8 Frugal Indoor Winter Entertainment Ideas

by Lauren Romano
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Stuck inside? Your family can still have fun on the cheap! Here are eight frugal indoor winter entertainment ideas to try.

Spending time indoors in winter doesn’t mean you have to sit around bored or spend a substantial amount of money. There’s plenty to do that will keep you and your loved ones entertained whether there’s more snow outside than you can handle, it’s too cold to go anywhere, or you’d rather just hang out and enjoy each other’s company at home.

The following are just some of the inexpensive winter at home entertainment ideas to get you started.

1. Have a camp in

If you can’t go camping anywhere this winter, bring the campground to you whether it’s indoors or out.

Start up the fireplace or fire pit, grab some snacks (don’t forget the s’mores!), and set out pillows, blankets, and cushions to sit on. It’s the perfect opportunity to turn off your phones, talk to each other, tell stories, and leave the technology-driven world behind for awhile.

2. Have a pizza party

Your standard pizza party this is not.

Rather than spend upwards of $50 for a few pizzas, go the inexpensive route and make the same amount at home for a fraction of the price. You can make the pizza dough yourself, buy it ready-to-bake (around $2 each), or get already-made crust. Grab the cheese while you’re at the grocery store, as well.

Next, set up a toppings station so everyone can create their own special pizza. Save money by going to the dollar store where you can buy pepperoni, broccoli, jalapenos, sauce, peppers, and more. Assemble, bake, and you’re ready to eat.

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3. Make a happy board

You can make your own happy board this winter by picking up a bulletin board for around $20 and pushpins at the dollar store. Everything you might want to put on the board, such as family photos, cards, invitations, decorative necklaces, stickers, and magazine pictures, can already be found in your home.

Hang the bulletin board up wherever you desire, and the best part is that you can add and remove pieces as you wish.

4. Send out love packages

We can all use some extra happiness on a daily basis and sending your family and friends little gifts in the mail can be an inexpensive way to keep busy this winter and spread the love.

For starters, write a hand-written note and include photos the recipient would like. Next, you should head to a dollar store where you can find little trinkets to include in the package. You can purchase mailers there, as well. The cost of shipping varies, of course, but it’s possible to spend less than $10 to make a few different love packages to send out.

5. Have a reading party

For your reading party, start by gathering the family together with each of you picking a different book you want to read. Turn off your phones, put out blankets and throw pillows, hang some string lights, and put out snacks.

If you have a fireplace, that is even better. It’s an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours being together, reading, snacking, and maybe even discussing each of your books.

6. Do revamp projects

This winter, rather than go out and buy a new furniture piece you need, start with the old and transform it. You could either use a piece of furniture you already have or check out garage sales, thrift stores, or online websites where it’s possible to get an inexpensive sturdy-yet-unflattering piece, such as a dresser or chair, for less than $20.

Pick a project and get started. You will all feel great as a family knowing it’s something you worked on together to make the piece the style you want.

7. Cook new recipes

One of the best aspects of learning new recipes (in addition to being able to eat delicious food, of course) is that it’s information you can pass down to future generations.

It’s also a great way to keep the food costs down.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, buying one can be a worthwhile investment and a way to significantly simplify the cooking process. It’s possible to find a quality slow cooker for less than $40.

Once a week or more, gather the family together, choose a recipe to make, and enjoy each other’s company.

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8. Have a theme night

Having a theme night can be an interesting, budget-friendly way to spend a winter evening.

For example, you can do an 80s theme night where you rock the right fashion and put on 80s movies and music. Consider making it a potluck so everyone brings a little something different.

To cut costs, head to a thrift store for the fashion, rent the movies, and make only one or two staple food dishes to get the food options started.

With so many inexpensive winter at home entertainment options to consider, you’ll be able to easily make it through the season without having an empty wallet or being bored to tears. You might be surprised just how much fun you can have even on a budget.

Reviewed January 2023

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