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50 Amazing Winter Staycation Ideas

Sometimes all you want to do when you get time off is to stay home.  Most people want to spend their summers at home, but a winter staycation might be the perfect time to rejuvenate yourselves and spend some time exploring in your hometown.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell

Reasons why you might want to have a winter staycation this year:

Saves Money.  Yep, I knew that’s why you started reading this blog post.  You’re one of the smart people that realizes you don’t have to spend a ton of cash to have a wonderful time.

No Packing.  It might be the best reason of all.  I hate to pack, and I always forget something.  You get to skip this step when you stay home.

Flexibility.  There’s no need for schedule planning, must-dos or packed agendas when you decide to take this time to relax and enjoy life.

Play Catch-Up.  Sometimes it can feel like you can never catch up with all the things you need to do or want to do.  Use this time to check a few things off your to-do list.

No Sleep-Loss.  It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you’re not in your bed.  Now instead of tossing and turning, you can catch up on all your beauty rest.

Saves Time.  Traveling takes a lot of time and hassle to get to and from your destination.  Skip all the headaches and use all that time wasted to do something adventurous.

Hometown Exploration.  Sometimes you’re just too busy to take advantage of all the things the area you live in has to offer.  This time at home gives you the time to experience it.

50 Amazing Winter Staycation Ideas:

1) Channel Your Inner Chef. This is the time to start making all those gourmet recipes you’ve been dying to try.  You’ve had visions of yourself creating works of art in the kitchen and serving your loved ones the best meals they’ve ever had in their lives.  Now is your opportunity.  Save some for me, won’t you?  One of my favorite kitchen gadgets that makes cooking a breeze is a mandolin.

2) Cooking Classes. Maybe even better idea than cooking at home is to take a couple of cooking classes with your friends or family.  Learn to make homemade pasta or the secrets to making the best pie.  This is a fun way to spend time together as a couple or as a family.

3) Board Game Tournament. Plan a tournament of board games for the days you have off.  The grand championship night would be the last night you have before returning to work.  You can stick to one game or every night try a different game.  Make sure the grand prize is something everyone would want.  Here’s a new board game that just came out.

4) Picnic in the Snow. Who says that picnics are only for summer months?  Winter has breathtaking beauty and enjoying some hot apple cider and a basket filled with yummy dishes will make this a day to remember. A traditional picnic basket never goes out of style.

5) Movie Marathon.  Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things you want to do.  There are probably a few movies that you’ve missed along the way.  Now is your time to catch up on some movies and get lost in another world.  Make sure your movie marathon has all the proper ingredients – blankets, lots of pillows, popcorn and other snacks and comfortable clothes.  Order in some pizza.  You can even theme your marathon to be about movies that take place in the snow, comedy’s, old black and white films, movies that are inspirational or documentaries.

6) Learn a New Skill.  Now that you have a little time off how about learning something you’ve always wanted to know how to do?  How about taking woodworking classes, stain glass making or even a beekeeping class might be something that fits the bill?  You can take classes online or in person.  The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking will help get you started on woodworking if that appeals to you.

7) Host a Bonfire.  Who doesn’t love to go to a bonfire?  Invite neighbors, family, and friends and create a build-your-own bar so everyone can serve themselves.  Have everyone that attends be responsible for one of the items, so you aren’t spending most of your time in the kitchen.  Hang lanterns in the trees or a string of white lights in your backyard.  Provide lots of blankets and chairs.  (Make sure you check with the safety requirements of creating a bonfire in your area before making plans!)

8) Visit a Music Scene.  Find out who will be playing at local concerts or small venues. There’s nothing like hearing an artist pour his or her soul into the music they produce in person.

9) Comedy Club.  We could all use a bit more laughter in our lives. Check out one or maybe all the comedy clubs in your area for a much-needed belly laugh.

10) Hit the Slopes.  When’s the last time you went to a ski resort?  If you’re lucky enough to live near a place to ski, take advantage of this time and get your athletic mojo back.  The reward of relaxing fire will beckon you after a day of enjoying the snow.

11) Host a Bowling Tournament.  Invite neighbors, friends, family and even kids to have an epic bowling tournament.  You can make bowling pin cookies as favors.  You can find the bowling pin cookie cutters here.

12) Create a Winter Scavenger Hunt.  Put a couple of teams together and start the hunt.  The scavenger hunt can be set up in your neighborhood, or you can search your town for the treasures.

13) Trivia Night at Bars.  Use all that knowledge stored in your head and show your honey how smart you are by hitting the local trivia nights at bars in your area.  Who knows, this might be an ongoing date night activity for the two of you.

14) Volunteer.  There’s nothing like volunteering to help those less fortunate that puts your life into perspective.  Your troubles will pale in comparison to some of the people you can help.  Not only will your life perspective change, but you’ll feel great knowing that you were able to help someone with your talents.  Whether it’s just teaching someone how to read or using your culinary skills to make delicious meals for the homeless, your time can change lives.

