Thrifty winter fun

       

Carl Bower

If you are interested in making the most out of this winter and spending a lot of quality time together with your family, you may be worried about the idea of spending too much. The good news is that you can have a very family-friendly holiday season all without having to spend an extensive amount of money. Here are some ideas on how you can keep your kids well entertained and spend plenty of family time together without having to spend a lot of your hard earned cash and avoid payday loans.

Find a local skating rink

Going onto a local skating rink can be a fun and very inexpensive way that you can spend some time together during the holidays. Many of the local skating rinks have areas where you can rent skates for the day and spend time out on the ice learning how to skate in the holiday season. Even if you don't live in an area where the climate is cold enough for outdoor ice rinks, it is likely that a local stadium might host a night like this where you could go for a free skate. Used sporting goods stores are also a great place where you can pick up skates in almost any size and for every member of the family. Having skates available make sure that you can save money on rentals every time!

Go to a Christmas market

A local Christmas market or bazaar might be a beautiful place to see some of your local areas all dressed up for it the holidays. This is a tradition that has been happening across Europe over many years and it is also one that has quite recently spreading through North America as well. There are many local Christmas markets that can be found across your area as well as craft sales which are filled with interesting Christmas gift ideas, plenty of local baked goods and maybe even a visit from Santa! As with all retail spending make sure to keep in budget and spend responsibly, to see how we lending responsibly tap this link.


Christmas market stalls open for business

Christmas markets are an excellent way that you can connect with people in your community and really get into the spirit. They normally have plenty of carol singers and opportunities to see a variety of festive stalls. You don't necessarily have to buy anything and you can get some great ideas for some of your holiday baking and entertaining at some of the craft and sweets stalls.

Building a snowman

Building a snowman is a winter tradition that spans over years. This is a completely free activity that you can share with your kids and it is wonderful because you can customize almost everything about the experience. Bring out a carrot and a few pieces of clothing that you can use to decorate a snowman and then create almost any type of image that you want. You can even build big and elaborate homes for the snowman or forts that you can use to make the activity last even longer. As long as you have a park or a front yard that's filled with snow, there are plenty of opportunities to create especially if you have good packing snow. Wetting down the snow with a little bit of water can often make it suitable for packing into snowman's, forts and other items if the snow doesn't feel quite right for the activity either!

Go carol singing

  • O Come, All Ye Faithful
  • Away In A Manger
  • Christmas Song
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Deck The Hall
  • Ding Dong! Merrily On High
  • The Holly and the Ivy

Skiing/tubing or sledging

Picking up a nice toboggan or a sled and heading down to a local hill can be a fun afternoon. There are of course some proper ski resorts and tubing experiences in the UK but obviously not within easy reach for everyone. With a few stakes, a rope and a local hill however you could build a small and temporary ski lift for pulling the tube back up the hill and have plenty of fun going up and down the hill for free. This is an activity that requires very minimal investment and even just a bin bag can lead to a full afternoon of fun. You can even enhance this activity by bringing along a thermos of hot chocolate for when the fun is all done. This is a fantastic way that you can warm up. Make sure that everyone has plenty of layers and all of the right equipment to be outside all day in the cold.



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Indoor ski and sledging is also available in some regions for a fairly reasonable cost when compared to going on a big ski holiday. Rentals for just a few hours are far less money than going to an outdoor slope and there's no need to drive an extensive amount of time to still get a wonderful ski holiday over an afternoon. Going to one of these indoor facilities will make sure that you don't have to spend money on a hotel or the extensive travel of going up to the alps or a local mountain.

Go to a local Christmas tree or park lighting

There are many events that happen in communities all around the world at Christmas time that involve the idea of lighting up Christmas lights. It's likely that you could take a tour around your local area to see all of the lights or go to a local park or major square to see a beautiful Christmas tree lighting. In some cases, the lighting of the Christmas tree at in your local high street or at a park may attract a large crowd and be available completely for free as an event. Going on a walking tour around your area to see all of the Christmas lights in the neighbourhood can also be a fun experience. Wait until all of the neighbours have their lights and decorations up and then spend some time walking through the neighbourhood to have fun spotting the best houses.


Child sledging down a hill in the snow

More ideas

Want some more ideas? Read on:

Many of the local parks and natural areas become far less crowded during the winter months. Checking out some of the local nature and spending time walking around looking for some of the animals that are most active in winter can be a fun experience for the whole family. You might be able to turn it into a game trying to spot all of your local animals on a walk in a natural area or turn into a photographic adventure, seeing who can take some of the most beautiful landscape shots as you are out in the woods. Just make sure that everyone is nicely bundled up for the winter as you are out and enjoying nature.

There are a number of holiday shows at local movie theaters as well as playhouses that often have free entry over the holiday season. Doing a bit of research and checking out some of the days where holiday shows are running for free, could help you treat your whole family to a fun experience. You could go to a local Santa Claus Parade or even see a free screening of a Christmas Carol at your local theatre to get into the Christmas spirit.

You may also be able to go to or even take part in a live stage show or presentation of the Nutcracker depending on the events that your community has going. Seeking out some of the local plays and shows can help you develop a schedule over the Christmas holidays for fun shows you could go to inexpensively or even for free.

The holidays are generally a time for giving and making sure that those who are less fortunate have everything that they need to enjoy a better holiday season. Signing up to volunteer at the local food bank or spending time volunteering at a shelter feeding some people over the holidays can be a rewarding experience.

If you and your family have some time off over the holidays and the time that you are willing to donate to those who are less fortunate, you should strongly consider the act of giving some of your time over the holiday season. This can be a great activity that your family can use to bond and a wonderful way that you can pick up some new skills that will benefit your community!

If you are lucky enough to get white winters then what could more fun (and free) than building a snowman. Make sure to scavenge for some coal for his eyes and coat buttons and a carrot for his nose. You could also dress him up using an old hat and scarf.

Make mulled wine

The smell of winter in a mug! Pour the red wine into a large saucepan along with the orange, some sugar, a bayleaf and some cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat on a gentle setting until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you need to add more sugar to taste. Take off the heat, strain into heatproof glasses or mugs and serve asap.

Conclusion

If you want to make sure that you can enjoy a fun and thrifty winter season, you should consider some of these options for you and your family this year.

If you want to make sure that you can enjoy a fun and thrifty winter season, you should consider some of these options for you and your family this year. Having fun does not have to cost the earth nor necessitate payday loans. If you are careful with the pennies the pounds will look after themselves. For more tips check out these ideas.

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