In the dead of winter, most of us wish we were on vacation in a warm, exotic location. There, we wouldn’t have to spend an extra 15 minutes putting on layers of clothing, lacing boots and wrapping ourselves in scarfs and gloves. Even a fun weekend at a ski resort can help you make the most of those cold winter days. But for those seasons when a vacation isn't in the budget, there are still plenty of fun and frugal ways to beat the winter blues at home.

1. Play in the snow

If you're stuck in the snow you might as well enjoy it! Bundle the family up and head outside for a snow angel-making contest, build snowmen, and have a snowball fight. Add food coloring to a spray bottle of water and you can spray-paint the snow! Even if you don't have kids, go out and play. There are more fun memories to be had with snow than just shoveling your car out of the driveway.

2. Try new hot cocoa and hot apple cider recipes

A quick Pinterest search can find you zillions of new hot cocoa and cider recipes to try out. They will warm you right up and make the house smell amazing.

3. Break out the board games

You know that dusty Monopoly box in a closet somewhere? Brush it off and play with the family—or better yet, invite friends over for some of that tasty apple cider you just made and have a board game night. Playing games allows people to bond and interact in a natural and fun way, which helps you spend quality time with your loved ones while doing something more constructive than staring at the television. Not a board game person? Fire up the video games and have a family video game night.

4. Have a tropics party

You may not be able to get to the beach, but you can still enjoy your favorite parts. Serve fun tropical foods like pineapple, kiwi, coconut and other fresh (or canned) fruits. Cook up kabobs, hot dogs and hamburgers, and enjoy a piña colada. You can even burn coconut scented candles to set the mood. Watch your favorite beach- and tropics-based movies, play some reggae music and relax.

5. Indulge in a new hobby

Rather than constantly reviewing your to-do list, do something that makes your heart sing. Spend time with a new or old hobby and let yourself relax. Paint, read, knit, do yoga, make model planes, cook new recipes, do arts and crafts, try DIY projects, sew clothes, write—just do whatever makes you happy. Teach your kids how to build that model airplane, lose yourself in painting and just enjoy that time. Taking a break from the daily grind through indulging in your hobby can give you the same emotional lift that an expensive vacation can give you, but this time your money stays in your pocket and you get to fill your home (rather than a hotel) with happy memories.

Check out our Pinterest board Family Time on a Dime for frugal and fun family activities like the ones below!

 

Homemade Bouncy Balls
Homemade Glitter Slime
Pocket Magnetic Fishing Kit
Olympic Pom Pom Shooters

 

 

5 Fun and Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blues at Home