Fun Activity Ideas for Winter | Things to do with family |
fun activity ideas for the whole family like board games

Chilly winter temperatures continue to envelop us following the busy holiday months, and people may be on the lookout for new fun activity ideas. The solution may be just around the corner as your neighbors, friends, and coworkers could hold the key to ushering in the new year with fresh and exciting ideas that are sure to become cherished traditions.

A little forethought and a bundle of creativity are all you need to host a new slate of post-holiday events that can not only bring connection, laughter, and fun into the new year but also may give you and yours a new perspective in 2023.

Sam Sanders, journalist and podcaster, recently shared these thoughts about what constitutes fun in an article by Natalie Wiener in the December 2022 issue of Texas Highways magazine. “We think we don’t have to take it seriously, [but] what you consume for fun is literally, without you even knowing it, teaching you how to be.”

The following suggestions serve not only to provide specific fun activity ideas but also to inspire you to come up with novel ways to connect with others.


Nothing may bring out the competitive spirit of fun more than hosting a game night in your home. Companies like Big Potato have combined creativity and challenge, designed to bring families and friends together for a night of thrilling competition and laughter. One of their new games, The Great American Mail Race, challenges players to deliver as many parcels across the USA as they can to cities with fun names, including New Mexico’s very own Elephant Butte.

Another of their offerings, The Zillionaire’s Game, has a stop at PistachioLand near Alamogordo. There are plenty of time-tested games to play, too, like Scrabble, Monopoly, canasta (a card game), or Mexican Train (a domino game), and newer options like Wingspan or Settlers of Catan.

Board games make it easy to bring people together, but there are so many other inexpensive and fun ways to create your own game night. The Klem Family’s online presence has inspired more than a few game night lovers to use common household items like plastic cups and balls to bring out exhilarating, uncontrollable laughs, while making lifetime memories.

Find them on Instagram @theklemfamily, or at Just to give you an idea: Who else might have come up with a timed cup stacking game in which one blows up a balloon inside each of four to six red plastic cups to lift the cup to create the stack?


wine and paint night fun activity ideas

Games not your style? What about painting and wine? Check out local wineries to see if they offer paint-and-sip events you and your friends can attend to create a piece of art under the direction of an area artist. Facebook is a great place to check for upcoming events. You can also plan an at-home event.

I have hosted Cocktails & Rock Painting, for example. Inspired by creative hand-painted rocks found along area trails, I challenged my guests to dig deep and design their own rock masterpieces. You can also invite an artist to guide your friends through an easy project and let their newfound talent shine.


Have you always been intrigued by murder mystery events in which attendees as a group either play a part in a murder plot or have to put together the clues to solve a murder mystery? Murder mystery parties are among the newest fun activity ideas.

You can create your own, buy a game kit, or find a complete party kit online.


If you have a deep interest in a certain genre of books, another fun activity ideas is get friends together for a book club event. Always an avid reader of books about Holocaust survivors, I decided to invite friends and family members to join me on a journey to the past. Last July, after a visit to the El Paso Holocaust Museum, I headed to the library. There, the librarian helped me to discover that a Holocaust survivor who had lived in El Paso, Sara Hauptman, wrote a book entitled Lioness of Judah: A Jewish Lion Tamer’s Memoir of Resistance and Survival.

The book was so intriguing, it spurred me to share it with others, and inspired me to create a Never Again Book Club, designed to help me and my friends discover and share other Holocaust books. My book club group included readers from Michigan, El Paso, and Las Cruces. We met to discuss the book, guided by questions to encourage thoughtful reading and reflection.

The group even included Margie Hauptman, the daughter-in-law of the author, who continues to live locally, and who shared further insight into Sara’s life journey following her relocation to El Paso.

Cactus Flower Bookery in El Paso hosts a monthly theme-based book club called Read Between the Wines. Stephanie Roberts, who co-owns the store with her mother Shirleen, chooses a different theme each month, and rather than each of the participants reading the same book, everyone chooses a book based on the theme. Stephanie then chooses two or three wines connected to the theme and hosts the book club each month in the bookstore.

Her idea is that if everyone reads a different book related to the theme, each participant can gather new ideas for future reads.

fun activity ideas hiking dripping springsOUTDOOR ADVENTURES

It may be cold, but winter is still a great time to enjoy outdoor activities. If you’re interested in getting into a new outdoor activity this winter, find others to help you get started by visiting your local running store or ski shop, for example, or look online at sites like MeetUp for groups you can join.

Many city parks and recreation departments also offer opportunities to hike and get fit with others.

Why not consider opening your mind and your house to these fresh-start ideas and begin 2023 with new post-holiday traditions that could not only be perspective-changing but also be life-changing for you and yours? Discover other ways to explore the outdoors with these fun activity ideas, like camping!

Other Fun Activity Ideas

Sweet & Savory Potluck

Each person brings either a sweet or savory item to share along with recipe cards to create an event mini cookbook. If you make it an annual or semi-annual event, create your own potluck cookbook.

Hometown Trivia Night

Re-discover what makes your town special. Participants create questions about local iconic people, places, or events. Save the cards to develop the game over time.

Photobook Night

Gather old photos of family or friends, and as a group decide the theme and title for the book. Get a copy printed for each group member through Shutterfly or other companies.

You can find more fun activity ideas on our monthly events calendars!


Story and photography by Sandra M. Elliott | Additional photos courtesy

Originally published in Neighbors magazine | 2023

This article was posted by Olivia

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