. Search online for free options ranging from intro language classes to DIY tutorials to crafts.
6. Happy Hour
Assuming it's noon somewhere, use this lazy day to whip up an exotic cocktail, favorite glass of wine, or a delicious hot cocktail to enjoy. Add some small appetizers to the mix to make for your own little happy hour.
Moving things around in your home can be fun and refreshing if you are into decorating. Try hanging your pictures in different places, rearranging your furniture, or dreaming up new ideas online.
8. Fireside Camp Out
If you have a fireplace, a wintery day is a great time to light it up. Have a little camp-out next to it with comfy pillows, snacks, and games or a good book. This is also a great option if you are without power.
9. Pajama Day in Bed
Turn your day inside into the ultimate time to do nothing but relax. Get on your most comfortable pajamas, gather some cozy blankets, and round up reading materials or watch TV, all while you do some serious lounging in bed.
10. Take a Luxurious Bath
Get your bubble bath going and make it extra luxurious with nice music, candles, and perhaps a nice book or beverage. And, if you have kids, an extra fun daytime bath with plenty of toys and bubbles can be a fun change from the usual nightly routine.
11. Shop Your Closet
Put the extra time you have today to playing grown-up dress-up. Try out some new combos, and put together outfits for upcoming events. This can help you organize your things, prune unused items, and discover cool outfits you never knew you had.
12. Indoor Fort
This is a great one if you have kids or just feel adventurous. Transform your living room into a fun fort using chairs and blankets to make a cozy hideout for the day.
13. Check Out Some Good Blogs
There are some great blogs (in addition to this one, of course) that can help you better your life or learn some great tips. Check out some of my favorites, like Zen Habits, The Daily Green, or The Art of Manliness, to get started.
14. Afternoon Tea
Have your own tea party right at home. You can get fancy and use nice china and put out little sandwiches and treats. This is also a fun activity you can do with the kids, substituting hot chocolate for tea if you want.
15. Catch Up With Family and Friends
Getting in touch with the grandparents or a long-lost friend over the phone or Skype makes for a great indoor activity and can be a lot of fun for all.
16. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
The ultimate rainy day lunch is great on any day, let alone a cold one. Indulge in an awesome grilled cheese using any type of cheese you love and put on a pot of some delicious tomato soup.
17. Video Game Marathon
Anyone into gaming probably doesn't need a snow day excuse to play, but a day stuck inside provides a wonderful opportunity for a video game marathon. Or, involve the kids and do Wii competitions or learning games on your tablet or computer.
18. Popcorn and Movie Day
Sort of a given on any winter day, but pop up some popcorn and get comfy on the couch with your favorite movie(s).
Even if you've never scrapbooked before, now is a great time to make a book of the kids' art or your accomplishments, or a gift for a friend's special occasion.
20. Bake Something
Making good old chocolate chip cookies is an entertaining winter's day activity, as is making other delicious recipes like warm pies and fresh-baked bread. Or, try some easy winter treat recipes that the kids can help with, too.
21. Indoor Obstacle Course
Make an indoor obstacle course for the kids (or grownups) using pillows, toys, or other objects to burn off some energy and have fun.
22. Pretend Summer Day
If you desperately need to escape the harsh winter, bring summer to you. Look up tropical sites, make a fruit juice, and put on some Bob Marley. You can also get everyone in bathing suits and flip flops and fill the tub to "go swimming."
23. Catch Up on Your Shows
Another given for a cold day stuck inside, but catching up on your favorite shows that you missed during busy weeks is a fun way to pass the time. Or, indulge in some mindless daytime TV without the guilt.
24. Make Soup
Making a nice pot of homemade hot soup is not only easy, but it's also very satisfying on a winter's day. Try a good chicken noodle recipe, a roasted cauliflower, or my favorite, butternut squash and carrot soup.
25. Magazine Roundup
Spend the day catching up on all those magazines you've always wanted to read. Or, if you can plan ahead, buy some fun magazines just as you would for a long plane flight, and sit back and enjoy during your day indoors.
26. Music Library
Enjoy all that music you have been collecting and listen to some of the tunes in your music library. You can also take the time to make new mixes and organize your collection once and for all.
27. Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Take some time to indulge by setting up an ice cream sundae station. Round up your ice cream and toppings you may have around, like whipped cream, nuts, chocolate chips, and fruits. Kids and adults alike will love it.
