Having a winter bucket list can seem daunting. For many, that means that their summer bucket list adventures are over. Even the fall bucket list has seized until next year.
But winter is amazing! You should absolutely consider having a winter bucket list so you don’t get cooped up in your house for months or worse, bored to tears.
We selected what we think are the best winter bucket list checks and hope you love them too. Just remember, you bucket list is always evolving, so feel free to add or takeaway things as you see fit.
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Winter Bucket List 100+ Ideas To Keep You Busy
1. Bake festive cookies
The winter is a great time of year to bake up sugar cookies and decorate them however you want. You could even host a cookie party! This is a great way to also check something off your holiday bucket list!
2. Put up lights outside your home for decoration
Whether or not your neighborhood goes all our for the holidays, you can still decorate your home however you would like. You will enjoy it.
3. Go sledding
There is no other iconic winter bucket list item than the simple joys of sledding down a snow capped hill.
4. Visit Lapland, Finland to see the northern lights and stay in a cool hotel
Even though the area only sees a few hours of sunlight a day, the iconic lodging options and stunning Northern Lights are worth it. This should be a top pick for your Europe bucket list!
If you have free time, spend time helping others in need over the winter.
6. Make a gingerbread house
Making a gingerbread house is so fun. Get all the fixings and create your masterpiece. Try not to eat it!
7. Send holiday cards
This is such a fun tradition to start. People love receiving mail because it is such a dying art form but it also lets people know you are thinking of them.
8. Get family photos taken
This is the best time to get everyone together and do an indoor or outdoor family photo shoot.
9. Take the train to another city and explore
Itching to see another city? Let your winter bucket list take you to new place.
10. Catch snowflakes with your tongue
One of life’s simple pleasures – catching the snow before it hits the ground.
11. Visit Yellowstone and take a big truck tour to see wildlife and tons of snow
Visiting Yellowstone should be on everyone’s USA bucket list. However, going during the winter is extra magical because it is covered with snow.
12. Make your own ugly Christmas sweater
You can easily grab a sweater from a thrift store or just buy one that has a wacky design on it. Then add your own elements to make it yours.
13. Make grilled cheese and tomato soup on a chilly day
Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a dream in the winter months.
14. Host an ugly Christmas sweater party
Remember that ugly Christmas sweater you made? Now wear it and host a party to see what everyone else came up with! You can enjoy ticking this off your Christmas bucket list at the same time.
15. Make your own spiked eggnog
Eggnog always tastes better with some bourbon in it.
16. Drive around admiring Christmas lights
Find a cool neighborhood in your area where everyone on that street decked their houses out with a crazy amount of lights and go admire it!
17. Go ice skating
Whether you are good or bad, everyone loves to get out on the ice! It is never too late to learn.
18. Find matching winter pajamas
Looking for something cool to check off your bucket list for families? Find matching pajamas for everyone and get a photo taken.
19. Make homemade hot cocoa
Sure, the stuff in the packs is great, but homemade with chocolate bars is even better. Feeling fancy? Torch a marshmallow for the top.
20. Be host to a boozy brunch and make a mimosa bar
Everyone loves to brunch, especially in the winter as a way to socialize and find reason to drink in the morning. Create an epic mimosa bar with a variety of options for the guests. They will love it.
21. Hang stockings
Whether you have been naughty or nice, make sure to hang the stockings and see if you end up with a surprise or coal.
22. Visit New York City to see the tree lighting
Each year the Rockefeller Center puts up a gargantuan tree and lights it up for the entire city to enjoy. Visit during the ceremonial lighting.
23. Go ice fishing
Unless you have been before, this will require a little bit more skill and maybe someone who has done it before. You will need to be able to get into the ice but do it safely.
24. Try a new restaurant each week
While it is said that people eat the same 10 times consistently, winter is a great time to explore the new restaurants in your area and see what else is out there. You never know what hidden gem is waiting to be discovered.
25. Create a new resume and put out feelers
While you may be happy with your current job, you never know what else is out there. Make a dazzling new resume and see if maybe there is a new position or money to be made.
26. Make snow angels
One of the easiest winter bucket list options. Go lay in the snow and make a series of snow angels to enjoy.
27. Get a peppermint drink from Starbucks in a red cup
You know it is the official winter season when the red cup drops at Starbucks. Order all the peppermint flavored things throughout the season and try them all.
