Free Winter Activities To Try This Holiday Season!

This is my absolutely FAVORITE time of year.

free winter activities 2016

I wake up like a child on Christmas morning the day after Thanksgiving and instead of thinking about Black Friday sales, I daydream of holiday decorations, gift giving, and hot chocolate by the fire!

Moving back to Texas, I’ve come to appreciate our mild winters. It gets cool enough to wear uggs and sweaters when you go for your holiday hayrides, but there’s no snow to shovel or icy roads to worry about! (Although, I’m always thinking about my pals up North…stay warm, ya’ll!)

Another thing I get to thinking about during the holiday season is saving up my money, haha! I save all year and use that money for gifts and trips. (Literally, that’s what my savings account is titled – ha!) However, I do want to take full advantage of a month off from school and do fun, holiday-ish things with my boyfriend, friends, and family.

Here are my ideas for free winter activities that you can try this 2016 holiday season!

Drive around to look at lights

A personal favorite. There’s a neighborhood near me where each street has a theme (ex. Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer, Peanuts Christmas, Disney theme) and every house goes all out! It’s so fun to pour some hot chocolate into travel mugs, get dressed all comfy cozy, and play Christmas music as you drive around. Cam and I are already planning on making a date out of this!

Find new uses for old decorations

I’m sure a lot of our parents have several boxes of Christmas decorations that we’ve seen scattered around our house each December since before we could walk! I like to move the decorations around every week or so to spruce up the place. Or, I’ll make new decorations like watercolor paintings to add to the mix. It’s so much fun and pretty much free since you’re using things you already have!

Speaking of decorations, go browse (keyword: browse) the Christmas aisles

Something fun to do with friends is go to Target, right? Now, it’s even better because you can go look at all the fun Christmas stuff! I never feel like I have to buy anything, but maybe I just have strong willpower. Looking at the pre-lit trees and stockings just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

Cook a holiday meal

I love nights when my family and I all have dinner together and we all get into the kitchen to help put it together. Add some Christmas music and maybe some tacky sweaters and make it a party! You could cook some great chili on a cold night or even bake something like Christmas cookies or a pie. Try and make use of what you already have at home and just enjoy the time with your loved ones!

Christmas tree farms

Psst….guess what? You don’t actually have to buy a Christmas tree. You can always just browse and grab a cup of hot cocoa! We used to get our tree from a farm every year when I was little, and they had hayrides, fire pits where you could grill hot dogs and roast marshmallows, and a spot to meet Santa. Check to see if there’s anything like this near you.


Free local Christmas plays and concerts

Ok, so I’m a total nerd, but my heart still belongs to my middle school choir. I loved inviting my friends and family to our concerts way back when, and now, they warmly welcome back alumni. It’s even been a tradition to let alumni come up and sing “Silent Night” at the end of the concert. There are plenty of other free (or very inexpensive) school plays or church pageants that you could go to to support the local talent!

Have a gift wrapping party

I love doing this with my family! Once I have all of my gifts ready, it’s fun to put on some music or a Christmas movie and get all of your wrapping knocked out. You could invite your friends and have everyone contribute bringing bags, bows, paper, and tape and just make it a fun get together.

Watch Christmas movies…duh!

Anyone else obsessed with watching Elf a million times? This is my go-to for any lazy day where I feel like I still want to participate in the holiday cheer, but I don’t want to get out of my pajamas. Let me know your favorite Christmas movies down below, so I get a good idea of what I should watch this year!

What are some ideas you have for free holiday activities this year?