How to Have Fun During Winter Break

Three Methods:Traveling During Winter BreakSpending Time OutdoorsStaying Busy Indoors

You've finally made it to winter break and you're happy that you have a respite from school. But many people end up feeling bored during break and aren't sure how to pass the time. Learning how to get out of the house during your time off will help you have a fun and memorable winter break.

Method 1
Traveling During Winter Break

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    Plan a road trip. If you're able to drive and have access to a vehicle, a road trip can be a wonderful bonding experience between you and your friends. Pack a bag, load up the car, and hit the road together to explore someplace new and exciting.[1]
    • If you are not yet old enough to drive, ask your parents about the possibility of taking a road trip together. Road trips take some planning (and money), though, so be sure to give your parents a few weeks to make arrangements.
    • Decide in advance where you want to go. Driving aimlessly can be fun, but you can quickly find yourself lost, out of gas, or out of money.
    • Choose whether to stay in hotels or camp. If you do camp, make sure it's feasible to camp in the conditions you'll be entering and plan for the weather wherever you'll be staying (which may mean preparing for snowy winter camping, depending on where you'll be).
    • Make accommodation arrangements. If you'll be staying in hotels/motels, look into where you want to stay and consider booking a reservation. If you'll be camping, scout campgrounds and see if they accept reservations over the phone or online.[2]
    • Choose a scenic route to get to your destination, if it's possible to do so safely.
    • Know the conditions you'll be facing. Remember that some areas require chains on your tires to drive through icy mountain passes, which may be too dangerous for you to travel.
    • Get your car checked out before the trip to make sure it's in good working condition.
    • Bring whatever supplies you'll need. That includes emergency supplies in case you get stranded: extra blankets, food, water, batteries, a flashlight, road flares, gas money, and an extra charger for your cellphone.[3]
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    Visit friends. Winter break is a great time to reconnect with friends you haven't seen in a while. Whether you've been off at college or simply burdened by your studies in your home town, it can be difficult to spend time with friends while you're in school at any level.[4]
    • Reach out to friends you don't see very often.
    • Ride bikes together, play in the snow, or simply hang out watching movies or playing video games.
    • Consider taking a trip to visit friends who live a few towns away or a state over. If you're not old enough to drive, ask your parents (and your friends' parents) about the possibility of taking an overnight trip.
    • Have a sleep over with friends you've missed.
    • Catch up on what's new with your friends.
    • Get coffee together or go out for a meal.
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    Consider a warm vacation. Depending on your financial situation, you and your family/friends may want to take a trip together to a warmer location. You can even take a trip alone, if you have sufficient funding and feel comfortable traveling solo. Spending a few days or a week on a warm, sunny beach might be just what you need to unwind from school and chase away the winter blues.
    • Start saving early and budget your money. Decide whether you'll need a hotel/motel, a rental car, and tickets to a theme park or other destination, and work those costs into your budget.
    • If you're still young, ask your parents about whether a fun vacation might be possible. This type of trip can take months to plan, though, so be sure you ask well in advance of your winter break.
    • Avoid traveling on major holiday weekends, as prices for flights tend to surge during these busy periods.
    • You'll certainly be able to find lodging at a nationally-renown beach, but you can save a lot of money if you plan to stay at a smaller beach community off the beaten path. Just make sure that the area has what you need, including transportation and recreation options.[5]
    • Find the best flight and/or hotel deals by searching a site like Expedia or BookingBuddy. These websites deliver prices from numerous travel pages to help you find the best prices, even on the same flight.[6]
    • Plan on bringing one outfit per day, or scale down your suitcase by re-wearing some items. Just be sure you bring clothing that will be comfortable and appropriate for your destination.[7]

