Winter Break is next week! And when the kids are out of school, especially during the cold winter months, it’s hard not to feel a bit of panic trying to figure out things to do. But I try to consider (and give a good chuckle to) the advice of a good friend: “Parents are not cruise directors“. Of course boredom is good for kids and encourages creativity and free play, but if you are like me, you want to have options to help lessen the squabbles and the cabin fever.
How To Keep Your Kids Busy This Winter Break
Below is a list of ideas straight from Wichita moms, and how they plan to survive winter break (without breaking down)!
*Be sure to check with each location on their safety/covid19 protocols. Indoor locations do require masks or face coverings and outdoor locations require the same when social distancing is not possible.
- Go to the movies. If you are like us and really missing movie theaters, there are some really great options! With AMC, you can rent a Private Movie Theatre (for just $99 and up to 20 people), you can catch the Exploration Place Laser Show (through January 7th), Polar Express Showing in the Dome Theater at the Cosmosphere (through January 3rd).
- Walk or Drive Through Illuminations. Experience a twinkly winter wonderland at Illuminations if you haven’t done so yet. The walk-thru option last through January 9th and the drive-thru option through January 30th.
- Go Ice Skating. Chicken N Pickle has a fun outdoor ice skating option, and Wichita Ice Center has public skating available indoors (and before 4pm is $5 per person).
- Enroll the Kids in Camp. There are several options this year that offer Winter Break Day Camps, a great option for working parents.
- Get Creative in Your Own Backyard. Check out this Winter Backyard Hunt that your kids will love!
- Go Look at Christmas Lights. Best Christmas Lights in WichitaWe love to surprise the kids (on a weeknight!) and take them in their pajamas through the Chic fil A drive through for a peppermint shake (Andy’s has delicious holiday treats too), and cruise for lights. Check out our resource!
- Have a board game day. We love a good game day, and there are endless options to choose from. Check out our family-favorite board games to get you started.
- Drink hot cocoa. We all know cocoa bombs are all the rage so you can order some from a local baker using this list of Where to Get Cocoa Bombs in Wichita or you can make homemade cocoa bombs yourself!
- Create a list of acts of kindness to do together as a family. Here is a great list to get you started.
- Try a Virtual Escape Room. We recommend this FREE Harry Potter Digital Escape Room and also here is another escape room resource some plan to use over the break.
- Have an at-home painting day. If you haven’t tried the paint kits from Paint the Towne, winter break would be the perfect time to try. We love these kits – they have a straight forward how-to guide and also include paint. These keep the kids busy for at least an hour.
- Keep reading. You can pre-order books fromWichita Public Library for curbside pickup. Easy peasy, and you don’t have to get out of your car.
- Color. Create personalized coloring pages for your kiddos to work on. And take coloring up a notch by fun smelly markers. We love these Silly Scents Crayola markers.
- Have a Holiday Movie Marathon. There are so many great family-friendly holiday movies – here is a list of some of our favorite holiday movies. And if you haven’t seen Jingle Jangle, it is a must for the whole family.
- Have an ornament decorating day. This recipe for classic cinnamon ornaments is a favorite.
- Have a craft day. If you want easy and inexpensive, the Christmas kits from Hobby Lobby + Target Dollar Spot are great. Love of Character has great options too!
- Water Bead Play. This is what we call the “nuclear backup plan”. When you’ve run out of ideas. Throw these water beads in a tub, add water, and the kids will play for hours.
- Kinetic Sand. Here is a recipe. Play with kinetic sand (this was one of the things on my daughter’s Christmas wishlist). And it’s easy to make your own with 3 ingredients: play sand + oil + cornstarch.
- Make friendship bracelets. Hobby Lobby and Target have great friendship bracelet kits. And there are tons of videos on youtube with different weave tutorials.
- Get in the Kitchen. Here are 4 Easy Beginner Recipes for Little Ones in the Kitchen.
- Get creative. Try one of these NINE Indoor activities while you are stuck indoors.
- Get connected to nature. Visit Great Plains Nature Center for FREE (limited capacity) and bundle up to walk the trails.
- Visit the Zoo. You can visit the zoo for $3 with Winter Wednesdays at the Zoo.
BONUS: If It Snows Over Winter Break:
Grab your sled and hit a local sledding hill – we’ve rounded up the Best Sledding Hills in Wichita here.
And of course you can’t miss out on making snow ice cream. It’s so easy and a favorite way to have fun with the snow, you only need 3 ingredients! Check out our Snow Ice Cream Recipe here.