28. Decorate your bedroom with flannel sheets and twinkle lights
Nothing is cozier than some warm flannel sheets and twinkle lights.
29. Pay for someone’s coffee behind you
Feeling generous? Pay for the coffee for the person behind you and make someone’s day.
30. Take a vacation somewhere warm with a beach
One of the best places to visit during the winter months is the Caribbean. You can find an all inclusive resort and just chill by the beach or pool all day with no cares.
31. Burn delicious smelling candles throughout the house
When your home smells like baked goods, you can’t help but be happy!
32. Carry around a disposable camera to snap unfiltered memories
While technology is advanced enough that we don’t need a disposable camera, using one will allow more candid moments and not perfect moments.
33. Start a new workout
Bored in the house? Start a new workout routine or take a new class.
34. Get a festive mani or pedi
Looking to elevate your ugly Christmas sweater look? Get some festive nails to accompany them.
35. Watch all the Hallmark movies
Each year Hallmark puts out a long list of new movies (usually one per day). Watch all the new ones and enjoy some of your favorites from previous years.
36. Elf on the Shelf
If you have kids, this is a lot more fun, but as an adult you can do whatever you want. You can set your elf up in a new way each day that is fun/funny.
37. Visit Disney and see it decked out for the holiday
Disney will never be more beautiful than it is during the holiday season. PLUS you can go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party!!
38. Start a new tradition
One of our favorite winter bucket list traditions is to shop for a new smelling candle each winter that fills the house up with goodness.
39. Adopt a family for the holiday
The holidays can hit hard for many people. If you find you are in a more fortunate position, adopt a family and help provide meals and gifts.
40. Indulge in bubble baths
There is no better way to relax than a bubble bath. Feeling fancy? Add a moisturizing face mask, glass of wine and a bath bomb. You will feel like a new person!
41. Go to a Christmas Market
While Europe has the best Christmas markets on the planet, and the market in Tallinn, Estonia is the best, you can also find some stateside in the USA. Visiting Europe for the Christmas markets is a top winter bucket list check.
42. Take a cooking class
Several places offer cooking classes in a variety of verticals. Find a class in something you are looking to learn more about or something completely foreign to you.
43. See the Northern Lights in Iceland
Iceland is the closest European country to the USA and the easiest place to see the Northern Lights.
44. Make a photo book of all your photos throughout the year
Love taking photos? Document all the years’ memories in a photobook to put on your coffee table. You will love looking back on the memories.
45. See the Nutcracker on ice
Is it even the winter if the Nutcracker isn’t around? Sure you can watch it on DVD or even a local play, but seeing the Nutcracker on ice is a whole new experience.
46. Spend New Years Eve in a New York City and see the ball drop
Times Square is the most iconic New Years Eve celebration in the United States and a top destination globally. Known for the ball drop at midnight, witness it in person.
This New Years Eve bucket list destination is one of the biggest celebrations to ring in the new year.
47. Roast chestnuts
Chestnuts are especially delicious wen you roast them. They didn’t make a song about it for no reason.
48. Learn to ski or snowboard and go on a trip
The best part about winter is the snow activities. You can easily take a course in skiing or snowboarding at a resort and then hit the slopes all day. Don’t forget to warm up by the fire with a hot chocolate or hot toddy.
49. Start a skincare routine
The winter months can be brutal on the skin in many ways. From the dryness to wearing extra makeup for events. There is no time like now to get into the habit of a good skincare routine. Even something as simple as moisturizing face masks and a great moisturizer can do wonders.
50. Rent a cozy cabin in the woods with a fireplace
Just like out of a Hallmark movie. Rent a cute little cabin with a fireplace and enjoy your days outside and nights inside by the fireplace with hot drinks or wine.
51. Make mulled wine
If you can’t get to the Christmas markets for mulled wine, you can always make your own. There are plenty of recipes on Pinterest and the internet. Just search for ones that have your desired ingredients.
52. Visit Iceland and go for a soak in the Blue Lagoon
Easily one of the best natural springs and soak in the world, the Blue Lagoon is such an epic winter bucket list check. While the frigid temperatures of Iceland may scare you off, the warmth of the lagoon will keep you warm. And bonus: there is a swim up bar!
53. Try your hand at making gingerbread cookies
Probably one of the hardest cookies to make and keep in tact without crumbling to the ground. Perfect a recipe and decorate them to your liking.
