Hunker down with these easy and fun activities for your family —or just for you.
The feel of flannel sheets, the sound of stories told aloud, the scent of something delicious baking in the oven. As winter settles in, plan on nestling with family and friends in the warm embrace of your home. Whether your idea of cozy quality time is sipping tea or reading by the fire, here are 10 activities to take you through the season.
1. Wrap up in blankets and sit outside. Take a cue from luxe ski chalets and pass out warm throws and mugs of hot cider or cocoa to visitors. Then, sit on the porch by candlelight or gather around a fire pit in the backyard.
2. Make up the beds with flannel sheets. Snuggling into a bed dressed in soft flannel sheets is the ultimate in coziness. Layer on the warmth with blankets and throws in mix-and-match plaids, flick on your bedside lamp and burrow in with a good book.
3. Share and record stories. You know those family tales that get told over and over? Be sure to preserve them for future generations to enjoy. Make an audio or video recording of family members telling their most-loved stories, or set out a manual typewriter and a big stack of paper.
4. Settle in for a movie marathon. Kick movie night up a notch with homemade popcorn, hot chocolate and a double or triple feature with a theme, such as films by a single director, ones set during Christmas or family-friendly Oscar winners.
5. Build a fire. Local restrictions permitting, light a blaze in your wood-burning stove or fireplace and gather round. For even more coziness, pull up a table and have a fireside dinner.
6. Pull out childhood books. Remember Charlotte’s Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Velveteen Rabbit and Little House on the Prairie? Pull your personal favorite from the bookshelf and share it with the younger generation by lending it or reading aloud.
A good book will keep the kids entertained (and exercise their brains)!
7. Cook and freeze a few big-batch dinners. Many casseroles, soups and stews freeze well and can make quick homemade dinners when life gets busy. Carve out a morning or afternoon to prep, cook and store—and you’re good to go for quick meals during the workweek.
8. Hold a game tournament. If the cold weather means the kids are stuck inside all weekend, bust out the board games or turn the dining table into a table tennis court—and encourage a little friendly competition among family members.
9. Decorate for the season. Whatever the next holiday or special event is, bring a festive spirit to your home by getting creative and adding decorations to walls, windows, and doors. Give the kids the opportunity to have some fun and make your home an even more joyous place to be together.
10. Find a quiet place to sit. After a busy week of work, school and well, life, stealing off to catch a nap or sip peppermint tea can be restorative. Seize any downtime and make it me time (before the kids finish their table tennis game and shout, ‘Mom, I’m bored!’).