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16 Frugal Tips on How to Prevent Boredom from Occurring on Winter Vacation

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Mom, I’m Bored

How many times will you hear, “Mom, I am bored” during the Christmas holiday?

For many of you, it is probably a recurring theme. Armed with a little prior knowledge and some motivation, you can prevent the boredom from setting in.

So how do you keep yourself from going crazy? Unless you’re actually on vacation and away from home, then you don’t need to worry about becoming bored.

However, chances are you are home and the children get restless within a few days. How do you make those long winter days go by quickly, without breaking the bank?

16 Frugal Tips for Preventing Boredom

Unplug and Be Spontaneous:

Unplug from all forms of technology for the day.  No phones, no texting, no computers, or video games. Not even television. Rediscover the lost art of having a conversation with your teen. Be spontaneous and see how the day unfolds. You may discover just how wonderful boredom can truly be, without an agenda.

Visit the local library

Check out free books. Have a day of reading at home in your pajamas.

Free activities

Check out the free activities in your area.  Maybe check out a free play at the community center or a free concert at the local college. Perhaps your local park has a day of free ice skating.  It does not have to be an expensive activity to do.


This is probably my favorite one because I enjoy this time with my children. A walk can be the best way to spend time together, see the local sites, and just hang out.  Pack a picnic, dress warm, and go for a winter hike.

Play Outside

This is an easy one, especially if you have even a small yard.  While it may be too cold to ride bikes or play baseball, why not make a snowman or dig a tunnel in the snow?

Do Puzzles

We are a big puzzle family and will often have a day or two of just doing puzzles.  We have puzzles for all the ages and often they will cover every available flat space we have, but it sure is a great way to spend the day together without spending a penny.

Game Night

Games, as in old-fashioned board games or card games are what I am talking about. Not video games or digital games. Break out the Candy Land to play with the little ones.  Play a family game of
Monopoly,  Trivial Pursuit or any other board games.

Movie Night

Choose a free family video from the local library and have a movie night. Make some popcorn and get some movie theater-type candy to enjoy.  Grab the blankets and darken the shades, and you are on your way to a great night with your family!


We love Legos. We even have a Lego room in our house. If you have the large MegaBlocks, Duplos, or regular Lego sets, you can easily have a day of designing, creating, and building as a family.

Family Videos or Family Photo Albums

Bring out the old family videos and watch them as a family.  Pretty soon an entire afternoon will have slipped away as you have enjoyed great family time laughing at old memories.  Or perhaps you have old photo albums sitting around, pull those out and watch your children light up as they see your old school pictures or the clothes they use to wear.


Spend a day visiting family members that you have lost touch with over the years or ones that you don’t get a chance to see as often as you would wish. Perhaps there is an old neighbor you would love to get caught up with, make the time and go visit as a family.  These are memories you are creating for your children as well.

Make Goodies and Deliver Them

Spend a morning baking goodies and deliver them different places locally (police station, fire station, church, animal shelter, senior center). Drop them off with a card of appreciation.  Teach your children to be kind and giving without expecting anything in return.

Go Swimming

In the winter it would be awfully cold to go swimming at a local lake, but most towns have a pool that for a small fee your family could go swimming in. One of our favorite winter activities is swimming as a family for a few hours on a cold winters day.

Burn your Christmas tree, if you had a live one

Invite the neighbors to bring their trees over and have a big old bonfire. Food and fellowship would be the perfect addition to an event such as this.

Go sledding, bring hot dogs and hot cocoa

Free, easy, and fun.

Winter Sports

Do you like any winter sports available near you?

  • Downhill skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hiking
  • Ice skating
  • Hockey
  • Tubing

Many of these can be done rather cheaply, especially if you hit off hours or have a large enough group to qualify for a group rate.

However, you choose to spend your Christmas holiday vacation with your family; enjoy each other.

Happy New Year,

Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home


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