54. Get a fun advent calendar for the month of December
There are some fun advent calendars on the market! If you love the show FRIENDS, this one is perfect! Just no cheating, one open per day!
55. Plan your New Years Resolutions
Before the end of the year is a great time to sit down and set intentions for the following year. You could even get a journal to help you plan and stay on track.
56. Learn to make homemade cinnamon rolls
You know how when you walk into a mall you can instantly smell Cinnabon? You can make your house smell just as delightful and everyone will love them!
57. Start a journal
Whether it is a bullet journal, fitness journal, day to day journal, or a travel journal – just start one. Being able to look back and read old memories and life events plus how you felt, you can keep them forever.
58. Go through your closet and donate things you are not using
As a golden rule of thumb, if you haven’t touched it in six or more months and don’t plan to use it in the immediate future, donate it. There are plenty of people in need and there is no sense letting good stuff go unused in the closet.
59. Join a book club
The winter is a great time to pick up reading again, if you don’t already. It is nice to join a book club because everyone reads the same book and then you discuss it. It is very interesting to hear the different interpretations and takeaways and really makes you think about it.
60. Eat to your hearts content on Thanksgiving
Put on your stretchy pants and enjoy the holiday while being thankful!
61. Attend a white elephant gift exchange
Probably one of the coolest holiday gift exchanges is the white elephant. All you have to do is find something in your house you no longer want and bring it. Who knows what you will come home with but it is sure to be a great time.
62. Host a fondue night
Cut up all the fruits, veggies and bread and prepare a cheese fondue. Then when everyone is done, cut up the fruits and desserts and make a chocolate fondue to enjoy. This is always a crowd pleaser because the food is easy and gives you more time to socialize.
63. Do a polar plunge and get dressed up
Usually polar plunges are associated with charities but that is all the more reason to join. You can jump into freezing cold water for a good cause.
64. Make your own winter themed scrubs and skincare products
Thinking of making a coffee or sugar scrub? You can find body safe essential oils that smell of peppermint or cookies to add to them.
65. Create paper snowflakes and hang them
Get out the construction paper and scissors and get to work. No two snowflake will ever be the same, but that is the magic.
66. Build a fort in the living room and sleep there
Now that you are an adult, you know you can build a much more epic fort than your parents did due to modernization. You can share it with your family or do it for yourself.
67. Stay in a hotel with an indoor pool and pretend it is summer
Even though winter has its charm, summer is also greatly missed. Check into a hotel that has an indoor pool and forget about the coldness that awaits you on the outside.
68. Do wine tastings at home and find your favorites
Pick out wines from around the world and document them the way you would at a winery. Keep good notes and file them so you can remember which ones you loved and didn’t. This can also help inspire future travels if you find a wine region you love.
69. Learn to make a charcuterie board
If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area (and no worries if you don’t) they have the absolute best selections for items to build a charcuterie board. You can either wing it or watch videos online. No matter what, it is going to taste amazing.
70. Shop for gifts
Whether you partake in Black Friday, Cyber Monday or even rush shopping on Christmas Eve, you will find serious joy in locating the perfect gift for the people in your life.
71. Get fun pictures done to make your own holiday cards
Depending on how crazy you want to get, you could do matching holiday pajamas, ugly Christmas sweaters, everyone on the floor passed out from overindulging, or anything. The options are endless.
72. Make a calendar for the family with photos from the year in it
This is one of the easiest gifts to give. Create a 12 month calendar online while plugging in birthdays, anniversaries and other applicable dates. Then add photos for each of the months. Print as many as you need for the family and enjoy them all year.
73. Stay in bed all day in cozy clothes with a good book
Winter tends to bring us down a bit, but you can still be cozy and read a book in bed. Feeling a bit chilly? Grab a hot tea or hot chocolate to make it better.
74. Host a cookie exchange
This is a great way to get a variety of cookies without having to destroy your kitchen. Team up with 5-10 people and agree to each make something different. If you make a dozen for each person, you will have plenty of holiday cookies to share and pass around.
75. Watch the Thanksgiving Day parade
An annual tradition, if you can’t be there in person, tune in on TV to see the parade.
76. Binge watch a show you’ve been dying to watch
Are you still skipping past the million things you have saved in your list on Netflix? The winter is a great time to get toasty and binge watch that show that’s just been sitting there.