28. Feng Shui Your Home
The art of Feng Shui, which is the study of how the energy of our environment affects us, such as the placement and positioning of objects in your home, is both easy to embrace and beneficial. Use the time to learn some Feng Shui tips that you can easily apply to your own home.
29. Make Something
Get creative and make something with your hands. Crafts can be super simple, like paper crafting, to more skilled things like knitting, sewing, and jewelry making. Check out Joann's and Michaels for some great craft projects you can do at home based on skill level.
30. Make a Fancy Dinner
Since there is time to actually enjoy cooking and eating a quality meal, why not make yourself or the family a delicious dinner? You can set the table with fancy dinnerware and make it like a restaurant for a change from the usual.
If working out is your thing, don't despair if you can't get to the gym or go outside. Do your own mini at-home workout using weights, a program online, or a workout DVD to get that much-needed exercise.
32. Brain Teasers
Games like Sudoku, crosswords, and word finds are great ways to relax and enjoy your time. Get cozy with a warm blanket and do some games from the newspaper, online, or any collections you may have.
33. Homemade Hot Chocolate
Make a delicious hot cocoa recipe, or vary it up by adding things like cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, or a dollop of vanilla ice cream. For diehard chocolate lovers, try a hot chocolate recipe using real chocolate pieces as well.
34. Mail a Letter
Spend some time writing a letter to someone special, which you can mail later on. Everyone loves to get a handwritten note, and it will be a nice surprise.
35. Window Shop Online
Take the time to browse around to get ideas or prices for any items you may be shopping for in the future. Just be sure you have the willpower not to aimlessly buy if you see things that catch your eye.
36. A Good Read
Curl up with a good book on the couch or by the fire while the winter weather keeps you inside.
37. Beauty Treatments
Give yourself a mini spa day with a variety of DIY beauty treatments. Whether it's a nice manicure/pedicure, a relaxing scrub, or an avocado mask, it's a good day to beautify and relax.
38. Arrange Your Photos
A whole day indoors gives you plenty of time to go through all those photos you have taken. You can make an album online or just enjoy looking through old shots.
39. Paint Something
Spreading out some paper and paints for the kids on a winter day indoors makes a great activity. Join in the fun and paint your own creations too, or find some extra jars, boxes, or other items to dress up with some paint for some new decor.
40. Yoga Hour
Give your body and mind a relaxing day by doing some yoga. If you're new to the practice, there are some great beginner yoga sites and apps that can help you get started. Follow your session with some meditation and feel good for the day.
41. Plan Your Next Get-Together
Take the time to plan some upcoming fun events for you and your friends by thinking up a great dinner party menu, wine tasting, theme party, or a fun pub crawl. You can have fun planning the menus, looking up details, and coming up with the guest list.
42. Board Games
Break out the Monopoly or other great board games you may have on hand for a game day marathon with your family or roommates.
43. Dress-Up Day
This is a great event for the kids where you get out old Halloween costumes, dress-up gear, or sports equipment for some pretend play.
44. Self-Help Time
If you've been putting off reading your self-help book of choice or looking online for materials, now is the perfect time to take care of you.
45. Organize Something
You may need to skip this if you view organizing as a chore, but for many who get pure satisfaction after it's done, it's a rewarding task when you're not rushed. Pick a spot you have always wanted to organize, like the junk drawer, your jewelry drawer, or the laundry room closet, and go to town.
46. Enjoy a Hobby
Break out your knitting needles, woodworking gear, or model trains, and enjoy some time working on your favorite hobby. Check out some suggestions for new indoor hobbies if you are in need of finding something entertaining.
47. Home Improvement
A day off due to the weather can give you the opportunity to try that home improvement project you have been wanting to do, but could never find the time to get done. Just be sure you have all your materials and can safely do the task.
48. Story Time
Another great activity for the kids is to round up some good books, get comfy together with some snacks and blankets, and do an old-fashioned story time by reading aloud to them.
49. Plan Your Garden
A cold winter's day indoors is a great time to plan your garden for the spring. Look online for ideas at garden retailers and sketch out your plans in a notebook. Or, if you are short on space, look into container gardening.
50. Turn Your Videos Into Movies
If you have lots of video clips, try spending the time organizing your collection on your computer and burning them to DVDs. Your loved ones will enjoy seeing clips of the kids, and your friends will be so surprised to have video memories of that last vacation you all took together.