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Five free activities for the holidays

free activities

As some things amp up over the holidays, others slow down. People take this time to reflect on their year, their goals and their family. Nostalgia is in this season, folks! Aside from summer fun, holidays are a time to make memories. Take the time out this holiday season to spend time with the fam, save money with free and cheap activities and focus on what’s most important – the people around you.

Here is a list of some fun, free things to go with the family before we get right back into the groove of things.

1. See the lights

Check out the best light displays in your area on your city website, newsletter or local library post board. Most towns put up pretty lights and going for a walk to see the area lit up is a good way to get outside, have a chat and work off some food-coma inducing meals. Storefronts often go all out with their displays and it’s pretty much a guarantee that carollers and festive lights will make for a pleasant evening. Get out there and you might even discover a cute town, park or waterfall not far from your own backyard. 

2. Take a winter walk 

Walk, sled or hike through a winter wonderland. Sorry to say but you will need snow for this tip, so if you live in a place without snow… I guess this is a tip to get outside and walk among the trees, grateful for dry feet and sunshine. To our readers surrounded by snow, make a snow angel or snowman, build a fort or go sledding. Don’t have a sled? Use a plastic bag! Against plastic? That’s fine too, because based on stock images we found you can apparently use a Dad as a sled (if you do this, please tag us on social because we definitely want to see that). Go out and throw some snowballs at your children (you know you want to) in the spirit of family fun. Or make plans with friends to have an official snowball fight. Who said you can’t schedule a snowball fight? Scheduling seems like the adult thing to do. And it definitely doesn’t cost anything to throw snow.

But seriously, getting outside is healthy, fun and free.

3. Visit a tree farm

Visiting the farm itself is usually free – and you don’t have to buy a tree. You might have one at home already. Visit a farm, go for a walk, take some pictures and see what else they have on offer. Much like tree farms, most city markets are free to enter and nearly every town has them now (go on a full stomach so you’re not tempted by every nice smelling thing). Whichever you choose, they will likely have cute displays, hot drinks, snacks and ornaments – go with a budget and you won’t blow all your money on a couple hot chocolates and some random wooden ornament but, in all honesty, you might! We said some things are free but handmade wooden ornaments almost never are.

4. Start a project

If you have a smartphone, you have the ability to make a cool media project or even a movie. All you need is a camera in your hands, your family and friends at your service and a vision in your mind. Create a photo or movie series and get the family or group of friends excited to take part in a project you will likely look at every year for the rest of your life. You can go all out (like iPhone did with this super stylish snowball fight video) or just take the same picture every year, varying the outfits or changing nothing at all. Make photo props and go to town. You can download fun apps (like Zoetropic or Cinemagraph Pro) that make your shots look like they are moving and add an element of whimsy. The fun thing about a media project is that it’s as creative as you want it to be and can become something that truly reflects your family spirit.

Create a movie that will entertain you for years to come

5. Stay inside and get crafty

We all have stuff lying around the house. Stuff with potential. There are hundreds of videos online to help you decorate your home for the holidays without spending a dime. We like the idea of making snowmen using old socks or covering walls and windows with elaborate paper snowflakes or holiday garlands

Getting crafty is a great way to relax, learn a new skill or discover a hidden talent. Use wrapping paper scraps to make colorful origami stars or paper mache bowls for snacks. A visit to the dollar store can inspire some (50 of them to be exact) pretty cute and classy craft ideas if you are looking to spruce up the place with more than just paper decorations and tape.

Bonus idea 

This idea is not in the numbered list because it is so simple it barely qualifies as an activity, which is part of what makes it… kind of amazing. The last idea is to throw a Holiday Bed Pajama Party. Okay, hear me out. Picture this: Everyone in comfy pj’s, twinkle lights, soft pillows, the smell of cinnamon in the air while watching a movie and making a popcorn garland (giving you a task here other than be lazy in bed all day, which is what this basically is). It’s the easiest thing you can possibly do and yet, it might end up being what you remember most when looking back.

The day before, prepare some food so you don’t have to cook. Make sure you have cinnamon boiling in some water and popcorn ready to pop (Fact: popcorn is an integral part of any successful pajama party). Bring over the tv, move the biggest bed to another room or unfold the sofa. The next morning, get out the blankets and pillows and pile them on. Turn on the twinkle lights and have some breakfast in bed (toaster waffles!). Bring in the (real or stuffed) animals, pop some popcorn, grab a needle and thread and get out those holiday movies out because this is a Big Bed Pajama Party and it’s going to be awesome. 

As we look back over the years at the times we enjoyed with friends and family, it’s the little things that often end up being the most memorable.

What free things are you enjoying this holiday? Let us know!