What’s on your list of must-do winter activities? Get some inspiration from our winter bucket list.
Each season has its own excitement and beauty to enjoy. Here is a list of fun things to do this winter to get you started. These are great for family, friends or date nights!
- Go sledding.
- Build a snowman.
- Drive or walk around to see local Christmas lights at night, visit Holiday Lights at Thanksgiving Point November 21 to December 31 (closed Sundays) or Ogden’s Christmas Village (Saturday after Thanksgiving through January 1).
- Go caroling.
- Go for a sleigh ride.
- Have a fun and safe snowball fight.
- Try cross country skiing or snowshoeing at such places as Soldier Hollow, Millcreek, Donut Falls, or a place near you!
- Go tubing at Soldier Hollow.
- Go skiing or snowboarding. Local resorts include Alta, Brighton, Deer Valley, Snowbird and more.
- Visit the Macy’s 2016 Holiday-themed Candy Window Display at City Creek Center November 17 to January 1.
- Go window shopping at the Shops at Riverwoods in Provo. Enjoy shopping, lights, music, entertainment and outdoor firepits to warm you up. From 6 to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays in November and December. The lighting of Riverwoods is November 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.
- Go ice skating. The Gallivan Center rink’s opening day is November 13 at 6 p.m.
- Plan a weekend away at the Snowbird Cliff Lodge and Spa.
- Visit the Festival of Trees located at the Sandy South Towne Expo Center from November 30 to December 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Have a Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park December 9-23, Monday through Saturday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.
- Spend Christmas at the Grand America Hotel. They host Santa and Mrs. Claus with photo opportunities. A great buffet is provided to complete the experience. There are select days throughout December with seating between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visit their website to make a reservation.
- Take a stroll through the Annual Holiday Window display at the Grand America Hotel from November 22 to December 31.
- Go see the Hogle Zoo lights December 1 to 31 from 5:30 to 8 or 9 p.m., depending on the day. Closed Christmas Day.
- Attend the Messiah sing-in with the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall on Saturday, November 26, and Sunday, the 27, at 7:30 p.m.
- Attend the Nutcracker with Ballet West at the Capitol Theatre on December 2 to 26, times vary.
- Visit the lights at Temple Square. They are first lit the day after Thanksgiving and stay on through December 31. Free concerts and performances daily at six venues November 25 to December 23.
- Eve Winter Fest December 29 to 31. Salt Lake City’s three-day celebration with concerts, DJs, grown-up drinks and engaging activities for kids and families. Discover everything that downtown has to offer with one all-access pass.
- Watch sporting events – cheer for your favorite basketball, wrestling, ice hockey or gymnastics teams.
- Attend a local play.
- Visit a museum, local landmarks and local art galleries.
- Play a favorite board game or try a new one.
- Make warm hot cider or cocoa and watch a holiday movie.
- Build a fort with all the blankets and pillows you can find in the house.
- Snuggle up to a fire or a sofa and read a holiday classic with someone.
- Put together a giant puzzle.
- Have a gingerbread house construction party where everyone brings their old candy, boxes, glue guns, crackers and more. This is fun for the little ones up to the hard-core construction engineer designers.
- Make indoor s’mores in the oven. Lay the crackers on a cookie sheet, and then place your desired chocolate on the cracker along with marshmallows. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes until the marshmallows and chocolate are soft and gooey.
- Plan a progressive dinner with your friends when January gets boring. Pick your favorite theme and have everyone prepare a different course.
- Host a murder mystery dinner.
- Have a cookie exchange party where everyone brings their favorite cookies to trade, then everyone has a variety to take home.
- Winter themed books for youth:
- The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
- The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
- Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
- Christmas-themed books for all:
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
- The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcot
- Make a memory book with pictures taken throughout the year.
- Make snow paint to paint the snow and add some color to winter.
- Make someone you love a homemade gift for the season.
- Create homemade ornaments with your children or friends.
- Cut out paper snowflakes and decorate the house.
- Make a holiday wreath for the season.
- Make your own Valentine’s Day cards and decorations.
Here are some foods to warm you up during those cold winter days.
- Make a warm breakfast
- Make some holiday treats for your neighbors and family. They can be sweets or a healthy alternative.
- Try a new winter dinner recipe
This article was written by Marilyn Albertson, Utah State University Extension Associate Professor, Salt Lake County, and Kirsten Lamplugh, Utah State University Extension Intern, Salt Lake County