Woohoo! It’s winter break. Kids don’t have school or homework or any real responsibility for a couple weeks. Which means mom and dad get a break too! While all that extra time to relax sounds like a dream, it can lead to boredom in a hurry without planning ahead. If you’re like me, you want to make this much-anticipated holiday break special for the whole family without relying too heavily on screens to entertain the kids. And truth be told, if my kids could go from watching their favourite shows on TV to their favourite YouTube stars on the tablet, to playing their favourite games on the smart phone in the car, they would pretty much be glued to a screen all day long. That certainly isn’t how awesome holiday memories are made!

To prevent boredom, plan ahead. Check out these 10 things to do during winter break that don’t include screens:

1. Plan a baking day

Ask your kids to help you choose a few options to get started. Narrow down the ones that you’re sure your family will most enjoy. In the morning, take a quick trip to the grocery store to buy any ingredients needed – the kids will have fun selecting the items on the shelf! Since it’s the season for generosity, why not package a few goodies to give to your neighbours or family!

2. Have a craft day

Try to use materials you have on hand, but if you need anything else a quick trip to the dollar store should do the trick! You could make lots of paper snowflakes to hang on your windows, or paper wreaths to hang on interior doors.

3. Go to the park

If your neighbourhood has plenty of fresh show, plan an afternoon of tobogganing/ tubing at a nearby park (preferably one with awesome hills!). Alternatively, if your kids are too young for this winter pass time, try building a snow man.

4. Winter reading

Take a trip to the local library and check out some new material – winter/ holiday themed, of course! Spend the next day or two enjoying your awesome borrowed books. Then, make it interactive. Create a simple book out of folded paper and have your kids draw pictures and re-create another ending for a story you just read.

5. Check out all the beautifully decorated homes in your neighbourhood

Stir up some hot chocolate for everyone and pile into the car after the sun has gone down. Drive around your neighbourhood to admire all the homes that have their lights and décor on display.

6. Go swimming

Indoors, of course! Most community centers have drop in or “open” swim times available throughout the day for a nominal fee. Take a break from all the winter stuff going on and hit the pools!

7. Go see a play/ live performance

There are always great options to check out around this time of year. Choose something both you and the kids will enjoy.

8. Indoor playgounds/ Trampoline gyms

Most of these centers offer special deals during the winter break. Check out a place nearby to enquire into what their current promotions are.

9. Handmade holiday/ new years cards, anyone?

Spend some time creating home-made cards to give to your loved ones! Consider printing off a recent family photo to enclose inside the card as an extra special treat.

10. Visit a local winter market or festival

Enjoy the outdoors for a few hours and all winter has to offer at a local festival. There’s usually something everyone in your family will enjoy whether that be a carousel, or hot cocoa or festive performers.

Just a little reminder to parents: Set a good example. Limit your screen time, too, and join in on all the fun!