Free or cheap things to do in the winter?
Sledding, wet climes in the mud, cold climes in the snow. Its tons of fun going in the mud, just be sure your kids are in their rattiest clothes so they don't ruin anything.
Have you ever checked out Macaroni Kid? They have a local newsletter and they always have a list of free (and fun) things going on.
We do a lot of arts and crafts. We also do random activities like make gak, dough or ooblek. We play a lot of board games. We have an indoor bowling set and we have tournaments for that. We make an indoor mini golf course and play mini holf with her plastic snoopy golf set. One of her favorites is to build rube Goldberg machines.
For outside the home activities, indoor aquatic center, home the nature center offers classes. Lakeshore learning center offers classes as does the natural history museum. A gymnastics center near us also offers open gym and she can spend an hour or so bouncing around.
i know it's not free, but i seriously suggest that anyone with kids invest in an xbox w/ Kinnect. the Kinnect gives you so many options from vigourous running and jumping to calm interactive pretend play. it is awesome for cold/ rainy days b/c so often it isnt just aobut being bored, it's about needing to get soe energy out.
It doesn't tend to get that cold here but we do a lot of children's museum, mall play area, go out to eat/for a treat, go to the indoor playground at the Y, drop the boys off at the Y childcare while DH and I work out, swim at the indoor Y pool (our Y membership is so worth it!!), etc. Plus play dates at friends' houses, a variety of games and activities at home (Legos, trains, baking, reading, watching movies, etc.).
- Any church related thing that's in the area for kids.
- Baking days where we make cookies and watch movies
- Lots of library trips
- We walk around the mall and get ice cream
That's all I've got. We go a little stir-crazy during the winter!!
We live in rainy town USA so we have to have lots of rainy day options around here. These are kind of specific to our area, but here's what we have going on:
-Bought a membership to the local children's museum. It's $105 for year round unlimited access and we get tons of use out of it.
-Bought a zoo membership for clear days that again, we have gotten tons of use out of. $110 up front but way cheaper than paying each time and has been way worth the money
-Gymnastics free play at a local gymnastics center: $6 per kid for a couple hours on Saturdays.
-There is an indoor "playdate" center here with a cafe for parents to drink coffee and a huge play center for kids. Not sure if you have anything like that around but the girls have tons of fun there.
-Look around your area for free or cheap nights at museums.
-The library is always a good time on a wintery day
-Invite friends over for a play date