Method 2
Spending Time Outdoors

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    Dress warm and know the signs of hypothermia. Winter is a great time to get outdoors and have fun. Whether you're interested in physical activities like skiing or simply playing in the snow in your yard, it's important to dress warm - but not so warm that you can't stop sweating - and protect your body against heat loss. You lose the most heat from your head, hands, and feet, so make sure you cover these extremities as well as your core (chest and abdomen). If you or others experience any of the following symptoms of hypothermia, get indoors immediately and call emergency services to find out how to proceed:
    • involuntary shivering
    • inability to perform motor functions
    • confusion
    • loss of coordination
    • slurred speech
    • irrational behavior[8]
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    Play in the snow. Depending on your age, it may have been many years since you've played in the snow when you were a child. But spending time building things in the snow or having outdoor adventures with friends/family can be fun at any age. Just make sure you dress appropriately, and make a mug of steamy hot chocolate to warm up when you return indoors.[9]
    • Have a snowball fight with friends.
    • Build a snowman.
    • Make snow angels.
    • Build a snow fort.[10]
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    Visit your local ice rink. Ice skating is another great way to spend time with your family and reconnect with a fun childhood activity. You can skate at indoor rinks or outdoor rinks, if they're available in your community, and admission is usually very cheap (and sometimes free).[11]
    • Find ice rinks near you by searching online.
    • If you have your own skates that still fit, bring them. If not, call ahead to make sure the rink has rental skates available.
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    Go sledding or snow tubing. If you grew up in an area with snowy winters, you probably went sledding at some point as a kid. Sledding is still a fun activity, even for adolescents and adults. You can sled at your old neighborhood hill, or check online to see if any ski hills offer snow tubing. Tubing is like sledding, only you're towed up a hill and get to ride to the bottom on an inflatable tube, often over jumps and ridges.[12]
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    Enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. If you live near a park or rural area, you may want to try your hand at cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. These activities are not as fast-paced as downhill sports, but they offer solitude (or companionship) through a quiet, peaceful winter wonderland.[13]
    • Call your local sporting goods stores to see if you can rent cross-country skis or snowshoes.
    • If you don't have any luck at a sporting goods store, you might try a nearby ski resort. Many ski resorts offer cross-country ski rentals in addition to their downhill equipment, and some may even have well-groomed cross-country trails at the resort.
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    Try downhill skiing or snowboarding. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are tremendously fun sports, but they can also be incredibly dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. It's important that you take lessons and start out slowly so you don't injure yourself or put others at risk.[14]
    • Start out slow. If you've never skied before, stick to the "bunny hills" that are meant for beginners.
    • Most ski hills are rated with a colored shape to indicate difficulty. Those ratings are consistent throughout each resort, meaning that each hill of the same rating will be about the same level of difficulty.[15]
    • Remember that ratings are only consistent within that resort. An easy hill at a resort in Colorado would probably be ranked as an intermediate or difficult hill in Vermont, for example.
    • A green circle means the hill is easy, and generally suitable for beginners (though you should check with a ski attendant if it's your first time).
    • A blue square means the hill is slightly more difficult, and may be best for skiers with intermediate experience.
    • A black diamond means that a hill is one of the most difficult ski trails. Black diamond trails should only be attempted by highly-skilled skiers with many years of experience.
    • Double-black diamond means that the hill is the most difficult and requires extra caution than even a regular black diamond hill. Never attempt a black diamond or double-black diamond if you aren't a very talented, highly-experienced skier.
    • Orange oval means that the hill is a freestyle terrain. These hills typically require a lot of experience and proficiency, and should only be attempted by professionals.
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    Visit your local park. If you live in a warm weather climate, you may be able to play outdoors year-round. Even if you live in a colder climate, however, many cities plan fun outdoor activities in the winter - just be sure to dress warm enough for whatever activities you have planned. Check online to see what outdoor events your town or city hosts each winter. Local events at your park may include:
    • hot chocolate
    • ice skating
    • holiday light shows
    • tree decorating ceremonies
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    Go running. If you live in a warmer climate, you may be able to go running outdoors during winter break. Make sure you pace yourself if you're new to running, and don't try to push yourself too hard or too fast.
    • Find jogging trails near your home, or simply go for runs around your neighborhood (if it's safe to do so).
    • Dress appropriately. If you get too bundled up, you'll sweat profusely and end up cold; if you dress too lightly, you may be freezing, and could get sick as a result.
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    Bike around your neighborhood. If you live in a warm climate and are able to ride your bike safely in your area, you may want to explore your community by bike. Bicycling is a great way to get fresh air and exercise while exploring new, off-the-path places right in your neighborhood. However, biking can also be dangerous, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. For this reason, it's important to take every precaution to ensure your safety.
    • Always wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet, no matter how old you are or how far you'll be riding.
    • Check your tires and brakes before riding. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, and tap your brakes in the driveway before leaving your home to ensure that they'll work when you need them.
    • Children under 10 years of age are typically supposed to ride on the sidewalk, while adolescents and adults are usually expected to ride in the street. However, if you feel unsafe riding in the street, it's best to choose the sidewalk to prevent an accident.
    • Check the laws in your town or county online, as some municipalities prohibit riding bicycles on the sidewalk. Breaking these laws may result in a fine if a police officer stops you.
    • Wear bright colors so that other motorists can see you, and try to avoid riding at night. If you must ride at night, take extra precautions and wear reflectors and bicycle lights.
    • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times, but try to keep both hands engaged by carrying groceries or other items in a backpack.
    • Ride in the same direction as traffic is moving, and follow all traffic signs/signals. Be alert and use signals to indicate to others when you'll be turning or braking.[16]

