23 Winter Activities to do Over Break

After finals come to a close and we all go home for a few weeks, it is important to spend time doing fun things with the people we love the most. Winter, with its snow and chilling temperatures, can sometimes make us feel like all there is to do is watch Christmas movies on Netflix while drinking hot chocolate, but there are infinitely more things to do over the holidays. As many of my friends will be coming home for break, my friends, Leigh, Andrea and Megan, and I decided to make a list of things to do before we must part ways again for spring semester. Hopefully you can draw some inspiration from our plans and you get to do some really fun things with some really amazing people!


1. Sledding

Sledding is always one of my favorite things to do in winter. I have a really great hill at the side of my house that my sister and I always use, but if you don't have the right space to do it at home, you can always go to a park! When I was a kid, my whole family would go out to Battelle Darby Creek Park, which is in Galloway, OH.


2. Zoo Lights

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium boasts one of the most magical holiday activities in all of Ohio. Paying a visit to the Wildlights is such an integral part of the season for many families. The light show that is timed to Christmas music around the lake is one of the best parts. I could spend forever looking at all of the lights, however, I highly recommend going when there is snow on the ground for the full experience.


3. Ice Skating

I have never personally been ice skating, but this has been on my holiday bucket list for as long as I can remember! While you're at the zoo, you can accomplish this activity, as well. You can also find a skating rink near your hometown, or you could find a lake or pond (just be sure to test the thickness of the ice, so you don't fall in).


4. Snowball Fights

It just isn't winter without throwing around some compact balls of snow! You could get together all of your friends, family, or neighbors and make teams, build forts and have a competition!


5. Make a Snowman

This is yet another staple of the winter season. You can make a family of snowmen in your yard, or even head out to a park and spread the joy for others to see! Make sure you dress him up with a scarf and hat, so he isn't too cold!


6. Bake and Decorate Cookies

Baking and decorating cookies is always a huge tradition in my family. From making the dough to icing the finished product, this is my favorite way to spend time with loved ones. All you need is a great recipe, some creativity, and lots of love!


7. Make Snow Angels

Snow angels are another great way to dress up your yard for the season! Just be sure to make them after every snowfall, otherwise your hard work will go unnoticed!


8. Throw a Christmas Party

I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. PARTIES! Just last night, December 4th, I went to my first Christmas party, and it inspired this list of winter activities! You could check off many of the activities on this list at your party! I love that these parties give us a reason to throw on our favorite sweaters that look like Christmas threw up on them and spend time with the people we value most. This shouldn't be about giving or receiving gifts, but rather catching up with old friends and making new memories that last until the next time you can see one another.


9. DIY Christmas Decorations

Pinterest is a girl's best friend during this time of year. While you're searching for the perfect gift ideas for your BFFs, you can also find super cute Christmas decorations to make the next time you're all together! You could make ornaments that represent your favorite memories, lanterns with Christmas lights, or put those leftover ornaments to use in an old vase! It's all up to you!


10. Christmas Music Jam Sesh

The sounds of the season are a surefire way to bring people together! You can't have a holiday season without the classic Mariah Carey albums. Two of my other favorites are Taylor Swift and Michael Bublé's albums. Michael Bublé even has a Christmas special that you can catch on December 10th at 8:00 PM on NBC!


11. Sleepover in Winter Jammies

This is something I have never done, but I hope to make it a new tradition. A sleepover with your best friends in cute wintry pajamas just seems like the best way to spend time together. You could wear the typical matching top and bottoms, or even celebrate the season in onesies! This would also be the perfect setting to have that jam session.


12. Tubing

Again, this is something I have never done, but I would love to go try it out! You can tackle this activity when you go sledding, if you'd like! A great place to go tubing is Mad River Mountain in Zanesfield, OH.


13. Make Traditional Recipes from Another Culture

I personally love learning about other cultures and their traditions, so this activity seems like a ton of fun. If you have never celebrated Hanukkah, you could look into a traditional recipe that is made during the celebration of this holiday. This year I want to try to make Latkes! The recipe I am using can be found here.


14. Go to a Blue Jackets Game

Hockey is a staple of the winter season. We are lucky to have a really great team based right out of Columbus. The Columbus Blue Jackets are always a blast to watch, so you can round up a group of your besties and take a trip to Nationwide and see them play! Their schedule can be found here.


15. Rent a Cabin in Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills is a beautiful area no matter what time of year it is, but it is especially magical in winter. You and your family can spend some much needed time together in a cabin at Hocking Hills, while taking a break from the chaos of life. You can find more information on their website.


16. See a Christmas Play

Going to see a Christmas play every year is a wonderful tradition that every family can take part in. The Nutcracker is a holiday favorite, and the Ohio Theater always has plenty of opportunities to go!


17. Make a Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses are a great way to bring loved ones around the table together! You can make yours as simple or elaborate as you'd like! There are kits available for those who don't know where to start, or you can find tried and true recipes online to get you started!


18. Visit Santa

This can be something you do with younger siblings or cousins, but if you really miss your childhood (and who doesn't in college?), then you can round up others who feel nostalgic this time of year, as well, and go to Tuttle Mall for a visit to Santa Clause. Santa's hours of availability are posted here, so you can make your arrangements in advance.


19. Wrap Gifts

For some people, wrapping gifts is just a tedious activity that is inevitable this time of year. However, for individuals like myself, gift wrapping is a highlight of the Christmas season. I love finding the perfect gift for someone and then wrapping it up, so I can see the joy on their face when they open it. You can get together with your friends and wrap your families' gifts, all the while spending more time in one another's presence.


20. Send Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are a great way to communicate with the loved ones you might not get to see over the holidays. If you're feeling extra crafty, you can even make your own cards! This is a simple, yet thoughtful, way to show that you are thinking about people, even in their absence.


21. Head Downtown

Downtown Columbus is a great place to see wonderful Christmas lights. The Columbus Commons was lit up on November 24, 2015 and will remain in the holiday spirit until January 4, 2016. After you stop there, you can head to the Scioto Mile to see even more Christmas lights. This area of downtown Columbus will be lit from December 4, 2015 until January 10, 2016.


22. See the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas music would not be the same without the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The orchestra performs on December 26, 2015 at the Schottenstein Center, right on campus! The performance will begin at 8:00 PM.


23. Throw a New Year's Eve Party

One of the last big parts of winter break is the coming of the new year. A great way to get everyone you love together one last time is by hosting a New Year's Eve party! Obnoxious noise makers are a must. If you are have New Year's traditions, you can share them with your friends, and you can participate in theirs! No matter what you decide to do to ring in the new year, just be safe and surround yourself with the ones you love and you are sure to have a great night and a wonderful start to 2016!