15) Restaurant Sampler.  Who has the time or money to try every new restaurant that comes to town?  With this idea, you’re able to do just that by splitting one entree or appetizer at each new restaurant you want to try.  Hit that breakfast place and split something yummy like a specialty French Toast.  For lunch, have an appetizer at your first choice restaurant, a split entree at another restaurant, and dessert at the third.  Repeat this process for dinner.

16) Sunrise, Sunset.  One day of your vacation gather your family together to watch a sunrise and an evening to view a sunset.  We take for granted some of the most beautiful things in the world, and those are two of them.  The best part is for this beautiful show the price of admission is free.

17) Spread Kindness.  There’s a movement going on in the world, and the purpose is to spread kindness.  Get involved in rock painting, and you’ll make new friends, spread hope and love and make the world a little bit better today.  Read about becoming a Rock Angel here. 

18) Tour Local Breweries.  Breweries are popping up everywhere and sampling what they have to offer is  a fun way to spend your time.

19) Great Places to Kiss.  Take pictures of you and your honey all over in and outside of town that will make a spectacular place to kiss.   Post your pictures on social media.  Who knows, maybe others in your area will follow your footsteps?

20) Complete a Project.  Is there a couple of projects that you’ve been meaning to get done, but never found the time?  Now’s the perfect opportunity to get them started.  Always wanted a gazebo?  How about improving the storage space in your garage?

21) Backyard Camping.  Pretend like you’re far away from civilization and set up your backyard as a campground.  Cook your meals in the fire pit, roast marshmallows for S’mores and lay on your backs and look at the stars. Don’t forget the roasting sticks! Magic is just steps away from your home.

22) Ugly Item Contest.  Hold a contest who can find the ugliest thing in a thrift store.  You can hit several thrift stores or just one.  The person that finds the ugliest item, gets to call all the shots for the rest of the vacation.  You might want to have a trophy on hand for the winner.

23) Reading Marathon.  Go to your local library or bookstore and get those books you’ve wanted to dive into.  Just in time to read John Grisham’s new book The Whistler.

24) Show Off Your Skills.  Whether you’re an expert ping pong player, cake baker or card player – it’s time to teach other family members some of your secrets.  They, in turn, teach you something they’re good at doing.  At the end of your winter staycation, their skills will improve as well as yours.

25) Be Sporty.  Spring for some tickets to a local sporting event.  Ice hockey, football, and ice skating are just a few of the sports to attend.

26) Go Birdwatching.  Not all birds fly south for winter.  Since most of the foliage is gone, birds become more visible.  Find out what type of birds stay in your area during the winter and create a checklist including each one.  Your objective is to find every bird on that list.  You’re going to need binoculars.

27) Become a Homesteader.  Pick up some fresh milk at a local dairy and learn to make cheese, sour cream or churn butter.   How about making homemade bread and sharing your bounty with your neighbors?  Roast winter squash and make pumpkin pies, pumpkin puree, and roasted pumpkin seeds.  Make homemade cleaning supplies including laundry detergent, counter cleaner and window cleaners.  While you’re at it, make toothpaste, bath salts and perfume!  Here’s a cheese making kit to get you started.  

28) Learn Some New Moves.  That’s right; it’s time to dust off those old dancing moves and learn a few updated ones.  Take a Hip-Hop class to see if you can improve your skill-set and then head with your honey to a local nightclub to show them off.

29) Hit up the Local Tourist Spots.  When’s the last time you went to all the tourist destinations in your area?  There might be a few that you’ve never even seen.  Now is the time to revisit and explore your hometown.

30) Check Out Museum Exhibits.  Museums are always changing their exhibits and now is the time to go exploring and find out the upcoming displays .  Do a bit of research on the type of exhibit that will be at your local venue before you go.

31) Make Your Family Bucket List.  Get the family together and write down everything you want to do in your lives.  Compare lists.  When you find an activity that overlaps on all your lists make a plan as to how you’re going to check it off.  A bucket list journal is the perfect gift for your family members.

32) Road Trip.  Get a map and decide how many miles you want to go exploring.  Let’s say you decide you want to travel thirty miles.  Now get in the car and head west thirty miles to find out what’s there.  Do the same thing with each direction.

33) Model Home Tour.  It’s fun to look at new homes and going on a model home tour will give you ideas of what your perfect home should look like.

34) See a Play.  When was the last time you walked into a theater that wasn’t a movie theater?  It’s time to see a live performance again whether it be a children’s theater production or a famous play.

35) Learn a New Sport.  Kickboxing, sword fighting, indoor rock climbing or ice skating are just a few ideas on new sports to try. Who knew that boxing gloves came in the color pink? 

36) Hit the Trails.  Being out in nature is so soothing to your soul.  Plan a few day hikes in your area and soak in all the beauty.  Carry all your supplies in this backpack.  

37) Family Roots.  Spend some time researching your family history and start working on your family tree. Get the whole family involved and send everyone a message letting them know what you’re working on and if they have any information to help put all the pieces together.  Gather family stories, recipes, and achievements to serve as inspiration for the next generation.  This family tree poster might be a fun tool for the family to work on together.  

