Winter Break Activity Ideas for the Family

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Snowmen - photo by Hannah Luedt
Snowmen – photo by Hannah Luedt

We can no longer keep it at bay, Christmas Break has nearly arrived! The kids are anxious with visions of sleeping in and days spent in front of their televisions and playing with new toys. Parents are faced with the daunting task of creating a schedule for Christmas Break that keeps their children engaged and civil over the next few weeks. It’s a magical time, one that should be cherished and bring families closer together. To help you along the way, we’ve got a plethora of ideas to entertain the family indoors and out!

Outdoor Fun

Having a white Christmas would be on top of all of our wish lists, and as Christmas Break nears and temperatures drop, utilize the snow to your advantage. For starters, sledding will be prime in Pioneer Park where there’s numerous slopes for you to enjoy. There will also be free ice skating at Veteran’s Park for those with their own ice skates looking to enjoy an afternoon on ice. Speaking of afternoons in the parks, just because it’s winter, does not mean your favorite city park is closed, they are open all year round!

If the Christmas lights strung up on your house are missing an iconic seasonal decoration, challenge your children to a snowman building contest. Shake things up and create a snowman scene, where there’s a goofy snowman on his head. Don’t forget about snowmen pets too! This challenge brings out everyone’s creativity and will make your yard more festive.

Indoor Fun

Looking to stay inside, safe from the cold? There’s plenty to keep your family busy, check out the Billings Public Library schedule for daily activities. December 26-27 & 29-31 the Library is showing ‘Kids Books to Movies’ at 2pm. Watch a movie based on a book and stick around to be entered into a drawing to win a copy of the movie and the book the movie is based on. There’s also story time and open hours throughout Christmas Break.

  • Friday, December 26: The Polar Express
  • Saturday, December 27: Frozen
  • Monday, December 29: How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Tuesday, December 30: Rise of the Guardians
  • Wednesday, December 31: Charlotte’s Web

This is the perfect time of year to show your kids your playful side at the bowling alley or skating rink. You’ll have their heads spinning from skating circles around them on the roller rink. Plus, the atmosphere still provides you the chance to communicate with your kids, carrying on a conversation you can both hear, so that it’s quality time well spent. Plus, who among us doesn’t enjoy letting our inner child out and proving we can still navigate around a rink or roll a strike?

Take this extra free time with your children to give back to the community by volunteering. It’s the heart of the holiday season and there’s much to be done with the Billings Food Bank, local churches, United Way and much more! It’s a humbling experience to serve expecting nothing in return, which after the influx of presents from Santa, children would enjoy giving that joy to others in their community. Check out www.volunteermatch.org to find local volunteer opportunities that will fit your family’s needs or interests.

Another challenge you can tackle within your own home with your kids is a family cook-off. Spend time in the kitchen making the family’s evening feast of everyone’s favorites. Imagine rolling out bread and a little flour escapes or as you sit down to enjoy what you’ve collaboratively worked on all afternoon, bubbles emerge from your child’s milk. That’s what memories are made of, the shared laughs between parent and child. Those can be found around a board game, in the kitchen, outside in the snow, skating around the rink or sacking canned goods at the local food bank. However you find them, enjoy your Christmas Break so that it tides you over until the next break from school!