Method 3
Staying Busy Indoors

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    Spend time with your family. Winter break is often the one time of year that entire families are back together again. Whether your family is kept apart by school locations, work obligations, or other factors, winter break may be the only time you get to see everyone at once. Don't take it for granted; spend time with one another, and do fun activities together.[17]
    • You can participate in any number of indoor or outdoor activities together.
    • Ask your parents and siblings what they'd like to do while you're home, and offer your input on fun things you'd like to do.
    • You can play board games or card games indoors, or go out and explore your hometown.[18]
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    Visit a museum. You may associate museums with school field trips, but museums can be great fun to visit when you're not there for class. Museums are a great place to learn about history and the natural world, soak in some of the most famous art in the world, or simply people watch from a quiet bench in the galleries.[19]
    • Check online to find out the hours and location for your local aquarium, history museum, or art museum.
    • Remember to be respectful at any museum. There may be restrictions on what you can bring in, whether or not you can take photographs, and what levels of volume are acceptable.
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    See a movie with family/friends. A lot of new movies tend to be released around winter break, which means you'll be home during a peak movie season. Spend time with your family or friends and see the newest comedy, action film, or drama that's being hyped up this year. You can even go out for coffee after the movie and talk about what you liked or didn't like about it together.
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    Catch up on your reading. After a stressful semester of reading and studying, books might be the last thing on your mind. But reading for pleasure is a wonderful hobby that can immerse you in a world of experience. You can read alone in your room, or invite your family to join you by the fireplace with their own books and spend some reading time together.[20]
    • Reread an old favorite from your bookshelf at home, or pick up a new book that sparks your interest.
    • If you're really feeling adventurous, try reading in a genre that you don't normally pursue and see what you can learn and enjoy from it.
    • Visit your local library, or go to your community bookstore. You can also order books online and have them shipped to your home the next day.
    • If you know your syllabus or reading assignments for the spring, you can even get a head start on the books you'll be reading when school resumes. It may be an assignment, but you can still work at your leisure and enjoy the book recreationally, too.
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    Take up a new creative pursuit. Time off from school is a great time to start a new project or learn something new. You may be reluctant to do any learning over winter break, but a new creative pursuit is something that can help relieve stress, and if you enjoy it you can make it a life-long hobby.[21]
    • Try puzzles, drawing, painting, writing, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, or learning an instrument.
    • Creative pursuits give you an instant sense of reward because you have a final product that you made.
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    Help your parents clean. Cleaning may not be the funnest thing to do when you're home on break, but it's a great way to spend time with your parents. Plus, they'll certainly appreciate your efforts to help keep the house tidy while you're home.
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    Get caught up on your favorite shows. Watching television is a great way to unwind, and you can do it alone or with family and friends. Binge watch your favorite shows together, introduce your parents to your new favorite sitcom, or let them show you their favorite TV shows.
    • Try not to spend more than four hours watching television on a given day. You may be on winter break, but too much television can be bad for you (especially if you're still growing and developing).[22]
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    Play video games. If you used to play video games, you probably still have your game system at home. If you're new to video games, try them out at a friend's house, or rent a game console and a few games from a video game store in your area.
    • Search online to find out where to rent or buy video games and gaming consoles.
    • You may also be able to download games online and play them on your computer.
    • You can play video games alone, or with friends/family.
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    Rest up. Your winter break will probably involve a lot of running around to spend time with relatives and catch up with friends. You might also travel or spend time outdoors. No matter what you do, though, it's important to get caught up on your sleep and make sure you get enough rest while you're home.
    • Most adolescents need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.[23]
    • If you've been staying up late studying for final exams before winter break, you may be far behind on your sleep.
    • Set aside enough time each night to get adequate sleep, especially while you're home from school and away from distractions.


  • Make plans according to the weather you'll be experiencing. If you live in southern California, for example, it will be much easier to get outdoors than if you live in Michigan.
  • Purchase a coat, hat, gloves, and boots if you plan on spending any time outdoors in cold weather or snow.


  • When you go out to play in the snow, wear proper clothing and take breaks to prevent hypothermia.
  • If you don't warm up before you exercise, your muscles can be injured. Always stretch and give yourself 5 to 10 minutes of light warm-up exercises.
  • Drink plenty of water when you exercise to prevent dehydration.
  • Staring at a screen for excess time can give you eye strain. Limit how much time you play video games and watch TV.
  • Wear safety equipment whenever you engage in sports. Slipping on ice can cause serious injuries that will ruin your winter break.

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Categories: Teen Holidays