38) Walk Down Memory Lane.  Spend time together watching old family movies, revisiting places in town that hold meaning to you, looking at old photographs and step back in time going back to the schools you attended.

39) Be Weird.  That’s right, show off your crazy side by allowing your inner-weirdness to shine.  Go shopping wearing ridiculous hats, speak to everyone in unusual accents or break out singing or dancing in public places.  Whoever did the most ridiculous thing during your winter staycation wins the Weirdo Trophy.  This pizza hat might be the perfect accessory for your outing.

40) Roulette Adventure.  That’s right…since you follow a structured routine day in and day out, it’s time to shake up your lives and leave your days to chance.  Write down every single thing you can think of doing and cut each item up in slips.  Set an amount of items to draw every day when you wake up, and that’s what you’re going to do.  Make sure you create a lot of different choices because that’s what makes this so much fun.  Here are some ideas to get you started: make cupcakes, take a picture with a local outside art sculpture, go to a poetry reading or research blogs you want to start reading.  (Make sure you subscribe to this one…hint, hint!)

41) Reconnect.  It’s time to break out your photo albums and start reconnecting with long-lost friends, relatives and co-workers you haven’t spoke to in awhile.  Make a list of everyone you would to talk to or meet and set up some time to catch up.

42) Experience Paintball.  If you’ve never tried paintball, you can finally check that activity off your list.  You can join an open session or gather your friends and family for a private party.

43) Spend an Afternoon in an Arcade.   Enjoy being a kid again by competing with all your loved ones in an afternoon of arcade games.  The one that wins the biggest prize gets to pick the restaurant to celebrate in for dinner.

44) Epic Snow Sculpture.  That’s right; it’s time to take some of that white stuff and create your artistic masterpiece.  You can make it as simple as creating a fabulous snowmen or go for the gold by making a snow sculpture that will have your neighborhood looking at you in a new light.  Here’s a snow sculpture kit for the kids.  

45) Dream Garden.  Hold on.  I didn’t say you needed to make your dream garden.  Use this time to plan your dream garden.  Get online and look at all the garden layouts and decide what your focus should be for your new garden.  Growing your own food?  Create an outdoor living space?  Cottage garden that rocks your world?  After you decide what your garden’s focus will be, then the fun is looking at all the plants, garden plans and accessories that will make your garden shine.

46) Redecorate.  We all have one room that needs a little love.  Take this time transform that space by coating it in fresh paint or wallpaper.  Add ceiling molding and the perfect light fixture.  Now freshen up the rest of the space using what you already have to create a new look.

47) Photography Contest.  Capture all the moments of your winter staycation and have a little fun at the same time.  Make a wager with your loved ones and whoever takes best photograph during your time off wins.  The winning photo will get be enlarged and framed to serve as a reminder of your special time at home.

48) Spoil Your Dog.  Your loyal friend has been there for you through thick and thin.  Use some of your winter staycation to give back some of that love that’s given to you.   Take your pet on long walks, massages, car rides and day trips that will make you happy in addition to your pet experiencing the attention he or she deserves.  Gourmet dog treats would be appreciated!  

49) Bed and Breakfast.  Staying at a local bed and breakfast would make a fun night away.  You’ll get to know local innkeepers and will be able to give travel tips to the other guests staying at the same time.

50) Healthy You.  It’s time to get in the best shape of your life.  Start that cleanse, hire a weight trainer, create a healthy food plan.  Now is the time to create your plan of action and execute. 

Whew!  You made it through all 50 winter staycation ideas.  Now it’s time to put a couple of these ideas into action and make the best of your time at home.

Please let me know in the comments below if you have an idea for a winter staycation that’s not on the list or if you’ve tried one of the ideas.  I look forward to hearing from you.

If you liked the article, please share it on your social media channels.  I appreciate it!

50 Winter Staycation Ideas

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Monday 21st of November 2016

Love, love this! Creative and fun ideas! I lost myself in visions just reading it. Snow picnics, movie marathon with pillows and snacks, have your own culinary weekend event...Love it! Thanks for all the great ideas! Jaymie


Monday 21st of November 2016

Hi Jaymie! Thanks for commenting. With all the hustle and bustle of traveling, not to mention the expense...staying home and creating fun memories seems like a luxury, not a sacrifice. Thanks again! Kelly

This Wife's Life

Wednesday 16th of November 2016

I loved this! Especially when snowed in, I like the idea of cooking recipes that have taken the back burner...I also like being weird, but I do that everyday :) and dreaming about my garden. I also like to crochet and quilt in the winter.


Wednesday 16th of November 2016

I know...I've the the being weird part down. There's so much to do - I could experiment with recipes all day! Thanks for the comment.


Wednesday 16th of November 2016

Great ideas! I definitely want to try a few of them out! Love the family bucket list idea in particular.


Wednesday 16th of November 2016

My bucket list needs a bit of updating too. It was a fun list to put together. Thanks for commenting!

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