10 Things to Do Outside the Home but Indoors During the Winter

It’s December, are you getting cabin fever, yet? Wondering how you will keep your kids busy when you really can’t be outside for very long, because of the winter weather? Wondering how you will make it through the rest of the season?


Well, besides the obvious museums and library trips, here are some things to keep your kids busy this winter outside of the home, yet still indoors.  Some offer deals to homeschoolers while others have special days and times set aside just for us. Some places are closed during “school hours” while other places are open and willing to work with homeschoolers. Doesn’t hurt to just call and ask. If they don’t offer these times now maybe by you speaking to them, they’ll make some changes to offer times and prices that are convenient to homeschool families.


On a tight budget, there are still ideas for you too!


1.) Paint pottery – Pottery painting places have been popping up all over the country for the last couple of years.  Be sure to ask about specials; Some places offer discounts if you go on off days. It’s quite calming and keeps even the busiest of kids occupied for a couple of hours. And everyone gets to take home a beautiful masterpiece.


2.) Go bowling – Most bowling alleys are open and barren during the day. Just call and make sure another group is not using the place or that they don’t have a day league playing at the same time that you want to go. For fun, get a group of local homeschool kids around and plan a party. Often you can get a good deal that includes lunch, shoes, and bowling.


3.) Go roller skating – Same as above, some places might offer homeschoolers special times.  Perhaps you can plan a party during “school hours” with other local homeschoolers.


4.) Find a local indoor play yard or bounce place – Some of these places are great! And from what I’ve seen most are open during the day for little tots. Some offer a kind of baby sitting service to parents; Personally, I’m not comfortable suggesting that you leave your kids with any service you’re unfamiliar with. But they may be a fun place to run off some of that kid energy in a warm, cozy, parent-supervised environment.


5.) Go see a movie – Do movie theaters ever close? It seems some of the big places are always open with something playing. Sometimes matinees are cheap or some theaters offer special weekend early shows that are free. Check your local theaters for the best price. If you can afford it, go see the IMAX movie (usually educational).


6.) Find an indoor pool or water park – Some hotels with water parks attached offer days rates. And some offer a special homeschool day. Or check with your YMCA or Aquatic Center which might also offer a homeschool swim day and/or time.


7.) Take a class – Whether it be a knitting class or sign language, check your local libraries, local community centers, colleges, and crafts stores to see who’s offering classes that might interest you or your children. Some may be free or low cost. And you can write this down as an educational experience.


8.) Volunteer – Always a good thing to do… serve others! This winter my husband has plans to take our children to go serve at the women’s shelter – cleaning or whatever else that needs to be done. What a good way to teach kids about servanthood, while also keeping Christmas about Jesus. What a great gift!


9.) See a ballet, musical, or play – During the school year often big performing arts colleges or theaters will put on shows for local schools. If you call and ask often they will allow a group of homeschoolers to fill in a section or two for the same rate the schools are paying (maybe less). They often plan these events in September, for the entire “school” year, so don’t wait to call them; they may be taking reservations for next year now.


10.) Plan a plant tour, tour your capital, or visit a bug house – Think outside the box when it comes to field trips this winter. Think about what your child is interested in or what you are learning about, then plan a visit to a place that will perk their interest and/or bring the learning home. Are they interested in baking? Then plan a trip to a local bakery and to a plant that makes baked goods or products for baking. Search online, in your phone book, or ask your local homeschool group. I’m sure you can come up with some great ideas.


Don’t wait for cabin fever to even set in! Plan your winter now!


However, a word of caution: remember not to go overboard on the trips. They can potentially be exhausting  for everyone. So search for the balance in your homeschool and get out when you can but stay in when you need to. Winter will go so much faster if your family is active but not stressed.


Before you know it, it will be Spring again. 🙂



  1. I’ll just reverse this to summer, since it’s summer time that’s so crazy hot and uncomfortable here…….

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