You can make the most of the winter months with these pandemic-friendly things to do.

By Lisa Milbrand
October 30, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches into nearly a full year of impacting our daily lives, it can feel like it’s hard to find any fun in your day-to-day routine. (Life at home can feel a lot like Groundhog Day—and not in a good way.) Finding winter activities that bring you joy may be even more of a challenge as temperatures drop, when it’s not as easy to get together with family and friends safely because of the weather.

Winter officially begins December 21 (and there are plenty of fun things to do in December normally), but with cold weather common well before then in many parts of the country and indoor activities unavailable or unsafe, you may be looking for great outdoor winter activities or things to do at home when it’s cold out before you know it.  

But even if you’re socially distancing and spending more time at home to reduce the chances of developing COVID-19 or passing it on to others, with a little creativity, you can still find some wonderful ways to enjoy the season (and reconnect with your loved ones in a safe way) with clever winter activities during coronavirus.

Cross some of these things to do this winter off of your list while you’re still quarantining—or start dreaming of these wonderful things to do in spring once the weather shifts.

Winter activities during coronavirus

Enjoy the outdoors (socially distanced)

  • Have an epic snowball fight
  • Go sledding
  • Try friluftsliving
  • Make a snowman or a snow fort with people in your household
  • Go snowshoeing
  • Make snow angels
  • Go stargazing
  • Take a wintry hike
  • Try ice skating

Get a taste of winter

  • Load up a cup of cocoa with whipped cream or marshmallows
  • Bake a pie
  • Sip a hot toddy
  • Make baked apples
  • Restart your sourdough addiction (and try these ideas for things you can make with your sourdough starter that aren’t bread)
  • Make homemade caramel popcorn
  • Roast root vegetables
  • Enjoy some mulled wine
  • Simmer a pot of homemade soup
  • Make snow cream
  • Indulge in a big stack of pancakes slathered with maple syrup
  • Make (and enjoy) eggnog (here’s an easy eggnog recipe!)
  • Have a little fondue

Try some wintry crafts

  • Build a gingerbread house
  • Cut paper snowflakes
  • Make a birdfeeder out of pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed—and place it near your window for a show
  • Create handmade valentines
  • Knit a scarf

Enjoy some much-needed self-care

  • Cozy up by a roaring fire (indoors or out!)
  • Watch the snow fall
  • Burn your favorite scented candle
  • Light candles and enjoy a bubble bath
  • Break out a jigsaw puzzle
  • Cuddle up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book
  • Spend the day in your PJs
  • Work on a challenging crossword or word game
  • Splurge on a pair of fuzzy slippers

Reconnect with loved ones

  • Bake cookies to share with your friends and neighbors
  • Build a pillow fort
  • Enjoy a living room picnic
  • Host a movie marathon of all your favorites
  • Eat dinner by candlelight
  • Write a love letter
  • Plan a virtual game night

Try something new

  • Take an online cooking class
  • Pick up a new hobby
  • Encourage an amaryllis bulb or other flowering plant to bloom
  • Start some seedlings
  • Host a virtual book club
  • Stick with a New Year’s resolution