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Best Ways to Cure Holiday Boredom: Fun, Affordable Activities to Do During Long Winter Breaks

While the holidays are an exciting time of year, they can get long for many people. Families with school-age children who have extensive winter breaks sometimes struggle to find activities to fill up the days. So do some working singles and couples who have excessive leave time to use at year-end. To keep from getting bored, people often resort to spending large sums of money on fancy vacations or extravagant events around town.

The good news is, there are many things to do during the holiday season that are fun, affordable, and cater to a variety of ages and interests. Here are some of the best and simplest ways for families and individuals to cure holiday boredom.

Organize a Game Day

Set aside a day or two for a game marathon. Gather together family or friends, and pull out the board games, a deck of cards, and the Ping-Pong table. Set up teams and keep a scoreboard for the winners of each game. Be sure to include lunch and snacks throughout the day — eating is half the fun.

Take a Mini-trip

Affordable one- or two-night packages at resorts and hotels are often available during the holidays. Pick a drivable place to visit and enjoy a quick getaway. Even just spending the night at a local hotel with a pool or water park can be enough to cure holiday boredom.

Start a Family Project

What better time than during the holidays to start work on a family history book, a family cookbook, or a family tree? Since families usually congregate at this time of year, gathering information shouldn’t be too difficult. Even better, everyone in the family, even friends, can get involved.

Take a Tour of Lights

Grab a thermos of hot chocolate, get in the car, and take a tour of the holiday lights in the vicinity. This could be a nightly activity, since there are likely many neighbors to visit. Travel to downtown areas, too, to see their light displays or watch a parade of lights.

See a Double Feature

Check the local movie theaters for discount matinees, and enjoy a couple of shows. Renting movies for viewing at home is another option that will cure boredom just as easily. Plus the movie rental selection is wider, and the popcorn at home is cheaper.

Participate in a Cookie Bake

Many community education departments offer bake and take cookie classes for both adults and children at a reasonable cost. Or, set aside a day to make multiple varieties of cookies, bars, and other sweets at home. Afterward, invite friends over to enjoy the treats.

Make a Scavenger Hunt

Kids especially like scavenger hunts, but adults can also have fun creating and participating in them. Put a holiday spin on the clues and prizes, and take turns making the hunts. Hide clues inside or outside—or both.

Go Hiking or Cross-Country Skiing

Going on a hike or trekking through the woods on cross-country skis is invigorating and a quick fix for holiday boredom. Check the local parks and recreation department for reasonable ski rentals. Throw on a backpack filled with food and water, and make a day of it.

Visit Museums

The holidays are a good time to take in local culture. Many museums offer free admission and have interesting exhibits on display during winter breaks. Art and science museums cater to all ages, as do history centers.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a feel-good activity that can be especially rewarding during the time of giving. Women’s shelters, libraries, nursing homes, and hospitals always appreciate free help. Or, gather people together to clean up garbage and debris in the neighborhood. Then order pizzas and celebrate a job well done.

Although the holidays can get long for some families and individuals, boredom can easily be cured with any of these activities. Pick a few or try them all, and make this holiday season the most fun yet.