77. Visit Antarctica! The ultimate travel bucket list destination
If you want to take your travel bucket list to great heights, take a cruise to Antarctica.
78. Adopt a pet
The winter is a great time to adopt a pet and welcome them into your home. By years end, you’ll be completely attached and wondering how you ever lived without them.
79. Make homemade soups in the crockpot
One of the best joys of owning a crockpot is you can essentially set it and forget it for hours AND your house will smell incredible. Super easy, budget friendly and there is an endless list of soups to try. Plus, it will keep you toasty in the colder months.
80. Build a fire and snuggle
There is nothing more romantic then a fireside snuggle.
81. Go winter camping
While summer camping is the more popular version of this activity, winter camping should be on your winter bucket list. You get to dress cozier, wear mittens, eat delicious s’mores and food over the fire, and sleep around snow!
82. Watch Elf
Easily one of the best Christmas movies to laugh to, Elf is a staple for many households and should not be missed.
83. Get dressed up fancy and have a meal at home
If you want to do something fun at home but don’t want to spend the big bucks, put on your fancy attire and make a nice meal to enjoy. Don’t forget the wine and candles.
84. Stay in a hotel made of ice
Thinking of doing something epic? What not stay in a ice hotel? It will be a once in a lifetime experience.
85. Write an e-book and self publish it
If you are knowledgeable about anything at all that you think will provide value to someone, write an e-book. It does not have to be long and you can publish it on Amazon very easily.
86. Make sure to moisturize your skin since it is dry outside
The winter is incredible harsh on skin. Remember to use lotions, chapstick and facemasks regularly to keep the drying and cracking from happening.
87. Have a snowball fight
Looking for an adventurous and free outing? Bundle up and get out there to make your very best snowballs and win that fight.
88. Decorate while jamming out to your favorite holiday music
Do you love holiday music like N’Sync or Charlie Brown? Turn it all the way up while you decorate your home.
89. Make ice cream out of snow
Get a bunch of fresh packed snow and your favorite toppings. Then enjoy!
90. Visit a tree farm and cut down your own Christmas tree
Big or small, you won’t have more fun during the holiday season than picking out the tree that will inevitably sit in your living room for weeks to come.
91. Try your hand at making a big bowl of pasta
Not from a box, but literally from scratch. You can either roll it all out and cut it or use this Kitchenaid for a quick and more efficient pasta.
92. Do a 1000+ piece holiday themed puzzle
The higher number of pieces you find in a puzzle, the harder they get. Try and complete a 1000+ piece puzzle as part of your winter bucket list.
93. Ring in the New Year with someone you love
Whether it is at a grand party and dressed fancy or on the couch watching the ball drop, spend it with the one you love.
94. Make candy apples
Just like caramel apples, candy apples with peppermint and chocolate are just as delicious and super easy to make.
95. Host a Friendsgiving
There is no greater time to break bread than with friends during friendsgiving. Have everyone bring a dish to alleviate the work on you. Make sure to have everyone go around and tell what they are grateful for.
96. Go on a winter hike
Lace up your boots and head out.
97. See a local play or Broadway show
During the winter, schools and local arts will put on productions. Get dressed up and enjoy a night on the town.
98. Get a library card and read a book a week
Looking to add to your book bucket list? Try reading a new book each week!
99. Start learning a new language
If you spend a lot of time indoors during the winter months, now would be a great time to learn a new language.
100. Spend time with family and friends
The winter is a great time to get together. If you are completing items on your Christmas bucket list, this is a great time to host a dinner, go caroling, spend Christmas day together, or just go to a party!
101. Facetime or Skype friends and family that don’t live close
Staying in touch can sometimes become challenging due to schedules. Make some time on your winter bucket list to call your loved ones and catch up. They will appreciate it.
102. Have breakfast in bed
One of life’s many simple pleasures, take a winter day to watch the snow fall and enjoy breakfast in bed.
103. Buy the holiday scented stuff at Bath and Body Works
Every single year without fail, the vanillas, cranberry and whatever else scents they decide to release, smell amazing!
104. Organize the rooms in your house
During the winter months we spend more time inside. This is the perfect time to get your house as organized as possible. It can be both rewarding and freeing.
105. Create an indoor picnic based off your favorite destination
An easy way to armchair travel during the winter is by creating a picnic of your favorite destination with their local fare. Maybe you could watch a movie too!
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